Toast of the Nation 2022

As we mark another 365 days around the sun, it is time to reflect and celebrate gloriously. This year we have a lot to be thankful for, including our ability to enjoy live music again.

For our annual Toast of the Nation party, we present five powerful performances: The Quinteto Astor Piazzolla celebrates the centenary of the legendary Argentinian composer (recorded live at the Musical Instrument Museum), the Brandee Younger Quartet offers healing vibrations in an outdoor farmhouse (recorded live at the Center of the Arts of Duck Creek), organ freak Cory Henry ignites his sold-out audience in New York (recorded live at the Blue Note Jazz Club), trumpeter Keyon Harrold takes his quintet home for a heartfelt performance (recorded live at Jazz St. Louis) and the Louis Cole Big Band create a crazy dance party in theaters of Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Paris.

Hosted by Jazz night in Americaby Christian McBride, we present the superpower of music and its ability to bring people together for the hope of a better future.

Set 1 of 5

Argentina’s most beloved 20th century composer – the late Astor Piazzolla – celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2021. To commemorate the occasion, the Buenos Aires-based Astor Piazzolla Foundation has assembled a group of top players from ” nuevo tango “today to pay tribute to the maestro. They assembled the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, which features Piazzolla’s favorite vehicle of expression: bandoneon, piano, acoustic bass, violin and electric guitar. This invigorating program explores both familiar and obscure selections from Piazzolla’s deep repertoire of dances and compositions, in a concert recorded at the Musical Instruments Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

List of sets:

  • “Operation Tango” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Fugue and Mystery” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Shark” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Tres Minutos con la Realidad” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Invierno Porteño” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Milonga Loca” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Décarissimo” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Milonga del Ángel” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Adiós Nonino” (Astor Piazzolla)
  • “Thriller” (Astor Piazzolla)

The musicians: Pablo Mainetti, bandoneon; Serdar Geldymuradov, violin; Armando de la Vega, guitar; Barbara Varassi Peg, piano; Daniel Falasca, bass

Engineering by Clayton Melocik and Neil Tevault. Special thanks to Patrick Murphy, Cindy Bynam and AnneMarie Martins

Set 2 of 5

Harpist Brandee Younger has a natural way of bringing people together. Perhaps it is the soothing vibrations of his instrument, or his hypnotic compositions and arrangements.

This outdoor concert at the Arts Center at Duck Creek in Long Island, NY stands out for its particularly good vibes.

List of sets:

  • “Turiya & Ramakrishna” (Alice Coltrane)
  • “Equinox” (John Coltrane)
  • “Love and Struggle” (Brandee Younger)
  • “Recovery” (Brandee Younger)

The musicians: Brandee Young, harp; Allan Mednard, drums; Rashaan Carter, bass; Anne Drummond, flute

Special thanks to Jess Frost, Peter Watrous, Jess Weber and sound engineer Daniel Carlson.

Set 3 of 5

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It’s hard to think of a better artist to celebrate the New Year with than organ freak Cory Henry. He brought his sold-out trio to the Blue Note Jazz Club in his hometown of New York. They performed new interpretations of songs from their critically acclaimed album First steps, originally published in 2014.

List of sets:

  • “Afro Brooklyn” (Cory Henry)
  • “Back then” (Cory Henry)
  • “Walkin ‘” (Cory Henry)
  • “Heart” (Cory Henry)
  • “Look on the bright side” (Cory Henry)

The musicians: Cory Henry, organ; Shajuan Andrews, drums; Josh Easley, bass

Music recorded and mixed by Eric Parker.

Set 4 of 5

Keyon Harrold is bringing his quintet back to Jazz St. Louis, where the trumpeter and composer is currently his creative advisor. There he organized workshops, community education programs and held several of his concerts. The Ferguson-born brassman gives a heartfelt concert that evokes song with his rambunctious audience.

List of sets:

  • “She Leaves Home” (Paul McCartney, John Lennon)
  • “Stay this Way aka Lullaby” (Keyon Harrold, Bilal Oliver, Big KRIT)

The musicians: Keyon Harrold, trumpet; Shedrick Mitchell, piano; Charles Haynes, drums; Nir Felder, guitar; and Burniss Travis, bass

The music was recorded and mixed by Paul Hennerich.

Set 5 of 5

Louis Cole leads one of the most irreverent, fun and brilliant major jazz groups on the scene today. But don’t let the good times fool you, his arrangements are as complex as they are funky. The multi-instrumentalist (drums, keyboard and vocals) conducts his ensemble of 15 musicians (all dressed in skeleton costumes) in recorded dance halls in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Paris.

List of sets:

  • “Things” (performed by the Louis Cole Big Band)
  • “Bank Account” (Directed by the Louis Cole Big Band)
  • “Park Your Car On My Face” (Performed by the Louis Cole Trio)
  • “Everytime” (Performed by the Louis Cole Trio)
  • “Last Time You Went Away” (performed by the Louis Cole Big Band)
  • “My Buick” (Performed by the Louis Cole Big Band)
  • “Thinking” (performed by the Louis Cole Big Band)

The musicians: Louis Cole Trio: Louis Cole, drums, keyboards, vocals; Chris Fishman, piano, keys; Nate Wood, drums, bass

All songs written, arranged and mixed by Louis Cole.

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