Home Interviews In Conversation with Dale Kelley Fitzgerald

In Conversation with Dale Kelley Fitzgerald



Dale Kelley Fitzgerald, who co-founded New York’s prestigious Jazz Gallery in 1995 and was its Executive Director until 2009, died on March 20 at Calvary Hospital in Bronx, N.Y., after a long struggle with cancer. He was 72.

A strapping man with a well-trimmed goatee, Mr. Fitzgerald possessed an impeccably cool demeanor, a fiery spirit, ample amounts of personal charisma, and a pedagogical bent that emerged during pre-concert introductions that he delivered in an authoritatively resounding baritone voice. He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1976 at the University of California, Berkeley (his thesis was titled Spirit Mediumship and Seance Performance Among the Ga of Southern Ghana), and taught Cultural Anthropology at Brown University, the New School For Social Research, and Lehman College.

After leaving academia and hoping to immerse himself as deeply in the world of jazz as he had immersed himself in the culture of Ga people with whom he lived in 1968 and 1969 while researching his thesis, Mr. Fitzgerald took a job washing dishes at the Village Vanguard, the iconic Manhattan jazz club. He started a business moving fine art and antiques and managed several musicians, including tenor saxophonists Pharaoh Sandersand Nick “Big Nick” Nicholas. In 1988, he began what would be a 26-year business relationship with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove as his business manager, along with business partner Larry Clothier. In 1992, he leased a practice and rehearsal space for Mr. Hargrove at 290 Hudson Street in the southwest corner of Greenwich Village. Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Hargrove and Lezlie Harrison discussed using it as a venue where the intersection of experimental jazz and jazz-influenced visual artwork could be explored. The result was the not-for-profit Jazz Gallery, an ideal vehicle for Fitzgerald to deploy his academic and business skill sets.

Towards this end, Mr. Fitzgerald, Ms. Harrison, and artistic director Rio Sakairi would host a multi-ethnic array of New York’s finest young jazz musicians at a stage of their career when they did not yet have access to major club stages, providing artist-in-residence opportunities, composition commissions, mentorship programs, and inexpensive rehearsal facilities. Mr. Fitzgerald presented the first New York performance by the iconic Cuban jazz pianist-composer Chucho Valdes in 1996, foreshadowing a “Jazz Cubano” series that featured original music by a cohort of recent arrivals from Cuba—and from the other Caribbean and Central American nations—who have since made their mark on the international jazz playing field. One was Dafnis Prieto, who would earn a MacArthur “genius grant,” as did Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Miguel Zenon after performing at The Jazz Gallery during their formative years. Eleven subsequent recipients of Doris Duke Foundation awards considered The Jazz Gallery home. So did dozens of emerging young musicians whose names now are familiar to all devotees of 21st-century jazz. As one of them stated in a Facebook eulogy, during his 14-year stewardship, Mr. Fitzgerald “touched the lives of all us with knowledge and kindness.”

Mr. Fitzgerald’s multi-faceted approach to the arts came through as well in performances by poets Jayne Cortez and Carl Hancock Rux, and various photography and painting exhibitions, most notably the Smithsonian Institution’s Seeing Jazz show in 1998.

Dale Kelley Fitzgerald was born on December 23, 1942, in Wakefield, Rhode Island, to Zella and Paul Fitzgerald, who ran Point Jude Boats in Wakefield. He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

Besides his wife, Flor Urrutia Fitzgerald, and their son, Gabriel, of New York City, Mr. Fitzgerald is survived by a daughter, Shenna Fitzgerald, of Nederland, Colorado; by stepdaughters Brenda Hill of Buffalo, NY, and Dawn Spears, and her husband, Cassius Spears, of Ashway, Rhode Island; by stepson Kevin Fayerweather of Atlanta, Georgia; by a sister, Kathy Fitzgerald, and her husband Bill Rounseville, of Boston, Massachusetts; and by a grandson, Quinn Kingsbury and six nieces and nephews.


The interview would not have been possible without the guidance of Rio Sakari, who insisted that I contact Dale during a difficult time. At the time, I had not seen or spoken to Dale in quite a while. Also, I was aware of his medical condition, and I was reluctant to invade his privacy.

After giving the matter serious thought, the journalist in me concluded that it would be criminal not to document Dale’s story, in his own words. I made contact and learned that Dale was eager to tell his story.

Medically speaking, there were good days and bad but throughout the interview process Dale was articulate, opinionated, funny, and a taskmaster. Mostly, he loved to talk, about his life, the Jazz Gallery, music, art, and his family, particularly his son.

Heartfelt thanks to Lezlie Harrison, who played a vital role in keeping me informed of Dale’s condition, fielding emails, relaying messages, and facilitating appointments.

In the world of jazz, Dale was a force to be reckoned with, a man whose legacy precedes him. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his courage, generosity, candor, and sense of humor during an excruciatingly difficult time. Sadly, Dale died before we could complete the interview but I take pride in the fact that he was pleased with the results up to that point.

Many thanks, to The Jazz Gallery’s online publication, Jazz Speaks, for filling in the gaps.

“Those of you who have known me well over the years know that my work on behalf of The Jazz Gallery has always been a labor of love, propelled by a deep passion for the music and those who play it. A perceptive friend of mine in speaking to me about his understanding of my role in the founding of The Jazz Gallery commented that I did what I did not because it was something that I wanted to do, but rather something that I had to do. This is where the depth of passion will lead you.” Dale Kelley Fitzgerald

Tomas Peña: Before plunging into your life in jazz you taught Cultural Anthropology at Brown University, the New School for Social Research, and Lehman College. How did you go from “Professor Fitzgerald” to a dishwasher at The Village Vanguard?

Dale Kelley Fitzgerald: Once I stopped teaching anthropology, I stopped teaching altogether. I was not able to find teaching jobs that would either let me engage in my research interests, tracking down connections between West African culture and New World Afro-American culture, or that would allow me to be supported by grants to pursue these interests. Also, I was not comfortable relating to people as, “Professor Fitzgerald,” or “Dr. Fitzgerald” … it was too limiting, stultifying.

As for life in jazz, I saw in jazz music the single most massive cultural tradition that grew out of the West African experience in the New World. I did four years of fieldwork in Ghana, where I learned the language (called Ga) and culture, focusing mainly on ritual specialists: priests, spirit mediums, medicine men and the musicians that are part of the scene. The title of my Ph. D dissertation is Spirit Mediumship and Séance Performance Among the Ga of Southern Ghana (copyright, 1976, University of California).”

When I realized I couldn’t make enough money from jazz, and I had a commitment to put my daughter Shenna, through college, I realized that I had to come up with something, “tout de suite!” I had the great fortune of having a rent-stabilized apartment in the West Village, and I had access to a lot of space in Putnam County, where I bought and sold stuff. In the course of doing that, I came to know antique shops. I bought stuff on the road and traveled around selling to antique shops in New York City. Eventually, I created a business that relied on transporting antiques and artwork. From 1982 to 1989 I built a company that made lots of money.

It was at a time when people were making more money than they knew what to do with. They were purchasing 18th-century French country armoires that cost six to eight thousand dollars and putting them in apartments that didn’t suit them. I knew how to take them apart and put them back together. I had major clients – antique shops, museums, etc. People that hired me liked the fact that I knew about painting, sculpture, and antiques, enough that people felt they could consult with me. At the time, the big thing was American Arts and Crafts furniture, and it was going for ridiculous prices and people like Richard Gere and Barbara Streisand were buying. So, I would deliver to their apartments and their estates, and I charged serious money.

Right at the point, my daughter got through college, there was a significant dip in the economy. I saw my interest in the business flagging, and I saw the necessity of it being erased by the fact that my daughter graduated and got a job right out of college.

There was a marriage, my second. I was stepping out of the marriage and closing my business, I wasn’t focused full time on jazz, but I was very much on the scene.

TP: How so?

DFK: My long-standing Business Partner, Manager, Producer Larry Clothier was managing Sarah Vaughn, Carmen Mc Rae, and working with Dizzy Gillespie. I had a standing invitation to the Blue Note, where Carmen was performing and Atlantic City where Sarah was playing. And that, of course, came to include trumpeter, Roy Hargrove.

TP: How did you meet Roy? How old was he at the time?

DFK: He was eighteen. That’s an interesting story in itself; I remember it vividly because one of the many things Larry Clothier did within this period, Roy was still in high school in Dallas and Larry had taken a part-time engagement to book a major club in Fort Worth, The Caravan of Dreams. Along the way, he booked Wynton Marsalis, who was working with a quintet. As Wynton was in the habit of doing when he went to a given, city, or town, he would look at the arts magnet schools, or wherever they might have young, aspiring jazz musicians, and indeed they had a jazz band at this Dallas Arts Magnet school. Wynton heard the band and told Larry that he had just heard this kid, Roy Hargrove, that blew him away, and he invited Roy to come and sit-in at the venue, Caravan of Dreams. Well, Roy being Roy, he didn’t show up. Roy was very introverted, very shy. Larry finally went to the school and tracked him down and said, “Wynton was serious, and when Wynton invites you to come where he is playing, you should do that.” And, In fact, Roy did.

TP: In a 1996 article in the publication, Texas Monthly, Doug Ramsey talks about the night Clothier and Marsalis spotted three young men standing in the back of the club: “One of them had a tweed topcoat on and a pork-pie hat sitting on the back of his head, and a trumpet case in his hand,” says Clothier. “When the band got done playing the tune Wynton called Roy up. Wynton said, ‘You want to play something?’ And he shrank down and nodded. And I thought, man, this kid’s scared to death. But when it came the time, you could just see him draw himself up and expand. And it was like Wynton said, he was a bitch.”

DFK: That was the first time Larry heard him. He called me that night, told me the story, and said, “Yeah, I just heard this kid, Roy H-a-r-g-o-v-e.” I could tell by the way he was talking it was significant. It was Larry who brought Roy to my attention.

TP: This led to space at 290 Hudson Street in Greenwich Village and you assuming the role of Roy’s business manager.

DFK: At the time, I was going to various places within striking distance of New York City so that I could keep my transportation business going, but I was able to take some time off and go to Europe at Larry’s invitation. A lot of my insistence on the international basis of the music came from knowing that I would eventually do something that would take the form of the Jazz Gallery. The perspective of jazz music as international stature is something that I was hip to from day one, as I had the good fortune to be invited on these tours with Dizzy’s band.

At the festivals in Europe, they had amazing exhibits of jazz-inspired work. Also, there was a scene of Polish artists that did great jazz artwork. That’s where the idea probably struck me. We in the US, don’t do this much.

Also, the Chicago tenor player, Clifford Jordan, had images that various photographers have taken of him. He went to the trouble of enlarging the photos and mounting them on stage when he did gigs, depending on the venue. When I saw that, I said to myself, “Hmmm, there you go, that works!” In fact, the first exhibit at the Jazz Gallery was called, “The Tin Palace, 1976-1980 – The Walls Talk.”

Before I go any further, I want to anchor Lezlie Harrison’s place in this. By this time – starting in or around 1991, we were a couple, and she was a radio show host at, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She went from college radio to WBGO (88.3 FM, New York). For many of the earliest years, she was the “face” of the Jazz Gallery. She greeted people and was in charge of the membership. I introduced the exhibits and the musicians, but she was in charge of keeping the audience happy.

(Interviewer’s Notes) In addition to being the “Face” of the Jazz Gallery, Lezlie is a Co-Founder. Over the years, she has worn many hats, including Office Manager, Director, Publicist, Event Planner, MC, Performer, and Creator and Coordinator of the Jazz Gallery Membership Program. Her relationship with the Jazz Gallery is ongoing).

TP: The idea of creating an environment where jazz and jazz-influenced art coexisted.

Yes. In those months when we were working together to get the exhibit together musicians of Roy’s generation call, what came to be known as the Jazz Gallery, “the loft.” We used it as a rehearsal space for Roy’s big band.

(JS): “Dale signed the lease on 290 Hudson Street in February of 1992 as a representative of the business he ran with Roy Hargrove. The search for space was on behalf of Roy, who needed a place to live because he was having problems with a series of landlords for playing his horn at inappropriate hours of the day and night. The problem with the loft space was that the landlords applied for a variance that would allow residential use, but they still hadn’t gotten confirmation. After Dale had signed the lease, the application for a variation was denied. Roy still needed a place to live but in the meantime, it became a rehearsal space for Roy’s big band.”

Lezlie knew saxophonist, composer Arthur Blythe, and the radio personality, James Browne, the best disc jockey that’s ever been on WBGO regarding the regular nightspot. Eventually, he left to do other things, but one of the things that he did that was significant is, he got the Jazz Gallery and Roy’s big band on the map at the same time. Because of his knowledge of the music and his stature within the jazz scene, the people at Panasonic, who sponsored the Greenwich Village Jazz Festival, hired him to be their point person. James, knowing that I was struggling asked, “Can you have your exhibit and Roy’s big band ready by August (1995)?

TP: When did the Jazz Gallery open its doors to the public?

DFK: 1995.

TP: Describe the opening night, the performers, the artwork and the scene.

DFK: Roy’s big band played at Washington Square Park. The live music that we had at the Jazz Gallery was flutist Lloyd McNeill, who opened playing a solo, followed by Arthur Blythe’s quartet. The exhibit, “The Tin Palace – 1976 to 1980 – The Walls Talk,” to honor what a great scene the Tin Palace had been.

(Interviewer’s Notes) The Tin Palace was located at 345 Bowery Street, at the Northeast corner E. 2nd St).

One of the things that always struck me about Lloyd is, he is an accomplished professional musician and visual artist. Also, he was a member of our Board of Trustees and created our logo for fifty dollars. I love that logo. Another person on our board who has a similar identity is Hank O’Neal, who has always been the Chairperson. He’s a photographer who, for many years had record companies – Chiaroscuro Records and Hammond Music Enterprises – he and Lloyd were the only two people on the board who share that foot in both worlds. Mind you; I didn’t have a clue as to what the Board was supposed to do.

TP: You were learning as you went. It must have been nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

DFK: On every front! What I constructed largely on my own and with the help of many people including the people that built the interior, who worked their asses off, and an Australian visual artist who painted the image on the floor, which was poorly paid and completely passionate. The Lord knows I had help on all fronts, but it suffered from overreach.

TP: In, what sense?

DFK: Today, the Jazz Gallery is a 501-C3 not for profit jazz cultural center, but we didn’t start that way because our initial application got jacked up in the translation process.

I had a lawyer named, Joe Taubman, who wrote the book about forming not-for-profits for the arts. Furthermore, his brother, whose name I forget, was a regular columnist or reviewer for the New York Times, so Joe had a particular cache. He was a very likable man who took me under his wing.

When our application came back, it was rejected because were a museum because our purpose, as I said to Joe, said that a large part was educational. In the State of New York and only in the state of New York the major criterion that determines whether a given institution is a museum has to do with its intention to serve an educational function. We had that intention, and then they denied us status as a regular 501 C-3, we had to become something else that reflected us as a museum.

When the Gallery opened its doors in 1995, our application was pending. It was kind of jumping the gun to say that we were a not-for-profit. When the application came back, we were given the status of a museum. I was upset. I wanted to fight it because jazz is living music, and it has a future. It does not have to collapse into a bunch of repertory presentations. Young musicians are revitalizing it, so why would I want to have an identity as a museum?

Joe said, “You can do that, but it will cost you a lot of money, it will take a long time and, in the end, you will lose. Go with it and we’ll do a revision that will allow you to be both, a museum, and you will be chartered, and then we’ll modulate that, and you will also become a 501 C-3.

The charter finally came through in May of 1997. Nothing made me happier, other than when I finished my dissertation process and was granted a Ph.D. Degree and all the work that I did to get the Gallery off the ground had gotten somewhere and received some recognition in articles in the paper and international jazz art competition and things, but our grade had not come through, we were still pending.

TP: Is Jazz Art a viable category?

DFK: I ran into that in a lot of different ways. We put up a lot of these exhibits, and the artwork didn’t sell. It was a big disappointment, but you have to accept it for what it is. To this day, despite the Smithsonian having done this major exhibit, which we were able to host in 1998 called, “Jazz Art,” there still is not collectible, although there is a collectible has “Black Art.” People mistakenly saw that as what we were doing and I would have to fight them off in the same way that jazz wanted to fight off a racial designation, that Zoot Sims and Bill Evans our Jazz musicians’ as much as anybody else because they learned the culture.

(JS, Dale): “The single most prestigious art exhibit that we had was in 1998, and that was a show from the Smithsonian called “Seeing Jazz.” That exhibit and the book that accompanied it did a decently good job of portraying what my idea was for The Jazz Gallery. While it was a prestigious thing to have, we weren’t going to make any money from it. That’s how it’s pretty much been across the board. We have yet to have a visual arts exhibit that has been financially successful, but we did find that we were able to get support—and increasingly more and more support—for the live music that we presented because we came to focus on an aspect that was otherwise not represented in live music spaces in New York: that is, young musicians attracted to New York City as a center of jazz musicians who did not have access to any of the major club stages. We could provide them with that. They wouldn’t get paid a lot of money, but if they’re in jazz to make money, they’re on the wrong track, anyway.”

DFK: In the meantime, on the live presentation front, I was having a problem with overreach. The most classic example occurred in November 1999 when I presented the biggest show that we had done up to that point featuring Chucho Valdes and Cheick-Tidiane Seck from Mali. He made a record with Hank Jones called Sarala (1995), it’s the best mixture of African music and jazz you could ever imagine.

November of 1999 is a time that will live in infamy because I lost my shirt over things that I could not control. So much so that I thought to myself, “This is over.” The music was great, but there was no way I was going to sell enough tickets to pay for the blunders. We’re talking about 1995 to 1997. Those were difficult years. Everything was new. I had to have an accountant; I had to get my financials together. Before that, I operated the whole thing by the seat of my pants. I went through a series of grant writing “specialists,” only to find out that most of them were charlatans.

This is getting ahead of ourselves a little bit, but it was eventually finding the right person as a Grant Advisor that helped us turn the corner and led to getting The Jazz Cubano Series off the ground.

TP: That’s where I came in.

DFK: I remember that’s where you came in, that’s actually where a lot of people came in, and that’s where a lot of people that went on to become Mac Arthur winners came in, Dafnis Prieto and Miguel Zenon among others.

(JS, Dale): “Before I turned the booking over to Rio for the most part, in the transition there was a series that we did on Thursday evenings called “Jazz Cubano.” That was in partnership with Yosvany Terry, whom I knew from Cuba; I knew his father, Don Pancho, a major violinist and chekere player who also passed his chekere talents onto Yosvany. Yosvany became the cornerstone of the series. He had a band together with Luis Perdomo on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass, Dafnis Prieto on drums, and they would have various guests come in …”

DFK: Circling back, I was proud that I was able to get that off the ground. That was during the time when I was still doing the booking. It was also the time where I met the right Grant Advisor, Debora Steinglass AKA Debbie, a very bright woman with a beautiful family. When she first talked to me, saw the Gallery; read various things that I had written, and went to a performance, she said, “Dale, you have a gold mine here.” No one had ever told me that. She said, “You are in line to be able to get grants from so many places that you wouldn’t believe it. You need to apply to the Jerome Foundation.” She just could tick them off, and she was right. I wrote eleven of the first thirteen grants under her tutelage. She identified who the grant givers were, and she edited whatever I wrote. She wouldn’t let me send anything, nor did I want to, until she read it with a critical eye. She wasn’t free but regarding what she was able to do and regarding the amount of knowledge that she had it was truly a bargain. It was she that helped me with the first composer’s series.

TP: Which came first, The Jazz Cubano Series or The Composer’s Series?

DFK: The Jazz Cubano Series came first, but The Composer’s Series came hot on its heels. The Jazz Cubano series grew out of Roy Hargrove, who won his first Grammy with the album Crisol (1997). It was with Roy’s band that I first went to Cuba, and I met a lot of Cuban musicians. Roy’s relationship with Cuban music is a marvelous story, how readily he heard it, and was able to fit in. It allowed me to have Chucho Valdes at the Jazz Gallery. That put me on the map with a lot of people.

Now we are getting to 1999, 2000 and 2001. I was learning to trim my sails and learning that it was necessary to focus on performance. I had my rude awakening with leaning on jazz-art. In spite of that, I knew that I would continue to have the walls represent art about jazz or inspired by jazz.

You reminded me of something that I had otherwise not remembered. Rio Sakari’s first relationship with the Jazz Gallery was with the Alaska Aids Vaccine. It taught me a lot about her right away, how selfless she was and how willing she was to give her talents and her knowledge up without asking how much money she would make and how valuable she was with her enormous ears.

TP: What’s her background?

DFK: She went to the New School and the Manhattan School of Music as a vocalist and pianist. She had connections with both. She was to be a performer, but I don’t think she had the chops for that, but she had the ears. That’s the thing, I didn’t need her to be able to play the piano or sing, I needed her to be able to hear. I probably told you before, I’m not shy to tell anybody, I got a lot of credit that is due to Rio. She’s enormously confident. It’s no secret that we argued about all kinds of things, but I like someone I can argue with.

(JS, Lezlie Harrison): “Rio Sakari made a huge difference, of course. She was young – she is still young – but she had her ear and her physical being directed toward all these new musicians that were coming to town and needing a place to plays. She found her match in the Jazz Gallery regarding how she started booking, so a lot of those young musicians who have played in the Gallery are like The Jazz Gallery children we raised to become international stars: winners of various grants and major awards like the MacArthur (“Genius” grant). Just a couple of days ago, I noticed the Doris Duke Foundation gave something like 1.3 million to jazz musicians, but something like 11 of them had presented as young unknowns, who had workshopped at the Gallery and introduced new works. Out of the total awardees, it was 10 or 11 who have played at The Jazz Gallery. So I’m like a big, proud mom with these kids who all came up through The Jazz Gallery. They’re no longer kids – they’re adults – and we’ve fulfilled the mission of nurturing them, and they’re doing wonderfully musically.”)

DFK: The identity of the Jazz Gallery changed for the better when we trimmed our sails. A lot of the credit goes to the Jazz Gallery as an institution and highlighting the strengths of composers, getting through the grant process and giving them time to get their music to “woodshed” and premiere their music.

One of the things that I was particularly happy to do was highlight Roy’s place in all of this through the series, The Trumpet Shall Sound. It is a passage from the Bible, but it is also something from an anthropological track that I borrowed and brought in some serious trumpet players. Most people don’t know much about Ambrose Akinmusere, Avishai Cohen, and Diego Urcola. I’d have to look back and see the full grouping, but the series brought in some serious trumpet players and specifically under the wing of Roy. People came out to hear Ambrose because he was playing with Roy.


(JS, Dale): “The mission is never complete, and I’m not trying to bow out right now, but there’s always great music. When we started The Jazz Gallery, there was the belief out there in the land that jazz was over: Trane was dead, all the great masters were either dead or dying, or the great generation was over, but the limits of that idea are abundant. There has come along in the wake of that all kinds of brilliant musicians, and Lezlie and I believed that at the time, and that’s how we got along.

Roy (Hargrove) exemplified that as a person and a musician. At the age of 18, when I started working with him, he knew jazz wasn’t dead. He and I first talked about the big band the very first day I met him. He said, ‘I’ll have a big band,’ and that was completely unrealistic but no more unrealistic than The Jazz Gallery was. We have been able to do both, and in this small space we had this in-your-face move: we were not only going to do this big band – we were going to do lots of them here. Darcy James Argue had a home here and how now gone on to larger spaces and larger places, but also Oliver Lake, Pedro Giraudo, and lots of large ensembles, and I love that. That’s something we’ve been able to help foster: the continuation of the big band tradition in jazz.”

(JS, Lezlie): “The bottom line is, for me, I have grown so much. I’m a performer myself and I’m very happy to have been part of The Jazz Gallery to this day, and I’m sure Dale is, as well. This is a big award for us, the Founders Award; you put so much work into something that you love, and you look up and look back, and it’s almost 20 years. This is Dale’s and my baby; this is our child. We never had children together, but for me, I see how Dale and I fostered this beautiful institution called The Jazz Gallery, and it’s all grown up and ready to on to the next level.”


Under the direction of Rio Sakari, The Jazz Gallery serves as an international cultural center where the youngest generation of emerging jazz musicians are nurtured with opportunities to collaborate with their peers, discover and refine their creativity, and perform in front of eager audiences. We take pride in our world-renowned reputation as a key player in the NYC jazz community by sustaining a tradition of artistic excellence in jazz and fostering artistic growth, presenting both major and established figures in jazz alongside a younger generation of artists. Since 2002, The Gallery has also been actively engaged in commissioning new work by emerging composers, many of whom have gone on to be recognized with MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants (4), Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, Grammy Awards, and more. 12 Thelonious Monk Competition winners got their start on our stage.

Winner of the 2014 & 2010 CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, The Jazz Gallery has garnered a reputation as “the most imaginatively booked jazz club in New York” (NY Times).

The Gallery’s current offerings are divided into 4 primary programs: 1) 21st Century Jazz, which showcases both emerging and established artists; 2) Residency Commissions, which support the creation of new works by exciting young composers; 3) our new Mentoring Program, which pairs young musicians with seasoned veterans to gain valuable creative and professional experience; and 4) The Woodshed, which provides free rehearsal space to our city’s jazz artists.

• Dale Kelley Fitgerald Biography courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity
• Jazz Gallery Website: http://jazzgallery.nyc

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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