And All That Jazz: RI musicians show their chops

BenShawThe warmer months are always prime music time around Rhode Island, and jazz is no exception. To make your life easier, here is a list of a few performances to help you get that calendar filled up.

Over the past couple years, the music scene has been blessed with a growing number of regular sessions. Check out old favorites like Wednesdays at the Acacia Club in Providence with the Leland Baker Quartet from 8 to 11pm, and the Ed Tomassi Group plays every fourth Sunday at The Parlour from 5 to 8pm. Make sure you keep your eye out for new sessions popping up, like at Strings Bar and Grill where Travis Colby and Lisa Marie will be playing every Monday from 7:30 to 10:30pm. For more regular listings, check out the bottom of this article for what’s happening around town.

Up first we have RI legend Greg Abate leading his quartet at the Newport Playhouse on Thursday, September 5. Get your tickets in advance because they will sell quick!


PVDFest (see story page XX) will feature plenty of jazz over its three days, including internationally renowned salsa group Grupo Niche and local composer/improvisor Ryan Kowal, who will be leading a group of fantastic local players. For more information and the complete line-up, visit pvdfest.com

My group, The Ben Shaw Quartet, will be at The Grange on June 9 from 8 to 10pm as part of PVDLive’s long running jazz series, which happens on the second Sunday of each month.

The Larry Brown Swinglane Orchestra will appear June 13 at the EBCAP Annual Gala at Castle Hill Inn Newport as well as July 7 at Nimfest Newport happening at King’s Park in Newport from 3 to 6pm. They will also be performing every third Wednesday night of the month at The Parlor in Newport from 8 to 10pm.

The Narrows will be hosting the amazing Aaron Neville and his band on June 21. Visit narrowscenter.org for tickets and information.

Check out the Tom White Trio at Nico Bella’s on Saturday, June 22 from 8 to 11pm, and be sure to snag some of the tasty food NB’s has to offer.

You can catch the Dave Schneider Trio at Newport Vineyards July 10 from 4 to 7pm, or see them every second Friday at Uxlocale in Uxbridge, Mass, from 7 to 9pm.

On August 6, “Is This Jazz?” is back at AS220 with Casale/Goldman/Kowal/Mazza/Shaw and T Rex Smash; doors open at 9pm.

The historic Newport Jazz Fest heads back to the Fort from August 2 through 4 and will be featuring  a wide range of incredible artists, such as Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Common, The Bad Plus, Sons Of Kemet, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and plenty of special one-time performances and collaborations that you may never see again. For more information and to purchase tickets, head to newportjazz.org.

Last but not least, the incredible pianist Mike Renzi will be playing with his group at Chan’s on August 17.

There will certainly be many more events popping up around the state, so keep your eyes out for more incredible jazz shows happening.

Happening Around Town

The John Allmark Jazz Orchestra; first Monday monthly @ The Met (Pawtucket)

Groove Merchants; Mondays @ Fifth Element (Newport)

Travis Colby and Lisa Marie; every Monday @ Strings Bar and Grill (Johnston)

Jazz Jam; Tuesdays @ Ten Rocks (Pawtucket)

Leland Baker Quartet; Wednesdays @ Acacia Club (Providence)

Jazz At The Parlour; Sundays (Jam third Sunday, Ed Tomassi fourth Sunday) @ The Parlour (Providence)

Modern Sound Series; last Sunday monthly @ Tea In Sahara (Providence)

Is This Jazz?; (Providence) visit isthisjazz.tumblr.com for listings

 To add your listing, email isthisjazzri@gmail.comBen Shaw is a local composer, performer, and writer. Find him at benjaminshawmusic.com.