Fresh Spots for New Sounds: Ibeam Brooklyn

(l-r.) Sylvie Courvoisier, Max Johnson, Lou Grassi and Mikko Innanen performing at Ibeam Brooklyn. photo by Peter Gannushkin

There was an excellent panel discussion at the City of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center Monday night, titled “Jazz and New York: A Fragile Economy,” within a worthy series called “Cultural Capital: The Promise and Price of New York’s Creative Economy.” (The series continues Feb. 25 with a conversation between composer Steve Reich and critic Justin Davidson, followed by a performance by Reich and friends of the composer’s “Clapping Music” and “Mallet Quartet.”)
I’ll transcribe my notes and unpack some of the issues discussed Monday in another post soon, and they relate well to the stuff I’ve been writing of late about both New York and New Orleans..
For now, I’ll simply mention that when the subject of venues came up, pianist Jason Moran (one of the three panelists, with critic Gary Giddins as moderator) cited a few places run by musicians that he thought were especially dynamic in terms of exposing worthy talents, nurturing new audiences and creating modest and self-sustaining business models: in Manhattan, John Zorn’s club, The Stone; and in Brooklyn, Matt Garrison’s Shapeshifter Lab, which is among my current favorite music spots, and Ohad Talmor’s Seeds, where I heard one of the most memorable sets of 2013.
I’d add to that list Ibeam Brooklyn. On his website, trombonist Brian Drye describes his place this way:

…a performance, rehearsal and teaching space for professional musicians and students located in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn, NY.  [directions here] Our goal is to foster a community of innovative musicians, educators and students in a clean, comfortable environment. Ibeam Brooklyn features a Schimmel Concert Grand piano, a vintage Gretsch drumset and a state of the art sound system.  Ibeam supports established and emerging artists by providing the rare opportunity to experiment with new works.

In February, Ibeam will host residencies by two pianists, Aruán Ortiz (Feb. 13-15) and Mara Rosenbloom (Feb. 27-March 1), each leading three different bands, some of which include the likes of saxophonist Darius Jones and singer Fay Victor. (Scroll down for full listings for these gigs.)
In an email exchange, here’s how Drye described the genesis of his venue: Continue reading “Fresh Spots for New Sounds: Ibeam Brooklyn”