by Michael Gebhart

The sixth annual Improvised Music Project festival promises to be an incredible mix of jazz, free improvisation, and forward thinking pop music. As always, the festival pairs world class musicians with UW jazz students to create a diverse, energy-filled festival. This year, Bill Frisell, Ted Poor , and Cuong Vu will play every night of the festival. Joining them on separate nights will be Holly Palmer, (LA based singer-songwriter), Pete Rende (NYC based keyboardist), Ben Street (NYC Bassist), and the legendary drummer and composer Billy Hart.

Night one of the festival features the music of Holly Palmer. The first set will be her original songs arranged and performed by UW students accompanying Holly. Her music is soulful, providing melodies and accompaniment that reveals a meticulous attention to sound and timbre. The headlining set that night will feature Holly with Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Pete Rende, and Ted Poor.

Saturday’s show will highlight the diverse music of Pete Rende. First, he will play with UW students in what will be an exciting, yet sensitive set of music. Headlining that night will be the highly explosive, newly formed Poor/Rende/Vu trio with Bill Frisell as special guest. Their music draws inspiration from delta blues, folk, swing and hardcore free improvisation.

Sunday’s finale presents the deep connection of bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart. These musicians comprise half of the Billy Hart quartet, a group that brings together two generations of jazz innovation, tradition and emotive compositions. The night will feature three acts, the first two being students with Street and Hart separately. The night and festival culminates with a never before heard trio of Ben Street, Billy Hart and Bill Frisell. While having played together in various other projects, this will be a truly amazing peformance brought to you by jazz masters that transcend instrument and genre.

When: May 9-11, 7:30 P.M.
Where: Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, 4045 University Way NE
Tickets: $10 Public, available through Brown Paper Tickets
Free for UW students with Student ID

Seattle Jazz