Category Archives: Keystone Korner

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.

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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.

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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 |

Jazz Impresario Todd Barkan Confirms Winter Lineup for New Keystone Korner Series at the Iridium

After launching with a sold-out tribute to Wes Montgomery in January, jazz impresario Todd Barkan has assembled a stellar and eclectic winter lineup for his new series, Todd Barkan Presents Keystone Korner Nights at The Iridium. Barkan, one of the world’s most celebrated jazz concert and record producers, will present 100 shows at The Iridium in 2013 based on the adventurous spirit of his legendary San Francisco jazz club Keystone Korner, site of countless historic recordings by artists including Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Grover Washington, Jr., and Bill Evans among others. Check out a clip from opening night here, and see below for upcoming shows in the new series:

  • February 17 – The powerhouse quartet of Dezron Douglas, Cyrus Chestnut, Neal Smith, and Sean Jones (along with some very special guests) present a high energy night of Keystone swing.
  • February 20 – The O’Farrill Family Band featuring Arturo O’Farrill, Adam O’Farrill, Zack O’Farrill, Livio Almeida & Boris Kozlov celebrate the Zoho Records launch of their new album, ‘Sensing Flight.’
  • February 25 – Iridium favorite Bucky Pizzarelli presents a night of guitar acrobatics with the Bucky Pizzarelli All Stars.
  • February 27Pete Levin returns with his quintet, featuring Lew Soloff, Howard Johnson, Lenny White, & John Clark, to mark the release of his new live album recorded at the club last year and released on the venue’s own audiophile label, IridiumLive.
  • March 1-3 – The Nicholas Payton XXX with Lenny White and Vicente Archer hit The Iridium to celebrate the release of their new album.
  • March 13-16Brazilian Jazz All-Stars – Jazz Samba & Jobim: Hear the joyous and deeply lyrical sound of Jazz Samba by some of the premier Brazilian jazz players in the world, including Romero Lubambo, Claudio Roditi, Duduka DaFonseca, Helio Alves, Maucha Adnet, and Hans Glawischnig.
  • March 17 – The internationally renowned Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, the number one Cuban jazz drummer in the world, takes his high-intensity Latin jazz excursions into uncharted territory with the Italuba Quartet.
  • April 3Sherrie Maricle & The Diva Jazz Orchestra, the phenomenal and hard-swinging all-women jazz big band, kick off their 30th Anniversary with an explosive night at the Iridium.

Stay tuned for more info and additional shows in the series.

The Iridium
1650 Broadway (51st)
New York, NY

For a complete calendar of events at the Iridium, visit:

Posted in Keystone Korner |

Jazz Impresario to Present Shows at Iridium

Friends and Colleagues,

I’ll be personally hosting Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium beginning on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013, 8 & 10pm, with “Celebrating Wes Montgomery” featuring Jimmy Cobb, drums; Ray Drummond*, bass; Harold Mabern, piano; Lew Soloff, trumpet; Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Peter Bernstein, guitar; and special guests.

The Iridium
51st & Broadway
New York, NY

Hope to see you there!

Brighter moments, Todd Barkan

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* An historically interesting fact is that the phenomenal jazz virtuoso bassist/composer Ray Drummond actually performed for the first week of the Keystone Korner Jazz Club beginning July 14, 1972, in San Francisco with violinist Michael White,  pianist Ed Kelly,
drummaster Kenneth Nash.

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As mentioned in a New York Times article by James C. McKinley, Jr:

One of the most celebrated jazz impresarios in the country is starting over, booking a new series of concerts at Iridium in Midtown Manhattan after stepping down from his longtime post at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The promoter, Todd Barkan, first rose to prominence in the 1970s as the club owner who built Keystone Korner in San Francisco into one of the country’s best jazz stages, a psychedelic club where historic recordings were made by artists like Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. In 2000 Wynton Marsalis recruited Mr. Barkan to oversee programming at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, one of three performance spaces in Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Read the complete article.

Posted in Keystone Korner |