CD Review: Thomas Marriott- Romance Language

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott has established his jazz credentials over the years through a collection of beautifully inspired and well received albums on the Origin Records label. His formidable chops, extensive vocabulary, respect for tradition and penchant for musical adventurism has put him into the conversation concerning the top practitioners of his instrument in modern times. Marriott has the rare ability to look deeply into the matter at hand, whether it be through interpretation of classic repertoire, or performing his deeply reflective and emotive original compositions. To continue reading, follow this link

CD Review: Jay Thomas with The Oliver Groenewald Newnet- I Always Knew

Jay Thomas has lived the jazz life. He has endured, overcome, and continued to artistically thrive through all the ruminations of a path chosen by few. While much of his life may form a parallel story to those of many, Thomas’ version, his personal adjunct to its litany, is a story of artistic triumph that opened doors seldom walked through. It is a musical legacy in Seattle, unmatched in the colorful history of jazz in his hometown, documented by a number of recordings on several small labels. He as well is among the few musicians in jazz to be featured on both trumpet and saxophone, and in his case, play them both with virtuosity. His skills are as well applied fondly to the flute, and clarinet. To continue reading, follow this link


Featured Jazz Performances For January 2019

With the New Year, hope springs eternal. 2018 was a remarkable year for jazz in Seattle. The year brought us new releases from Thomas Marriott, Jay Thomas, Bill Anschell, Johnaye Kendrick, and Dawn Clement to mention but a few. There was an amazing amount of choices to witness great live performances virtually every day of the calendar year. 2019 promises much of the same. At SJS, we encourage you to seek out something new this year- new music, new venues, new interpretations of the jazz language. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Pearl Django- Celebrating 25 Years- Wed, Thu Jan 2,3, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Seattle’s celebrated gypsy jazz band, Pearl Django celebrates a quarter century of their unique take on the music of Django Reinhardt, and so much more. The band performs a variety of material in the spirit of Django’s original interpretation of the jazz tradition.

Clipper Anderson Quartet- Thu Jan 3, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Known for his work playing behind his wife, the great jazz singer Greta Matassa, Anderson is a virtuoso of the double bass. At Tula’s, he performs with long-time mates Darin Clendenin (piano), Mark Ivester (drums), and Alexey Nikolaev (saxophone).

Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto- Fri Jan 4, 7:30 Pm/ Tula’s

Music fans in Seattle should rejoice that master Brazilian pianist/composer chose the city of Seattle to settle down with his family. His association with his current quintet goes back to the year of his arrival here some 25 years ago. Vibraphonist Ben Thomas is a perfect match for Jovino, playing freely within the rhythmic framework provided by percussionists Mark Ivester and Jeff Busch, and bassist Chuck Deardorf. Deardorf as well is an adept soloist, and is the conduit through which the many rhythmic currents of this band flow.

Bill Anschell Standards Trio with Chris Symer & Byron Vannoy- Sat Jan 5, 7:30 PM

Three of the transcendent musical personalities on the scene in Seattle cross paths under the guidance of pianist Bill Anschell. If you think you’ve heard everything you can hear from a standards gig, think again. Anschell and bassist Chris Symer have a unique chemistry that can only be achieved with time. Drummer Byron Vannoy is engaged in another profession, and does not play out all that often these days. Vannoy plays without fear, and is unrepentant about changing the musical direction of a tune at will. His drive, Anschell’s imagination, and Symer’s sheer artistry is a pleasure to witness.

Brian Monroney Quartet With Alexey Nikolaev, Dean Schmidt & Ben Smith- Sun Jan 6, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

At last Sunday nights at Tula’s are a happening thing. With many years of big band gigs on Sundays in the rear view mirror, eclectic Brian Monroney leads an energetic quartet in his debut as a leader at the Belltown jazz spot. Monroney is a unique player, expressing his years of experience in jazz, blues, and rock.

Racer Sessions- Sundays, 8 PM/ Cafe Racer

This is nearly impossible gig to preview a month ahead of time, as the website tends to post the curators of this legendary weekly session a week ahead of time. That being said, a quick trip to the website will provide you with all the information you will need. While there is a wide variance to the performances, the Racer Sessions always provide a journey into the unknown and unexpected, and have launched many new voices onto the scene in Seattle and beyond. A must gig for all jazz fans in Seattle at least once, to truly understand and embrace jazz culture in our city.

Art of Jazz- Kate Olson Quartet- Thu Jan 10 5:30 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

It seems as though we have had the opportunity to literally witness the artistic growth of Kate Olson through the ups and downs of her wide ranging musical vision since her arrival here. Her quartet with pianist Alex Guilbert, bassist Chris Symer, and drummer Brad Gibson seems to have found a balance in her approach that expresses all of the variant pieces of her musical personality in one place.

KNKX Presents: The Alex Monfort Trio with Matt Jorgensen & Michael Glynn- Thu Jan 10, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

This gig seems to have fallen out of the sky to us, via Monfort’s brief association with KNKX, and Abe Beeson. KNKX presents Monfort’s inaugural performance in Seattle, in trio with drummer Matt Jorgensen and bassist Michael Glynn. Monfort has elements of classic trio pianists Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal in his playing, with a modern sensibility that should be embellished creatively by the presence of Jorgensen and Glynn. Abe Beeson hosts.

Tarik Abouzied Trio with Andy Coe & Damian Erskine- Sat Jan 12, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Drummer/composer Tarik Abouzied has been one of the most active performers in Seattle with his Happy Orchestra, as well as his association with the organ trio, McTuff. Here he teams with guitarist Andy Coe, and bassist Damian Erskine in a power trio of sorts. These are not only three musicians who have played together in plenty- they have a chemistry of personality that promises great things for the audience. Seeing this trio in a listening room like Tula’s, where the music is first, is a great opportunity for area fans accustomed to seeing Abouzied in noisier environs such as Nectar and the Seamonster.

Carrie Wicks Quintet with Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson, Brent Jensen, & D’Vonne Lewis- Tue Jan 15, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Vocalist Carrie Wicks has a unique take on the jazz ballad, delivering in an almost narrative style where the lyrics actually mean something. She knows how to put a band together as well, with trailblazing bassist Jeff Johnson leading the charge. Pianist Bill Anschell is superb with vocalists, drummer D’Vonne Lewis is artistry in motion, while saxophonist Brent Jensen provides the perfect counterbalance as soloist.

Martin Taylor & Laurence Juber- Tue Jan 15, 7:30 Pm/ Jazz Alley

A perfect gig for guitar aficionados, with two Grammy winners gracing the stage of Jazz Alley. Taylor is a renowned finger stylist, as is Juber who as well has gained notoriety as electric guitarist in Paul McCartney’s Wings.

Tribute To Cannonball Adderly with Roy McCurdy- Thu Jan 17, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Alto giant Cannonball Adderly is celebrated in a band led by McCurdy, who played extensively with Cannonball. Continuing a great Seattle and Tula’s tradition, McCurdy is surrounded by historic Seattle musicians. Pianist Marc Seales, trumpeter Thomas Marriott, and bassist Michael Glynn are joined by Vancouver altoist Cory Weeds in this evening of tribute.

Marc Seales Band- Fri Jan 18, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

One of the true greats in the history of jazz in Seattle and abroad, pianist Seales always delivers in performance. This monthly engagement at Tula’s has a storied history, and this evening should be no exception.

Happy Orchestra Trio- Fri Jan 18, 7:30 PM/ Triple Door Musicquarium

The Musiquarium is not a first choice venue by any means. It sounds weird, the audience is generally otherwise distracted and talking, and the service is not, well, very good. Enter any configuration of Tarik Abouzied’s Happy Orchestra, and this schlep of a jazz room becomes a fortress of musical ebullience and virtuosity.

Greta Matassa Quintet- Sat Jan 19, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

What can one say about Greta Matassa? Her pure musicality, perfect pitch, and ardent jazz expressionism is unmatched. There is no other way to express her excellence. If you have never seen her perform, do so at Tula’s, her home stage for 25 years. Simply the best jazz vocalist to come out of Seattle since Ernestine Anderson was in her prime, Matassa is a true musician as a vocalist.

Jay Thomas Organic Quartet- Sun Jan 20, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

On the heals of his brilliant new release, I Always Knew, Jay Thomas teams with saxophonist Steve Griggs, drummer/guitarist Milo Petersen, and organist Scott Lytle for a Sunday evening throwdown at Tula’s. Thomas is one of the few to master both brass and woodwind instruments, and has a half century of performance and recording credits with many a jazz icon. His legacy in the music, and in this city, is unmatched by anyone currently on the scene.

Alex Dugdale Fade Quintet- Fri Jan 25, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Alex Dugdale brings his energetic hard bop style to Tula’s. Dugdale is fluent on both tenor and alto, and is a premier tap artist. His tap work with this band is not standard fair, used as a solo instrument within a hardbop/post bop context. His ferocious style on tenor easily holds down a room for two sets.

Susan Pascal Quartet- Sat Jan 26, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Vibraphonist Susan Pascal continues her monthly gig at Tula’s with the usual excellent suspects. Pianist Bill Anschell and bassist Chuck Deardorf are iconic parts of Seattle jazz history, with drummer Mark Ivester tying it all together.

DXL Octet with Xavier Lecouturier- Sun Jan 27, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Okay, so can we please be done with all this “jazz is dead,” or “jazz is decaying abhorently” jive? Pay attention!  This would be a good place to start when this octet led by 21 year old drummer/composer Lecouturier takes the stage in Belltown. Dylan Hayes, Lecouturier’s co-conspirator in much of this plays piano, with bassist Michael Glynn rounding out the rhythm section. Jared Hall (trumpet), Mark Taylor (saxophone ), Rex Gregory (saxophone ), and David Marriott, Jr. (trombone ) are a formidable front line. Age has never mattered in jazz- this band draws that conclusion at a very high and creative level.

Larry Goldings/ Peter Bernstein/ Bill Stewart Trio- Tue, Wed Jan 29, 30, 7:30 PM

One of the great organ trios in jazz history comes to Jazz Alley. Larry Goldings plays with a unique harmonic grace, embellished perfectly by guitarist Peter Bernstein. Bill Stewart is, well, Bill Stewart, one of the true greats. Their almost telepathic connection is the result of over 25 years on the bandstand together.  A can’t miss gig this month.

Cole Schuster Organ Trio with Joe Doria & Jose Martinez- Wed Jan 30, 10 PM/ Seamonster

Cole Schuster may be the most complete jazz guitarist in town these days, and most importantly,  he’s out on the loose it seems almost nightly. At the Seamonster he is joined by B-3 ace Joe Doria, and drummer Jose Martinez for a late night hang at the Seamonster. 

Sara Schoenbeck & Wayne Horvitz Duo- Thu Jan 31, 8 PM/ Chapel Performance Space

Bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck has been a trailblazer in expanding the sound and role of the bassoon in the worlds of classical, contemporary notated and improvised music. In union with the explorative mind of pianist Wayne Horvitz, this promises to be a special performance in the perfect location at the Chapel. The second set promises special guests.

Featured Performances For December


Bill Anschell Standards Trio- Sat Dec 1, Sun Dec 30, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Three of the city’s most innovative musicians are turned loose on standards chosen spontaneously by Anschell. On the heels of their 2018 release on Origin, Shifting Standards, this trio has developed  an intuitive sense that leads to musical adventurism in uncharted territory. Bassist Jeff Johnson is one of the great piano trio bassists, having earned that reputation in the trios of such greats as Hal Galper, Jessica Williams, and Chano Dominguez. Drummer D’Vonne Lewis is a fourth generation Seattle musician, and an in-demand force on the Seattle scene. The leader, pianist Bill Anschell has an extensive discography both as a leader and sideman, and a stellar reputation as a live performer. This is a can’t miss evening for Seattle jazz fans, who have two opportunities to see this great trio in December.

Mike Stern/Dave Weckl Band ft. Bob Malach & Tom Kennedy- Tue Dec 4, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

To the past two generations, Mike Stern has gained a reputation as one of the great guitarists in music today. Beginning in the early 80’s with Miles Davis’ band, Stern has taken jazz/rock fusion to new heights. Add to the mix fusion drummer extraordinaire Dave Weckl, and the esteemed room at 6th and Lenora transforms into a launching pad for improvisational wizardry.

Greta Matassa Quintet with Susan Pascal- Fri Dec 7, 7:30PM/ Tula’s

In a proud lineage that dates back to Ray Charles and Ernestine Anderson, Greta Matassa is the most important jazz singer to come out of Seattle over the past 25 years. Backed by her long-time band that includes uber bassist Clipper Anderson, Matassa will as well welcome special guest Susan Pascal on vibraphone.

Thomas Marriott “Romance Language” CD Release Party- Sat Dec 8, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott debuts his new Origin release Romance Language in performance with his new quintet. Marriott is joined by iconic saxophonist Rick Mandyck, pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier. Marriott’s performances always top the monthly calendar, but this evening will be especially celebratory.

Charlie Hunter Trio ft. Lucy Woodward & Derrel Phillips- Tue Dec 11, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Over 20 years and 16 albums, Charlie Hunter has become the standard on 7 and 8 string guitar. His current touring trio includes vocalist Lucy Woodward, and drummer Derrek Phillips, leaving the melody, harmony and bass parts in the hands of the innovative Hunter.

Peter Bernstein Trio with Matt Jorgensen & Chuck Deardorf- Tue Dec 11, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Guitarist Peter Bernstein arrives from New York to reunite with bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer Matt Jorgensen for a special evening at the classic jazz spot. Bernstein is one of the great jazz guitarists of the past quarter century, and has developed a special kinship with Deardorf and Jorgensen over the years. This certainly qualifies as a must see event on the 2018 jazz calendar in Seattle.

Tristan Gianola Quartet/ Naomi Moon Siegel Band- Tue Dec 11, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Two friends return to Seattle and unite at the Royal Room. Guitarist Tristan Gianola returns from his new home in New Orleans, while trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel brings her avant approach home from Montana. This seems like an explosive pairing, so expect the unexpected.

Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto- Fri Dec 14, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Since his arrival from Brazil 25 years ago, Jovino has played with legendary bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer Mark Ivester. Through the years he has added world-class percussionist Jeff Busch, and ebullient vibraphonist Ben Thomas, who seem to match Jovino’s energy note for note. This perfect quintet in the intimate confines of Tula’s takes their audience on a musical journey from Rio to Seattle.

Clipper Anderson Quartet- Sun Dec 16, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Bassist Clipper Anderson steps out of the shadows as a sideman, and leads a quartet featuring tasteful pianist Darin Clendenin, drummer Mark Ivester, and saxophone virtuoso Alexey Nikolaev.

David Marriott’s Triskaidekaband- Tue Dec 18, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Each month, trombonist/composer/arranger David Marriott challenges 13 of the best jazz musicians in the city with new arrangements. This long-time residency is a highlight each month in the city, and constitutes the finest large jazz ensemble in Seattle.

Remy Morritt Trio- Thu Dec 20, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Drummer/composer Remy Morritt has been making a name for himself within the various sub-scenes in Seattle, but has seldom emerged as a leader. He does so here in a big way, debuting at the storied Tula’s Jazz Club. Morritt will add two powerful voices in Hammond B-3 organist Joe Doria, and saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev. Morritt’s style speaks to the jazz tradition in a broad sense, making this trio an interesting and potentially combustible combo.

Tyrant Lizard CD Release Party- Thu Dec 20, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

A trio that grew out of Cuong Vu’s program at the UW, trumpeter Ray Larsen, bassist Carmen Rothwell, and guitarist Greg Belisle-Chi have remained a creative force despite all but Larsen relocating to New York. The group takes spatial liberties with both original compositions and standard material in a unique way, employing a communal spirit. With Rothwell and Belisle-Chi now in New York, this becomes a rare opportunity to see the triio in Seattle.

Gail Pettis Quartet- Fri Dec 21, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Vocal stylist Gail Pettis draws her unique approach to vocals from the blues, and the great tradition of jazz singers dating back to Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and Dinah Washington. Her captivating presence, and penchant for hiring top tier musicians make her appearances at Tula’s a first-class experience. 

Jeff Johnson & Brent Jensen- Sat Dec 29, 3 PM/ Craft 19 Espresso & Creperie

What happens when two great jazz voices get together in relaxed, intimate setting? A great musical conversation between two old friends! Two of the true heavyweights on the scene here, sax man Brent Jensen, and bassist Jeff Johnson have a few decades of musical kinship to draw from.

30th Anniversary Concert: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music- Fri Dec 28, 7:30 PM/ St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra has delivered a fine interpretation of the Ellington classic over the years at Town Hall, which in its previous incarnation was a house of worship. With the hall undergoing retrofitting, co-directed Clarence Acox felt strongly that the event be held in a church, and scheduled the concert at St. Mark’s, a great fit both acoustically and in terms of ambience. Ellington intended the work be a uniting force between all faiths. This performance is a fine way to express seasonal spirituality without denomination.

D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition- Sat Dec 29, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Drummer/composer D’Vonne Lewis brings his uber band, Limited Edition to Tula’s. Featuring pianist Eric Verlinde, saxophonist Cliff Colon, guitarist Andy Coe, and bassist Farko Dosumov. Lewis is a force of nature behind the drum kit, and his original compositions perfectly facilitate this multi-talented band.

New Year’s Eve


Jazz New Year’s celebrations are of high quality this year, not to mention great variety! Please follow the links below to find out details and decide what is the best fit for you.

B-3 master Delvon Lamarr is leaving us for Austin, Tx., so don’t miss this celebratory way to say goodbye to this trio, while welcoming in the new year at the Triple Door.

Conguero extraordinaire Poncho Sanchez returns to Jazz Alley for his annual New Year’s show, while the great jazz vocalist Greta Matassa rings in the New Year at Tula’s.


Randy Halberstadt: Open Heart

Pianist Randy Halberstadt has a new record on Origin, after an eight year hiatus from the studio. It features many of the top names in Seattle jazz, including Mark Taylor, Ben Thomas, Jay Thomas, David Marriott, Jr., and Chuck Deardorf. Read the review and buy the CD!

Seattle based pianist Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest for several decades, applying his talents as a pianist, composer, educator, and author. He has four previous releases as a leader, most recently with Flash Point (Origin, 2010). So yes, it has been some time since we last heard from the multidimensional pianist… continue reading, follow this link:

Featured Performances For November

Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters Quartet- Thu Nov 1- 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Stateside friends, drummer John Bishop and trumpeter Chad McCullough, meet up with Belgian friends Bram Weijters (piano), and Piet Verbist (bass). The quartet has three albums together on the Origin label, the most recent being Imaginary Sketches (Origin, 2011). This should prove to be an innovative evening of music, and a bit of a homecoming for Seattle native McCullough who has since relocated to Chicago.


Jeremy Bacon Quartet- Thu Nov 1, 7:30PM/ Tula’s

Since his arrival from New York, Jeremy Bacon has been earning a reputation as a top tier jazz pianist, and has assembled a top tier quartet to accommodate his prodigious talents. Seattle saxophone legend Rick Mandyck joins, along with bassist Paul Gabrielson, and drummer Stefan Schatz, also a recent arrival from New York.


Jovino Santos Neto Big Band- Fri Nov 2, 8 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

While Jovino has performed and written many scores for big band under his name, and for Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal, he has never done so here in his chosen home city of Seattle. The artist-in-residence at this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival, Jovino wrote the score he will perform, and will vacate the piano chair in order to conduct. This should be one of the highlights of Earshot’s season.


Dawn Clement & Jay Clayton Birthday Celebration w/ Special Guest, Julian Priester- Sat Nov 3, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

From their days teaching together til present, Dawn Clement and Jay Clayton have celebrated their birthday -in- common together. Now, joined by legendary trombonist and friend Julian Priester, they take the stage at the Royal Room to renew that tradition. Both Clement and Clayton have wandered away from Seattle, so for local jazz fans, this is a great opportunity to welcome them back, and celebrate.


NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider with SRJO- Sat Nov 3, 7:30 PM/ Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall

NEA Jazz Master, and Grammy winner Maria Schneider comes to Benaroya to work with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. Schneider may just be the most influential woman in jazz today. She has virtually revolutionized the art of managing and guiding a big band in the modern age, as well as her approach to releasing recordings on Artist Share. Her bold and expressive compositions have earned her international acclaim, and in the case of The Thompson Fields, a Grammy. Will SRJO be up for the challenge? It surely will be fun to find out. A must see on this year’s Earshot calendar.


Bill Anschell Quartet- Sat Nov 3, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Uber talented pianist Bill Anschell returns to Tula’s with his “Rumbler” quartet, featuring guitarist Brian Monroney. Bassist Chris Symer and drummer Brad Boal round out this quartet who were featured on Bill’s 2017 release Rumbler (Origin, 2017). Anschell’s performances are always one of the highlights of the month at the storied Belltown jazz spot.


Tia Fuller Quartet- Sat Nov 3, 8 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

Riding the crest of a new album, Diamond Cut, and a residency at the 2018 Monterey Jazz Festival, alto saxophonist Tia Fuller plays Earshot at the heights of her considerable talents. Known as a member of Beyonce’s all women band, Fuller is a bright star of her own with her melodic approach to improvisation, strong tonality, and fearless concept of composition. A true highlight of this year’s offerings from Earshot.


Tim Kennedy Trio +1- Tue Nov 6, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

There is an undeniable chemistry forming between pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier. As the rhythm section of the Thomas Marriott Quintet, they have been a huge part of perhaps the most exciting band on the scene in Seattle in 2018. Multi-reedist Hans Teuber is one of the most unique and eloquent voices in jazz today, his addition making this gig a very special, can’t miss evening at Tula’s.


Anton Schwartz Sextet- Thurs Nov 8, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist/composer Anton Schwartz features new original material never performed in Seattle before, fielding an all-star sextet to do so. Trumpeter Jared Hall, and trombonist Dan Marcus along with Schwartz is a formidable front line, with pianist Tony Foster, bassist Michael Glynn, and drummer Julian MacDonough on the back line. Schwartz chooses his engagements carefully, so this evening promises to be memorable.


Karrin Allyson CD Release Celebration- Some of That Sunshine- Tue Nov 6- Thu Nov 8, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Karyn Allyson has gained a reputation as a fine interpreter of song over the years, but for this engagement at Jazz Alley, she takes on a new role- as songwriter. She will feature 13 new originals with her working band behind her. For Seattle jazz fans, there is extra interest in that her bassist is none other than trailblazing Seattleite, Jeff Johnson.


Thomas Marriott Quintet- Fri Nov 9, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Thomas Marriott’s current working quintet is perhaps the most notable and exciting offering on the Seattle jazz scene in 2018. The quintet has interpreted Marriott’s original compositions in great depth, and found new ways to explore some notable standards, as well as the originals of the band’s saxophonist, Rick Mandyck. Pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier have developed an intuitive sense between them that has made this quintet’s performances a can’t miss phenomenon. Marriott continues to press forward with new ideas, utilizing this quintet as the perfect vehicle for his original brand of modern jazz expressionism.

Griggs Plays Coltrane Plays The Blues- Sun Jan 11, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Steve Griggs has been a major contributor to the jazz scene in Seattle, as a noted saxophonist, historical archivist, writer, and project artist. His deep, earthy tenor should be a great match for this exploration into the blues of John Coltrane. An interpretation of an interpretation you say? Indeed, as Griggs, who has recorded with legendary Coltrane associate, Elvin Jones, takes on the roots of Coltrane’s artistry with a top shelf quartet. A grand way to spend a Sunday evening. John Hansen-piano; Chuck Deardorf– bass; D’Vonne Lewis– drums


Greta Matassa Quintet- Sat Nov 17, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Greta Matassa has been singing at Tula’s longer than the iconic jazz spot has been Tula’s. Over the years, per her recordings for Origin Records, live performances, and mentorship, she has established herself as the best, and most important jazz singer in Seattle since the great Ernestine Anderson. Her instrument in unquestionable, and her sense of musical adventurism has enabled her interpretation of non- lyrical jazz material, including the compositions of Pat Metheny. Her legendary performances at Tula’s are intimate, living room type experiences, with Greta as the ultimate host.


Marina Albero Trio- Sat Nov 17, 9 PM/ Vito’s

Marina Albero burst onto the Seattle jazz scene in September of 2014. Since that time, she has energized the scene with her quartet, and in duo and solo piano performance. Her style reflects her musical journey that began with touring the world as a child with her musical family, to her teen years spent studying in Cuba, to her association with flamenco forms in Spain. The listener can hear a world of music in her playing, from jazz, to classical, to flamenco, and undeniably, the Afro-Cuban rhythms that are so foundational in jazz music.


KNKX Presents: Piano Starts Here: Individualism with Grace – The Music of Andrew Hill/Mal Waldron- Wed Nov 21, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

On a dozen albums over 10 years on Blue Note, Andrew Hill established his unique sense of artistry. A uniquely talented musician, composer, and educator, Hill is known more within the music community than the public at large. The same could be said for Mal Waldron, who along with Booker Little, Julian Priester, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln and Eric Dolphy, revolutionized the post-bop movement of the early sixties. Pianists Tim Kennedy, Matt Williams, and Alex Guilbert interpret these important works for the modern listener. While Kennedy and Guilbert are known quantities on the scene, Williams is a brilliant young pianist on the rise.


Richard Cole Quartet- Wed Nov 21, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Richard Cole is known for his adventurous albums on the Origin label featuring such jazz luminaries as Randy Brecker. Cole brings his probing saxophone style to Tula’s fronting an all-star quartet featuring Seattle jazz giant, bassist Chuck Deardorf. Pianist Bill Anschell, himself a prominent Origin recording artist, and drummer Brad Boal complete this outstanding combo. A great way to start the Thanksgiving long weekend, in repose at Tula’s with some of the best Seattle has to offer.




Evan Flory-Barnes BET Trio with Special Guests Thomas Marriott & Kate Olson- Sat Nov 24, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Bassist/composer Evan Flory- Barnes has been amazing us with his prodigious talents for some time now, whether through his uber band Industrial Revelation, or touring with such jazz luminaries as Chico Freeman, Flory-Barnes consistently creates original sounds, and transformative ideas. Pianist Tim Kennedy, and drummer Brad Gibson form the nucleus of the band, while trumpet star Thomas Marriott and saxophonist Kate Olson join in what promises to be a very special evening of music. Marriott’s star in Seattle is well established through his live performances and series of well conceived albums on Origin. Olson is all over town, it seems, whether leading her KO Ensemble, or show gigs. Her appearance here welcomes her to the Tula’s audience, and it’s about time! A can’t miss evening to put a final accent to your Thanksgiving weekend.


David Marriott’s Triskaidekaband- Tue Nov 27, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Each month of this residency, trombonist/composer/arranger David Marriott challenges some of the best players in Seattle with his artful arrangements. This 13-piece band features the likes of Thomas Marriott, Richard Cole, Tim Kennedy, Geoff Harper, and Matt Jorgensen. Perhaps the most under appreciated regular jazz engagement in town, this is an evening of music not to be missed. In terms of large ensembles in Seattle, Triskaidekaband is second to none.


Steve Gadd Band ft. Kevin Hays, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Landau and Walt Fowler- Thu Nov 29- Sun Dec 2, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Steve Gadd’s place in the history of percussive arts is firmly in place. Whether as an in demand LA session musician, or playing with the likes of Steely Dan and Chick Corea, Gadd has amazed the music world with his versatility and ardent musicality. Fronting a band of well know LA session and performing artists, Gadd does not frequent Seattle all that often, so a must see, especially for area drummers and their students.


Thomas Marriott Quintet/ KO Ensemble- Thu Nov 29, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

The Thomas Marriott Quintet has over the course of the past year, established itself as the perfect vehicle for Marriott’s progressive compositions. KO Ensemble has given saxophonist Kate Olson a platform to show her considerable skills as a player and bandleader. Together, they form an excellent evening of jazz in Columbia City. Marriott will be joined by Seattle saxophone icon Rick Mandyck, pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier. Olson’s ensemble features pianist Alex Guilbert, bassist Chris Symer, and drummer Brad Gibson.


Alex Dugdale Fade Quintet- Thu Nov 29, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Alex Dugdale can kill on tenor and alto in the hard-bop/ post-bop tradition with the best of them. His ability to apply tap dancing to the same jazz lineage, far outside of traditional tap repertoire is completely unique to him. His entertaining personality adds to the attraction of his much anticipated appearances at Tula’s. Backed by the 200 Trio plus pianist John Hansen, Dugdale as well knows how to put a band together. Cole Schuster- guitar; Greg Feingold- bass; Max Holmberg- drums; John Hansen- piano



Featured Performances for October

With the Earshot Jazz Festival kicking in this month, the jazz calendar in October is extensive to say the least. It is like a jazz New Year, as the city submerges into its creative side as winter approaches. Tula’s features a stellar month as well, adding to the many choices one encounters this autumn.


LaVon Hardison CD Release Party with Eric Verlinde- Wed Oct 3, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Pianist Eric Verlinde continues his monthly residency at Tula’s with the vibrant presence of LaVon Hardison. A jazz singer of great style, Hardison will be debuting music from her new CD, There Will Be Trouble. With a background in theatre and opera, Hardison brings a multi-dimensional approach to the blues/jazz tradition. Verlinde is a perfectly matched accompanist, with the intimacy of the fine listening room at Tula’s being the preferred destination for this performance.

Susan Pascal Quartet- Fri Oct 5, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Vibraphonist Susan Pascal has developed an uncommon chemistry with her longtime quartet, that produces spontaneous outbursts of musical heaven. Pianist Bill Anschell and bassist Chuck Deardorf are themselves two of the major artists in the Seattle jazz lineage, with drummer Mark Ivester gathering the energy and pushing it forward.

Thomas Marriott Quintet- Sat Oct 6. 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

With 10 albums to his credit as a leader and an eleventh on the way, trumpeter Thomas Marriott has impacted the state of jazz in Seattle more than anyone over the past decade. His decision to perform with a regular quintet in 2018 has produced results onstage that has captivated Seattle jazz audiences since their debut in late 2017.

The return from a 14-year hiatus of tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck has produced a buzz in itself, a story well told in this piece at All About Jazz.

Marriott brings in Mandyck, and teams him with 21-year-old drummer Xavier Lecouturier, defining the music of this rare quintet in three generations. Lecouturier has been causing quite a stir with his DXL Quintet at Tula’s as well.

Pianist Tim Kennedy seems to have exploded creatively in the past two years, with wonderful results as a leader and sideman. He currently has a residency at Tula’s, every first Tuesday. Bassist Geoff Harper plays with a probing intelligence that is a perfect fit for the spontaneous give-and-take that Marriot requires as a bandleader.

If you have yet to see this quintet perform, this is a must see opportunity.

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra- Sat Oct 6, 7:30 PM/ Recital Hall- Benaroya Hall

The Village Vanguard has since 1935, been ground zero for live jazz recordings, and has housed some of the great performances in jazz history. SRJO pays tribute to that heritage, performing the music of Thad Jones, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, Sonny Rollins and more. The Vanguard upholds the big band tradition with weekly Monday night performances from the house band there that evolved from the great Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra. For one night, SRJO brings that vibe to the wonderful sounding room at Benaroya.

Regina Carter- Sun Oct 7, 6:00pm/ Triple Door

To say that Regina Carter carries on a great tradition of jazz violinists would be an oversight. The Detroit born violinist was bred in the classical tradition, to the extent of studies with famed practitioners of the instrument such as Yehudi Menuhin, and Itzhak Perlman. While studying at the New England Conservatory, she had a musical revelation and pursued jazz studies.

Carter’s style can more be compared to jazz violin pioneer John Blake than most, but her soulful approach more depicts ties to horn players such as saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and trumpeter Blue Mitchell. She will be joined by longtime collaborators Chris Lightcap (bass), and Alvester Garnett (drums). Pianist Xavier Davis rounds out the quartet.

Racer Sessions- Sundays 8-10 PM/ Cafe Racer

The Racer sessions take place each Sunday evening, curated by a different artist each week. The well-regarded sessions were inspired by the UW program led by trailblazing trumpeter Cuong Vu, and have continued to pursue a wide scope of improvisational forms in that spirit. At publishing time, the October sessions had yet to be announced, but visit the website to see the schedule. A must for any jazz fan looking to expand their musical horizons.

Helen Sung- Mon Oct 8, 7:30 PM/ Chapel Performance Space

Pianist Helen Sung is a bit of a latecomer to the world of jazz piano. She has spent her musical life in two distinct worlds, first as an aspiring classical pianist, followed by a stunning conversion to jazz during undergraduate studies at the University of Texas. This lead to graduation from the Thelonious Monk Institute at the New England Conservatory, an unexpected change of direction rooted in her inspired, newly acquired love of the art of jazz.

An evening spent at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall would change her musical horizons entirely, causing her to question everything she had learned up to that point. A friend had invited her to a Harry Connick Jr. concert in the hall, witnessing his piano style in the New Orleans tradition.

“In the middle of that show, he sat down and played some solo jazz piano, and I remember feeling like I had been hit by lightning,” she said. “I didn’t know you were allowed to play the piano like that.”

She continued to open eyes and ears by winning the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition at Kennedy Center, and settled in New York City to subsequently perform with the likes of Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter and Wynton Marsalis.

Sung has released six highly acclaimed albums since, with Anthem For a New Day (Concord, 2014) topping jazz radio charts, and earning her accolades throughout the jazz community. Her deft touch and ability to direct musical imagery with her melody inspired improvisational approach reflects her bridging of the two distinct musical worlds that has been her musical universe from a very young age.

Solo performance brings out the artistry and imagination of a pianist in a very honest way. It exposes the artist’s vulnerabilities and brings to the forefront the nuances of style and grace. Sung has ascended to the heights of that creative space, to the benefit of her ever-increasing audience.

Amy Denio- Wed Oct 10, 8 PM/ Chapel Performance Space

Saxophonist/vocalist Amy Denio is like a study in musical innovation. She brings her compositions, unique saxophone style and 4-octave voice to the edge of imagination, always finding something original to share with her audience. A prolific composer of over 400 pieces, Denio colors her acoustic output with electronics, creating a rich texture of sounds. For Seattle music fans, Earshot provides the opportunity to discover her profound sense of innovation in a setting that accentuates the experience.

John Scofield’s Combo 66 Ft. with Gerald Clayton, Vincente Archer, Bill Stewart- Thu Oct 11- Sun Oct 14, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

It what may be the premier performances at Jazz Alley this year, modern jazz guitar icon John Scofield leads a band featuring pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Vincente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart. To commemorate his 66th year, Scofield has written 12 compositions and formed this all-star combo to perform them.

Scofield’s aesthetic covers a large stylistic canvas, and like a musical chameleon, bobs and weaves through a variety of emotive colors. He expresses himself in a vernacular that includes bebop, jazz-funk, soul, and rock. His performance and recording resume is unparalleled in jazz today, including Miles Davis, Dave Holland, Phil Lesh, Tony Williams, and Joe Henderson, to name but a few.

Greta Matassa “Light Out Of Darkness” Ray Charles Tribute- Fri Oct 12, Sat Oct 13, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

The great Ray Charles developed his unique craft on the Jackson St. jazz scene in Seattle in the 1940’s and 50’s, setting a standard for jazz and blues vocalists here that continued with Ernestine Anderson, and in current times, with Greta Matassa. It seems appropriate then, that a tribute to Charles should include Matassa, a master of jazz vocals both in terms of narrative and improvised form. Matassa has an innate sense of swing and blues derivative stylings, and possesses an instrument that removes many of the limitations other singers encounter. She is unmatched as an entertainer as well, relating to her audience in a very personal and original way.

Samantha Boshnack: Seismic Belt- Fri Oct 12, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Trumpeter/composer Samantha Boshnack is a musical visionary in a very real sense. Her writing always leads the listener down a visual storyline projected as a musical narrative. Her previous two projects told the heroic story of Nellie Bly, and united the sounds of five continents in five concertos. Festival-goers will witness her latest project, Seismic Belt, a project that interprets life, culture, and cohabitation around the Ring of Fire.

Boshnack wrote the eight-movement piece while in residency at 18th Street Arts through their annual Make Jazz Fellowship in Los Angeles. This is award is sponsored by the Herb Albert Foundation to support promising, emerging composers. Other recipients have included Marquis Hill and Tomeka Reid.

Boshnack’s travels have led to her fascination with volcanoes and the cultures that surround them. “While in residence there, I composed eight movements of Seismic Belt,
a suite about the Ring of Fire, which is located in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. The area is home to most of the world’s volcanoes and hosts many of its earthquakes. Seismic Belt explores the seismic activity along the Ring of Fire, experimenting with the friction of geographic shifts to create a new harmonic topography. This music examines our relationship with the Earth, including the elements of risk and faith in that uneasy cohabitation. Movements of the work draw on influences from some of the cultures and people living on the Ring, in places such as Chile, Japan, Alaska, Iceland, Western Samoa, and Russia,” she explains.

This performance will be the Seattle debut of Seismic Belt and will feature a collection of Seattle based players. Pianist Alex Chadsey has been a mainstay of Boshnack’s projects, as has drummer Max Wood. Saxophonist Chris Credit will play both tenor and baritone saxophones, creating a striking balance with violinist Begin Scarseth and bassist Troy Shiefelbein. Lauren Elizabeth Baba will make the trip up from Los Angeles and join on both violin and viola.

”I debuted the music in two concerts in LA with an all-star LA band I put together. This Earshot concert will be the Seattle debut of Seismic Belt, with an incredible line-up of Seattle musicians and one special guest from my Los Angeles band- Lauren Elizabeth Baba. In March 2019 the live recording of the final LA concert will be released on Orenda Records,” says Boshnack.

While prolific as a composer, and ever imaginative in conceiving her work, Boshnack doesn’t perform live all that often or rather, as often as the jazz community at large would like. In many ways, this performance represents a high water mark for this project, performed in her chosen home city, in the shadow of Tahoma in repose.

David Sanborn Quintet- Wed Oct 17, 7:00 & 9:30 PM/ Triple Door

It’s good to see David Sanborn getting back to jazz in recent years, after a prolific period centered more on pop forms that borrowed from the jazz language. While this period garnered 6 Grammys, and 9 gold or platinum albums, his forceful, yet subtle approach seemed to be lost to true jazz aficionados. Sanborn brings a top-shelf band to town featuring uber talented trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, bassist Ben Williams, pianist Andy Ezrin, and drummer Billy Kilson.

Frank Catalano Quartet- Fri Oct 19, Sat Oct 20, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Tula’s continues a tradition well established in historic Seattle clubs such as the Black & Tan, Parnell’s, The Penthouse, and Jazz Alley (the old club on University Way)- bringing in an international artist and surrounding that artist with top Seattle talent.

Chicago based saxophonist Frank Catalano received an early break in his career, performing with the likes of Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, and Elvin Jones. In Seattle, he will perform with pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Phil Sparks, and drummer D’Vonne Lewis, top-shelf players all. Catalano’s style is a soulful blend leaning towards the blues, and is facilitated by his marvelous technique.

George Colligan Trio with Buster Williams & Lenny White- Sat Oct 20, 7& 9:30 PM/ Royal Room

Portland-based pianist George Colligan plays with many of the greats, and these shows are no exception, performed in the intimate confines of the Royal Room. Bassist Buster Williams was first introduced to Seattle audiences in 1967, standing in for Ron Carter in the Miles Davis Quintet at the Penthouse in Pioneer Square. His career has been an upward ascent since, as has that of drummer Lenny White. Gaining a stellar reputation with Miles Davis, and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, White is known as one of the founding fathers of fusion jazz.

Colligan’s energetic style features astounding technique, and ardent musicality. The opportunity to see him in a trio of this quality, in a small venue, is something not to be missed.

Tribute to Dave Lewis featuring D’Vonne Lewis and Friends- Sun Oct 21, 8 PM/ Langston Hughes PAC

Drummer/composer/bandleader D’Vonne Lewis is like a whirlwind- seamlessly flowing from project to project, from gig to gig like no other musician in Seattle. While he may be the most in demand player on the Seattle jazz scene, he manages to uphold a standard of artful creativity, as well as a family tradition of musicianship that spans four generations.

Lewis’ grandfather, Dave Lewis, was a transformative figure in the history of music in Seattle, both for his impact as a musician, and as a pioneering force to integrate music in Seattle. On this evening at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, his grandson pays tribute to his musical and sociological impact in a very personal way.

The elder Lewis made his mark with an instrumental brand of rock and roll that found its way into west coast dance halls in the 50’s and 60’s. His trademark style on the Hammond B-3 organ produced regional hits such as “Little Green Thing.” and “David’s Mood,” but never received acclaim on a national level. His sound is largely unknown to younger generations. For D’Vonne Lewis, this performance not only aims to bridge that generational gap but provides an avenue for him to express his familial respect and love for his grandfather’s legacy.

While he pays tribute to his grandfather in this setting, Lewis is quick to point out that it was his great grandparents who inspired his grandfather to pursue music. He refers to his great grandfather as “Big Pop.”

“ Big Pop was Dave Lewis. Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix would come by the house to take lessons with him,” he says. He continues, “Big Pop is the one that really got it started, gave my grandfather lessons. His mom actually played organ in churches, she was a first call organist, all the churches wanted her to play. He started playing piano and then he heard his mom, and she would give him lessons. He would switch over to organ later.”

Seattle B-3 master Joe Doria will take the elder Lewis’ chair for this performance, joined by guitarist Andy Coe, and Lewis on drums. Special guests are anticipated for this performance set in the very neighborhood that spawned the “Seattle sound” of Dave Lewis. For one evening at Langston Hughes, the musical legacy of the Lewis family takes center stage.

Cuong Vu and Indigo Mist featuring George Garzone- Mon Oct 22, 8 & 9:30 PM/ Royal Room

Pioneering trumpeter Cuong Vu teams with tenor saxophonist George Garzone for an evening of music that will lean towards the experimental side. For this performance, they will be joined by electro/acoustic composer Juan Pampin, trailblazing drummer Ted Poor, and bassist/producer Steve Rodby. Rodby, who recently settled in Seattle, is known for his 30 years alongside Pat Metheny, and has garnished 15 Grammys as a bassist and producer. Blending his talents with Cuong Vu seems like a perfect fit.

David Marriott’s Triskaidekaband- Tue Oct 23, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Trombonist/composer/arranger David Marriott continues his residency at Tula’s with this monthly performance of his 13 piece band featuring some of the best talent in Seattle. Band members include Thomas Marriott, Geoff Harper, Rich Cole, and Matt Jorgensen. Marriott, one of the finest practitioners of the trombone in modern jazz, challenges the band with new arrangements each month. This is perhaps the most underappreciated gig in the city, each month delivering a first-rate performance and a must for jazz fans of all persuasions.

Tom Harrell Quartet- Wed Oct 24, 8 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

If seeing legendary trumpeter Tom Harrell at the acoustically brilliant auditorium at SAM doesn’t motivate you to get out of the house, perhaps the inclusion of new wave Cuban pianist David Virelles will. Harrell always seems to have something new to add to his sound, and the presence of Virelles certainly facilitates that notion. Adam Cruz joins on drums with bassist Ugonna Okegwo.

Jared Hall Quintet- Thur Oct 25, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Trumpeter Jared Hall has established himself in the past year as one of the most exciting new additions to the scene in quite some time. His monthly residency at Tula’s continues with Hall toting an all-star quintet to the storied Belltown jazz spot. Saxophonist Mark Taylor is featured, along with drummer/composer Phil Parisot, bassist Michael Glynn, and pianist John Hansen. Hall will perform original material, as well as standards.

Fresh from the release of his album Hallways, Hall plays with beautiful tonality, and expert articulation. His solos reflect his original approach to melodic improvisation. As a bandleader, he brings the best of the Seattle scene to this gig monthly.

Matt Jorgensen +451- Fri, Sat Oct 26 & 27, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

In many ways, drummer/composer Matt Jorgensen personifies the sound of Seattle jazz. As a world-class drummer/composer, as well as being a founding cornerstone of Origin Records and the Ballard Jazz Festival, Jorgensen has left a lasting imprint on jazz culture in the Pacific Northwest.

Over two nights, Jorgensen presents the music of his four Origin releases with his band, +451. The sound is a unique blend of the double bass, drums, saxophone, and electric keyboards, interpreting Jorgensen’s original compositions, as well as jazz and rock standards.

For the Friday show, Jorgensen presents the music of the first two +451 records, The Road Begins Here, and Quiet Silence. Seattle jazz legend Marc Seales joins on electric keyboards, with alto saxophonist Rex Gregory, tenor saxophonist Rob Davis and bassist Phil Sparks.

Sparks, himself one of the true greats in Seattle jazz history, returns Saturday to present the music from the third and fourth editions of +451 recordings- Hope, and Another Morning. As is the case with the actual recordings, the overall sound of the band changes significantly with keyboardist Ryan Burns replacing Seales, and Origin recording artists Thomas Marriott, and Mark Taylor joining on trumpet, and saxophone respectively.  The shift in personnel impacts the band to such a degree, that attending both evenings is a viable option, as Jorgensen rarely reunites this band.

The intricate drumming of Jorgensen is reason enough to attend these shows, showing a rare instinct to move a given ensemble in multiple directions as a leader.

Randy Halberstadt Septet Open Heart CD Release Show- Fri Oct 26, 8 PM/ Poncho Concert Hall

Pianist Randy Halberstadt releases his fifth album as a leader, celebrating on his home turf at Cornish, where he recently retired after an amazing 41 year run mentoring young musicians. Halberstadt convenes a septet of the city’s best, presenting a program of original compositions, jazz gems, and as an added interest, his improvisational interpretation of a Chopin nocturne.

Halberstadt’s longtime Cornish associate, bassist Chuck Deardorf is the granite from which this band is built, accentuated by drummer Adam Kessler and vibraphonist Ben Thomas.

Alto saxophonist Mark Taylor, trombonist David Marriott Jr., and trumpeter/saxophonist Jay Thomas constitute as fine a horn section as one could imagine for this special celebration. All three are noted leaders themselves, with multiple recordings between them both as leaders and side musicians. Jay Thomas bears the unusual distinction of being a first-class player on both trumpet, and saxophone.

Circuit Rider: Ron Miles, Bill Frisell, Brian Blade / These Hills of Glory String Quartet featuring Beth Fleenor- Sun Oct 28, 8 PM/ Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall

While guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade have enjoyed longtime international acclaim, the genius of trumpeter Ron Miles has flown largely under the radar. Together, this trio has the potential to explode in a multitude of directions on a nightly basis.

The beautiful Wayne Horvitz concerto These Hills of Glory will as well be performed by string quartet, also featuring improvising clarinet soloist Beth Fleenor. The Recital Hall at Benaroya is the perfect venue for this performance. Tickets are available at the Benaroya box office, offering the best prices as well.

Alex Dugdale Fade Quintet- Tue Oct 30, 7:30 PM/ Langston Hughes PAC

Saxophonist and tap master Alex Dugdale is a unique entity. His blend of talents both as an instrumentalist and tap dancer is unlike anything one might conjure up within the broadest view of the international jazz scene. Though not well known outside of the Pacific Northwest, Dugdale’s energetic, free-flowing style on both tenor and alto saxophones, combined with his artistic interpretation of tap sets him apart as a complete jazz artist.

Dugdale, who has occupied both the second alto, and baritone chairs of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, burst onto the scene with his skillful tap interpretation as part of the band’s annual concert featuring Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music. While the Ellington classic is a perfect vehicle for more traditional tap fare, Dugdale has been turning heads applying the art form to hard bop, and post-bop modern rhythms.

Dugdale’s saxophone virtuosity highlights his live performances which engage audiences with his high energy, joyous interpretation of hard bop classics and original compositions.

The core group joining Dugdale for this performance will be the members of Seattle’s 200 Trio. Guitarist Cole Schuster, bassist Greg Feingold, and drummer Max Holmberg bring with them an uncommon, intrinsic chemistry. Schuster has been opening ears on the Seattle scene with his organ trio as well, and delivered a stellar performance as part of the Ballard Jazz Festival’s annual Guitar Summit concert.

Long time piano ace John Hansen adds a refined harmonic and melodic sensibility to the band. A constant on the Seattle jazz scene, Hansen has a great sense of swing, and uncanny ability to unite the variant musical impulses of any performance.

This concert grants Dugdale the opportunity to present his music to the community at large, in a classic setting, with the respect his artistic integrity deserves.  











Johnaye Kendrick: Flying

Once, maybe twice in a generation, a singer enters the world of jazz and captivates the genre so dominated by jazz instrumentalists. There are qualities in the voice, delivery, the exquisite phrasing, and inexhaustible ability to deliver a narrative in such a way that expresses the jazz and blues tradition in a special and personal way. Johnaye Kendrick is one of those singers. Upon graduating from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, then sequestered at Loyola University in New Orleans, Kendrick was hired by trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who remarked, “Johnaye has the potential to be a vocalist of the highest order, the likes of which we have seen seldom since the grande dames of the golden era of jazz roamed the earth. She’s got it!”  Continue reading here-

John Coltrane Birthday Celebration: Charles Owens Interview

The annual John Coltrane Birthday Celebration at Tula’s has become a symbolic jazz new year of sorts. It is performed in a time of transition in the northwest, when we begin to seek a bit more shelter both without and within.

The music of Coltrane is a spiritually unifying force of nature, a gust of wind to push our humanity ever forward to each new day.

Each year, event organizer Matt Jorgensen brings in special guests to offer their interpretations of Coltrane’s art. This year saxophonist Charles Owens is our guest, arriving from Charlottesville, VA. along with New York-based bassist Ben Shapiro. The two will form a quartet with Jorgensen on drums and pianist Marc Seales. In a way, it continues a tradition that began on Jackson St., and continues to this day of welcoming great players from yonder scenes and surrounding them with the best the Seattle jazz scene has to offer.

Owens was so kind as to answer a few questions, and provide some insight as to who he is as an artist, and what we might anticipate at this year’s performances.

You spent 12 years on the scene in New York City and moved to Charlottesville VA. Talk about your reasons for the change, and how that transition has been for you musically.

The year 2002 was a big one for me. I got married, turned 30, and my wife became pregnant with our first child. I was looking for a better life for myself and my family, I was looking for some space and some quiet. I grew up in VA and my mom has some property out in the country. So we moved out there to get our footing and then shortly thereafter moved to Charlottesville. Being in VA as a musician has been beautiful! I am a big part of the scene in Cville but also in Richmond which is a short drive away. I play and record with guys in Butcher Brown like Devonne Harris (DJ Harrison) Corey Fonville, Andrew Randazzo, Morgan Burrs, and Marcus Tenney as well as guys like Kelli Strawbridge on drums Cameron Ralston (Matthew E White) on bass.  Also, there’s a great bunch of cats in Richmond that are in a band called Future Prospect. I love to gig with them. Cleandre Foster, Brandon Lane, Jacob Ungerleider, Trey Sorrels. In Charlottesville, I have the pleasure of playing with guys like Dane Alderson who’s the bass player in the Yellowjackets and John D’earth who is a master trumpeter and improviser. He was really close with many people in the Brecker generation in NY. All of these people and more have indeed changed my playing. Virginia has a laid back, funky, and soulful vibe. Virginia music is greasy and sexy and hot. It’s got its own special sauce that everybody needs to experience. I treasure what its done to my saxophone playing, improvising, writing and arranging.

You are often linked stylistically to John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Wayne Shorter. How do you use those voices to create and impact your own voice as a player?

Well, those men had a huge hand in creating Charles Owens the improvising saxophonist, so the voices have created, and continue to impact my sound. I don’t just study their playing but I also study the spirit in which they bring forth their truth. These men played in a way that spoke to humans through key facets of their humanity. Their music appeals to people on a visceral level because they are accessing the most truthful regions of their muse, and bringing to fruition sublime improvised musical art. I want to create at this level 100% of the time.

You are coming to Seattle to be featured at the annual John Coltrane Birthday Celebration at Tula’s Jazz Club. First off, how did this association with Seattle come to be?

I was lucky enough to attend the New School for Social Research (Jazz performance and composition)  in NYC alongside the amazing Seattle drummer Matt Jorgensen and the great Seattle based bassist Ben Shapiro. Matt and I had been talking for a while about playing together again and when the Coltrane celebration came up, we all thought it would be a perfect fit and opportunity for us to make it happen. I’m so grateful! This will be my first time in Seattle and I’m thrilled.

Coltrane was a primal force that forged so many creative pathways through the music. How will you approach this performance as a saxophonist? Will it be more of a repertory approach, or will you seek more personal insights into the music?

I’ve been playing Coltrane’s music since I was a teenager. These songs are simply part of the Black American Music Canon. We will certainly choose compositions that span his career and make sure that the repertoire is varied in tempo, tone, and timbre. I will approach this music saxophonistically the same way I approach all music. I will be calm, clear and confident. I will gain my inspiration from a mix of spirituality, intellect, and passion. I will treat this and every opportunity to play music for my fellow humans as a sacred and rarified privilege. I will have an open heart and mind and proceed without fear.

With so much material to choose from, how do you go about selecting a set of music from the vast Coltrane library?

For me, it’s the compositions that have meant the most to me personally over the years and also the ones that I enjoy improvising on. But we will also rely on the tried and true method of putting a good set together which is to not have songs with a varied tempos, feels and forms.  We want to produce a different mood and vibration on every song so as to make it a rich and satisfying experience for us and the audience. Luckily we have a wide range of genius material from which to choose. We will also put in a couple of songs from the American songbook that were favorites of Coltrane’s.

You performed “A Love Supreme” in Charlottesville last year at UVA. In preparing for, and performing this music, did it at all impact your personal view of this classic?

It had a huge impact on my personal view of the album. I actually performed the suite in Richmond two years before the Charlottesville performance. I never dreamed I would be in a place where I could convincingly perform the Suite. So when the opportunity arose I made sure to prepare thoroughly. I studied the transcriptions heavily and memorized passages that I thought were classic parts and then improvised other parts. This was his ultimate opus. He is thanking God for his life and acknowledging that to him God is the only thing he is doing anything for forever.

This is going to be your first visit to Seattle. The city is noted for its eclectic music scene.  What have you learned about Seattle, and what do you anticipate encountering on the scene here?

I know little about the music scene in Seattle other than every musician I’ve played with from there has been great. Matt Jorgensen, Shawn Schlogel, and Max Holmberg.

Coltrane transitioned his sound towards the end of his life, employing what he saw as a spiritual approach, a soul cleansing series of cries and vocalized effects. Some in the audience did not receive the music in the same light in which Coltrane created and performed it. What is your personal perception of this period of Coltrane’s sound, and what impact did it have on your approach to playing?

Coltrane always pushed himself forward and never seemed to want to stay in the same place for long. This is one of the normal hallmarks of an artist/creative person. It’s really the same old story. An artist becomes popular by doing their art in a certain way. That art lives in the fans heart as sublime. Then the artist pushes themselves to create something new (again) with the same energy, focus, and attitude that they used in the past. The established fan usually reacts in 1 of 2 ways- they move forward with their artist despite the fact that things are different, or they stop and stick with what they like about the artist and pine away for “the old stuff.” This is what happened with Trane. I don’t listen to as much of his avant-garde as I do Crescent, A Love Supreme, Coltrane’s Sound etc., but I still do listen. The thing that has most influenced me from his later work is how much his tone continued to evolve, Listening to his tone on the Olatunji Concert recordings makes me feel that he had transcended the saxophone and turned it into his interstellar voice of his worship. No one has ever evoked the universal power of love through a saxophone like him. I learned a lot from the vocalized effects as well. One of my first gigs in NYC was with Reggie Workman’s ensemble at the Knitting Factory. We were playing free, free, free as a bird. Many of the things I’d heard Trane doing, I did especially on those gigs.

Jazz education has become largely institutionalized in modern times, much like classical music in the twentieth century. So many giants of the form learned through the oral tradition, with mentorship provided by the experienced players of the day. Talk about your own personal experience learning the saxophone and jazz music, and how that experience has impacted your approach as an educator.

I’ve been quite lucky to have great saxophone teachers. Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano, Grant Sewart, Eric Alexander, Makanda McIntyre, Arnie Lawrence. I’ve never had a “big break” gig with a master. The people that I learned the most about actual improvisation though were John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Charlie Parker. I learned a lot about swing from Duke Ellington and Count Basie.  I also came up in NYC in the 90’s at my home club, Smalls. I met, and hung out with, listened to, and learned from just about every great jazz musician you could think of that was still around at the time. Smalls was the place where I really learned what the music should sound like, and more importantly, the attitude and ethos one needs in order to be a successful improviser, performer, bandleader, and composer. My first gig in NYC was running the Sunday jam session at the Village Gate. That’s where I first met people like Brad Mehldau, Dwayne Burno, Ben Wolfe, Leon Parker, Gonna Okegwo, Ari Roland, just to name a VERY few. I also learned a lot during my time at the New School. Some of my teachers there included Jim Hall, Buster Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Bernard Purdie, Peter Bernstein, Reggie Workman… I also was lucky enough to take some advanced jazz harmony classes with Kenny Werner. But I also never stop learning and growing and pushing myself to be better. So I woke up this morning with the same attitude towards music and saxophone that I’ve always had. How can I be better? When I educate people on the tradition of Black American Music, I am very careful to point out that the concepts that we cover are intellectual, but this music needs more than just intellectuality. The other essential ingredients are spirituality and passion.

Environment and lifestyle impacts culture on all levels, including music. New York is like an incubator for new talent, and is unquestionably the living gathering place for jazz, convening sounds from all over the world. The energy and whirlwind of cultural activity drives the music and seems to give it an ardent physicality like nowhere else.  Seattle is a touch more relaxed, reflecting the physical beauty and lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest. Talk about the musical environment in Charlottesville, your current residence, and how it differs from other musical scenes you have encountered.

Charlottesville has a wide variety of bands in different genres. It reminds me a lot of other scenes in other cities, just smaller. The energy is, of course, more relaxed and certainly reflects the terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love the scene here though. Being in Cville and Richmond has taught me that it’s cool to relax and not go for the “touchdown” solo every time. It’s helped me to let go of my ego and not play solos where I’m “checking boxes” i.e the out part, the fast part, the part, the altissimo part, where I trick the audience into clapping more etc… It’s taught me that it’s ok to groove and be sparse and play longer notes. That VA grease!

What projects are you currently engaged in?

I am of course busy with my trio and quartet but I also play in a wide variety of bands here in VA and NYC.

Jack Kilby and the Front Line. Drummer Jack Kilby is about to release his debut album and it’s gonna be amazing. I wrote a song for the Album titled “Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing.” Jack liked the tune so much that he named the album after it and has taken the concept and run with it. We have a couple of release shows in October and the album is just fantastic. Allyn Johnson, Kris Monson, John D’earth, and Antonio Hart are playing on it.

I am in a band called The ATM Unit that plays every Monday at a club called Rapture here in Cville. The band is lead by Australian electric bass virtuoso Dane Alderson who is also currently in the Yellowjackets. It’s a fusion sound coming out of bands like Yellowjackets, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, etc. It is such a killer band and it’s been a fun challenge learning all the new music.

Reginald Chapman is a great bass trombonist and composer formerly with No BS Brass Band. He has just released a fantastic album called Prototype, and I will be playing his VA release shows in September.

I also play with a ton of great rock, funk, and should bands. I stay very busy with recording sessions, and I have a full studio of wonderful private saxophone, theory and improvisation students. I’m also a pianist and stay busy with solo piano work and duo work with singers.

What can we expect from Charles Owens in the near future in terms of recordings and live performances?

Well, Jack Kilby’s album is on deck next. I just recorded a live album at Smalls with the great Joel Frahm on tenor saxophone, Ari Hoenig on drums and Alexander Claffy on bass. That was released back in April. The next record I want to do will be a trio record with electric bass, drums, and saxophone. I am currently compiling repertoire and testing it out on gigs. My M.O. for recording is to gig with material/band for a year then go to the studio for one day and record it all. I just got a new horn so I will be playing a lot on it before I decide to go back to the studio again.


Featured Performances for September

The month of September is incredibly exciting for Seattle area jazz fans. Considering that it is the ramp up month to the Earshot Jazz Festival, it is ample evidence of the vitality of the Seattle jazz scene. The selections are numerous this month, so happy wading!

Tim Kennedy: The Music of Wayne Shorter- Tue Sept 4, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Pianist Tim Kennedy convenes four of the top players in town to pay homage to the compositions of the great Wayne Shorter. The band will focus on the music from two classic Shorter albums, Speak No Evil, and Adam’s Apple. Eclectic bass talent Evan Flory-Barnes, and drummer Tarik Abouzied join Kennedy, along with trumpeter Thomas Marriott. The quartet will perform the music of perhaps the greatest small ensemble composer in the history of jazz, in a not-to-be-missed leadoff to an amazing month of jazz in Seattle.

Larry Fuller Trio- Tue Sept 4- Wed Sept 5, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Seattle jazz fans got to know Larry Fuller through his tenure with SRJO, and as pianist for the great Ernestine Anderson. This performance is celebratory not only for the return of Fuller to Seattle, but for the fact that Jazz Alley is actually presenting jazz music! Fuller brings his New York-based trio to the alley with bassist George DeLancey, and drummer Jason Tiemann.

Eric Verlinde Trio with Special Guest Hans Teuber- Wed Sept 5, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Pianist Eric Verlinde continues his monthly residency at Tula’s with his trio featuring bassist Dean Schmidt, and drummer Jeff Busch. Verlinde welcomes multi-reedist Hans Teuber to the fold for this performance, giving area fans a chance to see Teuber before he begins his next run at Teatro Zinzanni. There is no musician in Seattle that can turn a good night to a special evening like Teuber. Add the intimate ambience of Tula’s and you have the best of reasons to attend.

Reunion Quartet with Jay Thomas, John Bishop, John Stowell & Bruce Phares- Thu Sept 6, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

35 years in the making, four of Seattle’s finest reunite for an evening of jazz at Tula’s. Guitarist John Stowell is an international phenomenon. Drummer John Bishop has recorded and toured with dozens of international voices in jazz, including the groundbreaking Hal Galper Trio. Jay Thomas is a Seattle jazz legend, featured on both trumpet and saxophone. Bruce Phares has as well performed with a variety of jazz legends, among them James Moody, Larry Coryell, George Cables, and Ernestine Anderson.

Over this period of time each has made a prominent imprint on the music, and its culture here in Seattle. Their contributions have as well put a worldwide spotlight on the vibrant jazz scene here, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto- Fri Sept 7, 7:30 pm/ Tula’s

Jovino has played with the same band since his arrival in Seattle 25 years ago, creating a comfort zone for eclectic creativity like no other band in the city. He applies the musical wisdom he was gifted by Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal to this band that includes bassist Chuck Deardorf, a Seattle jazz institution himself. Drummer Mark Ivester, and percussionist Jeff Busch create the rhythmic undertow as one mind. Jovino will be the resident artist at the 2018 Earshot Jazz Festival.

Greta Matassa Quintet- Sat Sept 8, 7:30 pm/ Tula’s

Greta Matassa has been thrilling Seattle jazz audiences for more than 25 years, and in the process has through recording and live performances established herself as the most important jazz singer to come out of Seattle since the great Ernestine Anderson. In terms of the pure instrument that is her voice, and  her advanced technique, there is none better. She as well has an intuitive relationship with her long time band that includes bassist Clipper Anderson, pianist Darin Clendenin, and drummer Mark Ivester. Uber talented saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev joins for this special performance.

Tim Fitzgerald Quartet featuring Anton Schwartz- Tue Sept 11, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Continuing an amazing month, Tula’s brings in Chicago based guitarist Tim Fitzgerald to team up with saxophonist/composer Anton Schwartz for an evening featuring the music of the late great Wes Montgomery.

Cecile McLorin Salvant Duo- Tue Sept 11- Wed Sept 12, 7:30 pm/ Jazz Alley

Winner of the 2018 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Cecile McLorin Salvant teams up with pianist Sullivan Fortner for two intimate performances at Jazz Alley. Her debut album WomanChild on Mack Avenue Records won her a bevy of honors aside from the Grammy. She now tours supporting her sophomore release, For One To Love, a more intimate and confessional effort that she describes as being, “ Almost like a diary entry.” Fortner, who Seattle jazz fans have come to know through his Jazz Alley performances with Roy Hargrove, would seem the perfect pairing on piano.

Photo: Carolyn Bick

Nu Trio- The Art of Jazz- Thu Sept 13, 5:30 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

Earshot Jazz presents the monthly Art of Jazz series, this month featuring Nu Trio, an ensemble of longtime musical collaborators  Nathan Breedlove, Phil Sparks, and Brian Kirk. Trumpeter Breedlove disappeared off the scene for 15 years before his recent comeback, and has gradually regained the form that made him a dues paid musician in the truest sense within many different communities in the jazz and ska worlds. Bassist Sparks has played with a plethora of local and international artists during his 30 years on the scene in Seattle and is the longtime bassist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. Kirk has been integral in Seattle jazz education at Seattle Central College and came up playing with the likes of stars such as Joe Henderson. This trio plays on the cutting edge of the jazz tradition while dipping into the entirety of that musical heritage. As Breedlove would say, “The spirits are willing.”

DXL Quintet with Xavier Lecouturier- Thu Sept 13, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Young drummer/composer Xavier Lecouturier at 20 years of age has earned his stripes on the Seattle scene as drummer for the renowned Thomas Marriott Quintet. His musical maturity and prowess belie his age. Young lions Lucas Winter (guitar), and Gus Carns (piano), are joined by veteran bassist Michael Glynn. Saxophonist Rex Gregory, a recent transplant from New Orleans makes his official Tula’s debut rounding out this superb quintet.

Marc Seales Band- Fri Sept 14, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Marc Seales has a performance and recording resume that includes stints with Ernie Watts, Joe Henderson, and Art Pepper. As a leader, his work as a solo artist, and with the trio, New Stories has established him as one of the true pivotal figures in the history of jazz in Seattle. His monthly residency at Tula’s has produced top-tier performances at the storied Belltown club for 25 years. No matter the configuration of the band on a given evening, Seales always delivers.

Christian McBride New Jawn Quartet- Mon Sept 17- Wed Sept 19, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Six-time Grammy winner Christian McBride returns to Seattle with yet another incarnation for the ever-evolving bassist. His New Jawn Quartet features saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Joshua Evans, and drummer Nasheet Waits.

McBride’s passion for swing and his energetic approach to music is like a bridge between a variety of musical communities. Seattle is fortunate to have him in town on a fairly regular basis.

Madeleine Peyroux- Mon Sept 17- Tue Sept 18, 7:30 pm/ Triple Door

A continuing trend, as the Triple Door continues to book acts we are accustomed to seeing perform at Jazz Alley. While it is difficult to define the genre in which Madeleine Peyroux resides, jazz audiences seem to be very comfortable claiming her as one of their own. This is a judgment arising from her typically sold out shows, and rising sales of her recordings. Her sound draws from early jazz, blues, and folk, and expresses clearly her life between American and French cultures. Her performances are intimate affairs reflecting that very unusual personal journey in life.

Thomas Marriott Quintet- Thu Sept 20, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

When trumpeter Thomas Marriott announced that he would perform with one quintet for 2018, it created quite a buzz around the Seattle jazz scene, knowing it would enable his ability to rehearse and perform his brilliant original compositions. Indeed, it has been fascinating to watch performance by performance, as the band evolves and breathes life into many compositions heard previously only on Marriott’s 10 solo releases on Origin Records. Joined on the front line by Rick Mandyck on tenor saxophone, and backed by the fine-tuned rhythm section of pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier, this quintet embodies the essence of Marriott’s unique sense of intimacy and intensity.

John Coltrane Birthday Celebration- Fri Sept 21- Sat Sept 22, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s


One of the highlights of the jazz year in Seattle, Matt Jorgensen’s annual autumnal salute to John Coltrane features tenor saxophonist Charles Owens (see the interview with Owens at Jorgensen features different music each year, highlighting the music and career of the legendary saxophonist whose impact reaches spiritual proportions for many in the jazz world.

Owens, currently a resident of Charlottesville, VA, has gained long time prominence on the New York scene, and brings New York bassist Ben Shapiro with him to join Seattle stalwarts, drummer Jorgensen, and pianist, Marc Seales. This is a prepay event that sells out fast.  Call 206-443-4221 for reservations.

Tarik Abouzied: Happy Orchestra Trio- Sat Sept 22, 9 PM/ TD Musicquarium

Tarik Abouzied’s Happy Orchestra can take on many different configurations, but always delivers funk-tinged jazz music presented in an air of positivity unique to the drummer/bassist/composer’s personality. Featuring many of the area’s top improvisers, this trio version features drummer Evan Woodle, keyboardist Joe Doria, and Abouzied on bass. A great opportunity for a late night hang with some of the best players in town.

Clipper Anderson Quartet- Sun Sept 23, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Sunday evenings have been a big band night at Tula’s for many years, nice to see a bit of a change up featuring more intimate musical inclinations. Master bassist Clipper Anderson is often seen with the band led by his wife, the great singer Greta Matassa. Here Anderson ventures into his own musical world, filled with original compositions and skillful renditions of jazz classics. Longtime mates Mark Ivester (drums), and Darin Clendenin (piano), join him, along with uber-talented saxophonist, Alexey Nikolaev.

Donny McCaslin/Kneebody- Mon Sept 24, 7 PM/ Triple Door

When two grand adventurers of the tenor saxophone convene in one place, for one special performance, one is left with little choice but to be there in the middle of the creative flow. This performance is an exercise in musical innovation, and anticipatory elation. One of the highlights of the jazz calendar in Seattle for September.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio- Tue Sept 25- Wed Sept 26, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Returning home after extensive touring, DLO3 arrives at Jazz Alley in triumphant fashion. Lamarr’s distinctive organ style is a blend of the jazz sensibilities of the historic greats of the Hammond B-3, filtered through his extensive experience playing multiple instruments in the jazz realm. DLO3 however, is not exactly a jazz gig, but then again, how many performances at Jazz Alley are? This is a great opportunity to welcome home one of the hardest working musicians, and great humans on the scene in Seattle.

James Falzone, clarinet

Gordon Grdina Trio with Matt Shipp and Mark Helias / James Falzone Trio with Wayne Horvitz and Abbey Blackwell / The Nathan Breedlove Quintet- Thu Sept 27, 8 PM/ Royal Room

Gordon Grdina, innovative practitioner of the guitar and oud, leads a triple bill that features three very distinctive bands, heading in original directions. Grdina brings in Matt Shipp, and Mark Helias to form a unique and adventurous trio.

Classical and avant-garde clarinetist James Falzone has been shaking up the musical universe here in Seattle since his arrival as Chair of Music at Cornish College of the Arts. His virtuosity and curiosity are unquestioned. Add the ardent eclecticism of pianist Wayne Horvitz, and that of bassist Abbey Blackwell, and we are set for a few orbits around the outer reaches of the musical universe.

Trumpeter Nathan Breedlove is a dues paid musician in the truest sense, having returned to the scene after a 15 year hiatus. His history with ska revolutionaries, The Skatalites, the Greenwich Village loft scene, and jazz greats Mulgrew Miller, Hadley Caliman, Donald Brown, and Jemeel Moondoc speaks to his post bop/avant-garde sensibilities that make him a unique quantity in the jazz world. Breedlove teams with Seattle saxophone legends Gary Hammon and Booker T. Williams on this evening, along with longtime mates Phil Sparks on bass, and Jamael Nance on drums.

Be sure to make a dinner reservation after purchasing your tickets, as the Royal Room does not guarantee a seat with your ticket purchase.

Jared Hall Quintet- Thu Sept 27, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Since his arrival in Seattle, trumpeter Jared Hall has consistently staged fine performances with a variety of the best players in town. His significant chops were well enhanced under the tutelage of trumpet legend Brian Lynch in Miami prior to his arrival, but his voice as a player and composer can only be described as original.

Hall welcomes another newcomer to the scene, saxophonist Rex Gregory on this gig. Add drummer/composer Matt Jorgensen, pianist John Hansen (who is playing out of his mind these days), and bassist Michael Glynn, and you have a quintet that will keep you glued to your seat for two sets. The intimate confines of Tula’s adds to the allure of this Thursday evening getaway.


Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers

Seattle based Origin Records has released the debut recording of Korean born pianist Bongwool Lee. A young classical piano prodigy in her native Korea, Lee gravitated to jazz, and offers a unique sound and approach to jazz composition and improvisation.

Much has been written about the different creative processes engaged between classical and jazz musicians, more specifically, as applied to the collective worlds of jazz and classical piano. New York based pianist Bongwool Lee has an intimate relationship with these perceived differences. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, she was exposed by her parents to a variety of music at a very early age, winning her country’s acclaimed Samik Competition at age seven. Considered a prodigy in the classical world, Lee’s focus shifted to jazz upon hearing Oscar Peterson on the radio. After graduating as a music major from Dongduk Women’s University, she relocated to New York City, where she engaged in jazz studies at the Manhattan School of Music earning a Master’s degree. More importantly, she engaged in and began to flourish on the heralded jazz scene in Gotham. Continue reading here

CD Review- Chamber 3: Transatlantic

Chamber 3 began as a trio effort started by German guitarist Christian Eckert, and Seattle based drummer Matt Jorgensen, who forged a friendship while studying at the New School in New York in the early nineties. Over the years, they engaged in many projects and tours together, culminating in this project that includes German tenor saxophonist Steffen Weber. The band added a fourth member in the person of Seattle bassist Phil Sparks for their last release, Grassroots (OA2, 2017), and returns the same lineup for the new Origin release, Transatlantic (OA2, 2018).

Continue reading here

Photos: Hans Teuber & Jeff Johnson- The Art of Jazz, SAM

Lisa Hagen Glynn has been doing some great work out on the music scene in Seattle, photographing performances. These were taken on May 10, during a riveting duo performance by Hans Teuber and Jeff Johnson. The performance was part of the Art of Jazz series at SAM, presented by Earshot Jazz. Thanks to Lisa for the wonderful shots!

CD Review: Bill Anschell- Shifting Standards (Origin)

Seattle based pianist Bill Anschell has created a tremendous body of work over the past 30 years, as a composer, musical director, and pianist. He returned to Seattle in 2002 after 25 years abroad and formed a relationship with Origin Records, releasing more than a dozen records both as a leader and co-leader. Whether composing and performing original pieces, or interpreting standards ranging from Cole Porter to Lennon/McCartney, Anschell has consistently upheld a rare standard of excellence.

Anschell’s musical personality can perhaps be best experienced within the confines of Tula’s Jazz Club, an intimate jazz spot in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. He typically performs with two separate combos, a quartet that performs his own works, and a standards trio featuring trailblazing bassist Jeff Johnson, and wonderfully talented drummer D’Vonne Lewis. The trio has been performing on and off since 2007, and have achieved an intuitive, almost telepathic musical relationship that produces moments only attained through the one-mindedness of the piano trio format. They perform in the area of 80 standards, never play from a set list, and are subject to the momentary whims of Anschell’s inventive curiosity. At long last, the trio has released a definitive collection of standards aptly titled Shifting Standards on the Origin label. To continue reading, please follow this link-

Roxy Coss Interview

Seattle born and bred, New York based saxophonist Roxy Coss has seen her star ascend in recent years. From 2012-2014 she gained international visibility touring with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. She has been on a torrid recording pace as well, with the objective of releasing an album a year. Her past two releases Restless Idealism (Origin, 2016), and Chasing the Unicorn (Posi-Tone, 2017) have established her place in the upper echelon of saxophonists in jazz today.

Coss has also played a major role in the fight for gender equality in jazz, forming the organization Women In jazz Organization (WIJO). You can check out their website here:

On March 30, Coss will release a new album on the Posi-Tone label that expresses both her ardent musicality, and activism. Entitled The Future Is Female, the album stands as an important statement in support of modern feminism, and most specifically, to gender equality in jazz. In November 2017, just after she recorded the record, I had the opportunity to interview her while she was in town for the Earshot Jazz Festival. The result was compelling.

All About Jazz: You have recently released a new CD, Chasing the Unicorn (Posi-Tone, 2017), just a year after the release of Restless Idealism (Origin, 2016). Albums are like a snapshot of a timeframe, how has that musical image changed in a year?

Roxy Coss: More back story is it was recorded more than a year apart, even though they were released a year apart, so there was actually more time between recordings, almost two years. When I worked with Jeremy Pelt, he taught me a lot about the industry. His release schedule is every year, and I saw that really work for him, so that’s my goal right now, to continue now that I have the momentum going. From my experience, I’ve seen how important it is to keep getting contact out there, regardless of what it is. The more stuff you put out there, the more chances of someone hearing you.

read the entire interview here at All About Jazz:


Dawn Clement Interview

Dawn Clement is like a primal force of nature. From being the mother of three young children, to her professorship at Cornish College of the Arts, to her performing career as a touring and recording artist, she maintains a musical standard of excellence achieved by very few. Her piano style is strong and versatile, whether she is playing at the most intense tempo, or in more tender and vulnerable moments colored in alluring sincerity.

On February 20th, she officially released her new CD Tandem on Origin Records. The album is a series of duo performances with some of her closest musical collaborators over the past 20 years. The project was celebrated in earnest that evening at Tula’s, with Clement performing in duo, trio, quartet, and full quintet with Dr. Julian Priester, Johnaye Kendrick, Mark Taylor, Michael Glynn and Byron Vannoy. The audience was populated heavily with many of the top jazz musicians in town, a gesture of great respect for the artist Clement has become, and has been throughout this new century. The performance was inspired, memorable, the vibe in the room during the performance and after hang, warm and welcoming.

Dawn Clement is a voice in jazz that needs to be heard.  Read the full interview at All About Jazz here:



Seattle Jazz Scene Update

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be in full exploration mode here at The aim is to bring the page up to date in terms of jazz calendar, feature articles and reviews chronicling jazz music in Seattle, festival and event previews, and all things relevant to highlighting the music and its performers. Just for fun, I plan to go full on guerilla mode at times, publishing directly from jazz events in the area.

I want the vibe to be welcoming to the entire jazz and improvised music community. The growth and overall health of the scene is dependent on participation and a true sense of community between musicians, fans, writers, promoters, club owners, record companies, radio stations, and all of those who love the music and sees it as a vibrant part of our culture.

Once fully integrated, jazz fans in Seattle will be able to enter the site and learn who is playing around town on a daily basis, and stay up to date on what is happening in and around the scene.

If you are interested in submitting articles, reviews, photographs, calendar entries, etc, contact me per email at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Please no self promotions.

And so the journey begins.

Paul Rauch




Sonarchy Radio schedule for September on KEXP

Sonarchy is recorded live in the studios at Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. This hour long broadcast features new music and sound art made in the pacific northwest. Sonarchy is now into it’s 21st year of airing on KEXP, Seattle (90.3 fm). Listen for the broadcast every Sunday evening at midnight (PST). The show can be heard live at and furthermore is available in its entirety for two weeks following the broadcast in several streaming audio formats. This months shows will also be available as podcasts shortly after they air. Go to for a vast permanent archive to choose from.

Doug Haire is the producer and mixes these live shows. Sonarchy would not be possible without the efforts and funding provided by Jack Straw Cultural Center. For more about this non-profit organization with a mission to support the sonic arts go to Thanks for your interest and good music to you!

Sept 4: John Butcher – saxophones, Torsten Muller – bass and Dylan van der Schyff – drums. a spectacular hour of free improvisation. This show recorded in 2008

Sept 11: Swindler
A funk, jazz and groove fusion band. Mike Saskor – guitar, Willow Goodine – keys, Rob Cochran – bass and Chris Martin – drums.

Sept 18: Martin Bland’s Randomized Controlled Trials
Original recordings edited, processed and put onto cdr’s then performed by 6 cd players in shuffle mode. The results are highly entertaining and unique to each performance.

Sept 25: Stuart McLeod and Braintrust
Music for guitar orchestra featuring 4 guitars, 2 basses and Stuart on drums, brainwave sensors and compositions. A massive sound for radio.

Seattle-German collective group Chamber 3 performs in the Northwest

Chamber 3, the group co-led by Seattle drummer Matt Jorgensen and German musicians Christian Eckert and Steffen Weber, will be performing around the Seattle area July 29 – August 6.

Chamber 3’s latest CD on OA2 Records is entitled Grassroots. They will be recording a new CD while in Seattle too.

Thursday, July 28: Triple Door Musicquarium, 9:00pm
216 Union Street, Seattle, 206-838-4333

Friday, July 29: Bellevue 6th Street Fair, 10:30am – Noon
NE 6th Street and 106th Avenue NE, Downtown Bellevue

Friday, July 29: The Latona Pub, 5:00pm
6423 Latona Ave NE, Seattle

Saturday, July 30: Scotch and Vine, 8:00pm
Chamber 3 performing with Jose Gonzales
22341 Marine View Dr S, Des Moines, WA

Wednesday, August 3: Ted Brown Music, 6:00pm
6228 Tacoma Mall Blvd, Tacoma, WA 98409

Thursday, August 4: Piccola Cellars, 7:30pm
112 West 2nd Street, North Bend, WA 98045

Friday, August 5: Edison City Ale House, 8:00pm
Chamber 3 performing with Kareem Kandi
5602 S Lawrence St, Tacoma, WA

Saturday, August 6: Tula’s Jazz Club, 7:30pm
2214 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA