Rose Live Music
kicks off its fourth anniversary celebration with a series of weekly performances featuring some of New Yorks preeminent drummers leading their own groups. On February 2, exactly four years since Rose first opened its doors, the club will host an all-star jam session hosted by
visionary crossover pianist Jason Lindners Now Vs. Now, featuring a cast of jazz heavyweights who have performed at Rose in years past.
Every Tuesday through March, the Williamsburg jazz haunt will turn the spotlight on varied masters of the backbeatrunning the gamut from John Scofield Band timekeeper and vaunted hip-hop impresario Adam Deitch to the combustible Latin rhythms of Dafnis Prieto to eponymous Medeski, Martin & Wood stalwart Billy Martin. The series will also feature such kings of the kit as relative newcomer Mark Guiliana, a frequent collaborator of bassist Avishai Cohen, Ryan Sawyer, who has performed with such groups as Stars Like Fleas, Lone Wolf, and TV on the Radio, and high-octane drum maven Jim Black. Guest presenters will include an evening of female drummers curated by Tom Tom Magazine, an international publication devoted to female percussionists, as well as separate events presented by Aaron Ali Shaikhs New Languages Festival and Search & Restore.
Despite its youth, Rose has already cultivated a storied history of reaching across genre to bring the freshest sounds of the Zeitgeist in jazz, soul, Afrobeat, house, and everything in between to an intimate forum where music lovers and musicians alike find common ground. The club was founded by Carlo Vutera, a classically-trained opera singer of Sicilian descent, and his sister Gina, a
foreign language professor, who shared a vision of creating a welcoming environment geared towards musicians and true lovers of groundbreaking music in all its hybrid forms.
Having consistently played host to mainstays of the contemporary jazz and avant-garde scenes since the clubs inception, among them guitar guru Charlie Hunter, genre-bending sonic wizard and trombonist Josh Roseman, and ambient Afrobeat-dub spinsters Mobius Collective, Roses walls spin a rich tapestry of heavy grooves, trance-inducing funksmanship, and mind-blowing improvisation.
In fact, the clubs walls tell a story quite literallyin order to create the European cafe aesthetic of their youth, the owners imported vintage wallpaper from Belgium, a country known for its artistry in, among other things, its wallpaper. Perhaps chiefly, though, Belgium is also known for its beer, and indeed, the libations at Rose flow freely, ranging from a wide array of Belgian cask ales drawn from an imported tap to an extensive variety of organic wines curated by the in-house sommelier. Downstairs from the performance space, Rose also houses Vutera, a gourmet restaurant that serves up home-style new Mediterranean cuisine.
A chicly decorated grotto bathed in iridescent red light and illuminated by well-placed candles, the European-style speakeasy is a cozy space so intimate that listeners can hear musicians on stage catch their breath in between notes. The tight quarters make for a vertiginous call-and-response synergy between performer and audience, creating a musical conversation that drives the delicate fuse that enlivens each performances explosive spontaneity, the touchstone of jazz.
One of the greatest assets of Rose is that musicians really feel comfortable there, that they can do things that they cant usually focus on, says Mary Ho, who is in charge of booking for the club.
Though the eclectic musical offerings are prodigious, Rose tends to fly under the radar, a diamond in the rough amid a slew of other live music venues in Williamsburg. Located slightly off the beaten path on Grand Street, Rose has largely established itself as a haven for Brooklyn artists, a local watering hole and musicians hang where members of renowned jam band Soulive, Lost Tribe co-founder and in-demand sideman drummer Ben Perowsky, effervescent post-bop trumpeter Avishai Cohen, and numerous other luminaries of the scene regularly gather to commune over good food and good tunes unfettered and unfiltered by the vicissitudes of the broader music industry. These are the musicians musicians, convening to lay back and indulge in the music they want to play and the music they want to hear.
The thing about Rose is that it provides a platform for musicians
who just want to try something new, says Ho. It gives them the rare opportunity when theyre not touring or not on the road to work on their own stuff, or just to play with their friends. Theres not the pressure of putting on that performance that other people expect and it gives the audience a chance to see them in an intimate setting.