Pardon my tardiness this month, but the summer has been a whirlwind of activity! August provides an interesting palette of new music and new artists to experience. Please scroll through the selections I have highlighted, and dig ever deeper! Your support of the Seattle jazz scene is integral to its growth and sustainability. It is about community, meaning you are not just a member of an audience- you are an integral part of a scene that has graced this city for more than a century.
Monday Night Jam at the Royal Room
Mon Aug 1, 9 PM/ Royal Room
The Monday session at the Royal Rom has become a staple on the weekly jazz calendar, with the Thomas Marriott led jam attracting both young and veteran players. The session will go on hiatus after the August 1 affair, to return in September with the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble slotted at 7:30, and the jam following at 9 PM. https://theroyalroomseattle.com/calendar-2/
Tuesday Night Jam at the Owl
Tue Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30- 9:30 PM/ Owl ‘n Thistle
With a 26 year legacy, the Owl jam has seen a historic number of world class players enjoying the fellowship of the closely knit Seattle jazz scene. Some of the, shall we say, “abstract” behavior of the open session has subsided as curator Eric Verlinde, aging like a fine wine, continues to bring the tradition forward in a more traditional light. The session can be a bit too open for its own good, but THAT is part of the tradition- an evening of free expression with a wonderful sense of community!
Seattle Jazz Fellowship Wednesdays at Vermillion/ Julian Speaks
Wed Aug 3, 10, 17, 24- 5:30/7:30 PM/ Vermillion Art Bar
The Seattle Jazz Fellowship, when it all comes down to it, is where Seattle jazz fans can enjoy the best of the local jazz scene, presented in a sacred manner. The evening begins with a free event at 5:30, Julian Speaks!, a listening and discussion group featuring iconic jazz trombonist Julian Priester. Priester discusses recordings he has made with the like of Herbie Hancock, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, John Coltrane, Dave Holland, Philly Joe Jones and many more. At 7:30, two one hour sets are presented featuring the best of the Seattle jazz scene. Better yet, the hang is superb, providing community and fellowship. Here are the August offerings: https://seattlejazzfellowship.org/
D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition/ Marina Christopher
Wed Aug 3, 7:30 PM/ Vermillion
Fourth generation Seattle musician D’Vonne Lewis hits Vermillion with his Limited Edition band. This formation of the band features pianist/keyboardist Eric Verlinde, bassist Michael Glynn and saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev. Lewis’ homegrown style on drums is athletic, polyrhythmic and original. His compositional prowess creates an open canvas for his mates to create spontaneously. Bassist/vocalist Marina Christopher makes her SJF debut, band TBA.
Jovino Santos Neto Trio/ Jeremy Bacon Quartet
Wed Aug 10, 7:30 PM/ Vermillion
Brazilian pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto first arrived in Seattle as a member of Hermeto Pascoal’s band, and eventually moved to Seattle permanently, drawn in by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle has been the fortunate destination for his music, and the musical legacy of the legend, Pascoal. On this occasion he performs in classic trio with electric bassist Tim Carey and drummer Jeff Busch.
Pianist Jeremy Bacon is a New York City transplant, and his sound is a nod to that legacy. Bacon has had no problem integrating into the scene in Seattle, appearing as a sideman all over town. His quartet is featured here, with bassist Chris Symer, drummer Mark Ivester and saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev.
Xavier Lecouturier Trio/ Chris Patin
Wed Aug 17, 7:30 PM/ Vermillion
Drummer/composer Xavier Lecouturier is a whirlwind of creative activity. Elemental in the return of jazz from the throngs of the pandemic, the young artist has already released a solo record, Carrier, on the highly regarded Origin label. His collaborative effort in the band Meridian Odyssey just released its second album on Origin, Earthshine. On this occasion, the eclectic drummer forms a trio with long-time associate Dylan Hayes on piano, and Seattle first call bassist, Michael Glynn.
Drummer Chris Patin is a native Seattleite, whose sound reflects the musical culture of his home city. Band TBA.
Marina Albero Quartet/Bell Thompson Quartet
Wed Aug 24, 7:30 PM/ Vermillion
SJF presents an evening featuring two strong female artists a generation apart. Marina Albero has thrilled audiences around the city since her arrival from Barcelona in 2014. Her unique hybrid approach to music draws from her life in music, influenced by her musical family, jazz, flamenco and classical forms. Her time in Seattle has seen these elements of her sound come together as one, creating a sound and style that is distinctively hers. Her work has resulted in a three CD release, A Life Soundtrack. Albero will feature a band including drummer Xavier Lecouturier, bassist Trevor Ford and multi-reedist Hans Teuber.
Trumpeter Bell Thompson left Seattle four years ago to pursue jazz studies under Terell Stafford at Temple University in Philadelphia. This performance marks her return, a celebration of her journey. Thompson will perform with a gathering of Seattle and Portland hard hitters- pianist Dylan Hayes, bassist Stanley Ruvinov and drummer Max Holmberg.
Frank Kohl Solo
Wed Aug 3, 5 PM/ North City Bistro
Frank Kohl is one of the few artists presenting the jazz guitar tradition in Seattle with any sort of expertise. Performing in the mode of Jim Hall, Tal Farlow and Grant Green, Kohl has his own sound to fold into that grand tradition, reflecting years crisscrossing the country on the road. His veteran sensibility and foundational brilliance is tempered by a relentless openness to new sounds. Kohl will be performing solo during a jazz happy hour at the north end bistro. https://northcitybistro.com/events/
Thu Aug 11, 7:30 PM/ Cafe Nordo
Vocal artist Jacqueline Tabor completes her summer residency at Cafe Nordo, performing both in song and spoken word. The songstress will be accompanied by Marina Albero on keyboards and bassist Drew Baddely. The gig has an intimate vibe and portrays Tabor’s continuing evolution as an artist of the highest caliber. https://www.cafenordo.com/down-the-rabbit-hole-2022?gclid=Cj0KCQjwof6WBhD4ARIsAOi65ajRj30CpRACD1G4B-bD2zwHF2HXHhJvcgbG1nPq5rP6YD6WC7ZRlG8aApgOEALw_wcB
Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Thu Aug 11- Sun Aug 14, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley
Conguero Poncho Sanchez has a way of injecting groundbreaking jazz conceptions into his brand of Latin Jazz in the tradition of Santamaria, Puente and Tjader. Never one to be trapped within the limitations of any form. Sanchez returns to familiar digs at Jazz Alley. He always carries a killer band, this time featuring Joey De Leon (Timbales), Rene Camacho (Bass), Ron Blake (Trumpet), Robert Hardt (Alto and Tenor Saxophone), Francisco Torres (Trombone), Angel Rodriguez (Bongos) and Andy Langham (Piano).It does seem a bit odd to have Poncho here in summer, as opposed to his usual New Year’s Eve appearance at the Alley. Time for celebration! https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=6314
Greta Matassa Quintet
Sun Aug 14, 7PM/ Aurora Borealis
Let’s make one thing very clear–in terms of pure instrument, Greta Matassa is the premier jazz singer in Seattle–it ain’t even close. In fact, she is one of the top jazz vocal stylists on the planet, and we Seattleites are the fortunate recipients of her decision to remain in Seattle and be one of “ours.” Her range, mastery of spontaneous composition, and willingness to dive into new ideas is unfathomable and formidable. As we like to point out, she is the greatest jazz singer to come out of the Emerald City since the great Ernestine Anderson. It used to be so easy to catch her genius with her monthly residency at the now shuttered Tula’s. For this gig, she hits the north end at Aurora Borealis with her long time ensemble featuring Clipper Anderson on bass, drummer Mark Ivester, guitarist Brian Monroney and tenor saxophone giant, Alexey Nikolaev. https://borealisonaurora.com/events/
The Music Laboratory with Christian Pincock
Thu Aug 18, 7:30 PM/ Vermillion
The Music Laboratory is a testing ground for new ideas in music and art, led by valve trombonist Christian Pincock. Vermillion is the proving ground, with trumpeter Jim Knodle leading this month’s iteration of the event. The participants will be musically responding to Finnegan’s Wake, the complex and often misunderstood masterpiece of Irish writer James Joyce. A good evening to stretch out your musical sensibilities! Tightrope opens with Pincock’s “Scrambler” closing. https://www.earshot.org/event/the-music-laboratory-2/
John Pizzarelli Trio
Tue Aug 23- Wed Aug 24, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley
There are a lot of perceptions of what “straight ahead” means in relation to jazz music. This, my friends, is as straight ahead as it gets. Few perform in this manner better than Pizzarelli, who plays guitar with the prowess of Joe Pass, and possesses a generational golden vocal style. Pizzarelli is an iconic interpreter of the Great American Songbook who enjoys diving into modern classics as well. All of this is performed in what some may refer to as “old school,” or classic. Nonetheless, he is always in entertainment mode, an attribute that plays well to his Jazz Alley audience. https://www.jazzalley.com/www-home/artist.jsp?shownum=6349
Thu Aug 25- Sun Aug 28, 7:30 & 9:30 PM/ Jazz Alley
There is a deeply spiritual aspect to the music of internationally acclaimed pianist Keiko Matsui. Touring in support of her latest release, Echo. Her transcendent, haunting melodies are an open canvas for interpretation. Matsui hits JA with a band well up to the task of delivering her message. Joining her will be JP Mourão (guitar), Rico Belled (bass), Dave Karasony (drums), and Jeff Kashiwa (saxophone – Th., Fri., Sat.) and Seattle tenor saxophone giant, Alexey Nikolaev (sax – Sun.). https://www.jazzalley.com/www-
Tue Aug 30- Wed Aug 31, 7:30 PM/ Jazz Alley
Seems like only yesterday when Jane Monheit was the next big thing in vocal jazz. Now the polished veteran, Monheit returns to Jazz Alley in support of her new release, Come What May. Her vocal style has taken on a new strength in modern times, a recognizable confidence. She arrives supported by a killin’ band featuring Max Haymer (piano), Karl McComas-Reichl (bass) and Dan Schnelle (drums).