Jazz Week New Haven features, as you might guess, a ton of jazz packed into one week in the Elm City. There will be a dozen concerts over the week, at venues big and small. And many of the shows are free.
It all starts with Connecticut's Giacomo Gates, a cool and mellow vocalist who has demonstrated his good taste and ambition by making, among other things, records devoted to the music of Miles Davis and Gil Scott-Heron.
That's bold stuff to tackle, and Gates pulls it off with a chill suavity.
Gates grew up in Bridgeport before heading off to Alaska for a time. He had soaked up the music of the era, from the Doors to Marvin Gaye. And he'd also gotten a start playing in wedding bands. For the last 25 years, Gates has been making the case that jazz vocals can be just as inventive, soulful, understated and hip as a hard-bop trumpet solo.
Along with the Giacomo Gates Quartet, Jazz Week New Haven will also feature the Ed Cherry Trio, wide-ranging organist Brian Charette, the Hawkins Jazz Collective, guitarist Rohn Lawrence and more.
Giacomo Gates Quartet at Lyric Hall, on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. $30. 827 Whalley, New Haven, lyrichallnewhaven.com. Jazz Week New Haven runs through Saturday, Oct. 21.
For more information and a complete schedule visit jazzhaven.org.