Bellevue Jazz Festival returns this weekend

Driving through downtown Bellevue, it is easy to tell that it is a city in transition. “Out With The Old, In With The New,” seems to be the city’s new motto with new hotels, restaurants and towers sprouting up throughout the downtown core. But when rumors of the return the Bellevue Jazz Festival, which has been on a 15-year hiatus, began to circulate, it was obvious that the city of Bellevue is looking to preserve its past while moving forward.

“Bellevue is growing and maturing as a destination and we are asking ourselves how to make Bellevue memorable, [how] to be a cultural leader for the Eastside.” said Leslie Lloyd, president of the Bellevue Downtown Association and organizer of Bellevue Jazz Festival. “We have to do events like a jazz festival to broaden the horizons of our city.”

The new Bellevue Jazz Festival debuts this weekend with two spectacular headliners. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis performs with his quartet at The Meydenbauer Center on Friday, May 23rd. The following night, (Saturday, May 24th), Meydenbauer will be transformed into a dance hall for a performance by The Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Free dance lessons will be given prior to the performance so there is no excuse to not get yourself out on the dance floor.

In addition, there are plenty of free shows throughout the weekend featuring many familiar northwest artists. “We’ve got a real festival already. There are 22 free shows in 9 venues, all within walking distance of each other,” says Lloyd.

Music on Friday starts right after work at 4:30pm and runs up to the Marsalis show. On Saturday, the music kicks off at Noon and runs all day at various venues.

Both Friday and Saturday conclude with the Origin Records Jam Session, which will feature the trio of Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson and John Bishop backing up various musicians and giving jazz fans a late-night hang to cap off their evenings.

This will be a great weekend of music for both the city of Bellevue and the entire Northwest jazz scene.

More information:
Belluevue Jazz Festival website
Buy Tickets
Complete Schedule

Complete Bellevue Jazz Festival Schedule

4:30pm – Randy Halberstadt Trio (Hyatt Regency Bellevue Wintergarden)
4:30pm – Janette West Group (Lucky Strike Lanes)
5:00pm – Dave Peterson Trio (Cypress Lounge at The Westin Bellevue)
6:00pm – Darren Motamedy (Vertigo Lounge & Grill)
8:00pm – Branford Marsalis Quartet – Headline Concert (Meydenbauer Center)
9:30pm – Origin Records Jam Session (Twisted Cork Wine Bar)

10:45am – Langley Middle School Jazz Band (Bellevue Arts Museum)
Noon – Murl Allen Sanders (Lincoln Square Steinway)
Noon – Mt. Si High School Jazz Band (Bellevue Arts Museum)
1:15pm – Newport High School Jazz Band (Bellevue Arts Museum)
1:30pm – Karin Kajita (Lincoln Square Steinway)
2:30pm – Mycle Wastman (The Parlor Billiards & Spirits)
3:00pm – Overton Berry (Lincoln Square Steinway)
4:30pm – Victor Janusz (Lincoln Square Steinway)
5:00pm – Gail Pettis (Vertigo Lounge & Grill)
5:00pm – Jose Gonzales Trio (Cypress Lounge at The Westin Bellevue)
6:00pm – Seattle Repertory Jazz Quartet (Hyatt Regency Bellevue Wintergarden)
7:00pm – Greta Matassa (Vertigo Lounge & Grill)
9:00pm – Spanish Harlem Orchestra – Headline Concert (Meydenbauer Center)
10:00pm – R. Curtis & Soul Stay Shun (Twisted Cork Wine Bar)
9:30pm – Origin Records Jam Session (Rock Bottom Brewery)

Jazz on a Steamboat!

A Summer Solstice Cruise on the steamship Virginia V with live jazz at sunset and a moonlit return is set for June 21.

We’re cruisin’ on the steamship Virginia V again, an early evening Summer Solstice cruise on Lake Union and Lake Washington at sunset and returning under a full moon. Live jazz by the Clarence Acox Quintet, light hors d’oeuvres and deserts included, cash bar, Saturday night June 21, 8-11 pm.

Co-presented by Earshot Jazz, Jazz After Hours and the Virginia V Foundation. Don’t miss this great night of jazz on the water aboard an historic steamship! For more information, see or call 206-624-9119.
$49 singles, $90 couples – Reservations are required.

Monday Jazz

with Bill Mays on piano and Chuck Deardorf on bass

2033 6th Avenue, Seattle WA 98121
Reservations: 206.441.9729

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Vocal Jam with Kelley Johnson

NEW ORLEANS: The New Orleans Quintet

LA SPIGA: Darliene & Ryan

Sunday Jazz

THE NEW ORLEANS: ESB Trio CD Release Party

JAZZ ALLEY: Bobby Hutcherson Quartet with Special Guest Nicholas Payton


3:00pm: Garfield HS
4:00pm: Jay Thomas Big Band
8:00pm: Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra


TUTTA BELLA WALLINGFORD: Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio

11am – 1:30pm: Jazz Brunch with the Conlin Roser Duo
6:30 – 9:00pm: Ann Reynolds and Tobi Stone, piano-sax duo

Noon: Pocket Change

SURESHOT COFFEEHOUSE: Jack Gold-Molina Electric Trio
4505 University Way NE, 2:00pm

Saturday Jazz

BAKE’S PLACE: Ben Thomas and Tangabrazo

JAZZ ALLEY: Bobby Hutcherson Quartet with Special Guest Nicholas Payton

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Greta Matassa Quartet

7pm – Wright/Grasso Quartet CD release party, featuring Rik Wright (guitar), Tony Grasso (trumpet), Ev Stern (bass) and Jeremy Jones (drums)
9pm – Paul Harding and the JuJu Detective Agency. with Bill Monto (tenor/alto sax, bass clarinet, Scott Linford (electric bass/vocals), Mark Walford (drums/percussion/vocals), Paul Harding (spoken music/small percussion)
11pm – Special O.P.S. – “Death-jazz” from the Monktail Creative Music Concern

FREMONT ABBEY: Charlie Peacock
Pianist and songwriter from Nashville, TN, 43rd & Fremont, 8:00pm

SERAFINA: Leo Raymundo Quartet with Sue Nixon

HENDRIX LOUNGE: Chris Fagen Group

GRAZIE: Lee Pence

This Week on Jazz Northwest

The Kendra Shank Quartet was in Seattle to play the Art of Jazz Series at The Seattle Art Museum this month. Highlights from the concert will air on Jazz Northwest Sunday May 18 at 1 PM PDT, 4 PM EDT on KPLU 88.5 in Western Washington. The program also streams to an international audience via .

Kendra was born in California, played guitar and sang folk music in Paris and Seattle and migrated to jazz in Seattle where she attended the UW and became part of the Seattle jazz scene. A New York resident for the past ten years, she’s a regular presence on the NY club scene with her regular band including pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson (another former Seattleite) and drummer Tony Moreno. More than a singer with a back-up group, the Kendra Shank Quartet is an ensemble whose members share solo and supporting roles, and share the risk when the music takes them to the edge of free improvisation.

Jazz Northwest is produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for KPLU each Sunday afternoon at 1. It is also available as a podcast at after the airdate.

(Click the soundclip below to preview this episode)

Friday Jazz

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Doug Miller CD Release Party
2214 2nd Ave, Seattle, 8:30pm
Reservations: 206-443-4221

JAZZ ALLEY: Bobby Hutcherson Quartet with Special Guest Nicholas Payton

JAZZ AND SUSHI: Kistler-Ranney Quartet
Hiroshi’s, 2501 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, (206)726-4966

7pm – Meklit Hadero, Helen Chance and Christina Orbe – Three great singers with indie blues roots! ($7 cover)
9pm – Trio Concept, with Neil Welch (saxophones), Luke Berman (bass) and Chris Icasiano (drums)
11pm – Marlee Walker’s Blues Jam, with Alice Stuart

SERAFINA: Kiko de Freitas, Brazilian duo

GRAZIE: Trish, Hans and Phil

Seattle Noise: Kelly Harland

Vocalist Kelly Harland is featured this week in Seattle PI Music Critic Gene Stout’s column, Seattle Noise.

SOUND: Harland, a master of many vocal styles, has a warm yet sensuous sound. She is a seasoned interpreter of standards who has performed with a number of jazz artists, among them Don Lanphere and James Williams.

RELEASES: Past albums include “Twelve Times Romance” and “American Songs.” Her latest is “Long Ago and Far Away: Kelly Harland Sings Jerome Kern,” produced by Deardorf and featuring pianist and arranger Bill Mays.


NEXT SHOW: Harland celebrates the release of “Long Ago and Far Away” with a show Monday night at 7:30 (doors open at 6) at Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave. Accompanying her are Mays on piano and Deardorf on bass. Tickets: $20.50. Reservations: 206-441-9729 or

Read the entire article at The Seattle

Region’s jazz legacy in spotlight again at Essentially Ellington

From Paul de Barros in today’s Seattle Times:

Chris Harshman and his brother, Paul, have always been “friendly competitors,” says Chris.

When they were in high school in the late 1970s, they both played in jazz band, both ran track and marched side by side in an out-of-school marching band. In college, they flourished in the jazz band, roomed together and ran on the same cross-country team.

Just one year apart — Paul is 47; Chris, 46 — they had some sibling rivalry, but were careful not to get in each other’s way, playing different instruments (Paul, trumpet; Chris, reeds) and rarely competing in the same sporting events.

“It has never been me versus him,” insists Paul Harshman.

Not until this week, that is.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times

Doug Miller CD Release Party this Friday

Bassist Doug Miller will celebrate the release of his new CD, Regeneration (Origin), with a performance at Tula’s Jazz Club on Friday, May 16 at 8:30pm


2214 2nd Ave
Reservations: 206-443-4221

Doug Miller – bass
Jay Thomas – trumpet/saxophone
Dave Peterson – guitar
Phil Parisot – drums

For more information about Doug’s new CD, visit Origin Records.

Thursday Jazz


JAZZ ALLEY: Bobby Hutcherson Quartet with Special Guest Nicholas Payton

NEW ORLEANS: The Ham Carson Quintet

7pm – Penelope Donado, with Victor Noriega (piano) and Chuck Kistler (bass)
9pm – Lilly, with Mark Lilly, Nelda Swigget and Denny Stern. A combination of jazz standards mixed with Afro-Cuban Folkloric music adapted to jazz.

THAIKU: Jon Alberts, Jeff Johnson, Tad Britton

LO-FI: The Hang with Evan Flory-Barnes

989 112th SE, Bellevue, 425-467-6767

MAY: Hans Teuber, Geoff Harper, Byron Vannoy
1612 N 45th St, Seattle, 10:30, no cover

ASTEROID CAFE: Tim Kennedy Jam Session
601 Fremont Ave N, 547-9000

Review: Hadley Caliman at Ballard Jazz Festival

Review by Bill Barton

Ballard Jazz Festival, Nordic Heritage Museum, Friday, April 25, 2008

Hadley Caliman Quintet:
Hadley Caliman – tenor saxophone
Thomas Marriott – trumpet & flügelhorn
Dawn Clement – piano
Phil Sparks – bass
D’Vonne Lewis – drums

The quintet’s set began with Caliman’s composition “Kickin’ on the Inside” from the recent Origin CD Gratitude. His intro mentioned that pianist Clement could probably relate to the title, as she is pregnant. “Kickin’…” is a jaunty, mid-tempo tune and served as an excellent warm-up for things to come. At times Caliman’s beautiful tenor timbre was reminiscent of middle-period Coltrane, but he plumbs the depths of the horn’s range more than Trane did. Marriott’s bright-toned trumpet solo was an energetic post-bop romp; he had Hubcaps on his wheels here. Clement’s piano solo was subtle and imaginative. She has a distinctive style and sound all her own. Both as a soloist and as an accompanist she’s a spare, concise player. What she doesn’t play is fully as important as what she does play. Although there aren’t really that many direct connections in terms of sound or touch, she is closer to Red Garland or Mal Waldron (and perhaps Bill Evans) than to the more loquacious pianists who have taken the approaches of McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and/or Keith Jarrett as their guideposts. She is in the sunlight whereas Waldron was in the shade, but there is a similar sense of elegant yet earthy economy in her playing. Phil Sparks also took a very smooth, rhythmically charged bass solo. Read More

Audio from Jay Thomas Sextet

The Jay Thomas Sextet performed at The Eastside Jazz Club last Tuesday night to a great crowd. The group featured Jay Thomas on tenor saxophone, Mark Taylor on alto saxophone, John Hansen on piano, Phil Sparks on bass and Matt Jorgensen on drums. To round out the sextet Jay brought in trumpet whiz kid, Zubin Hensler.

Click below to download/listen to a couple of tracks.

Wednesday Jazz

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Hal Sherman & the BCC Jazz Orchestra

THAIKU: Ron Weinstein Trio

JAZZ ALLEY: Bucky Pizzarelli Trio

NECTAR: Earshot Jazz Presents: Ben Allison and Man Size Safe
412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA, 8:30pm

NEW ORLEANS: Legend Band with Clarence Acox

6pm – Oghale and Marti MacEwan
8pm – Vocal jazz jam session with Carrie Wicks and the Bruce Barnard Trio

Civica Office Commons, 205 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, 5:00pm

WHISKEY BAR: Ronnie Pierce

GALLERY 1412: Jim DeJoie Group, More Zero featuring Chris Stover


Monday: Kelly Harland at Jazz Alley **corrected

Jazz Alley Presents:
Kelly Harland featuring Bill Mays and Chuck Deardorf

May 19, 2008

2033 6th Avenue
Seattle WA 98121
Reservations: 206.441.9729

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents vocalist Kelly Harland for one night only, celebrating the release of her latest CD Long Ago and Far Away: Kelly Harland Sings Jerome Kern. Band members are Bill Mays (piano) and Chuck Deardorf (bass). Set time on Monday is 7:30pm, doors open at 6:00pm.

With the release of her new CD Long Ago and Far Away: Kelly Harland Sings Jerome Kern, Origin recording artist Kelly Harland teams up with renowned pianist Bill Mays and bassist Chuck Deardorf to celebrate one of the great composers of the American Songbook. From “All the Things You Are” to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, Kelly and her stellar band bring a gorgeous new sound to the great vintage melodies of Kern.

As one of the top studio and background vocalists in Seattle for many years, Kelly made a name for herself in the Northwest playing behind such acts as Ray Charles and Etta James. She toured with various bands and became a seasoned studio singer, contributing to many national albums and singing on hundreds of commercials, as well as recording her own material for major labels Epic and A&M. Kelly then embarked on a solo career of interpreting standards, performing live and in the studio with jazz luminaries James Williams, Don Lanphere, and others. Her two previous CDs, produced by Chuck Deardorf, have garnered airplay and glowing reviews around the world.

Tuesday Jazz

Sherman and Clay, 1000 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, Wa. 98004
7:30pm, (425) 454-0633

JAZZ ALLEY: Bucky Pizzarelli Trio

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Emerald City Jazz Orchestra

NEW ORLEANS: Holotradband

7pm – Nate Omdal Nonet, with Jacob Stickney (alto sax), Mike Dodge (tenor sax), Andrew Morrill (bari sax), Corey Dansereau (trumpet), Jason Parker (flugelhorn), Andy Clausen (trombone), Mike Owcharuk (piano), Jim Parsons (drums), and Nate Omdal (arranger/bass)
9pm – Free Jazz Jam Session hosted by the Trio Concept, with Chris Icasiano (drums), Luke Bergman (bass), and Neil Welch (saxophones)

DEXTER AND HAYES: Tim Kennedy Trio

OWL ‘N THISTLE: Jam Session

Earshot Presents: Ben Allison at Nectar

Wednesday, May 14
Ben Allison and Man Size Safe

Ben Allison, bass
Steve Cardenas, guitar
Ron Horton, trumpet
Michael Blake, saxophones
Michael Sarin, drums

412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA
Doors at 8:00; Show at 8:30.

Man Size Safe, Ben’s latest group, pushes the boundaries once again — this time with a cinematic, rock-meets-Americana sound. The band mixes joyous exuberance and good-humored irreverence with textured grooves and an occasional political jab.

Monday Jazz

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Jazz Jam with the Darin Clendenin Trio

THE NEW ORLEANS: The New Orleans Quintet

LA SPIGA: Ray Baldwin