Volunteer for the 2018 Ballard Jazz Festival

The Ballard Jazz Festival returns to downtown Ballard May 16-19, and will feature headliner Clarence Penn & Penn Station. This year brings some added excitement as the Mainstage concert will be held in the brand new Nordic Museum on Market St. The new facility features a brand new auditorium that will double the capacity for the event. In addition, the Mainstage event takes place on Friday evening, the ever popular Jazz Walk on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Volunteerism is the glue that binds this community event together, now entering its 16th year. Participants are needed for the Mainstage Concert and the Jazz Walk. Volunteers experience the music, the people, the true sense of community that is the Seattle jazz scene. We welcome new jazz fans into the community as well, many of them young people new to the music and the experience. If you would like to volunteer, follow the link below. Previews, and feature articles about the festival will appear here in the weeks to follow.


Featured Performances March 19-25

Each weekend, we put together a selection of recommended jazz performances in Seattle, We encourage you to explore! Jazz and improvised music is best experienced live. Your support enables artists and the venues that support them to continue creating great music, and enhance the culture of our city. See you out there!

Lineup! with Dawn Clement and Mark Taylor- Tuesday March 20, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

This is a gig that should be on your calendar every third Tuesday of each month. On the heels of her new album Tandem (Origin, 2018), pianist Dawn Clement and saxophonist Mark Taylor have a working chemistry that is unique and special. They welcome the best of the Seattle jazz scene each month to the stage of Belltown’s Tula’s Jazz Club. This evening, they will welcome multi instrumentalist Hans Teuber, young bass phenom, Ben Feldman, and drummer extraordinaire, Byron Vannoy.


Fred Hersch/ Anat Cohen Duo- Tuesday March 20- Wednesday March 21, 7:30pm/ Jazz Alley

Fred Hersch is certainly one of the most influential pianists in jazz over the past decade, performing in solo, duo and trio configurations. His innovative approach to improvisation, combined with the fluidity and tonal elegance of clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, is a unique pairing not to be missed!


KNKX presents: Piano Starts Here: In Memoriam (Two generations of the avant-garde) – The Music of Geri Allen/Muhal Richard Abrams- Wednesday March 21, 7:30 pm/ Royal Room

The music world lost two giants of the piano in 2017. Muhal Richard Adams mentored trailblazing artists such as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Anthony Braxton. He is known as the grandfather of the AACM. The music of Geri Allen is wide reaching, and though pushing the boundaries of the music, steeped in the blues. Her elegant piano style was identifiably her own, her work a true inspiration to a generation of women in jazz. Featured will be Wayne Horvitz, Nelda Swiggett, Victor Noriega, and Jillian Lebeck Noriega. Hang in the lounge after for a 10pm performance of the Wayne Horvitz Trio featuring Geoff Harper.


Black Diamond with special guest Jared Hall- Thursday March 22, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Trumpeter and Spokane native Jared Hall arrived in Seattle after mentoring with ace trumpeter Brian Lynch in Miami. Hall now is in residency at Tula’s, following his fine release, Hallways (Hollistic Music Works, 2017). Hall is joined by Chicago’s Black Diamond, featuring tenor saxophonists Hunter Diamond, and Artie Black. They will be performing music from Hallways, and the new release from the tenor duo, Mandala (Shifting Paradigm, 2018).



Sarah Elizabeth Charles & Scope- Friday March 23, 8pm/ Poncho Concert Hall

Boundary pushing vocalist/composer Sarah Elizabeth Charles brings her Scope project to Poncho, presented by Earshot Jazz. This concert represents in many ways what Earshot does best- bringing to Seattle artists that push the boundaries of jazz music to its perimeter. Charles’ soulful articulation is a perfect instrument to express her contemplative lyrical approach. She speaks to the many sociological challenges we currently face with a powerful narrative, and ambient explorations. She is joined by trumpeter/co-producer Christian Scott, bassist Earl Travis II, keyboardist Jesse Elder, and drummer John Davis.


Richard Cole Quintet- Friday March 23, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Origin recording artist Richard Cole brings an all-star quintet to the bandstand at Tula’s, featuring Portland based drummer Gary Hobbs, saxophonist Pete Gallio, and two absolute icons in Seattle jazz history- pianist Marc Seales, and first call bassist, Chuck Deardorf. Cole has long been one of the true innovators of jazz in the northwest, and doesn’t get out and gig all that often. All of this firepower within the intimate confines of Tula’s should generate some serious heat!



Marc Seales Band- Saturday March 24, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Marc Seales may be the finest jazz pianist to ever grace our city in residence. Heady statement, I know, but Seales has provided us ample evidence over 30 plus years of performing in Seattle. Seales performs in different configurations each month at Tula’s, consistently providing world class performances on piano and electric keyboards. He brings the top tier of Seattle resident musicians to join him.


Erik Deutsch Band featuring Skerik, Alwyn Robinson , Greg Garrison , and special guest Victoria Reed- Sunday March 25, 10pm/ Royal Room

Need a nightcap to your weekend? New York based pianist Erik Deutsch has made his mark as a solo artist, and as a sideman with Charlie Hunter, Norah Jones, and Steven Bernstein among others. He is a full fledged member of the legendary jam-grass band, Leftover Salmon. He is joined by saxophonist Skerik, bassist Greg Garrison, drummer Alwyn Robinson, and vocalist Victoria Reed.








Preview: Spike Wilner Quartet at Tula’s

Spike Wilner has impacted the Greenwich Village jazz scene in New York city, both as a pianist and as the proprietor of two village jazz venues. Few jazz spots offer what Small’s, and Mezzrow jazz clubs do. The jazz fan experiences an intimacy at both venues that accentuates the jazz experience exponentially. There is direct participation between musicians and audience, a give and take that creates a warm and comfortable vibe.

There is a sense of jazz tradition and history, something one can hear in Wilner’s unique piano style as well. He can be just as comfortable playing stride piano as he is fronting a quartet that is steeped in post bop modernism.

This performance is a rare opportunity to experience a piece of the village scene in NewYork, as Wilner will have his NY quartet in tow, featuring mercurial hard bop trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. While he is well known for his work as a sideman with Jack McDuff, Lionel Hampton, Gary Smulyan, and Harry Connick, Jr. to mention a few, Magnarelli has released seven albums as a leader on the Criss-Cross and Posi-Tone labels.

Bassist Paul Gill, and drummer Anthony Pinciotti, two heavyweights on the New York scene, round out this world class quartet.

Tula’s, essentially the only true jazz club in Seattle, provides the intimacy that emulates many of the historic jazz venues in New York. For this performance, the room is a perfect match. In a day when many jazz clubs stray from the genre generously, Tula’s remains true to jazz in all its forms. The calendar reveals a stunning array of the top resident players in Seattle, as well as visiting players often surrounded by Seattle’s best.





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: http://wearewijo.org/

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: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/roxy-coss-standing-out-roxy-coss-by-paul-rauch.php


Featured Performances March 12-18


Darius Jones in Solo Performance- Tuesday March 13 8pm/ Chapel Performance Space

Since his arrival in New York in 2005, alto saxophonist Darius Jones has established himself as an expressive voice residing on the edge of multiple aspects of the jazz tradition. Though Jones doesn’t see himself as a “free” jazz musician along the lines of Albert Ayler, or as a traditionalist such as Johnny Hodges, he cites both as sources of inspiration. In solo performance, Jones leaves us a musical trail blazed by perceived diametric opposites that in reality, represent reflective images of the same.https://www.earshot.org/project/darius-jones-march2018/

KO Ensemble- Tuesday March 13, 5pm/ Musicquarium

Saxophonist Kate Olson performs in duo with bassist Tim Carey, performing original compositions by Olson, Tim Kennedy, Birch Pereira, and more. http://www.kateplayssax.com/ko-ensemble/

200 Trio- Thursday March 15, 9pm/ Musicquarium

Guitarist Cole Schuster, bassist Greg Feingold, and drummer Max Holmberg have a rare chemistry that began at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston. Since that time, all three have developed into top tier players on the Seattle scene. https://www.200trio.com/

Greta Matassa Sextet with special guests- Friday March 16, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Over the past 25 years, Matassa has established herself as the most important jazz vocalist to come out of Seattle since the great Ernestine Anderson. She still commands the most dynamic instrument in town, and as of late, is presenting new music, including vocal interpretations of the music of Pat Metheny. Along with her long time quartet of pianist  Darin Clendenin, uber bassist Clipper Anderson, and drummer Mark Ivester, Matassa welcomes vibraphonist Susan Pascal and saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev to the fold. http://tulas.com/index.html


Susan Pascal Quartet- Saturday March 17, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Master vibraphonist Susan Pascal has established a rapport with her long time quartet that resembles an intimate conversation among friends. Bassist Chuck Deardorf and pianist Bill Anschell are Seattle jazz icons, and drummer Mark Ivester is a versatile and finely tuned addition to the band. http://tulas.com/index.html

Electric Circus- Saturday March 17, 7pm/ Royal Room

Electric Circus remixes classic R&B, soul and rock for the with sampled grooves, improvised exploration, light projections and interpretations of 20th century psychedelia. This large ensemble features Wayne Horvitz, Ray Larsen, Beth Fleenor, Greg Sinibaldi, Geoff Harper, and many more  http://theroyalroomseattle.com/




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:




Featured Jazz Performances- March 5-11

Jazz is best experienced live! At SJS, we encourage you to support the art form, and the artists themselves by getting out to the many venues that present the music live. Each weekend, we list some featured performances for the week going forward. On the front page, we provide links to jazz venues in the Seattle area. We encourage you to explore!

Tue March 6, Wed March 7- Veronica Swift with the Benny Green Trio/ Jazz Alley

Upcoming 23 year old swing and bebop vocalist Veronica Swift is accompanied by hard bop piano master, Benny Green



Thu March 8- Sun March 11- Billy Cobham Crosswinds Project/ Jazz Alley


The absolute standard for jazz fusion drumming



Tue March 6 Tim Kennedy Trio with Jeff Johnson & Eric Eagle/ Tula’s


Pianist Tim Kennedy continues his monthly residency at Tula’s welcoming trailblazing bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer Eric Eagle. Tim has been playing extremely well, and in this case choosing his company well, with Jeff Johnson, an absolute master of the piano trio on bass. This is a can’t miss gig.



Thu March 8 Delvon Lamarr’s disORGANized/ Tula’s


Delvon dives into jazz standards with Cole Schuster on guitar, and Tacoma based drummer Alek Geyton in tow. This is a monthly residency gig that needs your support. The trio has found a groove that is very special, and very different from Lamarr’s DLO3 band.



Thu March 8 Art of Jazz: Stuart MacDonald: Trace Generations/ Seattle Art Museum


The Saxophonist/educator Stuart MacDonald hosts an inter-generational evening, pairing jazz veterans with up-and-coming talent.



Sat March 10 Thomas Marriott Quintet/ Tula’s


Trumpeter Thomas Marriott may be the most important jazz musician in Seattle right now. After 11 albums as a leader, and hundreds of live performances, Marriott has settled on a quintet to play the length of 2018. Watching this band evolve, and create their own sound has been a fascinating work in progress. The band consists of three generations of notable players, including iconic tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck. Tim Kennedy, who has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance himself, fills the piano chair. The vastly underappreciated Geoff Harper is on bass, with up and coming drummer Xavier LeCouturier on drums.



Tue Mar 6, Wed March 7  Dee Dee Bridgewater/ Triple Door


To see a historic vocalist like Bridgewater in the intimate confines of the Triple Door is a pleasure. A three time grammy winner, as well as a Tony recipient, she brings a rare blend of jazz elegance, and blues drenched tonality.



Sun Mar 11,  Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints/ Sundae & Mr. Goessl Double Album Release/ Triple Door


The Triple Door goes Prohibition style for an evening, as the city’s two finest exponents of vintage jazz team up for a double CD release. See a great show, buy a few CD’s, support our resident artists by supporting and purchasing their latest releases!


Mon March 5, Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble; Salute Sessions/ Royal Room


The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble is a 15 piece band featuring Wayne Horvitz’s compositions in a loosely constructed format which uses a combination of on-the-spot (re)arranging and various other techniques, some of which have come to be known as “conduction”.


Featuring: James Falzone, Jerome Smith, Kate Olson, Ivan Arteaga, Levi Gillis, Greg Sinibaldi, Al Keith, Sam Boshnack, Ray Larsen, David Marriott, Haley Freedlund, Ryan Burns, Geoff Harper, Eric Eagle, Christian Pincock, Wayne Horvitz and more!



Sun March 11 Racer Sessions/ rotating venues


Fans of the avante need not fear! The Racer sessions live every Sunday from 8pm- 10pm at rotating venues. As of this date, the March 11 date has not been announced. Keep up with the Racer Sessions here.



Sun Mar 11 Overton Berry- Bruce Phares Duo/ Bakes


Truly the last playing connection to Seattle’s Jackson St. days, pianist Overton Berry has developed an amazing and loyal fan base over 7 different decades. His rapport with bassist Bruce Phares is a work in progress over 35 years.