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


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.

This Thursday: Kendra Shank at SAM

Earshot Jazz presents former Seattle, now New York resident, Kendra Shank and her New York Quartet at the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, May 8th at 5:30pm.

Seattle Art Museum Downtown
1300 First Avenue, Seattle
Free with museum admission.

The following is a review from a recent performance at Flushing Town Hall.

Queens, New York, April 4, 2008

By Andrew Freund

Welcome to Flushing Town Hall, a surprising two-story Victorian structure dating to the mid-19th Century, well before a few separate regions coalesced into one mammoth New York City. We are in famously heterogeneous, residential northern Queens, and the institution is an anomaly in a neighborhood typified by sometimes perplexingly foreign businesses and store signs in various Asian scripts. An open-minded, savvy administration turned the hall into a notable arts center fifteen years ago, drawing significant stars and companies from the worlds of classical, jazz, and international music to an old-fashioned chamber setting far from Manhattan, along the way creating its very own devoted audience.

Tonight, the first floor L-shaped performance space (this place was originally designed for politics, not music) finds Kendra Shank and her musical companions of just under a decade — pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson and traps and hand drummer Tony Moreno – in its fulcrum, warmly essaying the knowing, love-saturated vibe of Cole Porter’s All of You. Those of us in a different kind of know are immediately reminded of Kendra’s many musical virtues, her lovely natural instrument (if she were a wine, she would be a merlot), her gracious sense of proportion (no rough edges here), her combination of innate musicality and lightly expressed wisdom. In a word, Kendra is an adult.

Kendra’s latest CD, A Spirit Free, is an homage to the compositions of her friend and mentor, the resplendent vocalist Abbey Lincoln, and tonight’s next song is Abbey’s most performed work, the philosophical Throw it Away (self-help really, redeemed by unforgettable lyrics and music). Kendra has recorded this modern standard on her last two recordings, in very different versions, and here is another variation — again opening with Kendra’s Incantation in the imaginary, African-sounding language she has been developing in recent years, before featuring Tony Moreno playing his drum kit with his hands. The Town Hall audience does not seem to be a jazz crowd (more a membership grouping, maybe), and I suspect most have never heard the song. Yet I am also certain that given Kendra’s nonpareil communicative ability, they have caught every nuance of Lincoln’s boldly idiosyncratic exhortation. Read More

Andrew D’Angelo Benefit Tonight

Tuesday, April 29, 7:30 pm
Benefit for Andrew D’Angelo

Performing: Cuong Vu’s University of Washington student ensemble and the award-winning Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

Roosevelt High School Auditorium
1410 NE 66th Street, Seattle

$10 general, $5 students
Tickets available at Earshot Jazz at (206) 547-6763 and online

All proceeds benefit Andrew D’Angelo

Here’s your opportunity to help out a Seattle native son of jazz who is in dire medical straits.

Raised in our town, and educated at Roosevelt High, Andrew D’Angelo is experiencing a health crisis after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. On January 25, the saxophonist and composer suffered a major seizure in Brooklyn, New York, where he lives. Tests revealed a large tumor in his brain. After surgeons removed most of the tumor, they determined that the growth was cancerous. He faces a long and difficult battle over the next several years if he is to regain his health.

At this writing, it is unclear what form his treatment will take. Andrew has been frankly discussing his experiences on his website,, and his entries there suggest that the most likely options are radiation and chemotherapy, with or without further surgery.

He speaks on the blog of the difficulties he faces in affording the extensive treatment he has already undergone, and the additional treatments he will need. One aspect of his struggle will strike many jazz musicians, and working musicians of any kind, as sadly and chillingly familiar: Andrew has no health insurance. And already he has amassed huge medical bills. Read More

Wayne Horvitz Premier In May

The Heartsong of Charging Elk: A workshop performance for 4 voices and 10 chamber instruments

Music by Wayne Horvitz
Libretto by Rinde Eckert
Additional Text by Robin Holcomb
Based on the novel by James Welch in collaboration with Sherman Alexie

Saturday, May 31st 2008 / 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space

The Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Avenue North
Seattle, WA

Composer Wayne Horvitz and renowned writer/director Rinde Eckert, along with composer/songwriter Robin Holcomb, have collaborated to adapt The Heartsong of Charging Elk into an oratorio for 4 voices and 10 chamber instruments. A workshop performance of the piece will premiere on May 31st at the Chapel Performance Space.

Mr. Horvitz describes the genesis of the piece:

I originally found out about James Welch’s novel from Sherman Alexie, and Sherman and I made plans to work together on the adaptation. Unfortunately by the time I was ready to start writing, Sherman was in the middle of two book tours, so we decided to proceed with Rinde writing most of the text for the workshop, and Sherman acting as a creative consultant for the project. This performance will essentially be the template for a full evening length work that I hope to complete with all the contributing collaborators by 2010. It will then be fully staged, with sets, lights and so forth.

This collaboration was made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture, with additional support from Earshot Jazz.

Saturday Jazz

Lee Konitz with the Hal Galper Trio, w/ Hal Galper (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), John Bishop (drums)
Sam Yahel Trio, w/ Sam Yahel (organ), Mark Taylor (sax), Matt Jorgensen (drums)
Nordic Heritage Museum, 7:30pm. For complete line-up, ticket and venue information, visit

…and there’s even more great music happening tonight:

EARSHOT JAZZ: Ullman/Swell 4
Gebhard Ullman (sax, flute, bass clarinet), Steve Swell (trombone), Hill Greene (bass), Barry Atschul (drums). Seattle Asian Art Museum 8pm.

JAZZ ALLEY: Billy Cobham


TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Adrienne Wilson Quartet

7pm – Nick Allison Trio featuring Katie Walker
9pm – Susan Carr Ensemble 

BAKE’S PLACE: Greta Matassa and Trish Hatley

TUTTA BELLA: Marco deCarvalho


GRAZIE: Michael Powers Group

Seattle Times: It’s a clash of the jazz titans

From The Seattle Times:

The Ballard Jazz Festival climaxes Saturday with a main-stage concert featuring alto saxophone icon Lee Konitz. (See sidebar on page 5 for schedule.)

Unfortunately, Earshot is presenting the equally compelling reed man Gebhard Ullmann in a quartet with trombonist Steve Swell the same night, at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

If you haven’t had a chance to hear Konitz in concert, then he’s the obvious choice. But if you have, and your tastes run to the wild and woolly, I highly recommend Ullmann.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times.

Tom Varner Tentet Concert on KPLU

Excerpts from the world premiere of “Heaven and Hell” for tentet composed by Tom Varner will air on Jazz Northwest Sunday April 20 at 1 pm PDT on 88.5, KPLU and Recorded at this month’s Art of Jazz Concert at the Seattle Art Museum, the 13-part work was conducted by Mr.Varner who also played French Horn.

According to the composer, the “heaven” is being in the moment with his family here in Seattle, the “hell” is our planet’s last 6 1/2 years, and the piece is a reflection on that juxtaposition. He says it’s also a look back at the “extreme emotional state juxtaposition” of being New Yorkers on 9/11/01 while preparing to go to Hanoi in nine days to adopt their son Jack. He concludes, “In the end, it all worked out … we adopted our daughter Hope in ’04, moved to Seattle in ’05, and here we are, a Seattle family now.”

Musically, “Heaven and Hell” reflects his “love of Messiaen, Stravinsky, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus. It evolved into a wind octet plus bass and drums – a chamber group that can breathe together, improvise and play jazz and new music.”

The Art of Jazz Concerts are presented by Earshot Jazz, The Seattle Art Museum and KPLU on the second Thursday of each month. Next month’s concert on May 8 will continue the Seattle/New York connection and feature former Seattle singer Kendra Shank’s New York Quartet featuring pianist Frank Kimbrough. The broadcasts are recorded and produced by Jim Wilke for KPLU. The program is also streamed to the internet and available as a podcast after the airdate from .

Listen to the audio preview below …

Up-coming April 15: Earshot Jazz Open Board Meeting and Public Forum

Tuesday, April 15, 5-7pm
Earshot Jazz Open Board Meeting and Public Forum

Free and open to the public
Tula’s Nightclub and Restaurant, 2214 2nd Avenue (Belltown), Seattle

Earshot Jazz Open Board Meeting and Community Forum gives the opportunity for the public to present questions, ideas, and suggestions to members of the Earshot Jazz Board of Directors. Everyone is invited and encourage to bring their questions, ideas, and suggestions for the organization. There will be a sign-up sheet for public comment. After the regular board meeting the Earshot Jazz board and staff will be available to answer questions and receive suggestions from the public.

Review: Andrew D’Angelo Benefit Concert

By Bill Barton

Wednesday night’s Andrew D’Angelo Benefit Concert at Seattle’s Chapel Performance Space drew a full-house, standing room only crowd. That’s good news indeed for Andrew and his family and a credit to the Seattle jazz community. It is indeed a community in the true sense of the word.

After being introduced by Earshot Jazz Executive Director John Gilbreath, Andrew’s brother Tom shared some powerful and personal thanks and noted that “Jazz is Love” could serve as a motto for this concert. Indeed it did.

The event was organized by Cuong Vu along with Earshot and was an outpouring of love and support from the musicians and the audience.

Cuong Vu opened seated in front of his console of electronics, trumpet in right hand, joined by Greg Sinibaldi on electronic wind instrument and Chris Icasiano from the Speak Quartet on drums. Their segment was a beautifully textured, surging electronic smorgasbord of sounds, with Sinibaldi often laying down the bass lines, at other times functioning somewhat like a pianist or keyboardist might. Vu layered multiple trumpet parts via looping in his customarily creative fashion.

Robin Holcomb at the piano provided a distinct contrast in her solo song, managing to be both pensive and harmonically adventurous in the opening instrumental portion and singing in her distinctive voice as the piece progressed. Wayne Horvitz then joined her on stage and their duet with Horvitz at the piano was quite lovely. Horvitz departed and guitarist Bill Frisell accompanied her next. This was a heartbreakingly deep and profoundly moving, country-tinged collaboration. She reminded me of what Loretta Lynn and Sheila Jordan have in common: soul unrelated to genre pigeonholes.

There were many highlights in this first set, including Cuong Vu’s decidedly more “straight-ahead” (all acoustic) playing with the Speak Quartet, an immensely talented and obviously precocious group of his University of Washington students, with Icasiano on drums, Andrew Swanson on tenor saxophone, pianist Aaron Otheim and electric bass guitarist Luke Bergman.

The second set began with a one-in-lifetime Seattle all-star band: Vu, Frisell, Eyvind Kang on violin and Horvitz at the piano in a lengthy free improv piece that was particularly notable for Horvitz’s inside-the-piano work and how it meshed with Kang’s pizzicato. Then Kang and Frisell played two marvelous duets. The first sounded a little like 2/5 of the Hot of Club of France time-warped 70 years into the future. It swung in a subtle but extremely infectious manner: gorgeous stuff! The second was a bit more abstract yet still had a potent pulse. These guys are world-class improvisers, that is abundantly obvious, and they exhibited uncanny communication and synchronicity. Then Frisell played two solo guitar pieces. The first one sounded like “Blue Monk,” although it was taken through a wide variety of twists and turns, and occasionally seemed to almost morph into other Monk tunes. And the second, which appeared to be one of Frisell’s own compositions although the title was not announced, showcased the liquid tone and thoughtful textures of his ECM days.

The concert closed with a romping segment from the Speak Quartet, just as “Andrew would have wanted it” as Vu pointed out. The future is now. Audience support for young musicians is critical to the continued vibrancy of the local scene. Vu mentioned that so many great young musicians come up in the Seattle area, but then they leave. We need to provide places to play and people to listen.

Earshot Art of Jazz at SAM: Tom Varner Tentet

SAM Art of Jazz Concert Series:
Tom Varner Tentet:  world premiere of Tom Varner’s “heaven and hell,” a new work for tentet.
Thursday, April 10, 2008, 5:30 p.m., Seattle Art Museum
1st Ave and Union St.  Free with museum admission.  All ages.

Tom Varner is a composer and jazz French hornist with 11 CD’s out as a leader, and he plays on over 70 others. After 26 years in NYC, he moved with his family to Seattle in fall 2005. About his new work, Tom Varner tells SJS:

Finally, my tentet piece that I’ve been working on and obsessing about for over 5 years now, will be premiered at 5:30 p.m., Thursday April 10, as part of the Earshot monthly series at the Seattle Art Museum. The work was begun in earnest at a wonderful three-week stay at the MacDowell Arts Colony in winter 2003, and I’ve been working on it ever since.  (I was in the same snow-covered cabin where Leonard Bernstein worked on his “Mass,” as well as fellow composers Meredith Monk, Fred Hersch, Bobby Previte, and Aaron Copland).

The title of this 13-part cd-length piece is “heaven and hell” –as in the “heaven” of being in the moment with my two kids, especially enjoying my time with them here in Seattle, and the “hell”  of our planet’s last 6½ years—especially the hell of parents (and kids) of soldiers, whether in Iraq or elsewhere. The older we get, life seems have more and more of that “combo platter,” and this piece is a kind of musical reflection on that duality. The piece is also a look back the “extreme emotional state juxtaposition” of being NY’ers on 9/11/01, while preparing to go to Hanoi in nine days to adopt our beautiful son, Jack. (In the end, it all worked out, and we adopted our daughter Hope in ’04, and having moved to Seattle in ’05, here we are, a Seattle family now.) Read More

Wednesday Jazz

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center

4649 Sunnyside Ave N (Wallingford), Seattle, 7:30pm
Performances by: Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Eyvind Kang, Robin Holcomb, and Cuong Vu

JAZZ ALLEY: Sophie Milman

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Rochelle House Quartet

NEW ORLEANS: The Legend Band w/ Clarence Acox

6pm – Cheryl McLin (vocals) with Andy Shaw (piano)
8pm – Vocal Jam hosted by Carrie Wicks with Paul Sawyer (guitar) and Chuck Kistler (bass)

510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA, 5:00pm

Benefit for Andrew D’Angelo

Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 pm
Benefit for Andrew D’Angelo

Performing: Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Eyvind Kang, Robin Holcomb, Cuong Vu and many others

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Avenue (Wallingford), Seattle
Suggested Donation: $15-$25 per person

Reservations available through Earshot Jazz (206) 547-6763 and online

All proceeds benefit Andrew D’Angelo

Please note: If you are unable to attend the performance and would still like to make a donation, please visit Andrew’s website by clicking here.

Tom Varner’s “heaven and hell” premier at SAM

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

Musician-composer Tom Varner’s “heaven and hell”: life’s highs and lows set to music
by Paul de Barros
Seattle Times Jazz Critic

“Heaven and Hell,” a major new work by French horn player Tom Varner, premieres Thursday as part of the Earshot Art of Jazz series at the Seattle Art Museum.

The title, said Varner in a phone interview, refers to the “hell” of having experienced Sept. 11 while living in New York, and the “heaven” of becoming a father, in particular when he and his wife flew to Vietnam nine days after Sept. 11 to adopt their son.

Easily the most highly regarded jazz French horn player in the world, Varner moved to Seattle two years ago and has been a wonderful addition to the scene.

“The older we get, we know life is more of a combo platter of heavens and hells we live through,” he said.

Varner started writing “Heaven and Hell” in 2003, during a three-week residency at the prestigious MacDowell Arts Colony.

“I sat there where Leonard Bernstein worked on his mass,” said the effusive Varner. “It was just a few cabins away from where [Aaron] Copland worked on “Appalachian Spring.”

The new, 13-movement piece is written for tentet — five reeds, three brass, bass and drums (no piano) — the largest ensemble he has written for and also his most ambitiously through-composed work.

In addition to Varner, the lineup features Jesse Canterbury, clarinet; Saul Cline, soprano sax; Mark Taylor, alto sax; Eric Barber, tenor sax; Jim DeJoie, baritone sax; Russ Johnson, trumpet (from New York); Chris Stover, trombone; Phil Sparks, bass; and Byron Vannoy, drums.

SAM Art of Jazz Concert Series:
The world premiere of Tom Varner’s “Heaven and Hell,” a new work for tentet
Thursday, April 10, 2008, 5:30 p.m., Seattle Art Museum, 1st Ave and Union St. Free with museum admission.  All ages.

Tonight: Charles Lloyd at The Triple Door

Shows at 7:00 at 9:30pm

Buy tickets at The Triple Door website

At 68 when most individuals are thinking of ways to slow down and kick back, Charles Lloyd has shifted to a higher gear. His concerts and recordings are events of pristine beauty and elegance, full of intensely felt emotion and passion that touches deep inside the heart. This not entertainment, but the powerful uncorrupted expression of beauty through music. When music vibrates, the soul vibrates and touches the spirit within. “Charles Lloyd was the highlight of the Berlin Jazz Festival…Lloyd, tabla master Zakir Hussain and stunning young drummer, Eric Harland – shimmied with palpable synchronicity and flashes of mystical beauty,” stated award winning writer, Joe Woodard in the Santa Barbara Independent.

Credited by many musicians with anticipating the World Music movement by incorporating cadences of many cultures in his compositions as early as the late 1950s, Charles Lloyd describes his music as having always “danced on many shores.” As Peter Watrous wrote in The New York Times, “Mr. Lloyd has come up with a strange and beautiful distillation of the American experience, part abandoned and wild, part immensely controlled and sophisticated.” From the moment he first came to prominence as the young music director of the Chico Hamilton Quintet in 1960, Lloyd began to take audiences on journeys that traversed enormous distances. Over nearly four decades, his compositions have punctuated the post-bop period, embraced the traditional music of a host of world cultures and ciphered the psychedelic 1960s with avant-garde improvisation. Lloyd was one of the first jazz artists to sell a million copies of a recording ( ‘Forest Flower’) and then he surprised us by walking away from performing just at the point that he was dubbed a jazz superstar. Actually he was just following a trajectory that was taking him closer to the essence of the music he was hearing.

Art of Jazz Tonight

Earshot Jazz collaborates with the Seattle Art Museum in programming and presenting the Art of Jazz Series, now in it’s 13th year. Always well attended, the after-work concerts are free with museum admission — a great bargain given the two-for-one line up of fine jazz and major art exhibits. Join us the Seattle Art Museum on the second Thursday of every month.


1300 First Avenue, Seattle
Performances held at 5:30 PM
Free with museum admission

3 Singers + Love Songs

Beth Winter, Katy Bourne, Gail Pettis, Jim Wilke (who didn’t sing)

Three singers took turns singing love songs on Valentine’s Day at the Art of Jazz Concert at Seattle Art Museum. Beth Winter, Katy Bourne and Gail Pettis are all active jazz singers in the Seattle area and shared the bill on this special concert presented by Earshot Jazz at SAM on February 14. The concert was recorded by Jim Wilke for Jazz Northwest and will air on 88.5 KPLU at 1 PM PT on Sunday, Feburary 24 and streams simultaneously to the internet at . It will also be available as a podcast from after the air date.

Sunday Jazz

Tonight is the annual Golden Ear Awards at EMP … be there or be square!

2007 Golden Ear Awards
Awards Ceremony: Sunday, January 20, 2008
Featuring performance by Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto
and emcee Jim Wilke
EMP/SFM at Seattle Center, 7 pm
325 5th Avenue North, Seattle
Click here for more info.

JAZZ ALLEY: Stanley Clarke

TULA’S JAZZ CLUB: Garfield HS Jazz (3-4); Jay Thomas Big Band (4-7); Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra (8pm)

TRIPLE DOOR MUSICQUARIUM: Sunday Night Salsa: Supersones

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

GRAZIE: Jam Session (6:00 – 9:00pm)

TWISTED CORK WINE BAR: Katy Bourne Quartet
located in the Hyatt Regency Bellevue at 900 Bellevue Way, Bellevue

Diabate vs. Atomic

More from Paul de Barros’ Seattle Times column:

Promoters don’t usually present two competing shows on the same night, but Earshot Jazz executive director John Gilbreath was so excited by Malian kora (harp) player Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra and the zany Scandinavian jazz group Atomic, he decided what the hell. Earshot presents both bands Thursday: Diabate plays at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Triple Door ($25-$30; 206-838-4333 or; Atomic at 8 p.m. at Tula’s ($14; 206-443-4221 or

This makes for a tough decision. In 2006, Diabate released “Boulevard De L’Independence” (World Circuit/Nonesuch), one of the most amazing albums ever to come out of West Africa. Produced by Nick Gold, who brought us the Buena Vista Social Club, it mixes delicate, showering webs of kora with warbling and wailing vocals, horns and strings playing funk, jazz, Latin and other African traditions.

Though West African groups like the Super Rail band have made great albums in the past, “Boulevard” isn’t just “Afro-pop.” It’s a brilliant new world fusion, like nothing you’ve heard.

Atomic is one of the best groups to emerge out of the Nordic jazz explosion. At the 2005 Vancouver Festival, the band played a quick-witted set featuring haunting textures and sinewy improvised solos.

Not part of Scandinavia’s often overrated club-beat “NuJazz” movement, Atomic is a fluid, post-mainstream band whose asymmetric yet rolling rhythmic feel recalls Ornette Coleman. The band features trumpeter Magnus Broo and saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist, both from Stockholm, with an Oslo rhythm section of Haavark Wiik (piano), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums).