Lineup! with Dawn Clement & Mark Taylor- Tuesday April 17, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Dawn Clement and Mark Taylor collaborate each month at Tula’s, bringing a cross section of the Seattle jazz scene with them. Clement is receiving well deserved recognition for her recent Origin release, Tandem, and was recently featured in Downbeat. Blending a physical piano style, and a pitch perfect vocal style that is both lyrical and melodic, Clement has been a force on the Seattle scene for some time now. She is currently touring with Jane Ira Bloom, and teaches at Cornish College of the Arts.

Mark Taylor has been deeply involved in providing mentorship for the prodigious wave of great young musicians emanating from the high school band culture in Seattle that has gained national prominence. He has released two albums as a leader, and appreared on dozens of others as a sideman. Taylor is truly one of the titans of jazz saxophone in Seattle jazz history, beside Don Lanphere, Jabo Ward, Rick Mandyck, and Hans Teuber.

This month, they are joined by two gems in local jazz history in Seattle. Bassist Chuck Deardorf has been a first call bassist in this town going back to Jazz Alley in the U District. His impact begins with the plethora of touring stars he accompanied through the years, and extends to mentoring young musicians through his association with Cornish College of the Arts. Multi-reedist Hans Teuber has forged an innovative approach to improvisation on a variety of instruments, most prominently on tenor and alto saxophone. His presence on the scene for thirty years in Seattle has firmly established a musical identity that transcends genre, and is distinguished by its elegance. Young drummer Xavier Lecouturier has fast been gaining recognition as the drummer with the Thomas Marriott Quintet, and at 20 years old is a rising star on the scene. He will be appearing at the Ballard Jazz Festival during the annual “Celebration of the Drum” concert. Here, he helps create a cross generational ensemble, that in itself illustrates the passage of time in jazz culture.


Roberto Fonseca- Monday April 16, Tuesday April 17, 7:30pm/ Jazz Alley

Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca comes from a rich tradition of Cuban forms that has manifested in his appearances with Buena Vista Social Club, and in performance with classic Cuban singers, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Omara Portuondo.

In 2009 Fonseca brought together Cuban and African musicians for his highly praised  recording and GRAMMY nominated Yo (in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album), a mix of acoustic and electric sounds the Times called “by turns folkloric and turbocharged.”

Fonseca comes to Jazz Alley with his trio featuring  Michel Castellanos on drums and Yandy Martínez on bass. The music comes with an ardent physicality, and pulsating Cuban rhythms.


Lionel Loueke Trio- Thursday April 19, 7& 9:30pm/Royal Room

Loueke’s music reflects his musical and life journey from West Africa to Europe and the Americas, personifying in many ways the globalization that jazz music has experienced for some 70 years now. While he may be described as adaptable, or versatile, those terms do not serve his prodigious talent accurately. Whether playing with Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Charlie Haden, or with his own trio, Loueke has an identifiable style only a journey such as his can claim. This gig is a great opportunity to see him in an intimate setting, and support a great jazz non-profit .


Greta Matassa Quintet with Alexey Nikolaev- Friday April 20, 7:30pm/ Tula’s

Greta Matassa is the most important jazz singer in Seattle since the days of the great Ernestine Anderson, and is as talented as any jazz vocalist, anytime, anywhere. She has consistently performed at a high level for decades, and has graced the stage at Tula’s Jazz Club before it was Tula’s! Matassa has taken on a lot of new material in recent times, including her brilliant arranging of the music of Pat Metheny. Bassist Clipper Anderson, pianist Darin Clendenin, and drummer Mark Ivester have been her musical collaborators for some time now, with saxophone ace Alexey Nikolaev a welcome more recent addition. Matassa’s approach is that of an instrumentalist, whether she is handling lyrics like nobody else, or improvising in scat form. Her gig at Tula’s is a Seattle classic and not to be missed.


Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra presents Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” – Saturday April 21, 7:30pm /Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall

Duke loved Shakespeare, and composed “Such Sweet Thunder Suite” as his homage to the Bard. Each movement will include local thespians, evoking favorite characters, quotes, and selections from the sonnets that inspired Ellington’s work. SRJO, and especially Clarence Acox, has always had a healthy attachment to the Ellington legacy, this being no exception.

With the Ellington Band in town last week at Benaroya, and now this inspired presentation, local jazz fans have had an opportunity to dive deeply into the Ellington legacy. Performances also in Kirkland on April 22 at 2pm, and in Edmonds April 23 at 7:30pm


Seattle Jazz