Pianist, composer, and educator David Berkman has been a vitally important figure on the NYC jazz scene since the mid 1980s. He has appeared in the bands of countless leaders, including Cecil McBee, Tom Harrell, The Vanguard Orchestra and has worked with a wide array of jazz luminaries including Sonny Stitt, Joe Lovano, Steve Wilson, Chris Potter, Ray Drummond, Lenny White, Scott Colley, Billy Hart, Bill Stewart, Brian Blade and many, many others. In recent years he has appeared as a leader/co-leader, at the helm of the critically acclaimed New York Standards Quartet, with Tim Armacost, Ugonna Okegwo and Gene Jackson (the band just celebrated their 10-year anniversary with the release of "Power of 10" and will be marching into the next decade with the Spring 2017 release of their sixth album, "Sleight Of Hand"). He has also published three books (with Sher Music Publishing) on jazz theory and practice that have become "must-haves", "The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing" (2007), "The Jazz Singer's Guidebook" (2009) and "The Jazz Harmony Book" (2014).
During this time Berkman also released an album that is quickly becoming a classic, "Old Friends and New Friends", featuring Billy Drewes, Adam Kolker and Brian Blade (old friends) and Dayna Stephens and Linda Oh (new friends). This February 3rd, 4th & 5th, at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, Berkman happily reunites members of that band with special guests Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jochen Rueckert and Jonathan Blake, splitting the drum duties. The band will be playing material from this album (produced by Matt Balitsaris and released on Palmetto Records in 2015) released to great critical acclaim, plus new music from the mind and pen of Berkman. "For this weekend at Smoke, we're doing some music from 'Old Friends and New Friends' but I'm also looking forward to premiering some new compositions that we'll be recording on our next CD. This ensemble is a ball to write for because there are three woodwind virtuosos in it, who together will be playing seven different instruments. But the main thing is that all the members of the group are monstrous musicians and improvisors who shape these compositions in unique ways. I think the audience will enjoy hearing all of these individual voices and how much we all enjoy playing this music together" explained Berkman.
Don't miss this three night engagement at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, February 3rd, 4th and 5th with sets @ 7, 9 & 10:30 PM
David Berkman (piano & compositions)
Dayna Stephens (saxophone & EWI)
Adam Kolker (saxophones & clarinets)
Billy Drewes (saxophones)
Ugonna Okegwo (bass)
Jochen Rueckert (drums on 2/3)
Jonathan Blake (drums on 2/4 & 2/5)