Featured Jazz Performances for April

Spring has arrived, and with it a plethora of worthy dates for the northwest jazz fan. Challenge your musical being and try something new this month! 

Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band- Tue, Wed Apr 2,3, 7:30 PM/ Royal Room

Pianist/composer/bandleader Orrin Evans has been on quite a roll the past year. He took over the piano chair of the Bad Plus from Ethan Iverson, and along the way, received a Grammy nomination for his record Presence (Smoke Sessions, 2018). Presence features a sized down version of Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, a nine-piece powerhouse featuring some of the best players on the New York and Philadelphia scenes. These performances at the Royal Room will feature trumpeter Josh Lawrence, trombonist David Gibson, alto saxophonist Caleb Curtis, and drummer Anwar Marshall among others. Seattle based trumpet ace Thomas Marriott joins for these dates, adding considerable local intrigue. These shows should prove to be a true highlight of the 2019 year of jazz in Seattle. https://www.strangertickets.com/events/92228105/orrin-evans-and-captain-black-big-band-presented-by-earshot-jazz

Rick Mandyck Quartet with Bill Anschell, Phil Sparks, & John Bishop- Wed Apr 3, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck is back with a vengeance after a 14 year hiatus, performing with 3 fellow Seattle jazz greats- pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Phil Sparks, and drummer John Bishop have all made their mark prominently as leaders and side musicians in performance and on multiple recordings. Mandyck’s style steeped in the oral tradition is providing some of the most inspired playing in town, making this a can’t miss opportunity for Seattle area jazz fans. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Alex Dugdale Fade Quintet- Fri Apr 5, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Alex Dugdale brings a brand of high energy hard bop to the stage at Tula’s, interpreting originals and standards on both tenor and alto. As well, Dugdale is the city’s premier tap artist, applying it to non- traditional tap fair as essentially another solo instrument. John Hansen- piano; Cole Schuster- guitar; Greg Feingold- bass; Max Holmberg- drums. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Bill Anschell Quartet- Sat Apr 6, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Pianist Bill Anschell leads a stellar quartet, performing his originals, as well as those of his bandmates. He has developed a special chemistry with bassist Chris Symer and Brad Boal, and welcomes saxophonist Brent Jensen and his melody inspired playing on alto and soprano. Anschell is a true original, and one of the greats in the annals of Seattle jazz history. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Brian Monroney Quartet- Sun Apr 7, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Sunday evenings are getting to be a thing at Tula’s. In this edition, veteran guitarist Brian Monroney leads a quartet featuring saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev. A rock solid rhythm section featuring bassist Dean Schmidt and drummer Brad Boal set the foundation for Monroney and Nikolaev to be full expressive in extended forms. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour featuring Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian Sands, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Yasushi Nakamura, and Jamison Ross- Sun Apr 7, 7:30 PM/ Moore Theatre

As the longest continually occurring jazz festival in the world, MJF has always provided a platform for younger generations of artists. That reality hits the stage at the Moore on this evening featuring a variety of new generation artists, most notably Cecile McLorin Salvant.

One of the most acclaimed vocalists of her generation, and perhaps the most celebrated since the heyday of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn, McLorin Salvant has received 3 consecutive Grammys for best jazz vocal album. This collection of on-the-rise artists under the music directorship of Christian Sands on the stage at the historic Moore Theatre is a true highlight of the Seattle jazz calendar for 2019. https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/4169/monterey-jazz-festival-on-tour

Benny Golson Quartet- Tue, Wed Apr 9, 10, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

To have a jazz living legend in Seattle is always a cause for celebration. In Benny Golson’s case, it is a rare opportunity to get to know a legend that is in many ways underappreciated.

One of the great saxophonists and composers of the modern jazz era, Golson’s career dates back to the 1950’s as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and bands led by Tadd Dameron and Dizzy Gillespie. At 90 years young, Golson has written compositions and performed with the likes of Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Shirley Horn, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Itzhak Perlman and Oscar Peterson. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5029

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Sullivan Fortner Trio- Wed Apr 10, 7 PM & 8:30 PM/ Royal Room

Pianist Sullivan Fortner has made his mark as a leader, and recently, as an accompanist for vocalist Celine McLorin Salvant. Seattle jazz fans know him from his time with Roy Hargrove and their 5 day runs at Jazz Alley. Fortner is joined by his Hargrove bandmate, bassist Ameen Saleem, as well as top tier drummer Jeremy Clemons. Earshot jazz presents this great opportunity to see one of the premier pianists in jazz in the intimate confines of the Royal Room in Columbia City. https://www.earshot.org/event/sullivan-fortner-trio-late-show/

Naomi Moon Siegel Band- Thu Apr 11, 5:30 PM/ Seattle Art Museum

Trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel celebrates the release of her new album, Live at Earshot. Siegel’s work is eclectic in nature, pushing the boundaries of modern jazz music with her distinct sense of tonality, and melodic approach to improvisation. Currently residing in Montana, Siegel is a Seattle vet, and no doubt will create a great band from her many musical experiences here. https://www.earshot.org/event/art-of-jazz-naomi-moon-siegel-band/

Kate Olson Ensemble- Fri Apr 12, 9 Pm/ Vito’s & Thu Apr 18, 5PM/ Triple Door MQ

It has been a lot of fun watching Kate Olson evolve as an artist in Seattle over the past few years. In many ways, she entered the Seattle jazz scene through the side door, frequenting the Racer sessions, playing experimental dates in various configurations. All the while, listeners could hear a voice emerging from her forays into the creative abyss, and her Kate Olson Ensemble is where that voice is most clearly heard. In April we have these two dates to see the band in a casual setting.

Pianist Alex Guilbert, drummer Brad Gibson, and bassist Chris Symer provide the vehicle for her current voice to travel with. Symer, whose highly musical approach is a pleasure to witness under any set of circumstances, is a particularly intriguing pairing with the eclectic saxophonist. Both possess a melodic sense that seems to be a perfect match.http://www.kateplayssax.com/music

Jacqueline Tabor Jazz Band- Sat Apr 13, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

On the heels of her Golden Ear award as NW Jazz Vocalist of the Year, Jacqueline Tabor brings her soulful interpretation of jazz classics to Tula’s. Pianist Eric Verlinde, noted for his fine work with vocalists joins, along with bassist Osama Afifi, guitarist Cole Schuster, and drummer Max Holmberg.

Tabor recently released a new album The Lady in the Gown which will be available at the show.http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Richard Cole Quartet- Sun Apr 14, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Richard Cole always brings an eclectic edge to the proceedings, and tends to be in the acquaintance of a killer band. On this occasion he hits with bassist Chuck Deardorf, pianist Bill Anschell, and drummer Brad Boal. Cole plays mostly originals, with a nod to a few classics. There is a formidable amount of musical kinship over many years on this bandstand. The results as well should be formidable.http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Helen Sung Presents Sung With Words with guest vocalist Johnaye Kendrick- Tue & Wed Apr 16-17, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley

Pianist Helen Sung has earned her stripes in the jazz world by lending her talents to jazz luminaries such as Wayne Shorter, Regina Carter, and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Her current tour is in support of her new release Sung With Words, a work melding the worlds of music and poetry. This two day run is of local intrigue as well, with Seattle residents Michael Glynn (bass), and Johnaye Kendrick (voice) in the band. Drummer Kendrick Scott and saxophonist John Ellis lend their voices as well. Sung and Kendrick represent two emergent souls in the modern jazz universe. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=5042

Jeremy Bacon Quartet- Tue Apr 16, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Recent New York converts Jeremy Bacon and Stefan Schatz are joined here with Seattle vets Rick Mandyck and Paul Gabrielson. Schatz will be performing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in the near future. This is an interesting convergence of musical spirits, with a variety of interesting stories. Mandyck is a Seattle saxophone legend, who is back now full force after a lengthy hiatus. The Seattle scene is in a sense just getting to know both Bacon and Schatz. Gabrielson has been playing with the best players in the business for three decades and carries a pedigree of his own. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Duende Libre- Wed Apr 17, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Duende libre is an eclectic trio that enables jazz as a conduit to explore global forms. Like more traditional piano trios, the band is a three way conversation between component parts that act as equal partners. Pianist Alex Chadsey is a driving force behind the expanded concept of exploring global pathways of sound, joined exquisitely by uber bassist Farko Dosumov, and percussion wizard Jeff Busch.

The band explores an interesting choice of standards, but focuses largely on original works. Chadsey has always been a genuine jazz expressionist willing to lead a band into uncharted territory. In choosing Dosumov and Busch as bandmates, he has assured that his vision can move forward unabated. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto- Fri Apr 19, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Since his arrival in Seattle from Brazil some 25 years ago, pianist/composer/arranger Jovino Santos Neto has been electrifying audiences around Seattle, and the world. During this time, bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer Mark Ivester have been firmly in the fold, creating an innate chemistry that is unmatched in ensembles around the city. Vibraphonist Ben Thomas works as one mind with Jovino, and percussionist Jeff Busch contributes his global rhythmic conceptions via his amazing stash of instruments collected over the years from around the world. The result is superb musicianship, and ardent positivity as Jovino introduces his own brilliant compositions, as well as those of his mentor, the great Hermeto Pascoal. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

Peter Daniel Funk Jazz Quartet with Andy Coe, Joe Doria, & Xavier Lecouturier- Thu Apr 25, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Saxophonist Peter Daniel could not have chosen a better quartet to deliver his brand of funk jazz in his debut as a leader at Tula’s. Guitarist Andy Coe and Hammond B-3 organ master Joe Doria always deliver in this format, with young drummer Xavier Lecouturier adding an exciting element to the mix. Daniel is more known for his appearances as a sideman at venues like the Seamonster, but this performance gives his audience an opportunity to focus on his playing in a listening environment unencumbered by the ear-splitting conversation at other venues. This gig should help relieve Daniel of a tag that often is associated with him- underappreciated. http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

The Spring Quartet- Jack DeJohnette, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, & Leo Genovese- Fri Apr 26, 8 PM/ Moore Theatre

STG presents this all-star quartet at the historic Moore Theatre, a stage that has been presenting performing arts in Seattle since 1907. Drummer Jack DeJohnette, and saxophonist Joe Lovano have expanded the jazz tradition as much as anyone in the music today. Together with Esperanza Spalding on bass and Leo Genovese on piano, Spring Quartet concerts are a free-wheeling foray into expansive musical ideas.

All four create pathways as soloists that are molded and shaped by DeJohnette’s intuitive feel, and Genovese’s spontaneous harmonic articulation. A big plus is seeing Spalding leaving her current focus on more pop oriented vocal music, and engaging with these jazz masters purely as a bassist. Her joy is infectious, covering the tunes with a celebratory veneer. This is most certainly a can’t miss opportunity on the 2019 jazz calendar in Seattle. https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/4228/the-spring-quartet-jack-dejohnette-joe-lovano-esperanza-spalding-leo-genovese

Marc Seales Group- Sat Apr 27, 7:30 PM/ Tula’s

Marc Seales brings something new and exciting each month to his residency at Tula’s. The first call jazz pianist in Seattle since the early 80’s, Seales always delivers with sublime virtuosity. There is always a shroud of mystery around the gig, being that he doesn’t disclose the members of his band prior to performance. His choices however are always on point, whether in a more electric setting with his brother Jesse, or in duet form with the likes of Steve Rodby or Tom Collier. This writer has been attending Seales performances for over 30 years, never being disappointed, always leaving the club well inspired.http://tulas.com/generalinfo.html

2019 Ballard Jazz Festival Announces Headliners

“Not all events improve with age, but the Ballard Jazz Festival is an exception…a distinct and essential event.” -The Stranger

Origin Music Productions announces the headliners and schedule for the 17th Annual Ballard Jazz Festival, coming up May 29-June 1st. 

Ernie Watts

May 31: Returning again to the spectacular Nordic Museum for the mainstage concert on Friday, May 31st, they’ll feature a double-bill with saxophone icon ERNIE WATTS performing with NEW STORIES. In honor of the Nordic Museum, the New York-based Norwegian guitar virtuoso Lage Lund will be performing with his trio. 

June 1st: Saturday evening’s BALLARD JAZZ WALK moves it’s headquarters into The Cathedral, an exciting new venue that’s positioned right in the heart of Ballard. Featured are: DAWN CLEMENT, JOHNAYE KENDRICK, JAY THOMAS, GAIL PETTIS, XAVIER LECOUTURIER/DYLAN HAYES, OVERTON BERRY, JACQUELINE TABOR, 200 TRIO, RICK MANDYCK, NATHAN BREEDLOVE, and many more…


May 29-30: The festival opens with two themed nights at Conor Byrne Pub – Celebration of the Drum & Guitar Summit, which will feature LAGE LUND, KATHY MOORE and JOHN STOWELL. A relaxed, low-key start to the festival every year, but a quintessential Seattle jazz hang!
Tickets on sale starting April 1st- more complete information will be available at www.ballardjazzfestival.com or call 206-219-3649.