The Seattle Times ran a piece in advance of a show Sunday led by Portland pianist Ben Darwish performing the music of Michael Jackson which also features Seattle trumpeter Chad McCullough. We are reprinting the excerpt below but do take exception to the line, “from PDX’s mostly nonexistent jazz scene.”
from The Seattle Times:
Happy birthday to the King of Pop! Here’s a why?/why not? way to celebrate the life and death of Michael Jackson, who would have turned 52 on Sunday: the Tractor hosts “an Afrobeat Tribute to Michael Jackson” featuring a 10-piece Portland band, the Works (pictured), interpreting Jackson’s hits in hard-hitting, floor-filling style. It’s a brilliant idea — cover bands are cheesy, a DJ night is rote. Instead, pianist Ben Darwish, a young luminary from PDX’s mostly nonexistent jazz scene, will lead a small army of vocalists, horns and percussion through Jackson’s over-familiar, if beloved, hits and emerge on the other end in dance-mad new territory. Though it’s been only a year since Jackson’s death, his memory lives on in creative form. Michael would be proud. 8 p.m. Sunday, Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave., Seattle; $8 (206-789-3599 or www.tractortavern.com).
– Jonathan Zwickel, Seattle Times staff writer