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Want to get this joint jumpin'?

Then jump right into the 2013 Jazz in July festival with the man whose popularity brought stride piano to the whole world. Writer of hundreds of songs like “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” he was a charismatic entertainer, and one the most influential jazz pianists ever.

Bill Charlap, piano
Carol Woods, vocals
Anat Cohen, clarinet
Randy Sandke, trumpet
Rossano Sportiello, piano
Todd Coolman, bass
Willie Jones, III, drums


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.

Fats Waller performing “Aint Misbehavin’,” in a clip from Stormy Weather, 1943.

Fats Waller performing “This Joint is Jumpin’” (on a grand piano!), from a short film, 1941.

Fats Waller performing “Your Feet’s Too Big,” from a short film, 1941.

On 92YTumblr:

Fats Waller is the center of one of the funniest—and most infamous—stories in jazz history. Here it is told by Nancy Caldwell Sorel in The Independent of London:

One evening Fats felt a revolver poked into his paunchy stomach. He found himself bullied into a black limousine, heard the driver ordered to East Cicero. Sweat pouring down his body, Fats foresaw a premature end to his career, but on arrival at a fancy saloon, he was merely pushed toward a piano and told to play. He played. Loudest in applause was a beefy man with an unmistakable scar: Al Capone was having a birthday, and he, Fats, was a present from “the boys".

Click here for the full Tumblr posting.

Explore the Music

(Click the names below to expand info.)

Fats Waller—A Biography

From the Songwriters Hall of Fame website—Fats Waller Exhibit

Composer Thomas “Fats” Waller was born in New York City on May 21, 1904. The legendary pianist and conductor learned the organ at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City where his father was Pastor.

Waller began his career as a singer and pianist in night clubs and accompanied in various theatres as an organist. He also accompanied singer Bessie Smith. Leading and recording with his own band, Waller toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

While his chief collaborator was lyricist Andy Razaf, Waller also worked with Stanley Adams, George Marion, Jr. and Clarence Williams.

Primarily a popular song writer, Waller did write scores for Broadway musicals, including Keep Shufflin’, Hot Chocolates and Early to Bed. He also composed several instrumental works such as “Minor Drag”, “Harlem Fuss”, “Handful of Keys”, “Viper’s Drag”, “St. Louis Shuffle”, “Numb Fumblin?" and “Valentine Stomp.”

Highlights from the Waller song catalog include “Squeeze Me”, “My Fate is in Your Hands”, “I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Blue Turning Gray Over You”, “Zonky”, “Willow Tree”, “Ain’t Misbehavin?", “Black and Blue”, “Take it from Me”, “Concentratin’ On You”, “You’re My Ideal”, “Rollin’ Down the River”, “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”, “The Joint is Jumpin?", “I’m Crazy “Bout My Baby”, “There’s a Man in My Life” and “Georgia Bo Bo”.

Fats Waller died at the age of 39 in Kansas City, Missouri on December 15, 1943.

Visit the Songwriters Hall of Fame—Fats Waller Exhibit for a photo gallery, audio clips, a song catalog, recommended recordings and more.

For a more detailed biography, visit the PBS “Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns” micro-site.

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Artist Bios

Bill Charlap, artistic director & piano

This year marks Bill Charlap’s ninth summer as artistic director of 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July summer festival. One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Mr. Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Time magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

In 1997, Mr. Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. In 2000, he signed with Blue Note Records and has since received two Grammy nominations, for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. The Trio performs all over the world; their New York engagements include regular appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and they will return to the Village Vanguard for a two-week run this fall. In 2009, Mr. Charlap was pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records.

Mr. Charlap’s experience as concert producer extends beyond Jazz in July. In the mid-1990s, he was the musical director of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, A Celebration of Johnny Mercer,” part of New York’s JVC Jazz Festival. He has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl.

Born in New York City, Mr. Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2006, Mr. Charlap and Ms. Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here to Stay on Blue Note; their second release, Something to Remember, on Ghostlight, was released this past January. They have appeared at The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and Feinstein’s at the Regency and they have won New York Bistro and Nightlife awards. In February 2012, they appeared on the 92Y Jazz series.

Mr. Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes. The two artists often collaborate in a duo piano setting. In 2010, Mr. Charlap and Ms. Rosnes made Double Portrait, released on the Blue Note label and recorded at 92nd Street Y.

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Carol Woods, vocals

Carol Woods has finished a run on Broadway, repeating the role of Matron Morton in Chicago. Among her other Broadway credits are One Mo’ Time, the 2001 revival of Follies, Smokey Joe’s Café, Stepping Out and The Goodbye Girl. In London, she received an Olivier nomination for Blues in the Night and had the title role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. As a nightclub and cabaret artist, Ms. Woods’ appearances have spanned the globe, from London to Tokyo. In New York, she has appeared at The Village Gate, Michael’s Pub, Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, where she appeared with the New York Pops and had her own show. Among her film credits is the Beatles–inspired film Across the Universe; she received a standing ovation for her performance of “Let It Be” at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

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Anat Cohen, clarinet

Making her Jazz in July debut, Anat Cohen tours the world with her quartet, headlining at the leading international festivals. During her European tour this March, she made her UK debut at Pizza Express Jazz in London, and last week she appeared at the Istanbul Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. In the US, she has been voted Clarinetist of the Year seven years in a row and Multi-Reeds Player of the Year for the past two years by the Jazz Journalists Association. Ms. Cohen has appeared in the top clubs of New York and the US; in 2009 she was the first Israeli to headline at Village Vanguard, and she regularly collaborates with her hero Paquito D’Rivera. Last September Ms. Cohen released her sixth album, Claroscuro, on her own label. Her website is

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Randy Sandke, trumpet

Trumpeter/composer Randy Sandke has toured Europe more than 40 times and has performed extensively throughout Japan, North America, Brazil and India. He has recorded over 30 albums as a leader, and can be heard on hundreds more as a sideman, working with leading jazz and pop/rock artists ranging from Benny Goodman, Dick Hyman and Cab Calloway to Sting, Bette Midler and James Taylor. He played the on-stage trumpet solo in Fosse and can be heard on the soundtracks of The Cotton Club, Brighton Beach Memories and five Woody Allen films. As a composer, Mr. Sandke has received two NEA grants, and more than 90 of his works have been recorded; his Subway Ballet was played at the 2003 Jazz in July festival. He has written two books and numerous articles on jazz history. His website is

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Rossano Sportiello, piano

Rossano Sportiello was born in Vigevano, Italy, and began studying classical piano. By age 16 he was playing jazz in Milan and two years later he joined one of Europe’s best-known jazz bands, the Milano Jazz Gang. Now living in New York, he appears at leading venues and jazz festivals in the US and around the world. Since 2008, Mr. Sportiello has performed regularly with the Harry Allen Quartet. In the past year he and Mr. Allen have released CDs of Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Burke songbooks. His award-winning discography also includes four solo piano CDs, one CD with the Rossano Sportiello Trio and three jazz CDs featuring classical music of Chopin, Liszt and Schubert. An active educator, this past May Mr. Sportiello served as “professor in residence” at St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK. His website is

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Todd Coolman, bass

Grammy Award-winning bassist Todd Coolman was a member of the James Moody Quartet for 25 years and has performed and/or recorded with jazz legends including Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Tommy Flanagan, Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman. He continues to be in demand as a sideman, performing with such artists as Jon Faddis and Renee Rosnes. He has released three CDs as a leader: Tomorrows, Lexicon and Perfect Strangers. Mr. Coolman is also a jazz educator who has written two books: The Bass Tradition and The Bottom Line. He serves on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College (SUNY), and in 2011, he was appointed Director of the Skidmore Jazz Institute. He is in demand as a clinician and lecturer throughout the world. His website is

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Willie Jones III, drums

Born in Los Angeles, Willie Jones III was introduced to jazz by his father, the noted jazz pianist Willie Jones II. From 1998-2005, Mr. Jones was a member of Roy Hargrove’s Quintet, and he has worked with Milt Jackson, Arturo Sandoval, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and others. In February he toured Europe with the Cedar Walton Quartet, and in May he returned to Europe with his own quartet. Jones can be heard on many recordings, including Kurt Elling's Grammy-nominated Night Moves and Eric Reed's Here. In 2000, Mr. Jones released his debut CD on his own label, WJ3, followed by two more volumes, plus WE 2, featuring trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and pianist Eric Reed. His latest CD, The Next Phase, was released in 2010. He currently serves on the faculty of Northwestern University. His website is

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Details & Ordering

Need Help?

If you have any questions, need assistance with your order or require special seating considerations, such as wheelchair accessible seating or hearing assistance, please call Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation.

If you prefer, you can order your tickets and class enrollments by calling Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation, using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can also place your order by fax, by mail, or in person at our Box Office on Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street.

Have a group?

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount. Please note that certain events may not qualify for a group rate. To make group arrangements or need further assistance, you may contact Customer Service at 212.415.5500 during our Hours of Operation.

About 92Y YourStage

92Y YourStage provides a venue for independent curators, performers, and educators to mount a professional production. Yourstage events are confirmed once they meet a threshold for ticket sales by a certain date.

YourStage events that are ON have been confirmed; PENDING events need to generate more ticket sales; If an event fails to generate enough ticket sales, the event will be CALLED OFF, and all ticket holders will be refunded.

Get to the front of the line!

Priority registration puts you at the front of the line to register for courses and events for an upcoming semester.

Eligible patrons will be able to order priority registration online.


Who is eligible for priority registration?

Individuals who have participated in 92nd Street Y programs over the past year in selected program areas, participants in certain memberships, and those who have made contributions of $500 or more to 92Y, are eligible to register for programs before they become available to the general public.

How do I know if I qualify?

Patrons that qualify for Priority Registration will receive packets in the mail explaining how to purchase online. Priority registration is normally mailed 2-3 weeks before a catalog is available. Registration information includes your Patron ID#. You can use this ID# to setup your login information online. This will allow you to register early for a course or event. Please note: if you receive a packet, you are only eligible to priority register for the programs covered in your packet.

Priority Registration Support

To find out if you are eligible for priority registration, don't have your Patron ID#, or having difficulty ordering online, please call 212.415.5500 or email.