from The Olympian:

The United Churches
110 11th Ave. S.E.
Olympia, 7:30pm, $15

After being signed to a major-label record deal at age 23, jazz pianist Travis Shook took some career detours.

But the winding road is leading uphill these days. This weekend, it’s brings the award-winning musician back to his boyhood home in Olympia.

His concert Saturday – with drummer Matt Jorgensen and bassist Phil Sparks, both of Seattle – is his first time playing here in seven years.

A California native who moved to Olympia at age 10, Shook played piano from the time he was 5, but it was at Olympia High School that he was first exposed to jazz.

“I joined the jazz band at the age of 16,” said Shook, whose mother, Belva Shook, still lives in Olympia. “I’d always taken classical lessons but did not really want to become a classical musician.

“When I started playing jazz, I said, ‘Oh, well, this is actually perfect.’ I pulled out a Duke Ellington album we had at home. I’d never heard it; it was still in the plastic.

“There was no question about what I wanted to do after that.”

What captured his attention was the energy of jazz.

“Jazz is composing on the spur of the moment,” Shook said. “There’s something magical that happens. Say there are four of us playing at once; we’re all listening to what the others are playing but we’re all saying what we want to say at the same time.

Continue reading at The Olympian.

Seattle Jazz