Swinging Free

read the the feature here.

Jazz pianist Alon Nechushtan veers into a variety of musical directions.

Alon Nechushtan has covered some ground to get where he is today. The 30something jazz pianist will be here next week to perform at Avram in Jerusalem (August 18) and the Shablul Club in Tel Aviv (August 19), bringing a hefty musical-cultural arsenal with him.

Jerusalem-born Nechushtan has been living in the US for around a decade and, by all accounts, appears to have made the most of his time there. Following sage advice from fellow Jerusalem-born pianist Yitzhak Yedid, Nechushtan enrolled at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston and studied with such masters as pianists Ran Blake and Paul Bley, who had also tutored Yedid.

Opting for NEC was something of a seismic career and artistic shift for Nechushtan. “I had no idea what contemporary improvisation was before I went to NEC,” says Nechushtan. “When I was at the academy, all I knew about [outside pure classical music] was third stream.” The latter is a term coined by composer Gunther Schuller in the late 1950s, which relates to a fusion of classical music and jazz.

“I took a klezmer course, too,” he says. “That definitely broadened my horizons. Before that, I thought it was Eastern European music played at weddings. I never thought I could seriously study klezmer repertoire.” While at the Boston school, Nechushtan got some hands-on experience of the genre and played in the New England Conservatory Klezmer Band.

“That is one of the most acclaimed klezmer ensembles in the world, alongside the Klezmatics,” he notes.

World-famous Jewish New Yorker trumpeter Frank London, a member of the Klezmatics, will present a workshop at the annual Klezmer Festival, which will take place in Safed from August 18 to 20, and will also perform at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival early next month.

The breadth of Nechushtan’s stylistic hinterland certainly comes across in his latest release, Venture Bound, which came out a couple of months ago. The nine self-penned tracks cover expansive sonic and dynamic ground. In “Dark Damsel,” the pianist delves deep into Middle Eastern territory, enlisting the help of Moroccan-born oud player Brahim Bigbane. And there are several quotes from “Morenica,” an old Ladino song best known for the versions by Esther Ofarim, Ofra Haza and Habreira Hativit.

The “Haunted Blues” cut on Venture Bound is just that, and the melody is steeped with heady blues textures and rhythms, with the odd rock-inclined departure. The closing number of the album, “Serpentrails,” references one of Nechushtan’s primary sources of inspiration – iconic bebop pioneer pianist Thelonious Monk.

Nechushtan has clearly ventured far and wide since his days at the academy in Jerusalem.

“When I told people there that I wanted to do a master’s degree in improvised music, there were quite a few raised eyebrows,” he recounts.

“Most of the people there thought that if you started studying in a particular direction, you should complete it.” Mind you, that doesn’t mean that the pianist has forsaken his musical roots.

“I continue to write classical music and orchestral works,” he says, “but I also incorporate jazz and improvised sections. It feels right to delve into different areas, and it feels more complete.” Nechushtan says it is very much a two-way street and that he plies his offerings across all kinds of domains.

“I include improvised passages in my classical works and, of course, there are many written parts in jazz works. I am considering releasing an album in the near future with [trumpeter] Roy Campbell and [bassist] William Parker. ” The pianist says that he increasingly goes with the flow.

“There is no particular direction that is the right one to follow. If something feels right for me – and that can be just a matter of intuition – I will go for it. I have around four hours of music I played with Roy Campbell and William Parker, and Daniel Carter who plays on practically every wind instrument in existence. Nothing of the music was written down. It is improvisation from beginning to end, and there is lots of interesting stuff in there. I’ll probably release it as a double album,” he says.

Should be worth the wait.

There are out-and-out avant-garde artists whose work is generally considered to be too challenging for people who prefer to get their musical kicks from the commercial and mainstream areas of entertainment.

But Nechushtan swings – frequently literally, in a musical sense – all ways.

“I write and play very communicative music and also noncommunicative music and written music and music without a written score,” he notes. “My upbringing in classical music and jazz enables me to enjoy the best of all worlds.”

Venture Bound represents a degree of closure and summation for Nechushtan.

“The CD is a sort of homage to the almost 10 years I have spent in New York, so the album is a salute to pianists whom I have heard in New York and pianists and composers that have influenced me,” he explains.

“One of them is [late French pianist Michel] Petrucciani, and there’s Thelonious Monk as well, whom I strongly reference on the album. I have lots of influences, including Israeli and Jewish influences. It all flows through me and infuses my music.”

For more information 077- 445-0701 and (Jerusalem); (03) 546-1891 and (Tel Aviv) 

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Alex Cough @ The Somethin Jazz Club Monday, August 18

Dear friends,

If you’re free this upcoming Monday, I have a performance that I’d love for you to attend. I’ll be returning with my trio to Somethin Jazz Club, where I’m in the process of laying down the foundations of my personal compositional and improvisational style. I’ve been lucky to have some wonderful partners in this endeavor and this time around will be no exception, as I will be joined by bassist Danny Weller and drummer Jay Sawyer. We’ll play a mixture of my own material and some choice selections from the Great American and Jazz songbooks.

I hope you can join the three of us and watch this process unfold.

Somethin Jazz Club is located at 212 E. 52nd Street (on the third floor). There IS a $10 cover along with a $10 drink minimum. We play two sets, from 9pm till 10:45pm. Once again, the show is this coming Monday, August 18th.

All the best,


P.S. If you want to REALLY be in the loop, please click the link below to follow me on Facebook!

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The Swingaroos Appearing Live in NYC – One Night Only – New Songs! Hot Swing! (Almost) True Stories!

On Friday, August 15th at 7:00pm, The Swingaroos will headline at The Metropolitan Room (34 W 22nd) with an autobiographical story of life as a 1940s Territory Band – as told through their original songs and personal favorites from the Swing-Era Hit Parade. 

This is our not-to-miss musical performance of the summer, for sure! If you’ve enjoyed our sets at Henry Liquor Bar, The Antique Garage, Haymount House and The Way Station, you’ll delight in our one-night show at one of the most spectacular listening rooms/clubs in Manhattan.
Tickets are recommended in Advance! Reserve ASAP by visiting or by calling the Host at 212-206-0440. Tickets are $15 and there is a 2-beverage minimum (doesn’t have to be alcohol). 70 minute set begins at 7pm and doors open at6:15pm!
Piano Lessons UES
The Swingaroos Live & In Person
Friday, August 15, 7:00pm
The Metropolitan Room
34 W 22nd Street, NYC
Our August 15th Swingaroo Band will be:
Miss Kim Hawkey – vocals, tenor banjo, washboard
Assaf “Reverend” Gleizner – ivories
Coolheaded Chris Conte – the doghouse
Dan “the Man” Glaude – clarinet, saxophone
Twistin’ Tristen Napoli – trumpet
Nadav Snir-Zelniker (a nickname would just be too much) – tubs and skins
…with Special Guest Malachi Nimmons, Jr and more!
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Where Did Music Come From? – An Infographic

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Considering Music Lessons? – A Music To Your Home Infographic

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The Swingaroos at The Metropolitan Room, July 6


Piano Lessons NYC


  • WhenSunday, Jul 6, 2014 9:30 PM (Doors open at 9:00 PM )
  • Ticket Price$15.00  $115.00
  • Door Time: 9:00 PM
  • Show Type40s
  • Restrictions: 2 Bev Min
  • Purchase TicketHere!

Go to for more information.

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The Swingaroos – I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me!


Check out our amazing piano and voice instructor, Kimberly Hawkey, perform with her band, The Swingaroos!

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Alon Nechushtan’s Venture Bound CD Release and Tour


East and west coast tour with my project ‘venture bound’ , starting in June. Check out the tour dates here!

beside his home base in New York City – June 18th Cornelia Street, he will be in New Jersey, Boston, Virginia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco.

See the online flyer here.

Catch Alon Nechustan touring with the band:

-Fanwood NJ June 14th,
-Jazz Museum of Harlem,NY June 21th
-Charlosville Virginia,VA, June 28th,
-An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD, June 29th
-Los Angeles,CA, July 10-12th
-San Francisco July 13th,SF
-August 10-20 Israel Tour, ISR


Each new album by Alon Nechushtan offers a fresh glimpse at his diverse and complex musical personality, which seems to be able to encompass a vast, cross-genre richness, which eventually becomes his very own. The most amazing quality of his is that he always sounds as if he already played this or that specific sub-genre for years, whereas in fact a comprehensive knowledge of his output so far reveals that he is probably one of the most chameleonic Jazz musicians around. But regardless of the specific musical environment Nechushtan selects as his weapon of choice at a specific moment, he is always honest, both with himself and the listener. The quality of players he selects as his partners, the wonderful technical qualities, the incredible melodic wealth and above all the ability to communicate with his fellow musicians and his public alike are a direct result of this honesty. Nechushtan’s music is always an amalgam of influences: first and foremost Jewish music in all forms and shapes, but also the endless varieties of the Jazz Art Form, which together create the new “Jewish Jazz” phenomenon, This album,although less obviously connected with the Jewish context and emphasizing the Jazz tradition and its contemporary state of affairs, is nevertheless an integral part of his continuous musical journey, which is always fascinating and heartwarming.


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La Traviata @ Church of the Covenant, May 7, May 11, and May 18


New York Opera Exchange Presents

La Traviata

May 7, 9, 10, 16 at 7:30PM
May 11, 18 at 3:00PM

Verdi’s La Traviata
sung in Italian with English supertitles
Featuring the New York Opera Exchange Orchestra And MorDance

Conducted by David Leibowitz
Directed by Jennifer Bushinger and Justin Werner

“Transported to the rubble of post-Mussolini Italy, Verdi’s timeless romance tells the story of an Italian royal turned courtesan and the American soldier she loves so much she has to let go.”

Church of the Covenant
310 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017

$30 in advance and at the door.
$10 student rush at the door.

May 7, 10, 16
Violetta: Nadia Petrella
Annina: Kendra Berentsen
Flora: Rachael Braunstein
Alfredo: Jonathan Tetelman
Germont: Charles Hyland
Gastone: Victor Starsky
Baron Duphol: Nicholas Wiggins
Dr. Grenvil: Colin Whiteman
Marchese D’Obigny: Javier Ortiz
Giuseppe: Jon Olson

May 9, 11, 18
Violetta: Samantha Guevrekian
Annina: Amanda Matson
Flora: Ann Louise Glasser
Alfredo: Kyle Van Schoonhoven
Germont: Isaac Grier
Gastone: Joseph Palarca
Baron Duphol: Nicholas Wiggins
Dr. Grenvil: Colin Whiteman
Marchese D’Obigny: Javier Ortiz
Giuseppe: Jon Olson

Covers (May 8)
Violetta: Jessica Thompson
Annina: Julie Norman
Flora: Katherine Wiswell
Alfredo: Lindell O. Carter
Germont: Roberto Borgatti
Gastone: Adam Fieldson
Baron Duphol: Stephan Holden-Corbett
Marchese D’Obigny: Blake Burroughs
Giuseppe: Brandon Martin

Be sure to follow us on Facebook
and to check out our website
for more information

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Alon Nechustan Trio @ Why Not Jazz, April 26


Piano Lessons NYC

One of our amazing teachers, Alon Nechustan, will be playing with his jazz quartet on April 26. Be there!

Where: Why Not Jazz, 14 Christopher Street, New York, NY (right off 6th Avenue), downstairs
when: 10pm
Who: Featuring Alon Nechustan, Greg Ward, Francois Moutin, and Shareef Taheer – a fairly international band
Price: $12 tickets

They will be playing both a new and old selection from Alon’s upcoming new album.

View more info on the Facebook page:

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Music To Your Home
Music To Your Home
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