January 14, 2018 – Michael Blake Quartet

Hello dear listeners!

Happy New Year! Here’s to all the best for 2018! We hope you can join us to get it started on a good foot with –

The Michael Blake Quartet 

Michael Blake Quartet

Michael Blake – Saxophone
Steve Cardenas – Guitar
Ben Allison – Bass
Kenny Wollesen – Drums

Born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Vancouver, Michael Blake has made New York City his home, where he has released music with abounding originality and vision for 30 years. Michael Blake actively tours around the world and teaches in the city. As a composer his creative output is constantly in flux. The fifteen albums to his name offer listeners a huge variety of music. 2016 was a significant year for him with his choice to release three divergent albums: Fulfillment, Transmissions and Red Hook Soul. Blake also toured the US west coast, performed in Brazil and taught in Mexico.

Guitarist Steve Cardenas has regularly performed with such diverse artists as Paul McCandless of the group Oregon, Mark Isham and Jeff Beal, as well as Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones. Steve was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Octet, the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, as well as Joey Baron‘s band, Killer Joey. Steve is currently a member of the Steve Swallow Quintet, Ben Allison Band, Jon Cowherd‘s Mercy Project and John Patitucci‘s Electric Guitar Quartet.

Bassist/composer Ben Allison is known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves and hummable melodies. Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music traditions, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole.

Drummer Kenny Wollesen has worked with everyone from Tom Waits to Bill Frisell. He is the backbone of dozens of bands including the undefinable Sex Mob. He has also led a marching band and collaborated with Blake in their ground breaking quartet Slow Poke.

Please join us as Michael and his quartet bring their musical genius to the Parlor for an outstanding afternoon of inspiration.

Sunday 14 January, Michael Blake Quartet

Doors at 2:30 PM, concert begins at 3:00 PM sharp.

Please join our mailing list for more information.  RSVPs are required.

Michael Blake


Montreal-born, Vancouver-raised tenor and soprano saxophonist/composer Michael Blake has established himself as a leading voice in contemporary music. For the last 30 years he has made his home in New York City, where he consistently creates music that bristles with originality and vision. He has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on countless sessions with other musicians, has scored music for TV and film, and performed in halls, clubs and festivals worldwide. Most recently he has also lent his talents to projects led by musicians such as Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein Hot 9, Michael Bates, Erik Friedlander and Ben Allison.

In 2014 he was commissioned by the Vancouver organization Barking Sphinx to compose a suite commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Canada’s 1914 Kamagata Maru Tragedy, a socio-political tragedy that eventually resulted in the deaths of 19 East Indian would-be immigrants who were on that ill-fated freighter. The premiere of Komagata Maru Blues took place at The Vancouver International Jazz Festival. In early 2015 he received a funding from The Canada Council for the Arts to record his work for Songlines Records. The ensuing album ‘Fulfillment’ was released in early 2016 to great critical acclaim. Along with ‘Fulfillment’ Blake’s steadfast output his year continues with the release of Red Hook Soul (Ropeadope) and Transmissions (For Tune) by Made in China, a collaborative trio with Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser and American drummer Michael Sarin. In 2013 Michael received Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant for which he wrote the music for Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside), a hard swinging homage to tenor titans Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young that continues a legacy of rave reviews and ‘Best of the Year’ lists for Blake.

His tenure with John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards lasted from 1990-2000 and includes numerous record dates, TV appearances, a live concert film from Berlin, and film soundtracks such as the Grammy nominated score for Get Shorty. During this period he was also a Composer in Residence in the Jazz Composers Collective, a nonprofit, musician-run organization dedicated to presenting original works. Another important group he co-lead was the instrumental band Slow Poke. With a cunning and young rhythm section urging him on, his Copenhagen based group Blake Tartare gave Blake a huge creative boost. The band toured extensively and recorded 3 albums for Stunt Records including The World Awakes, an ambitious tribute to saxophonist Lucky Thompson. Michael has recorded and toured with other projects including the NYC power band Hellbent, a Canadian based group called The Variety Hour, his Tiddy Boom Quartet, and the Michael Blake Trio.

Michael is a respected teacher and has conducted workshops and classes in the US, Canada, Mexico, Demark, Italy, Brazil and Thailand. He was on faculty at the Fondazione Siena Jazz (2009-2013) and substitute teaches at New York University and The New School.


Steve Cardenas


Guitarist Steve Cardenas began his musical career in Kansas City and has been an integral part of the New York City jazz community since 1995.

Steve has performed and recorded with many well-known and highly esteemed musicians. Notably, he was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band (which later became the Paul Motian Octet), the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, as well as Joey Baron‘s band, Killer Joey. Steve is currently a member of the Steve Swallow Quintet, Ben Allison Band, Jon Cowherd‘s Mercy Project and John Patitucci‘s Electric Guitar Quartet. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia, performing at countless international music festivals, theaters, opera houses and clubs. Steve also leads his own trio and has released four recordings as a leader. His most recent album, Melody in a Dream, was released on Sunnyside Records last year.

Steve is also a well-respected educator. He is on faculty at The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City where he directs the Thelonious Monk Ensemble and the Guitar Duos class, as well as offering individual lessons. He has also been on faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, Siena Summer Jazz Workshop, Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, Stanford Jazz Workshop and Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Additionally, Steve is co-author, along with editor Don Sickler, of the Thelonious Monk Fakebook, Hal Leonard Publishing. The Thelonious Monk Fakebook marks the first time all of Monk’s compositions have appeared in one volume, many of them appearing for the first time.

Ben Allison


In a career that spans nearly 30 years, bassist/composer Ben Allison has developed his own instantly identifiable sound, solidifying an international reputation as one of the leading voices of his generation. Known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves and hummable melodies, Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole.

With his groups The Ben Allison Band, Think Free, The Easy Way Trio, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the world, winning fans and building new audiences with an adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected.

Recent performance highlights include Carnegie Hall (New York City), Teatro Manzoni (Milan, Italy), Thatro Roberto Cantoral (Mexico City, Mexico), Central Park’s SummerStage (New York, NY), Auditório Ibirapuera (Sao Paulo, Brazil), The Capitol Theater (Salt Lake City, NV), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, CA) and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England).

In 2005, 2008 and 2013, Ben was a featured composer, arranger and performer with Jazz Sinfonica, an 80-piece orchestra based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The orchestra performed Ben’s compositions Little Things Run the World, Riding the Nuclear Tiger, Roll Credits, Green Al, and others from his various albums. Ben performed his Carnegie Hall debut as a leader in February 2012. A multi-part short documentary of Ben preparing for the concert was filmed.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Ben has performed and collaborated with an extremely diverse range of artists including oudist Ara Dinkjian, kora player Mamadou Diabate, saxophonists Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano, Cambodian chapei master Kong Nay, legendary performance artist Joey Arias, tap dancers Jimmy Slide and Gregory Hines and US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. He has appeared on over 50 albums by various artists and has written music for film, television and radio, including the theme for the National Public Radio (NPR) show On the Media (which boasts a listenership of over 2,000,000 people), the score for Two Days, a play written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald Margulies and the theme for The Conversation, a webcast talk show hosted by Pharrell Williams.


Kenny Wolleson


Kenny Wollesen

Drummer Kenny Wolleson performed on over 30 recordings during the 1990s and, as the decade progressed, gained increasing renown as a musician of astonishing versatility, skill, and ingenuity. He has recorded and toured with all kinds of musicians, from Tom Waits (Wolleson performs on Waits’ 1993 collaboration with William S. Burroughs, Black Rider), to Sean Lennon, to Ron Sexsmith (Wolleson performs on his second album, Other Songs). A founding member of the New Klezmer Trio, Wollesen is also all over N.Y.C.’s downtown jazz and avant-garde musicians’ recordings.




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