Curated by Rio Sakairi
“Rio Sakairi has single handedly influenced New York’s current jazz scene more than anyone I know,” proclaims jazz pianist, Harvard Professor, and 2013 MacArthur “genius” grant winner Vijay Iyer. As the Artistic Director at The Jazz Gallery since 2000, Rio Sakairi has helped to identify and nurture some of today’s most important jazz artists. By seeking out the next generation of creative jazz players and composers and by guiding and nourishing their artistic visions over the span of nearly two decades, Rio has had a significant impact on the jazz scene in New York and beyond. Her focus and vision have been decisive in putting The Jazz Gallery on New York’s cultural map and gaining the worldwide recognition that the venue enjoys. In Iyer’s words, “Rio has helped launch the career of virtually every notable jazz artist under 50 that I can think of. Her tireless efforts have rejuvenated the music and galvanized the musical community.” Rio’s contributions were recognized in 2016, 2014, and 2010, when The Jazz Gallery received the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. She also received the 2016 Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalist Association. Veteran critic Ted Panken has observed, “Jazz would not sound the way it does today had not The Jazz Gallery served as a locus for New York’s polyglot musical community to exchange ideas and work on moving to the next step.”
Photo is attached. Please credit Jimmy Katz.
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