Branford Marsalis Quartet- Tuesday, Wednesday April 10, 11, 7:30pm/ Triple Door
The Branford Marsalis Quartet may be the best working band of the 21st century. Heady claim, I know, but the iconic saxophonist has been teamed with pianist Joey Calderazzo, and bassist Eric Revis since the 90’s, developing an intuitive chemistry unmatched in modern jazz circles. Drummer Justin Faulkner took over for Jeff “Tain” Watts in 2009, without the quartet skipping a beat. Marsalis’ resume speaks for itself, from his early beginnings with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, to the historic quintet led by brother Wynton, to 30 years of the Branford Marsalis Quartet. This will be a true highlight of the jazz year in Seattle.
The Art of Jazz: Gail Pettis- Thursday April 12, 5:30pm/ SAM
Earshot presents the Art of Jazz series at the Seattle Art Museum, this month featuring jazz vocal stylist Gail Pettis. Pettis, an Origin recording artist, possesses a cadence and style that is very identifiable and unique. Steeped in the jazz and blues tradition, this performance coupled with the opportunity to explore the exhibits at SAM is a late week opportunity to settle in and nourish one’s soul with fine art.
Stafford Hunter and Continuum- Thursday April 12, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
How often can we say that the Ellington band is in town, and a few members are dropping in at Tula’s to perform? Trombonist Stafford Hunter has made his mark playing with Orrin Evans, Lester Bowie, McCoy Tyner as well as the Ellington band, and comes to town on the heels of his new album Continuum. Grammy winning saxophonist Mark Gross joins him, backed by the Seattle rhythm section of pianist Eric Verlinde, bassist Phil Sparks, and drummer Matt Jorgensen.
Susan Pascal’s Soul Sauce- The Music of Cal Tjader- Saturday April 14, 7:30pm/ Tula’s
Vibraphone master Susan Pascal in an homage to the latin jazz works of Cal Tjader, brings her Soul Sauce band to Tula’s. The band features Seattle jazz icons Jay Thomas, and Chuck Deardorf, along with Fred Hoadley, Mark Ivester and Tom Bergersen. Pascal has an intuitive sense about Tjader’s body of work, and judging by her past forays into the music, this should be a can’t miss opportunity for latin jazz fans. The presence of Thomas, a true Seattle jazz icon is a huge plus.
Duke Ellington Orchestra- Friday April 13, 8pm; Saturday April 14, 8pm; Sunday April 15, 2pm/ Benaroya Hall
The music of the master never grows old, ranging from classic works such as Mood Indigo and Take the The legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Duke’s grandson, Paul Ellington, play Benaroya Hall as part of the Seattle Symphony Pops Series. The music of Ellington from “Take The A Train,” and “Caravan,” to his orchestral works, encapsulates the American musical experience.