Jazz Northwest

Jazz musicians are often an unconventional lot, and when it comes to holiday music you can expect re-harmonizations, different tempos, unexpected rhythms and other surprises as they find new ways to play old music and old ways to play new music.  

This week's Jazz Northwest provides ten explorations of familiar holiday music and some new songs as well. Among the Northwest resident artists featured are Don Lanphere, Greta Matassa, Larry Fuller, Dave Frishberg, the B3 Kings and Karin Plato.

As part of its 20th anniversary season, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra played a concert of music by two of the greatest musicians to come out of Seattle's Jackson Street Era, Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.  

The concert, which was also part of the Earshot Festival, included guest appearances by Delvon Lamarr on Hammond B3 organ, and vocalist Reggie Goings. Highlights aired exclusively on 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, December 7 at 2 PM Pacific and streaming at kplu.org.

This week's Jazz Northwest features several new releases as well as news of upcoming jazz events including a Celebration of Life for the late Buddy Catlett (at Jazz Alley Monday night), and Roosevelt Jazz Band's annual performance of the Ellington-Strayhorn Jazz Nutcracker (next weekend at RHS). 

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer Ann Reynolds brought her Clave Gringa band to The Seattle Art Museum to warm up a cool evening  for this month's Art of Jazz Concert, presented by Earshot.  The concert was recorded for broadcast and highlights aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.

Bruce C. Moore

Buddy Catlett, a much-revered pillar of the Seattle Jazz community died last Wednesday at the age of 81. He was a contemporary of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson and had an international career, touring and recording with Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and many others.  

Jazz Northwest will remember him with several unpublished recordings of the Local 493 Reunion Band. The group included veterans of the Black musicians union Local 493 in the years before it merged with the white musicians union Local 76.   

Andrew Swanson

The Westerlies are a brass quartet, two trumpets and two trombones, played by four friends who grew up in Seattle and who now live in New York City. Zubin Hensler and Riley Mulherkar (trumpets), and Andy Claussen and Willem de Koch (trombones) returned to their hometown to play a concert at the end of their summer tour in connection with their debut recording, "Wish The Children Would Come On Home" (Songlines).  The CD features music by Wayne Horvitz arranged for the Westerlies. Their concert included music from the CD as well as original compositions by members of the quartet.

The Earshot Jazz Festival continues through November 11 in Seattle including a great variety of resident and touring artists in various locations.  

Jim Levitt

The mercurial Matt Wilson is an incendiary drummer and band leader.  Never predictable, his deep sense of swing and the joy of making music permeates every performance, whether he's sideman or leader.  Jazz Northwest is pleased to present this performance which was at the conclusion of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for 2014.  Joining Matt Wilson in his Arts & Crafts group are regular members Terrell Stafford on trumpet and Martin Wind on bass, plus pianist Dawn Clement and guitarist Anthony Wilson  (no relation). 

Howard A. Gitelson

The Earshot Jazz Festival started last weekend and will continue through November 11 with dozens of performances in various venues around Seattle. Earshot director John Gilbreath joins Jim Wilke on KPLU's Jazz Northwest  to provide some highlights from a dizzying array of world class talent appearing during the Earshot Jazz Festival.  Highlighted on this program are performances by Lew Tabackin, Chad Mccullough, Miguel Zenon, Pharoah Sanders, Davie Liebman and Anton Schwartz. 

Jim Levitt

Pianist Benny Green leads his trio in an exciting concert on Jazz Northwest on Sunday October 12.  David Wong is on bass and Rodney Green is the drummer.  The concert was recorded last July at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for this broadcast. 

This week, Jazz Northwest includes a preview of The 26th Annual Earshot Jazz Festival which begins October 10 and runs through November 11. Dozens of performances will take place in various venues in and around the Seattle area.  

Jim Levitt

An unusual concert featuring three singers was one of the features of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend in July.  The singers, Johnaye Kendrick, Sachal Vasandani and Dena DeRose performed together in a "singers' jam" to open and close the concert and each did a solo turn on their own. All three were also on the jazz vocal faculty of the Jazz Workshop which precedes the festival concerts the last week of July each Summer.  The concert was recorded and broadcast exclusively on 88.KPLU.

It's the last weekend of Summer and we'll feature some songs for the end of Summer with Jessica Williams and Ralph Towner and Denney Goodhew on Jazz Northwest.  We'll also look ahead and sample some of the great live jazz coming up this Fall including the CD release party for Ann Reynolds' Clave Gringa on Monday night at Tula's.  Former Seattle pianist Larry Fuller has a new CD and he'll be back in Seattle next month for three performances.

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer George Cables was celebrated in a special concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last July, and the concert was recorded for broadcast. A perennial favorite at the festival and the Jazz Workshop each summer, George Cables teaches students, plays trio jazz in the clubs and often appears on the festival mainstage where this concert was recorded.  Three pianists, Geoffrey Keezer, Benny Green and Dawn Clement take solo turns playing compositions by George Cables, and guitarist Anthony Wilson also contributes a piece associated with George Cables.

Diane Schuur and Janis Mann, two former Seattle singers will come home for gigs in Seattle this week and their most recent CDs are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Both launched successful recording and touring careers from Seattle and their most recent CDs are featured on this program.   Janis Mann will sing in the Art of Jazz series at Seattle Art Museum on Thursday September 11, and Diane Schuur will be at Jazz Alley September 11-14.   Don't be surprised if you see either of them at the other's gig, they're longtime friends as well. 

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