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The APFJ  Concerts

All concerts are at 7:30 pm in the Great Hall, the beautiful listening-space in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady at 1221 Wendell Ave in Schenectady, NY. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and children 16 and under are free if they're with an adult. To order tickets, call 518-393-4011, email Tim Coakley or use this order form. But first, read about the benefits of membership. (The April 12 concert is at First Reformed Church, 8 N. Church St, Schenectady.)

For directions to the Whisperdome, click here. [NOTE: cash and checks are the only acceptable forms of payment at the door; we're not equipped to accept credit cards.]

For a history of previous concerts, click here

The 2019 Fall Concert Series

April 12: Nick Hetko, Rich Syracuse and Jeff "Siege" Siegel

September 6: Steve Turre

September 20: Melissa Aldana

October 4: Benny Green

October 18: Veronica Swift

November 1: Phil Allen's Concert Jazz Band

Hetko,Syracuse,Siegel Nick Hetko, Rich Syracuse and Jeff "Siege" Siegel

A special Jazz Appreciation Month concert featuring the wonderful trio of Nick Hetko on piano, Rich Syracuse on bass and Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel on drums, who will also be celebrating the release of their new cd - “When You Were There” – dedicated to their mentor,  the late great Lee Shaw.  This will be a concert that you will not want to miss! This concert will be held at the First Reformed Church, 8 N. Church St, Schenectady. Tickets are free for those who submit a membership form ($100 minimum) before March 31.


Steve Turre is an American jazz trombonist and a pioneer of using seashells as instruments, a composer, arranger, and educator at the collegiate-conservatory level.
He was raised in California. He began playing trombone at age ten, during his fourth grade in school. Although he entered California State University, Sacramento on a football scholarship, he studied music theory there for two years before transferring to the University of North Texas College of Music , where he studied from 1968 to 1969 and played in a band led by trumpeter Hannibal Peterson.
For 55 years, he has been active in jazz, rock, and Latin jazz – in live venues, recording studios, television, and cinema production. He has recorded over 20 albums as a bandleader, and appeared on many more as a contributor or sideman. He has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1984.

Aldana Melissa Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile. She began playing the saxophone when she was six, under the influence and tutelage of her father, Marcos Aldana, also a professional saxophonist. She began with alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Michael Brecker. However, upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, she switched to tenor.
She started performing in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens. In 2005, after meeting pianist Danilo Pérez while he was on tour in Chile, she was invited by him to play at the Panama Jazz Festival as well as audition at music schools in the USA. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She graduated in 2009 and relocated to New York City to study under George Coleman. She recorded her first album, Free Fall, released in 2010. In 2013, aged 24, she was the first female musician and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition

Benny Green was born in New York City. He grew up in Berkeley, California, and studied classical piano from the age of seven. He attended Berkeley High School, and participated in the school's jazz ensemble. In the later years of his high school career, he had a weekly trio gig at Yoshi's, which marked his entrance to the world of professional jazz. After high school he spent time in San Francisco, but became more successful on his return to New York.
Green joined Betty Carter's band in April, 1983, and since 1991 he has led his own trio. He has recorded for Blue Note Records, Telarc, and Criss Cross Jazz.
He frequently teaches in workshops across the United States, such as Jazz Camp West in California, and Centrum/Jazz Port Townsend in Washington. He tours globally with the Benny Green Trio. His 2018 studio album release Then and Now is available from Sunnyside Records.


Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene.
She grew up on tour with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator/author Stephanie Nakasian. It was with them that she first appeared at The Jazz Standard and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. In the fall of 2015, she won second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2016 she was asked to perform a concert of her own at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City and she was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
In the summer of 2016 she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival, her tenth appearance there – but her first as a headliner. In 2018, she began touring with her trio (Emmet Cohen Trio) as well as Benny Green Trio, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Chris Botti, appearing at Jazz Showcase, Monterey and Montreal Jazz festivals, two runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center: Shanghai, China, and Marians Jazzrooom in Bern, Switzerland.


Arranger/Composer/Valve Trombonist Phil Allen is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. His musical studies started with piano at age seven then trumpet at ten.
After a brief time at Hanover College, Indiana University and Indiana Central College (now University of Indianapolis - it was here that valve trombone became his primary instrument) majoring in music education, Phil left school and studied piano and theory with Steve Allee, composition and arranging with Alan Foust and jazz improvisation with Alan Kiger.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s he played with and wrote for the Von Ohlen/Allee Big Band. This was also a time of free-lancing as valve trombonist and pianist .
In 1996 Allen moved to the San Francisco Bay area. During his time there he played with and wrote for the College of San Mateo Monday Night Band and the Interplay Trio as well as serving on the worship team at 1st Presbyterian Church.
In 2014 Allen and his wife moved to Rensselaer, New York. Currently, he is part of the Blue Sky All-Stars and has performed with Skip Parsons’ Riverboat Jazz Band. In 2015, with the help of drummer Mike Benedict, he started the Concert Jazz Band, which now plays once a month at Renaissance Hall in Schenectady.

The best of jazz in an intimate space with great acoustics, no smoke,
 no clattering of glasses ... 
just great music in a place meant for listening


This concert series is made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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The APFJ Concert Series

Since 1987, A Place for Jazz has been hosting a fall concert series in the Great Hall, the beautiful listening-space in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady at 1221 Wendell Ave in Schenectady, NY. To give you a flavor of the caliber of the artists we've brought in, here's a list of them all. Unfortunately, there are a few gaps in the very early years (1987 and 1988). If any of you have old programs or posters, or a very good memory, we'd be thrilled if you can fill in any blanks. Please click here to send me whatever info you have. 

2018: Sharel Cassity Quintet; Warren Wolf Quartet; Cliff Brucker and Full Circle; Jazzmeia Horn; Anat Cohen Quartet

2017: Larry Willis Trio; Chembo Corniel Quintet; Jackie Ryan & Shelly Berg; Jeff Siegel Sextet; Don Byron Quartet

2016: Scott Hamilton Quartet; Steven Kroon Latin Jazz Sextet; Denise Donatelli; Jpe Barna & Sketches of Influence; Christian Jacob Trio

2015: René Marie; Theo Hill Quartet; Manuel Valera and New Cuban Express; John Nazarenko Trio; Chris Potter Quartet

2014: Lou Donaldson; Clifton Anderson Quintet; George Garzone Quartet; Alexis Cole Quintet; John Menegon Quartet; Bria Skonberg Quintet

2013: Joe Magnarelli/Jerry Weldon; Jeff Hamilton Trio; Conrad Herwig; Catherine Russell; Michael-Louis Smith Quintet. 

2012: Luca Ciarla Quartet (special spring concert); Tom Harrell; Mary Stallings; Dick Hyman; Michael Benedict's Bopitude; Pedrito Martinez.

2011: Houston Person (special spring concert); Terell Stafford Quintet with Dick Oatts; Tia Fuller Quartet; Kenny Barron Trio; Sensemaya; Freddy Cole Quartet

2010: Lee Konitz Quartet; Mike Moreno Quintet; Jeanne O'Connor & Nat Phipps; Bruce Barth Trio; J.D Allen Trio; Hot Club of Detroit

2009: Eric Alexander Quintet featuring Steve Davis; Otmaro Ruiz Quartet; Tierney Sutton; Gene Ludwig; Steve Lambert Sextet  

2008: Bill Charlap Trio; Lee Russo Quartet; Ben Allison; Joe Locke; Karrin Allyson

2007: Mark Murphy; Jeb Patton; Gary Smulyan; Wycliffe Gordon; Keith Pray's Big Soul Ensemble 

2006: Winard Harper; Giacomo Gates; Chris Flory-John Bunch Quartet; David "Fathead" Newman Quartet; Lee Shaw Trio + Jack Fragomeni

2005: Gregg August Sextet; Dan Levinson and His Summa Cum Laude Orchestra; Hilton Ruiz Quintet; Roseanna Vitro; Steve Kuhn Trio. 

2004: Phillip Manuel & Paul Bollenback; Ray Vega's Latin Quintet; New Jazz Composers Octet; Randy Sandke/Harry Allen Quintet; Tim Collins Quartet 

2003: Jeremy Pelt Sextet; Patti Wicks Trio; Brian Patneaude Quartet;  Joan Stiles Quintet; Barbone Street Jazz Band

2002: Frank Vignola & Joe Ascione (The Frank & Joe Show); René Marie; Steve Wilson; Luis PerdomoKeith Pray Quintet

2001: Rebecca Parris; Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana; Darryl Hall Quartet; Ed Polcer and the Magic of Swing Street; Lee Shaw Trio

2000: Sumi Tonooka; Orrin Evans Trio; Warren Vaché Quartet; One for All;  Alex Torres & Los Reyes Latinos

1999: Art Baron and the Duke's Men; Stanley Cowell Trio; Dena DeRose Trio; Quartet Indigo; Virginia Mayhew

1998: Kenny Davern Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli; Sumi Tonooka; Jimmy Heath Quintet; Barry Harris; Brian Lynch with David Kikoski, Tony Reedus and Essiet Okon Essiest

1997: Nick Brignola; Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana; Ken Peplowski; Frank Morgan Quartet; Bill Mays

1996: Peter Leitch/John Hicks; Terell Stafford; Stefon Harris; 

1995: Joe Lovano; Bobby Sanabria; Madeline Eastman; BluesWing; Antonio Hart

1994: Jazz Voices; Gary Bartz Quartet; Dave McKenna/Dick Johnson; Houston Person/Etta Jones; Kenny Barron Trio; Orphan Newsboys

1993: James Williams/Billy Pierce; Paradise City Jazz Band; Tana/Reid; Papo Vasquez; Empire Jazz Orchestra

1992: Ronnie Wells; Claudio Roditi; Either Orchestra; Empire Jazz Orchestra Octet; Renee Rosnes Quartet

1991: Kenia (vocals) with Jay Anderson; Jimmy Owens; Tana/Reid; Peter Leitch Quartet;

1990: Gene Bertoncini, Harvie Swartz, Sheila Jordan; Ray Meriweather; Jeri Brown with Fred Hersch; Nick Brignola; Claudio Roditi with Jay Asby

1989: Jackie Cain & Roy Krall; Cecilia Smith Quartet; Orlando Marin Sextet; Dave Calarco Quintet

1988: we're missing all five

1987: Lee Shaw Trio; Cecilia Smith (vibes); we're missing three