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Eighth Annual Winter Jazzfest Kicks Off in Greenwich Village

By Andrea Swalec | January 6, 2012 6:41pm

MANHATTAN — Greenwich Village's music scene is fabled worldwide, and as far as the more than 60 performers who are participating in the 2012 Winter Jazzfest are concerned, that's no thing of the past. 

In its eighth year, the Winter Jazzfest brings sounds both old and new to Greenwich Village for two days packed with shows at five venues. 

This year's lineup Friday and Saturday features John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood playing solo, saxophonist David Murray's Cuban Ensemble, breathtaking drummer Cindy Blackman's group Another Lifetime and the Vijay Iyer Trio, which has taken on pop songs like M.I.A.'s "Galang."

Festival producer Brice Rosenbloom told NBC New York he wants to get more people interested in jazz. 

Jazz musician Vijay Iyer of the Vijay Iyer Trio has taken on pop songs like M.I.A.'s "Galang."
Jazz musician Vijay Iyer of the Vijay Iyer Trio has taken on pop songs like M.I.A.'s "Galang."
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Jimmy Katz

"Our goal is to help make jazz more accessible, and in line with the informal performance settings at Winter Jazzfest, we attempt to break down the stigma that jazz can only be seen in a concert hall or a stuffy formal jazz club," he told the network. 

"Some people want a challenging listening experience and some want to shake their a--.  The festival and today's jazz scene offers both and everything in between," he continued. 

The shows kick off Friday night with multiple groups at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Kenny's Castaways and The Bitter End on Bleecker Street; Sullivan Hall at 214 Sullivan St. and Zinc Bar at 82 W. 3rd St. 

Tickets to all shows either Friday or Saturday cost $35 each, and a full two-day festival pass runs just $45. Passes are available via the festival's website.