Thanks to the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, and Cécile McLorin Salvant, jazz has found a new rhythm.
Photography: Mark Seligerwww.vanityfair.com
At Manderley Bar, in New York City, singer Molly Ryan, 31 (center), is flanked by vocalist-trumpeter Bria Skonberg, 32, horn player Mike Davis, 24, and twin brothers Will and Peter Anderson, 28, on reeds.
Jon Batiste and Stay Human—house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert— mix jazz and other genres through what they call “social music.” From left: Batiste, 29, on melodica; Ibanda Ruhumbika, 25, tuba; Joe Saylor, 29, percussion; and Eddie Barbash, 26, sax.
As a guest (far left) saunters by, trumpeters Christian Scott, 32 (New Orleans), and Etienne Charles, 32 (Trinidad), pianist Gerald Clayton, 31 (L.A.), singersongwriter Nellie McKay, 33 (U.K.), and bassist Matt Ulery, 33 (Chicago), convene at New York’s Havana Central.
How to get Trombone Shorty, 29, to stand still for pictures? Put him on a Manhattan ledge where one wrong step means a 30-story plunge. Normally, this dynamic New Orleans bandleader is in constant musical motion.
Bali-born Joey Alexander—at Manhattan’s Jazz at Lincoln Center—is only 12 but plays with such technique and emotional depth that he sounds like an old soul, not just a wunderkind.
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, 26, lost most of his sight as a teen, converted to Orthodox Judaism, and through his expertise on banjo, guitar, violin, and piano (not to mention vocals) is possibly the most multi-talented young jazz-and-bluesman on the scene.
Pianists Taylor Eigsti, 31 (seated), and Dan Nimmer, 33—of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra—sit in at Small’s, in Manhattan’s West Village, with trombonist-bassist Josh Holcomb, 23.
With deep roots in both pop and classical music, Esperanza Spalding, 30—bassist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist—is the breakout star of jazz’s second century.
In the studio with upstart sax star Melissa Aldana, 26, are, from left, bassist Ben Williams, 31, and trumpeters Dominick Farinacci, 32, and Alphonso Horne, 28.
Many consider Franco-American Cécile McLorin Salvant, 25, to be the voice of jazz’s new generation.
Guitarist Julian Lage, 27, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, 33, and bassist David Wong, 33, improvise in Tompkins Square Park.
Adam and Zack O’Farrill, 21 and 24, seen here on trumpet and drums in Central Park, are the sons of Arturo O’Farrill, founder of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and grandsons of Chico O’Farrill, the Cuban jazz pioneer.
Some of the finest rising jazz vocalists, such as Tatiana Eva-Marie, 27 (far left), and Cyrille Aimée, 31 (reclining on piano), can trace their lineage to France, a jazz mecca. Here the two are joined on a barge on the Hudson River by pianist Aaron Diehl, 30, saxophonist Grace Kelly, 23, and singer Brianna Thomas, 32.