Night is Alive @ Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center, New York

Night is Alive at Jazz Congress 2020 - Lincoln Center New York City

We’ve been having an amazing time at the 2020 Jazz Congress, hosted at the Lincoln Center, here in New York City. We’ve had the chance to listen and speak to so many gifted artists, teachers, mentors, and musicians. What can we say, it feels good to be inspired and to be surrounded by your peers. If you’re here with us, let us know! You can alwaaays drop us a line on our instagram at

Are You A True Jazz Lover? (QUIZ)


Wow! You certainly know your Jazz! You’re one smooooooth Cat. Congratulations and be sure to share your results so you can brag to your friends!

Close, but no cigar, Daddy-O. You can try the quiz again, or challenge your friends and see if they can do better!

#1 How true is the statement, “Jazz Music is the Most Important Art-form In My Life”

#2 Horn Section?

#3 This is a photo of:

#4 The First Jazz Record is Considered to Have Been Created in What Year?

#5 “Rusty Gate”, is a Slang Jazz Term for…

#6 Which of the Following is NOT a Jazz Dance?

#7 When You’ve Got a, “Hot Plate”, You Actually Have a What?




  1. Cry Me A River – 30Secs 0:30
  2. First Time I Saw Your Face – 30Secs 0:30
  3. From This Moment On – 30Secs 0:30
  4. Gee Baby – 30Secs 0:30
  5. Here’s That Rainy Day – 30Secs 0:30
  6. I’m An Old Cow Hand – 30Secs 0:30
  7. I’ve Never Been In Love Before – 30Secs 0:30
  8. Jitterbug Waltz – 30Secs 0:30
Lovers and Love Songs is a distinguished collaboration written and performed by several of the jazz industry’s top musicians. This collection of heartwarming melodies is the soundtrack to a modern-age love story that swept the web prior to the album’s release. Though you may have forgotten about these iconic tunes before now, they have been brought back to life in a new and inspiring way by Willie Jones III and his All-Stars. Join these world-class artists on a romantic journey through the ages and discover your own personal love story, the music a backdrop to your imagination.
After selling out two concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL, Ms. Salem suggested bandleader Willie Jones III and his All-Stars take their performances to the next level and create a studio recording. The group, made of big-name bandleaders in their own right, so thoroughly enjoyed playing together that they agreed, thus leading to the birth of Lovers and Love Songs.

Along with Willie Jones III (drums), the album features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Ralph Moore (tenor saxophone), Donald Vega (piano), Steve Davis (trombone), and Gerald Cannon (bass).

Looking for the beat? Find it in the rhythm section.

Think of your favorite jazz piece.

You can probably hear it clearly in your head. Think of the tempo, the solos and how the song makes you feel. Now, think about how that piece would sound if you took away the drums, the double bass/electric guitar and the piano/keyboard. There’s no doubt that piece would most likely sound disjointed and not as dynamic as the piece that you fell in love with does.

That’s why the rhythm section is at the heart of every jazz song you hear. Without it, everything would just fall flat.

So what is a rhythm section?

A rhythm section, also known as a backup band, provides the rhythm, harmony and beat for a jazz band or ensemble. A typical rhythm section might have one or more guitars, a keyboard instrument or piano, a double bass or electric bass and drums. There’s no set number of instruments for a rhythm section. It can be made up of two or three instruments, or it can have several keyboardists, guitar players, string players and drummers.

Large rhythm sections are often led by a bandleader or a conductor. This person deciphers the tempo of each song, when the song starts, when the song gets slower, when the soloists are supposed to change and how a song a song will end.

In jazz groups and jazz fusion bands, the rhythm section members usually perform improvised solos. Drummers might “trade” short solo sections with a saxophone player or trumpet players. This is often referred to as “trading fours.” Drummers and horn players will alternate four-bar solo sections during a song. It’s common for them to trade eights, twos, ones, or other numbers depending on the style of the piece.

Some pieces that spotlight what rhythm sections do best are “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis,
“Ornithology” by Charlie Parker, “Birdland” by Weather Report and “Actual Proof” by Herbie Hancock to name a few.

What are your picks for best rhythm section? Let us know in the comments.

Ron Carter: Mr. 2,221…and Counting

If you love jazz, but you don’t know who Ron Carter is, you really don’t love jazz.

Why do we say that?

Because Ron Carter is one of the most prolific, innovative and influential bassists in jazz history.
He’s also played with a number of the greats. From Lena Horne to B.B. King, Miles Davis to even A Tribe Called Quest, Mr. Carter’s talent has transcended a variety of genres.

Carter was born in Ferndale, Michigan on May 4, 1937. He started playing cello at age ten, and later switched to the double bass. He went on to play during his time at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Manhattan School of Music in the Big Apple.

His professional career in music started with gigs playing bass for Jaki Byard and Chico Hamilton. Carter hit the big time in 1963 when he became a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. In it, he played alongside Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. He played with the group until 1968. During his time, he recorded two albums with them—Seven Steps to Heaven in 1963 and E.S.P. in 1965.

After his quartet time, Carter went on to forge a number of musical partnerships and was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. He also was a sideman on many Blue Note recordings playing with Freddie Hubbard, Duke Pearson, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver and many others.

In a career which spans more than 50 years, Carter has more than 2,221 albums to his credit. He’s the most recorded jazz bassist history and was recognized for it by The Guinness Book of World Records in 2016. At 81, Carter is still teaching and performing.

So far as his style, it’s been described as such.

“What makes Carter so unique is the fact that describing his style is more comparable to describing the entire jazz genre—it includes a grandiose and diverse spectrum of sophisticated music that has evolved over the past several decades. Carter has been at the forefront of various jazz movements, from bebop to bossa nova, straight-ahead to experimental. If that weren’t enough, he has thrived in virtually every form of ensemble playing from conservation-driven duos to quartets to big bands. He has played the bass lines that all students of jazz have to learn and does so with impeccable tone, technique, and temperament.”

Ryan Madora

Bass Players to Know: Ron Carter,

Sept. 15, 2017

Night is Alive’s own Donald Vega performs on piano with Carter’s Golden Striker Trio.

This just goes to show the caliber of the great talent that we work with. In a nutshell, we represent legends who have been inspired, mentored and celebrated by jazz greats, and we’d love to share their unique sounds with you—and the world.

Learn more about what we do and who we represent.

Night is Alive’s own Kathy Salem is committed to supporting the future of jazz

Pictured from left to right:
Aaron Watson, Lead Alto Sax; Zachary Mighty, Lead Trumpet; Edwin Mompremier, Piano; Avion Wright, Drums.

When she isn’t managing some of the nation’s most inventive and respected jazz musicians, Kathy Salem, the Managing Director of Night is Alive, is helping to ensure that the aspirations of college musicians become a reality.

Last week, four young men at Florida A&M University became the inaugural recipients of the Kathy Salem Jazz Scholarship. These individuals were recognized for their merits on campus and on stage. The winners were Aaron Watson who plays lead alto sax, Zachary Mighty who is a lead trumpet player, Edwin Mompremier who plays piano and Avion Wright who is a drummer.

They all received a scholarship for (insert amount).

All four scholarship recipients are members of Florida A&M University’s Jazz Ensemble. This ensemble is ranked nationally among the top collegiate Jazz Ensembles and has been invited to participate at most Jazz Festivals across the country. It is composed of eighteen musicians selected from approximately four hundred musicians in the total university band program.  The Jazz Ensemble is noted for its diversity of styles and very capable jazz musicians.

Ms. Salem started the scholarship because she believes that it is important to foster the talents of the next generation of jazz musicians. This scholarship is a way for her to give back while supporting the genre of music that she loves so much.

Night is Alive is proud of these young men, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them musically.


How are Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick related?

Nitch Drinkard married Delia McCaskill and had eight children. The second oldest of the Drinkard children was Lee. She married Mancel Warrick. They had three children: Delia (named after the grandmother), Mancel Jr. and Dionne. When Dionne produced her first single in 1962, her last name was mis-spelled as Warwick instead of Warrick. She decided to keep Dionne Warwick as her stage name.

They youngest of the Drinkard children was Emily, who went by the nickname “Cissy.” Cissy married John Houston. Cissy and John had three children. The youngest was Whitney.

Whitney Houston is a cousin of Dionne Warwick. Whitney’s mother, the gospel-trained vocalist, Cissy Houston, is an aunt of Dionne. Cissy is the one who taught Whitney how to sing professionally.

Whitney Houston first performed at 9 years old at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and become extremely famous as a gospel singer over the next few years.

Whitney Houston is the debut studio album by American contemporary R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston. It was released on February 14, 1985, by Arista Records. The album

initially had a slow commercial response but began getting more popular in the summer of 1985. It eventually topped the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks in 1986, generating three number-one singles — “Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know” and “Greatest Love of All” (a cover of “The Greatest Love of All”, originally recorded in 1977 by George Benson) — on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which made it both the first debut album and the first album by a solo female artist to produce three number-one singles.

Dionne Warwick used to describe her cousin Whitney as “the little girl I never had” which just showed how close the pair was.

There has never been a more famous family relation regarding famous Gospel Singers in the United States than that of Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston.

Whitney died in February 11, 2012 and the following month of March, Dionne revealed in a conversation with Good Morning America that she had spoken to Whitney that day and that she had asked her to attend the Clive Davis’s Grammy Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel that night. “You’ve got to be there for me.” Whitney told her.

Hour later, Whitney was found dead in a bathtub. A death that Dionne described as “surreal” as she asserted Whitney was up and happy, and her vocals getting ready in those days, and that she had everything to live for.

Jazz Up Your Christmas

Fall is here and you know what that means—Christmas is coming soon.

Now if you love the holiday, that’s great! Why? Because you’ll probably enjoy it when your favorite stores start blasting the Christmas carols you love in November. Oh yes. For you, this definitely is the most wonderful time of the year. As for all of the retail workers out there, we wish you the best of luck since you might have to listen to all of that holiday cheer for two months straight! Hang in there, and thanks in advance for your service.

Whether you love them or hate them, Christmas songs aren’t going away any time soon. That’s been made evident by folks who listen to their holiday playlists year round. (We all know a couple of folks who do.)

According to Wikipedia, Christmas music originated during the 4th century in Rome. By the 13th century, under the influence of Francis of Assisi, the tradition of popular Christmas songs in regional native languages developed. Christmas carols in the English language first appeared in a 1426 work of John Awdlay, an English chaplain, who lists twenty five “caroles of Cristemas”, probably sung by groups of ‘wassailers’ who would travel from house to house. The 16th century gave birth to a few Christmas carols that we still sing today. Songs like “The 12 Days of Christmas”, “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”, and “O Christmas Tree”.

The 1930s gave us a stream of non-religious Christmas songs. They included christmas songs for children like “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, as well as sentimental ballads such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “White Christmas” which remains the best-selling single of all time as of 2018.

For instance, Night is Alive is offering three unique flavors of christmas music. With “A Very Saxy Christmas”, your guests can enjoy the smooth sounds of saxophonist, Jeff Rupert and a guest vocalist. You can get the season in full swing with “Christmas Jazz” from dynamic jazz drummer, Willie Jones III and his WJ3 All-Stars. Or jazz pianist and Grammy Award-winning arranger, Bill Cunliffe can tickle the ivories during “That Time of the Year” for you and your guests. These are just a few examples of performers who are available for your holiday gatherings. Visit Gig Monster to book Night is Alive artists or other independent performers for Christmas.

Order Willie Jones III Tickets Today

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Drummer Willie Jones III is best experienced front row, and “full throttle.” His latest release is Groundwork featuring compositions by Cedar Walton,  Eric Reed and Buster Williams.

When Willie was still living in LA, Billy Higgins told him: “Don’t wait for somebody else to decide when you are ready to be a leader.”  Well… Willie is now one of the world’s leading jazz drummers and a brilliant leader.

Eric Reed says: “Willie has a west-coast swagger to his swing that isn’t lackadaisical and a New York edge that isn’t overwhelming. There is nothing academic about Willie on the bandstand.”  With the band Willie has put together for this gig, we will be hearing what Willie calls… Straight-Swingin’-Real-Jazz!


Willie Jones III, drums
Eric Reed, piano
Ralph Moore, tenor saxophone
Mike Olmos, trumpet
Mike Gurrola, bass


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