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2022 NYC Winter Jazzfest announces its first wave of talent, including artist-in-residence Angel Bat Dawid

Angel Bat Dawid
Mara Arteaga

After a pandemic pause and a virtual presentation in 2021, the NYC Winter Jazzfest will return to form in the new year, with 10 nights of programming in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Today the festival announced a theme — "The Feel Good," in celebration of Black American music — and an initial wave of talent, including multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Angel Bat Dawid, who will preside as artist in residence.

Dawid will present the world premiere of "Afro-Town Topics: A Mythological Afrofuturist Revue." She'll also lead Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty as part of the Winter Jazzfest Marathon on Jan. 14, and spin a DJ set in the opening concert at City Winery.

That kickoff, co-presented by SummerStage on Jan. 13, also has Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective with the Turtle Island Quartet; drummer, producer and bandleader Makaya McCraven; and singer Samara Joy.

Questlove, the drummer-bandleader turned content producer and media star, will take part in a screening of his acclaimed film Summer of Soul at Roulette on Jan. 16. An afterparty at House of Yes will feature DJ sets by Questlove, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Madison McFerrin, and a live performance by trumpeter Maurice "Mobetta" Brown.

Among the other standalone Winter Jazzfest concerts: bassist Pino Palladino and multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, at Le Poisson Rouge on Jan. 18; the International Contemporary Ensemble, performing new commissions by Kate Gentile and Fay Victor, at Roulette on Jan. 21; and an album-release concert for Ben Lamar Gay, with a solo set by Jaimie Branch, at Public Records on Jan. 18.

Jonathan Chimene

NYC Winter Jazzfest has a custom of partnering with other institutions, and in this edition that includes BBC Radio 6 Music, whose Gilles Peterson will present an online showcase supported by PRS Foundation; and M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians), cofounded last year by Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa to address gender inequity and underrepresentation in creative music, and to foster partnerships among women and non-binary musicians. Shyu and Serpa join more than 20 artists under that banner as part of this Winter Jazzfest; others include Michele Rosewoman, Val Jeanty, Monnette Sudler and Caroline Davis.

As always, the centerpiece event will be a Winter Jazzfest Marathon, spread out over a range of venues on Jan. 14 and 15. Details are forthcoming, but the lineup announcement mentions dozens of musicians, including pianists Craig Taborn, Miki Yamanaka and Nduduzo Makhathini; drummer Louis Hayes and Antonio Sánchez; saxophonists James Brandon Lewis, Lakecia Benjamin and Sam Gendel; and bands like The Bad Plus, Harriet Tubman, and Rudresh Mahanthappa's Hero Trio.

According to press materials, New York COVID mandates — including a vaccination requirement and mask-wearing for staff — are in effect for Winter Jazzfest. For patrons, masks will be encouraged but not required.

For more information about NYC Winter Jazzfest, and to purchase advance tickets or secure special hotel rates, visit the festival website.

Nate Chinen