Dennis Irwin, 56, Bassist Popular in New York Jazz, Is Dead

From the New York Times:

Dennis Irwin, who for more than 30 years was a much-in-demand New York jazz bassist and whose recent illness became a rallying point for jazz musicians without medical insurance, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 56.

The cause was liver failure as a result of cancer, said his son, Michael Irwin.

He died the same day as a benefit concert was presented in his honor, staged by Jazz at Lincoln Center and including performances by Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Jon Hendricks, Mose Allison, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, and many others. Part of the concert’s proceeds will go toward Mr. Irwin’s medical expenses. The rest, in line with his stated wishes, will go to other musicians in need, through the Jazz Foundation of America, which has helped many uninsured musicians — including Mr. Irwin — pay for healthcare.

{Continue reading from The New York Times}

The Seattle Jazz has covered saxophonist and former Seattle resident Andrew D’Angelo and his battle with brain cancer. The New York Times had a story just last week centered around both D’Angelo and Irwin and the larger issue of the lack of affordable medical insurance within the music community.

Again, from The New York Times:

The health of jazz, as a topic of conversation, has long inspired a lot of hand wringing among sympathetic parties. When the focus turns toward the health of jazz musicians, the discussion assumes a different, less abstract character: solicitous and supportive. Most people who play jazz for a living are accustomed to self-reliance. When that system fails, they lean on one another.
{read the full story}

For local Seattle musicians, please make sure and check out our post earlier this week about the free heath screenings offered by MusicCares. Click here for more info.

Download a free track from Hadley Caliman’s new CD

The free download today at All About Jazz is Back For More from Hadley Caliman’s new CD, Gratitude.

Returning with his first recording as a leader in over two decades, the legendary tenor saxophonist teams up with vibist Joe Locke, drummer Joe LaBarbera, trumpeter Thomas Marriott and bassist Phil Sparks, re-establishing himself as one of the preeminent post-bop saxophonists alive. Caliman studied with Dexter Gordon, played with Gerald Wilson’s Big Band, the Bobby Bryant Band, & Mongo Santamaria in the ’50s, and later toured and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson and Santana throughout the US and Europe through the ’70s.

Click here to download the track.

Click here to buy the CD from Origin Records.

Tuesday Jazz

SEATTLE DRUM SCHOOL: Daniel Barry & Seattle Womens Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) double CD release
12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, 7:30pm


TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Emerald City Jazz Orchestra

NEW ORLEANS: Holotradband

7pm – NONet, with Mike Catts (bass), Brian Bermudez (alto sax), Mike Dodge (tenor sax), Andrew Morrill (bari sax), Corey Dansereau (trumpet), Jason Parker (flugelhorn), Andy Clausen (trombone), Mike Owcharuk (piano), and Dave Bush (drums)
9pm – “Free Jazz” Jam Session, with the Neil Welch Trio

1430 34th Ave, Seattle, 322-5453


WASABI BISTRO: Louisiana Jazz

Dr. John at Jazz Alley

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents legendary blues man Dr. John for six nights. Band members include John Fohl (guitar), David Barard (bass) and Herman Ernest III (drums). Set times Tuesday and Wednesday are at 7:30pm, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm and Sunday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6pm Tuesday and 5:30pm Wednesday – Sunday

March 11-16, 2008
Jazz Alley

2033 6th Avenue
Seattle WA 98121
phone 206.441.9729

Daniel Barry and SWOJO at The Seattle Drum School

OA2 Records presents a double-bill of music on Tuesday, March 11 at The Seattle Drum School featuring music from Daniel Barry‘s new CD, “Walk All Ways,” and The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra and their recent CD, “Meeting Of The Waters.”

Sculpting a new acoustic sound that defies categorization while voicing universal sonorities, Daniel Barry creates a fluid blend of chamber music and improvised shapes for the 21st century. “Walk All Ways” interweaves Western Classical music traditions with the sensuous rhythmic vitality of the Caribbean and South America, adding the spirit of free-blowing jazz to create a distinct, original all-encompassing world vision expressed through the pure language of sound.

SWOJO shows off their musical muscle in this set of original tracks recorded live in concert. Performing the music of Hazel Leach, Jill Townsend and their musical director, Dr. Daniel Barry, “Meeting of the Waters” exhibits the power, energy and spirit of the 7-year old group’s live performances. SWOJO’s distinctive sound blends the dynamic and the artful, the bold and the sensitive, exploring the jazz mainstream and all manner of Latin music.

12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, 7:30pm

Starting a new week

It is Monday … and here is who’s playing music tonight:

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: JAZZ JAM with the Darin Clendenin Trio

THE NEW ORLEANS: The New Orleans Quintet

LA SPIGA: Ray Baldwin


Free Heath Screening for Musicians

Saturday, March 22, 2008
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (must have a scheduled appointment)
Qliance Clinic
509 Olive Way #1607, Seattle, WA 98101

MusiCares, in partnership with Qliance, a Seattle based monthly-fee primary care clinic, presents a limited opportunity to receive a free basic health assessment. This basic health assessment includes glucose, blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol tests. Hepatitis C+ and HIV screenings will also be provided. Following the testing, a primary care specialist will meet confidentially with each participant to discuss basic health concerns, family/individual medical history and test results. Participants will receive a packet regarding Qliance information, their Health Assessment Overview Documents and supplementary materials given by the provider in relation to their health discussions. They will also receive a coupon for $30 off the registration fee should they decide to join Qliance.

IMPORTANT: For accurate results you must be fasting for 8-12 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This means no food. Water is encouraged; tea and black coffee are also ok as long as there is nothing in them. Testing can be conducted otherwise, but will not be as accurate or a reliable source of information.

Assessments will be provided free of charge to pre-screened, pre-approved music professionals, upon establishing eligibility. Appointments will be assigned in 30 minute increments, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Space is limited. RSVP today!

Contact MusiCares at 800-687-4227 (toll-free) to schedule an appointment.

Sunday Jazz

Set your clock ahead or else you’ll be an hour late for Sunday’s music.

JAZZ ALLEY: Spyro Gyra

THE TRIPLE DOOR: Sunday Night Salsa: Rhythm Syndicate

3:00 – 7:00pm: Jazz Police
8:00pm: Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra

TUTTA BELLA (Wallingford): Casey MacGill and Blue 4

SERAFINA: Jazz Brunch with the Conlin Roser/Cynthia Mullis Duo (11:00am – 1:30pm); Ann reynolds/Tobi Stone Duo(6:30 – 9:00pm)

GRAZIE: Reuel Lubag Jam Session

LA SPIGA: Marco de Carvalho

Saturday Jazz

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Kelley Johnson Quartet

BAKE’S PLACE: Greta Matassa Quartet

JAZZ ALLEY: Spyro Gyra

7pm – Passarim – cool Bossa Nova
9pm – Michael Owcharuk Trio

HENDRIX LOUNGE: John Bishop Trio

SERAFINA: Jazzukha, original world jazz


LA SPIGA: Rhythm Suite

GRAZIE: Greg Schroeder Quartet

17551 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, 7:30pm


CHAPEL PERFORMANCE SPACE: Jim Knodle & New Brass Trio w/ Michael Vlatkovich & Greg Campbell

BENAROYA HALL: Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra

Friday Jazz

Lots of stuff happening tonight …

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Thomas Marriott Tribute to Lee Morgan

JAZZ ALLEY: Spyro Gyra

BAKE’S PLACE: Doug Acosta Quartet

15600 NE Eighth St, Bellevue, 425-644-1111, 7:30pm, Free

EGAN’S BALLARD JAM HOUSE: ** updated ***
7pm – Dina Blade and Hans Brehmer plus The Willikers with Jim Knodle (trumpet)
9pm – Loose Digits

SERAFINA: Tina Richerson Trio


LA SPIGA: Rhythm Suite

GRAZIE: Dennis Hastings Quartet

LATONA PUB: Phil Sparks Trio
6432 Latona NE, 525-2238. 4:30 – 6:30pm, Free

VERTIGO LOUNGE: Michael Powers Group
989 112th SE, Bellevue, 425-467-6767

Seattle Times: “Kansas City Suite,” here we come

From Paul de Barros’ Friday Column in The Seattle Times:

Jazz has historically flourished in cities that sanctioned and profited from vice and crime.

In Kansas City, during the 1920s and ’30s, jazz flowered under the powerful boss, Mayor Tom Pendergast, nurturing such giants as Count Basie, Joe Turner and Lester Young, to name just a few. (Later, Seattle’s Jackson Street era was a similar, if less important scene.)

During this period, 30 cabarets and ballrooms flourished within walking distance of the corner of 12th and The Paseo, a grand boulevard one block from Vine, made more famous by the lyrics of the 1959 blues/rock song “Kansas City.”

continue reading …

Big Weekend at Bake’s Place

A couple of shows this weekend at Bake’s Place that singer fans won’t want to miss.

Friday, March 7 – Doug Acosta Quartet ~ with Darin Clendenin, piano; Jon Hamar, bass and Ken French, drums

Dinner at 7:00pm, Show at 8:00pm

Saturday, March 8 – Greta Matassa Quartet ~ with Darin Clendenin, piano; Larry Holloway, bass and Jose Martinez, drums

Dinner at 7:00pm, Show at 8:00pm

4135 Providence Point Dr. SE
Issaquah, WA 98029
Reservations: 425-391-3335

This Week on Jazz NW

photo by Steve Robinson

NEA Jazz Master Hank Jones and Roberta Gambarini, the singer he calls “the best I’ve heard since Ella Fitzgerald”, are featured on Jazz Northwest on Sunday March 9 at 1 pm Pacific Time on 88.5, KPLU. Their recent performance at Dimitrou’s Jazz Alley was recorded especially for Jazz Northwest. Joining Hank Jones and Roberta Gambarini in this performance are Neil Swainson on bass, and Willie Jones III on drums.

Hank Jones will celebrate his 90th birthday this year and has had many honors come his way including the highest honor in Jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award bestowed on Mr.Jones in 1989. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored him with the Jazz Living Legend Award in 2003. In a career spanning six decades he has recorded over 60 albums as a leader and participated in hundreds of others with dozens of jazz legends including Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few.

Roberta Gambarini was born in a music-loving family in Torino, Italy and began her professional singing career in Europe. She moved to the US in 1998 where her extraordinary talent was first noted by musicians she performed with including the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. The DownBeat Critics’ Poll in 2007 named her No.1 talent deserving wider recognition. She has developed a world-wide following and has appeared at most of the world’s great jazz festivals and concert halls.

Roberta Gambarini and Hank Jones first performed together at The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival a few years ago and immediately established a mutual admiration society. Their duo CD “You Are There” has recently been issued and they have been recording for a second CD with trio.

Dimitirou’s Jazz Alley is one of the world’s great jazz clubs. It provided a perfect setting for our recording, with a Steinway concert grand, great house sound and an attentive, appreciative capacity audience. This program will also be available as a podcast from after the airdate.

Listen to the Audio Preview below.

Thursday Jazz

JAZZ ALLEY: Spyro Gyra


TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Katie King Vocal Showcase

THE NEW ORLEANS: The Bob Jackson Band

7pm – Mercedes Nicole, with Beth Wulff (piano), Jim Wulff on (drums), Bernie Jacobs (saxophone) and Tim Romain (bass)
9pm – Natalie Rose

THAIKU: Jon Alberts, Jeff Johnson and Tad Britton

ASTEROID CAFE: Tim Kennedy Jam Session

Wednesday Jazz

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Randy Halberstadt Vocal Showcase

JAZZ ALLEY: Choklate


GALLERY 1412: More Zero

NEW ORLEANS: The Legend Band w/ Clarence Acox

6pm – Dan Sales Trio with Dan Sales (guitar), Steve Sanders (bass), Ray Price (drums) and special guest vocalist Karen Shivers
8pm – Vocal Jam with Carrie Wicks

THAIKU: Ron Weinstein Trio

VERTIGO LOUNGE: Gail Pettis Trio
989 112th SE, Bellevue, 425-467-6767

Tuesday Jazz


JAZZ ALLEY: Choklate

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Jay Thomas Big Band

NEW ORLEANS: Holotradband

EGAN’S BALLARD JAM HOUSE: The Tina Richerson Trio with Tina Richerson (sax), Chris Symer (bass) and Jose Martinez (drums)

1430 34th Ave, 322-5453, 6:30pm

DEXTER AND HAYES: Tim Kennedy Trio
1628 Dexter Ave N, 283-7786

Seattle Times: Branford Marsalis among stars to play Bellevue Jazz Festival

From The Seattle Times:

The Bellevue Downtown Association has announced a major new jazz festival for this spring, culminating at the Meydenbauer Center Memorial Day Weekend with saxophonist Branford Marsalis performing May 23 and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra on May 24.

The festival will stretch for nearly two months in April and May, as on the six Wednesday nights leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, local artists will perform in a variety of Bellevue locales: Jovino Santos Neto (Bellevue Arts Museum, April 9); Gail Pettis (Bellevue Arts Museum, April 16); Pearl Django (Bellevue Arts Museum, April 23); Thomas Marriott (Bellevue City Hall, April 30); Ben Thomas (Key Center, May 7); and Greta Matassa (Civica Office Commons, May 14).

Bellevue hosted a jazz festival featuring Northwest performers exclusively from 1978 to 1993.

The new festival is being booked by Bill Royston, the force behind the highly successful Portland Jazz Festival.

Tickets are not yet available but information can be found at

Monday Jazz

It is the start of a new week and here is what’s happening tonight …

SEATTLE DRUM SCHOOL: The Jim Knapp Orchestra
12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, 8:00pm

JAZZ ALLEY: Holly Cole (Pop-Jazz Singer, First US Tour in Six Years)

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Greta Matassa Vocal Jazz Jam

THE NEW ORLEANS: The New Orleans Quintet

LA SPIGA: Ray Baldwin

MEANY THEATER: UW Studio Jazz Ensemble & Modern Jazz Contingent
University of Washington Campus, Meany Theatre, 7:30

Sunday Jazz

JAZZ ALLEY: Duke Ellington Orchestra

THE TRIPLE DOOR: Sunday Night Salsa: Orquesta Caribe

3:00 – 7:00pm: Reggie Goings / Hadley Caliman Quintet
8:00pm: Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra

TUTTA BELLA (Wallingford): Casey MacGill and Blue 4

SERAFINA: Jazz Brunch with the Conlin Roser Duo (11:00am – 1:30pm); Jerry Frank, solo jazz piano (6:30 – 9:00pm)

GRAZIE: Reuel Lubag Jam Session

LA SPIGA: Marco de Carvalho

1111 Harvard Ave, Seattle, 6:00pm

CORNISH COLLEGE OF THE ARTS: Brad Gibson Senior Recital
710 E. Roy, Seattle, 2:00pm, Free

Drummer / Composer Brad Gibson presents a Senior Recital of original music

Drummer and composer Brad Gibson will present an afternoon of original works for his Senior Recital inspired by Bebop, Classical, and R & B. The concert will take place on Sunday, March 2nd at 2:00pm.

Joining Brad will be Chris Symer (bass), Ty Bailie (Hammond Organ), and fellow Cornish students, Clark Gibson (reeds), Eli Clark (trombone), and Mack Grout (piano).

Cornish College of the Arts

710 E. Roy, Seattle

Free Admission, open to all.