Jazz Northwest

Steve Korn

"In the Rain Shadow," a new release by trombonist Chris Amemiya & Jazz Coalescence is one of the features on this week's Jazz Northwest. This sextet includes several top Northwest jazz musicians, including Jay Thomas, Travis Ranney, John Hansen, Jon Hamar and Steve Korn in a live studio session at Music Works Northwest.  The CD has the benefit of imaginative arrangements as well as  the immediacy of a live performance and the quality of a studio recording.  The individual musicians are all at the top of their game.

This concert, given last month at Kirkland Performance Center, was the third SRJO musical program drawn from the rich cultural period of New York’s Harlem in the Twenties and Thirties when African-American writers, visual artists and musicians were creating new and in many cases, daring works.  The concert airs Sunday, May 5 at 2 PM Pacific. 

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and April 30 is International Jazz Day.  Originally organized and named by the Smithsonian Institution, JAM concludes with International Jazz Day on April 30 with jazz celebrations in many countries around the world.  

The Jazz Journalists Association supports both and adds further encouragement by announcing 26 JJA Jazz Heros, cited for their exemplary work in keeping jazz alive and well in their communities.  Special awards celebrations are taking place in these communities including Seattle, where trombonist and educator Julian Priester will receive his Jazz Hero award on April 30.  (more on the link below)

On this week's Jazz Northwest we'll hear music by Julian Priester and some of the other Jazz Heros in the Pacific Northwest who go above and beyond in keeping the music alive and encouraging new audiences and young musicians.

More Information:

JJA Jazz Awards  

A Seattle all-star group played this month's Art of Jazz concert at The Seattle Art Museum.  Co-led by Chuck Deardorf on bass and Dave Peterson on guitar, the group also includes Rich Cole on tenor sax, Bill Anschell, piano, and John Bishop on drums.   Highlights from the concert aired on Jazz Northwest, 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, April 20 at 2 PM PDT.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and it's being celebrated with three jazz festivals around Seattle this month.  On this week's Jazz Northwest we'll preview The Ballard Jazz Festival with over 60 musicians performing in various locations around Ballard, April 17-20.  Included are The Brotherhood of the Drum, The Guitar Summit, and The Ballard Jazz Walk with a dozen locations featuring many of Seattle's favorite jazz artists.  The Festival concludes with the mainstage event at the Nordic Heritage Museum featuring Gary Bartz with the George Colligan Trio, and the Lew Soloff Quartet.

The Northwest jazz scene is not only robust, but varied. Sample it on Jazz Northwest Sunday afternoons.  We’ll hear Latin jazz from Johnny Conga and Lary Barilleau,  straight- ahead from Jay Thomas, Milt Kleeb and Kareem Kandi, singer Eugenie Jones makes her debut and some well worn tunes getting unusual treatments.  

Seattle musician Jay Thomas frequently performs in Japan and has become friends with numerous musicians there with whom he has performed and recorded.   A new release by this "East West Alliance" presents Jay in Japan with his friends and the CD is sampled on this week's Jazz NW.  There's also music by Vern Sielert’s Dektet, Kelley Johnson, Douce Ambiance (a string trio), some Latin jazz with Lary Barilleau and much more, including recommendations for live jazz in the coming week.

High on any list of all-time classic jazz albums is the 1949-50 Miles Davis album "Birth of The Cool" which grew out of an informal composers/ arrangers workshop with Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis among others.  That album continues to be influential among jazz musicians today, one of them being trombonist Andy Clausen who has studied these recordings and arrangements extensively.  Last summer, he organized a concert of this music which was presented by Earshot Jazz at The Chapel performance space in Seattle. 

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