FREE Jazzy ‘Sessions at the Circle’ Series Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center Takes Center Stage at The Shops at Columbus Circle This Summer

Some of New York’s most dynamic young jazz artists, including trumpeter/Wynton Marsalis protégé Riley Mulherkar and Christie Dashiell of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,’’ will serenade patrons of The Shops at Columbus Circle when the Sessions at the Circle series kicks off its six-week run July 26.

The free evening concerts (Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., through Aug. 30) on the second-level mezzanine are a partnership between The Shops at Columbus Circle and Jazz at Lincoln Center and showcase a range of jazz styles, from the big-band sounds of Zaccai Curtis to smoky renditions of the Great American Songbook by Allyson Briggs and classic tenor saxophone riffs from Camille Thurman.

Families taking a break from shopping won’t want to miss the Jazz for Young People session (Aug. 6), where folks of all ages are invited to swing and sway to joyous rhythms as they learn about the essence of the music.

The free Sessions at the Circle feature an impressive repertoire of musicians:

July 26, 2016 – Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio
Camille Thurman is multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, vocalist, composer and educator. Her lush, velvety sound on the tenor sax has drawn comparisons to masters Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon, to name a few. Thurman’s  four-octave vocal range and ability to sing vocalese reflects the influences of Minnie Riperton, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She was a runner-up in the 2013 International Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition and a two-time recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers award. Her compositions were featured and performed by her quartet in the ASCAP/ Kennedy Center “Songwriters: The Next Generation” showcase. Thurman has appeared on BET’s “Black Girls Rock’’ as the saxophonist in the All Star Band led by music director Kim Burse.

August 2, 2016Riley Mulherkar Quartet
Riley Mulherkar has been recognized as a “smart young trumpet player” (The New York Times) and cited by The Wall Street Journal as a “youngster to keep an eye on.”  In 2011, Mulherkar was named a “rising jazz artist” by Wynton Marsalis in JET magazine and in 2014 he was the first recipient of the Laurie Frink Career Grant at the Festival of New Trumpet Music. He has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne, and Carnegie Hall, and has shared the stage with Marsalis, Leonard Slatkin and Dave Douglas, among others. Mulherkar is a founding member of The Westerlies, a new-music brass quartet that has premiered over 50 original works since its inception in 2011. Their debut album, Wish the Children Would Come on Home, was hailed as “an impressive feat from almost any angle” (Nate Chinen, JazzTimes), and named Debut Album of the Year by NPR Music’s Francis Davis.

August 9, 2016 – Jazz for Young People

August 16, 2016 – Christie Dashiell Quartet
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Greenville, NC, contemporary jazz vocalist Christie N. Dashiell honed her skills at Howard University and later at the Manhattan School of Music. Her career  includes performances with Howard’s premiere vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center as a participant in the 2010 Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program; at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.; and, as a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People program. She is the recipient of Down Beatmagazine’s Best College Graduate Jazz Vocalist and Outstanding Soloist awards in the jazz vocal category. Most recently, Dashiell appeared on season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off, as a member of Afro Blue. She has performed in concert with Esperanza Spalding, Fred Hammond, Smokey Robinson, Geri Allen, and Allan Harris.

August 23, 2016 – The Curtis Brothers Quartet
Brothers Luques (bass) and Zaccai (piano) Curtis follow in the rich family tradition of jazz. The music has often been the beneficiary of sibling bonds. Look no further than the Adderley brothers (Cannonball & Nat), the Heath Brothers (Percy, Jimmy, and Albert (Tootie), the Brecker Brothers, or more recently the Roney brothers (Wallace & Antoine). Jazz music has frequently been the family tie that binds. Eventually, both brothers continued their studies in Boston, Zaccai at the New England Conservatory, and Luques at Berklee College of Music.The brothers have recorded with a notable discography of cohorts, including Gary Burton, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Donald Harrison, Sean Jones, Brian Lynch & Eddie Palmieri, and John Santos among others. For the Curtis Brothers, music is an affirmation of the basic root sources of jazz. Their music is rife with the blues, swing rhythms in recognition of the Africa-Caribbean-New Orleans lineage, and the basic core elements that make the music such a spicy, hard bop melting pot.

August 30, 2016Fleur Seule 
Fleur Seule is an authentic 1940s Jazz, Swing, & Ballroom band that plays hits from all around the world. Songbird/Bandleader Allyson Briggs sings in seven languages to accommodate a wide variety of New York audiences. Briggs is on a mission to revive what she calls “the greatest music ever written’’ for her generation and believes in the power of simplicity, the playfulness of music, and the Great American Songbook. She is an old soul who refined her craft in New York City and has been making great strides in bringing the best of music back for some, and anew to the younger set.

The free performances or “sessions” will be held in the cool indoors of The Shops at Columbus Circle on the second floor mezzanine level. The Shops at Columbus Circle, located in Time Warner Center in the heart off Manhattan, is an iconic indoor and public destination that attracts millions of people a year. It’s the place to dine, shop, live, entertain, work and be entertained. The soaring 2.8 million-square-foot landmark with stunning views of Central Park has transformed Columbus Circle into a cultural portal to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Encompassing everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to Jazz at Lincoln Center and more than 40 retail stores, boutiques and pop-up experiences, The Shops at Columbus Circle is “an only in New York experience” ideal for residents and visitors alike.

Visit for more information and an ever changing list of events and happenings.

Credit: The Shops at Columbus Circle.

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