Summer is upon us, and the Seattle jazz scene is ripe with activity! Here are some offerings for the month of July for jazz performances right here in the city of Seattle.
Bill Anschell “Shifting Standards” CD Release Party- Sunday July 1, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Anschell’s latest release on Origin is with his Standards Trio, featuring bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer D’Vonne Lewis. The trio has been playing Tula’s since the trio’s inception seven years ago, playing without a set list or music. The result is inventive conversational playing between three of the best players the city has to offer.
Eric Revis Quartet- Sunday July 1, 8pm/ Poncho Concert Hall
Jazz fans have come to know Revis’ woody, percussive playing from his long term association with the Branford Marsalis Quartet. His performances as a leader are equally transcendent. Joining Revis will be pianist Kris Davis, drummer Chad Taylor, and multi- reedist Ken Vandermark.
Racer Sessions- Sundays, 8pm/ Cafe Racer
The legendary Racer Sessions have returned each Sunday at Cafe Racer. A proving ground of the local avant-garde, and improvised music community, the sessions have shed light on such innovative artists as Chris Icasiano, Neil Welch, Kate Olson, Naomi Moon Siegel, and Carmen Rothwell to name but a few. A must for jazz fans looking to expand their musical horizons.
Randy Halberstadt’s Open Heart Band- Thursday July 5, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Pianist/composer Randy Halberstadt has created a large imprint on jazz culture in Seattle, as a pianist, composer, and educator at Cornish College of the Arts. Upon his recent retirement from academia, Halberstadt can now focus more on performances outside of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, where he has held down the piano chair for the better part of two decades. He leads a stellar septet in the intimate confines of Tula’s for this performance of new material due out on a new CD in October. Chuck Deardorf- bass; Adam Kessler- drums; Jay Thomas- trumpet, saxophone; David Marriott- trombone; Nicholas Biello- saxophone; Ben Thomas- vibes
Thomas Marriott Quintet- Tuesday July 10, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Thomas Marriott has established himself over the past 20 years as Seattle’s best known jazz export with an international profile. His extensive discography on Origin Records as a leader, and equally impressive history as a sideman both on record and on tour has cemented his legacy as one of the true jazz greats to emerge from Seattle’s eclectic jazz scene. His performances with his new quintet in 2018 may be the most exciting development on the scene this year. Joining Marriott will be iconic tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck, pianist Tim Kennedy, bassist Geoff Harper, and young drummer phenom, Xavier Lecouturier.
Overton Berry/ Bruce Phares Duo- Thursday July 12, 7:30pm/ Tulas’s
Pianist Overton Berry has left a musical legacy in Seattle that began on Jackson Street, and saw him become musical director for the ‘62 World’s Fair. Since that time he has developed an amazingly loyal following both on record, and live performances. Bassist Bruce Phares has been along for much of the ride over the past 40 years. The duo playing within the listening environment of Tula’s gives fans an opportunity to see a Seattle jazz legend in the most intimate fashion possible.
Lineup! Featuring Dawn Clement & Mark Taylor- Tuesday July 17, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
The collaboration between pianist Dawn Clement and saxophonist Mark Taylor has evolved into one of the most anticipated residencies at Belltown’s iconic Tula’s Jazz Club. The recent news that Clement will be leaving Seattle at summer’s end for a new gig in Denver, adds urgency to this performance. If you have not seen her perform, this may be your last opportunity for a while. The duo brings the best players in town to perform with them on this monthly residency. Always a highlight on the Seattle jazz calendar.
Gratitude Trio with Dawn Clement, Chuck Deardorf, & Matt Wilson- Wednesday July 18, 8pm/ Chapel Performance Space
Part of the Wayward Music Series, this stellar trio will play music from Clement’s recent release, Tandem, Wilson’s new release, Honey and Salt, and a new upcoming recording from Deardorf. Any way you turn here, musical brilliance prevails. Clement’s physical piano style, blended with Wilson’s unique and inventive approach on drums, and Deardorf’s rock solid contributions on bass should make for an evening of jazz music not to be missed. Clement’s eminent departure for Denver make this performance, and her appearance at Tula’s the night before, a pressing matter for her fans.
Art of Jazz: Will Bernard Trio- Thursday July 19, 5:30pm/ Seattle Art Museum
Earshot continues their Art of Jazz series at the Seattle Art Museum. Always a great opportunity to witness great jazz, and take in the marvelous exhibits at SAM, guitarist Will Bernard brings his trio in from Brooklyn for this month’s edition. Bernard is currently exploring his roots in straight ahead jazz, recording for the Posi-Tone label out of LA. He has performed in a variety of boundary stretching groups, ranging from jazz, hip-hop and world music to experimental music, with many stops in between. For this performance, the Berkeley, CA native, and Brooklyn transplant is teamed with Seattle based B-3 organ master Joe Doria, and drummer Tarik Abouzied.
Gail Pettis Quartet- Saturday July 21, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
On the cusp of releasing her third album for Origin Records, vocalist Gail Pettis performs at Tula’s with her quartet. Since bursting on the scene in 2006, Pettis has brought her understated blues tinged style to the best venues here and abroad, as well as releasing two albums, May I Come In?, and Here In The Moment. Her appearances at Tula’s tend to be her best, the intimate confines suiting well her warm style steeped in the blues and gospel influences of her youth.
Mark Seales Band- Saturday July 28, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Pianist Marc Seales is an iconic figure in the history of jazz in Seattle. Indeed, his international profile has made him a first call sideman with the likes of Ernie Watts, and a prolific leader with recording credits as a solo artist, and member of the celebrated trio, New Stories. His performances at Tula’s have been the stuff of legend now going on 25 years. Seales will welcome eclectic saxophonist Richard Cole this go around. This is a monthly gig that adds new dimensions each performance.
East Meets West featuring Jay Thomas and Yuki Hirate- Sunday July 29, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Jay Thomas has been wowing jazz audiences around the world for four decades now, showcasing his rare talents as a trumpeter, saxophonist, and practitioner of virtually any wind instrument. The Seattle native started touring Japan in the 90’s, and has made several alliances, including trumpeter Yuki Hirate. Thomas and Hirate will performs at Tula’s with saxophonist Steve Griggs, vibraphonist Susan Pascal, bassist Phil Sparks, and drummer/guitarist Milo Petersen. This promises to be a unique night on the 2018 Seattle jazz calendar.
John Pizzarelli Salutes Johnny Mercer- Thursday July 26- Sunday July 29, 7:30pm, 9:30pm/ Jazz Alley
One of the prime modern interpreters of the Great American Songbook, guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli has re-popularized many of the dynamic standards frequented historically in jazz. For these performances, he features the compositions of the great Johnny Mercer. Pizzarelli will perform in trio with pianist Conrad Paszudzki, and bassist Mike Karn.
Kassa Overall Trio with Theo Croker- Tuesday July 31, 7:30pm/ Triple Door
A graduate of Seattle’s prolific jazz scene, drummer Kassa Overall returns home to perform with his trio featuring trumpeter Theo Croker. Overall will perform his original compositions, and those of his trio. Overall incorporates hip hop, and other elements into his music, so be prepared for a foray into modern music expressed through the jazz idiom.