William Parker & Melissa Aldana Trios to Perform in Central Park on April 10-11 as Part of “Walk With The Wind”

Mike Lawson • News • April 5, 2021

The artist-focused non-profit organization Giant Step Arts is partnering with Jazz Generation’s KEYED UP! for new edition of acclaimed concert series Walk With The Wind. The free performances, curated by Jimmy Katz and Nasheet Waits, will take place April 10-11 at a new location in Central Park: Summit Rock in Seneca Village near Central Park West and 83rd Street.

The concerts honor the legacy of congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis. They feature William Parker Trio, James Brandon Lewis Freed Style Free Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio, Chris Potter Trio, Antonio Sanchez Trio, Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Quartet along with Nasheet Waits, Mark Turner, Marika Hughes, Johnathan Blake, Abraham Burton and Jason Palmer.

London Jazz News’ Dan Bergsagel credited Jimmy Katz and Giant Step Arts for “plugging a gap” with Walk With The Wind, noting how socially distanced audiences can enjoy the outdoor music. While the concerts will continue to take place at pop up locations in New York City’s Central Park, shows will be rescheduled in case of inclement weather.


  • Saturday, April 10 at Summit Rock in Seneca Village

Noon – Robert Lotreck Quartet– with Sarah Hanahan, Anthony Hervey, Phil Norris

1 p.m. – William Parker Trio with Cooper Moore and Hamid Drake

  • Sunday, April 11 at Summit Rock in Seneca Village

Noon – Robert Lotreck Quartet with Sarah Hanahan, Drew Anderson, Phil Norris

1 p.m. – Steve Slagle Trio with Marty Kenney, Jason Tiemann

2 p.m. – Melissa Aldana Trio with Pablo Menares and Kush Abadey

  • Saturday, April 17 – Chris Potter Trio with Joe Martin and Nasheet Waits
  • Sunday, April 18 – Antonio Sanchez Trio with Donny McCaslin and Matt Brewer
  • Saturday, April 24 – Marquis Hill Quartet
  • Sunday, April 25 – Michael Thomas Quartet with Michael Rodriguez, Edward Perez, and Johnathan Blake
  • Saturday, May 1 – James Brandon Lewis, Freed Style Free Trio with Rashaan Carter and Chad Taylor; Aaron Burnett Quartet with Peter Evans, Nick Jozwiak, and Tyshawn Sorey
  • Saturday, May 8 – Marika Hughes: The New String Quartet with Hughes, Charlie Burnham, Marvin Sewell, and Rashaan Carter
  • Saturday, May 15 – Mark Turner Trio with Vicente Archer, Johnathan Blake
  • Sunday, May 23 – Johnathan Blake Trio; Nasheet Waits Quartet with Mark Turner, Steve Nelson, Rashaan Carter
  • Saturday, May 29 – Abraham Burton Trio with Dezron Douglas, Eric McPherson
  • Monday, May 31 – Jason Palmer Quartet with Mark Turner, Edward Perez, Kendrick Scott

“The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous.”

The well-received series, which began August 28, 2020 with Wayne Escoffery’s trio, has also featured The Marquis Hill Quartet, the Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus Strickland Trio, the Eric McPherson Trio, the Leap Day Trio and the Joel Ross Quartet.

Founded by renowned photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz in January 2018, Giant Step Arts is an innovative, artist-focused non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and showcasing the work of innovative modern jazz artists. Giant Step Arts offers musicians the artistic and financial resources to create bold, adventurous new music free of commercial pressure. Giant Step Arts provides promotional material and publicity services, presents premiere performances and compensates artists, records performances for independent release, provides artists with CDs and digital downloads to sell directly, conveys complete ownership of masters to artists, and provides PR support for the recordings. “Giant Step Arts does not sell any music,” Katz says. “Our goals are to help musicians make bold artistic statements and to advance their careers.”

Jazz Generation was founded in 1999 to emphasize the importance of live jazz as an art form and the performing arts as a cultural asset. The Jazz Discovery Program (JDP) and The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO), and since 2014 KEYED UP!, an anti-poverty program, has offered services that support professional jazz artists in their performing careers, revitalize local businesses, and develop a new generation of audiences and performers. KEYED UP! Has quickly become a favorite NYC entity for musicians, audiences, and venues. Operating simultaneously in over 25 partner venues spanning from Jersey City to Boston, KeyedUP! Is proud to keep hundreds of musicians working and thousands of jazz listeners happy at no extra cost to partner venues.

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