From Doug Ramsey’s preview for The Yakima Herald
A weeklong festival of this quality would make a splash in any major city, including New York and Los Angeles. The Seasons has managed to put it together in a high-desert town of 85,000 people in the upper left corner of the nation.
Eric Alexander Quartet
Alexander is a tenor saxophonist with facility, a generous tone and a commitment to swinging. He grew up In Olympia, went to college in the Midwest and East, established himself in Chicago and has lived in New York since 1991. He travels the world and has recorded a couple of dozen CDs.
His work is informed by John Coltrane and Joe Henderson, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the tradition that stems from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and other innovators who changed jazz in the 40s and 50s. Alexander just turned 40, but he still qualifies as one of the leading young lions in jazz. His pianist and bassist are New Yorkers David Hazeltine and John Webber. Seattle’s Matt Jorgensen will substitute for Alexander’s regular drummer, Joe Farnsworth.
Friday, Oct. 10. Wine-Tasting Gala and Red Carpet at 6:30 p.m.; concert at 7:30 p.m.
Yakima Symphony Orchestra
At the Capitol Theatre, the YSO and the Finisterra Piano Trio will perform Daron Hagen’s Triple Concerto, “Orpheus and Eurydice.” I haven’t heard the piece, but Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein has. From his review: Hagen’s “Triple Concerto is music that’s easy to apate at first hearing, but not because its tonal grammar talks down to the listener. Like his teacher Ned Rorem (to whose elegant craftsmanship Hagen’s music owes a clear debt), the latter reimagines traditional melodic and harmonic contexts in all sorts of fresh, charming and even surprising ways.” Mendelssohn, Bizet and two works by new young composers are also on the program.
Saturday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre.
Daron Hagen’s ‘Cradle Song, A Love Story’
The composer will be present for the world premiere of his chamber opera in one scene. Soprano Gilda Lyons and tenor Robert Frankenberry star. One of the highlights of last year’s festival was the world premiere of Hagen’s “Piano Trio No. 4, Angel Band,” by The Seasons’ resident chamber group, the Finisterra Trio. Finisterra’s members — violinist Kwan Bin Park, cellist Kevin Krentz and pianist Tanya Stambuck — are integral to this new Hagen work.
Sunday, Oct. 12, 4 p.m.
Bill Mays Trio
The Mays group gave The Seasons its inauert exactly three years ago this night. One of the most versatile and sought-after pianists in jazz, Mays is noted for his harmonic depth, hard swing, humor and engaging manner with an audience.
Martin Wind is a classically-trained German who has become a master of jazz bass. Admired among other bassists for his formidable bowing technique, Wind will be appearing at his third Fall Festival with this trio. Mays’ customary drummer, Matt Wilson, has another commitment. The versatile Matt Jorgenson will occupy the drum chair.
Monday, Oct. 13. Doors open and birthday cake at 6 p.m.; concert at 7 p.m.