Category Archives: Keystone Korner

New book of memoirs about both Keystone Korner


Working very hard to finish my new book of memoirs about both Keystone Korner and my first 50 years trying to make the world safer for bebop, including 12 innovative years at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and as the producer of 800 jazz recordings for companies in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. while presenting the music we all love all over the world since 1964.




Posted in General, Keystone Korner |

Upcoming Events

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We’re excited about the Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium in the next few weeks, all sets at 8 & 10 pm (res 212.582.2121):

20130425_1Brianna Thomas Quartet with Marcus Printup, Sunday, April 21st

I first heard this phenomenal young jazz singer several years ago “after hours’ in Manhattan, and the overwhelmingly good feeling I got had the same voltage as the first times I heard Sarah Vaughan or Nina Simone. And I still get those same spine tingles.

I’ve never experienced any more deeply soulful or naturally hard-swinging young jazz singer than BRIANNA THOMAS, who will be headlining our Keystone Korner Night on SUNDAY, APRIL 2lst with extra special guest trumpeter MARCUS PRINTUP of the JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA and pianist ALLYN JOHNSON, bassist YASUSHI NAKAMURA, and drummer JOHN DAVIS.

“Brianna Thomas may well be the best straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation.”– Will Friedwald, WALL STREET JOURNAL


20130425_2Abe Ovadia Quartet: Celebrating John Coltrane, Sunday, April 28

Powerfully lyrical guitarist Abe Ovadia explores the inner and outer frontiers of some the most heartfully expansive music of our age with ANTHONY POCETTI, piano; MICHAEL FEINBERG, bass; and SHAREEF TAHER, drums.



20130425_3Christian Sands Trio, Wednesday, May 1st

Please also check out our favorite young jazz pianist on the planet, CHRISTIAN SANDS (one of the premier proteges of the great BILLY TAYLOR with a strong voice of his own on the piano), and his TRIO w/ MARK WHITFIELD, JR. on drums, and JOSHUA CRUMBLY on bass, on WEDNESDAY, MAY 1.


Plus these other extra special bright moments
in swing we will be celebrating until the end of May:

20130425_4Lou Donaldson Quartet, Friday-Sunday, May 10-12

The Legendary NEA JazzMaster and alto saxophonist supreme LOU DONALDSON brings his funky QUARTET for three Keystone Korner Nights with AKIKO TSURUGA, Hammond B-3 Organ; RANDY JOHNSTON, guitar; FUKUSHI TAINAKA, drums.



– Some burnin’ bebop:
– Lou sings the blues:


20130425_5Michael Carvin Experience, Wednesday, May 15th

One of the Giants of Jazz Drumming and one of the foremost Jazz Educators of our time, MICHAEL CARVIN, who played with fellow grandmasters BOBBY HUTCHERSON and JACKIE MCLEAN at the KEYSTONE KORNER in the 1970s, brings his powerful, swinging QUARTET, the MICHAEL CARVIN EXPERIENCE into the IRIDIUM on WEDNESDAY, MAY 15th.
MICHAEL CARVIN, drums, leader; KEITH LOFTIS, tenor saxophone; YAYOI IKAWA, piano; JANSEN CINCO, bass


20130425_6Neal Smith Quintet with Billy Pierce, Steve Nelson, Renee Rosnes, and Dezron Douglas, Sunday, May 26th

Another essential voice and artist in modern jazz drumming, the wonderful NEAL SMITH leads his ALL STAR QUINTET with vibraphonist STEVE NELSON, pianist RENEE ROSNES, tenor saxophonist BILLY PIERCE, and bassist DEZRON DOUGLAS, who come swinging into the IRIDIUM on SUNDAY, MAY 26th.


20130425_7Marcus Strickland Quartet with Ben Williams, EJ Strickland & David Bryant, Wednesday, May 29th

One of the most essential creative forces and sources in modern jazz saxophone as a composer, jazz virtuoso, and young master saxophonist, MARCUS STRICKLAND, has quietly established himself as a major player in the music worldwide. Here he is joined by three of his main partners-in-time: bassist BEN WILLIAMS, drummer EJ STRICKLAND & pianist DAVID BRYANT.


Please come swing with us at the Iridium, Broadway and 51st, for Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium, and for all the exciting music playing at this great club, and you can get advance tickets at and very easily make reservations at 212.582.2121. Most importantly, keep dancing to the songs in your hearts. Stay warm and be cool.

Brighter moments, Todd Barkan / Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium(51st & Broadway)

Take care of the music, and the music will take care of you……..

Click here for more event info

Posted in General, Keystone Korner, Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium |

Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner Nights at Iridium featured in New York Times

Summoning a West Coast Spirit

by Nate Chinen. Published: 28th February, 2013 | link

Todd Barkan, who once ran Keystone Korner, the fabled San Francisco jazz club, at Iridium’s first Keystone Korner Nights show in January.  (Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

Todd Barkan, who once ran Keystone Korner, the fabled San Francisco jazz club, at Iridium’s first Keystone Korner Nights show in January. (Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

There was no outward sign of transition at the Iridium in January, as Jimmy Cobb smoothly powered an all-star band from his perch behind the drums. But the mood among the capacity crowd was both festive and knowing. Mr. Cobb and crew weren’t just remembering the great jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. They were also inaugurating Keystone Korner Nights, the Iridium’s new jazz series, booked by Todd Barkan.

Named after Keystone Korner, the fabled San Francisco club that Mr. Barkan ran from 1972 until it closed just over a decade later, the series held the promise of a reboot for the Iridium, which has been unfocused with its jazz offerings in recent years. It also signaled a new chapter for Mr. Barkan, 66, who last fall resigned as programming director for Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the in-house nightclub of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

It has all amounted to a subtle shift in the Manhattan jazz club firmament, one probably felt most acutely by the many patrons who had grown accustomed to Mr. Barkan’s garrulous bonhomie at Dizzy’s Club, since it opened in 2004 on the fifth floor of the Time Warner Center. The Iridium, hunkered beneath Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a tourist trap on Broadway at 51st Street, seemed to present another challenge for him: it’s a first-tier club that has too often embraced a spirit of brazen commercialism, which isn’t really Mr. Barkan’s style.

Read full article on

Posted in Keystone Korner, Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium |

Upcoming Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium – February/March 2013

The Keystone Korner Nights series at The Iridium is continuing, with the following events coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Advance tickets for all of these shows are available from – we recommend you book early to avoid disappointment!

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 — 8pm & 10pm
Keystone Korner Nights presents Keystone Korner Swing with
Cyrus Chestnut, Dezron Douglas, Neal Smith, Tim Warfield and Special Guests
Cover: $30. Tickets: 8pm | 10pm

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 — 8pm & 10pm
Keystone Korner Nights presents The O’Farrill Family Band
Celebrating the release of an incredible new ZOHO CD by the O’Farrill Brothers Band: “Sensing Flight”
The O'Farrill Family Band

  • Arturo O’Farrill — piano
  • Zack O’Farrill — drums
  • Adam O’Farrill — trumpet
  • Livio Almeida — tenor saxophone
  • Boris Kozlov — bass

Cover: $30. Tickets: 8pm | 10pm

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 — 8pm & 10pm
Keystone Korner presents: Pete Levin — “Iridium Live CD Release”
Read this article for more details.
Cover: $30. Tickets: 8pm | 10pm

Friday-Sunday, March 1st-3rd, 2013 — 8pm & 10:30pm
Keystone Korner Nights presents: Nicholas Payton XXX
featuring Lenny White & Vicente Archer
Celebrating the Release of His New Live Recording
Cover: $30. Buy Tickets.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Iridium
1650 Broadway (at 51st St)
New York, NY 10019.
For reservations, call: (212) 582-2121.

Posted in Keystone Korner |

Keystone Korner presents: Pete Levin – “Iridium Live CD Release”

In a diverse music career spanning several decades, keyboardist/arranger Pete Levin has performed and recorded with hundreds of Jazz and Pop artists, receiving critical accolades for his work during a 15 year association with the legendary Gil Evans, and his 8 year stint with jazz icon Jimmy Giuffre.  Says Levin,

“What I got from Gil was the unshakable notion that playing music was to create from a place where there are no boundaries. If it can be imagined then it can be done.”

In April 2012 – Gil’s centennial year – a night at The Iridium became a spontaneous celebration as 3 horn players sat in with Pete’s organ trio. With a stage-full of Gil Evans alumni, the set list was discarded in favor of pieces remembered from Gil’s book, played in the dynamic, freewheeling spirit of the Gil Evans Orchestra of the 80’s.  The just-released recording from that night is being reprised on February 27th, 2013.


Wednesday, February 27th

Keystone Korner presents: Pete Levin — “Iridium Live CD Release”
Gil Evans Orchestra alumni celebrating Gil Evans.


  • Pete Levin — organ
  • Lew Soloff — trumpet
  • Alex Foster — sax
  • Howard Johnson — baritone sax
  • John Clark — french horn
  • Dave Stryker — guitar
  • Lenny White — drums

Sets: 8pm & 10pm
$30 music charge

@ The Iridium
1650 Broadway (at 51st St)
New York, NY
212 582 2121
Buy Tickets

Posted in Keystone Korner |