Be transported to the iconic Greenwich Village jazz clubs of Wonderful Town, 1950s street gangs of West Side Story and more New York landmarks from Leonard Bernstein.

The songs of Leonard Bernstein Broadway scores captured the excitement and energy his beloved New York—from the Bronx up to the Battery down. 

“Bernstein’s New York songs…are filled with a melodic sensibility and rhythmic vitality all his own. His compositions dance with the urgency of jazz, Latin and Cuban music.”—Bill Charlap

Read a special commentary on Leonard Bernstein by Jazz in July artistic director Bill Charlap in the Program Notes.

Brian Lynch, trumpet
Jimmy Greene, tenor sax
Jon Gordon, alto sax
Bill Charlap, piano
Peter Washington, bass
Kenny Washington, drums
Daniel Sadownick, percussion

Program will include:

From West Side Story
"Somewhere" / "Maria" ? "Something's Coming" / "Mambo" / "Cool"

From On the Town
"New York, New York – A Helluva Town" / "Lucky to be Me"

From Wonderful Town
"Wrong-Note Rag" / "It’s Love"

From Candide
"Glitter and be Gay"

 

Join us for more Jazz! This event can be purchased as part of a 2-concert, 4-concert or 6-concert package.

 

Jazz in July is partially endowed by a generous gift from Simona and Jerome A. Chazen.

“Some Other Time!,” sung by Eileen Farrell, accompanied (with singing) by Leonard Bernstein, from On the Town, the musical

“Tonight,” sung by Carol Lawrence and Larry Kurt (the original Maria and Tony), on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Nov 2, 1958, from West Side Story

“Make Our Garden Grown,” performed by the New York Philharmonic with Paul Groves, Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LuPone, Sir Thomas Allen, etc., from Candide

“Interview—Burton Bernstein”—Leonard Bernstein’s brother reminisces about On the Town and the origin of the “Mambo” theme from West Side Story

Explore the Music

(Click the names below to expand info.)

Leonard’s New York, by Bill Charlap

Electric, vital, intense, charismatic … Leonard Bernstein was all of these things. He enlightened us and inspired us. His passion for music and for humanity came through in all of his work, whether it was directing the New York Philharmonic, his work as a classical composer, teaching and sharing the joy of music, or writing for the Broadway stage. Bernstein is New York, and New York is Leonard Bernstein.

Bernstein’s songs are a unique challenge for jazz musicians. Unlike Gershwin, Bernstein wrote classical music before he ever composed theater music and popular songs. The influence of Stravinsky, Copland and Gershwin are there. Bernstein’s New York songs—particularly from the scores of On The Town, Wonderful Town and his crowning achievement, West Side Story—are filled with a melodic sensibility and rhythmic vitality all his own. His compositions dance with the urgency of jazz, Latin and Cuban music.

This concert features some of my favorite musicians in the world. Bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington have been my musical partners for more than 16 years. Jimmy Greene has developed into one of the finest and most creative tenor saxophonists of our time. Jon Gordon and I went to high school together, and his mastery of the alto saxophone, has been championed by such giants as Benny Carter and Phil Woods. For 15 years, I was the pianist in Phil Woods Quintet, and one of the great joys of that experience was sharing the stage with one of the great voices of modern jazz trumpet, Brian Lynch. Brian is also an expert in Latin jazz and is a Grammy winner for his fine collaboration with NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri. On percussion is Daniel Sadownick, who is recognized as one of the finest in jazz. Sadownick and Kenny Washington have a tremendous musical connection and will create the rhythmic fire so characteristic of Bernstein’s music. Join us for this singular night, celebrating the jazz side of an American icon, Leonard Bernstein!

Photo: Leonard Bernstein; Jack Mitchell
Photo: The Creative team of
West Side Story, 1957. From left: Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, Robert Griffith (a co-producer, seated), Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins

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Leonard Bernstein: A Biography, from his Publisher, Boosey & Hawkes

Composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, thinker and adventurous spirit, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) transformed the way Americans and people everywhere hear and appreciate music. Bernstein's successes as a composer ranged from the Broadway stage—West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town and Candide—to concert halls all over the world, where his orchestral and choral music continues to thrive.

Click here to read the full bio.

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Guest Artists Bios

Brian Lynch, trumpet

Equally prominent within the straight-ahead and Latin jazz communities, the Grammy Award-winning Brian Lynch is a former member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet. He now leads his own groups, including Spheres of Influence, which melds jazz/Caribbean styles, and he co-leads the Lynch-Prieto-Kozlov Trio. He has also collaborated with such diverse musical figures as Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Hector LaVoe and Prince. As a band leader, Mr. Lynch has released 20 CDs, including the two-volume Unsung Heroes, a tribute to unappreciated jazz trumpeters; the Grammy Award-winning project with Eddie Palmieri, Simpático; Spheres Of Influence Suite; and ConClave. He is on the faculty of the University Of Miami, and his website is brianlynchjazz.com.
Photo: Nick Ruechel

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Jimmy Greene, tenor sax

A native of Hartford, Jimmy Greene has toured and recorded in the bands of Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Harry Connick, Jr., Avishai Cohen and Claudia Acuña, and the quartets of Renee Rosnes and Mike LeDonne. In addition, Mr. Greene has led his quartet in performances around the world, and he has released nine recordings as a leader, including his latest, Live at Smalls; he can also be heard on 75 CDs as a sideman. Mr. Greene currently serves on the faculty of Western Connecticut State University. He has received an ASCAP / IAJE Commission and a Chamber Music America Grant in jazz composition, and the State of Connecticut awarded him the 2013 Governor’s Arts Award in music. His website is jimmygreene.com.

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Jon Gordon, alto sax

Saxophonist and composer Jon Gordon has led his ensembles at the jazz festivals of Savannah, Ottawa, Oslo and Brecon (Wales), as well as the leading jazz clubs of New York, London and Paris. A winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition. Mr. Gordon has performed with such artists as Benny Carter, Maria Schneider, Phil Woods, Clark Terry and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and he regularly appears as a member of the Jazz Nativity. His two CDs, Evolution and Within Worlds, both received critical raves, and his self-published memoir, For Sue, was published by Chimbarazu Press last November; Colin Music has published his book on improvisation. His website, jongordonmusic.com, includes an online lesson project.

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Peter Washington, bass

Peter Washington has a discography of more than 450 recordings. Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Washington played classical bass as a teen and majored in English literature at UC Berkeley, where he became interested in jazz. He was invited by Art Blakey to join the Jazz Messengers in New York. From there, he became part of two of jazz’s most celebrated trios: the Tommy Flanagan Trio, and for the past 16 years, the Bill Charlap Trio. Mr. Washington’s work roster includes Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Bobby Hutcherson and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. In 2009 he was part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded the album Mosaic and toured the US in 2009.
Photo: Richard Termine

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Kenny Washington, drums

Kenny Washington was born in Brooklyn. In 1977, while still in his teens, he worked with Lee Konitz and his nonet. He has been a member of the Bill Charlap Trio for 16 years and has performed and recorded with dozens of major artists, including Benny Carter, Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval and Benny Goodman. Mr. Washington is a noted jazz historian and radio personality; he has written liner notes and helped prepare re-releases by Art Blakey, Count Basie and others, and he was an announcer on WBGO jazz radio. He currently serves on the faculties of Purchase College (SUNY) and The Juilliard School, teaching drums and jazz history.
Photo: Richard Termine

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Daniel Sadownick, percussion

A native of the South Bronx, Daniel Sadownick earned a master’s degree from New York University, then spent two years touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. This led to tours and recordings with other jazz greats like Michael Brecker, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Al Jarreau and Dianne Reeves. Mr. Sadownick has lately expanded his focus to work with such diverse artists as Taylor Swift, Steely Dan, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Al Green, The Roots and Billy Idol. His debut CD of all original compositions, There Will Be a Day, utilized percussion in a straight-ahead jazz context. He has been posting his latest songs, including “Bronx Bob,” “A Kiss That Whispers,” Paths” and “Urban Scene,” on the ReverbNation website, reverbnation.com/danielsadownick.
Photo: Martin Cohen

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Details & Ordering

  • Leonard Bernstein’s New York

    Date: Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 8 pm

    Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

    Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall

    Price: from $56.00

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