New York Standards Quartet
The New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ) have developed
a near telepathic
relationship playing together in a variety of settings since their
formation in 2006. Conceptually, the NYSQ strives to develop its own
language within the tradition of performing standard jazz repertoire.
“a group devoted to radical reinvention of famous pop songs
and Broadway show tunes. Plenty of contemporary jazz artists do that,
but few more divertingly than this vivacious foursome, who delightedly
cherish the originals while brusquely deconstructing their harmonies
and tweaking their melodies, sometimes only slipping in the original
theme on the way out of the piece. This is a collective class
act.” -- Guardian UK
is a singular voice among the top pianists in the New York jazz scene,
whose playing embraces and reflects his substantial knowledge of the
jazz tradition, and displays his unique modern sensibility.
He is an award-winning composer/bandleader, a recording artist whose
records as a leader have appeared on numerous “best records
of the year” critic’s lists, and a renowned
educator and jazz clinician who has taught at camps, universities, and
conservatories around the world.
He has performed with countless major jazz figures, including: Sonny
Stitt, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Eddie
Henderson, Lenny White, Bill Stewart, Hank Crawford, Dave Douglas, Tom
Harrell, Cecil McBee, and the Vanguard Orchestra.
David Berkman is an associate professor at Queens College in New York,
and is a visiting professor at the Prince Claus Conservatory in
Groningen, The Netherlands.
After a life of travel and discovery on three continents, Tim
has established himself as one of the most popular saxists on the New
York scene today. Armacost was born in Los Angeles, but came of age as
a musician in Tokyo, New Delhi, and Amsterdam, where he burnished his
reputation as an upcoming talent, with a big tenor sound and an
impeccable rhythmic sense.
He has, and continues to tour regularly around the world both as a
sideman and a leader. He has worked with a phenomenal number of jazz
greats, including Al Foster, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell,
Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Peter
Erksine, Ray Drummond, Roy Hargrove, Don Friedman, and Randy Brecker.
Armacost has recorded eight critically acclaimed records as a leader
and has composed for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center
He is a widely respected teacher and teaches regularly at the Jamey
Aebersold and Stanford Summer Jazz Workshops, at Queens College in New
York City, and as a clinician at universities throughout the U.S.,
Japan, and Europe.
Bassist Ugonna Okegwo has performed with jazz
legends as diverse as Clark Terry, Benny
Golson, Pharoah Sanders and Joseph Jarman.
Born in London to a German mother and Nigerian father,
Okegwo was raised in Germany, where he studied with expatriate
bassist Jay Oliver, and pianist Walter Norris. While working with
Mingus alum Lou Blackburn, Okegwo met
and played with trumpeter Joe Newman, drummer Oliver Jackson, and
bassist Major Holley, who encouraged him to move to New York.
Once in New York he
began playing with
saxophone legends Big Nick Nicholas, Junior Cook, and
James Spaulding. In 1992, a call from Jon Hendricks
led to steady work, including a trip to the White House to
perform for the
During this same period, he joined forces with pianist Jacky Terrason
and drummer Leon
Parker, developing one of the most creative and
explosive group sounds of the nineties.
He has worked with Kenny Barron, JoAnne
Brackeen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Junior Cook, Lou Donaldson, Tom Harrell,
Roy Hargrove, Jon Hendricks, Joseph Jarman,
Mingus Big Band,
Charles Tolliver, and Steve Wilson.
is one of the most well-known and best-loved drummers of his
generation. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he began touring
with Kevin Eubanks in his 20s, while still living in Boston.
After moving to New York in 1987, Jackson’s career blossomed.
He worked with Herbie Hancock from 1991 to 2000 in a variety of bands
that included Dave Holland, Wayne Shorter, and Craig Handy. Around this
time, Jackson was also the drummer with Dave Holland’s Band.
Since then, Jackson has worked with Branford Marsalis, Gary Thomas,
Robin Eubanks, The Mingus Big Band, Charles Tolliver, Christian
McBride, Michelle Rosewoman, Clark Terry, Elvis Costello, Alex
Sipiagin, Dave Kikoski, Seamus Blake, and countless others.