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Carolena Matus JaZz Trio at the Bellevue Jazz Festival

May 30 @ 5:00 pm7:00 pm


There’s big doings in Bellevue this month and it’s time to get JaZzy amongst the evergreens. I’m pleased as punch to announce that the Carolena Matus JaZz Trio has been invited to play the Bellevue Jazz Festival!  And we’re so excited!

That’s right, on May 30th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., you will find us in the thick of things in downtown Bellevue – at the beautiful Seattle Marriott Bellevue – doing what we most love to do, entertaining YOU!

Carolena Mátus is a classically trained singer, JaZz artist and voice teacher, who spent the majority of her career living and performing in Las Vegas, NV, the Entertainment Capital of the World.  Her distinctive vocal quality, combined with her artistic lyric interpretation and phrasing set her apart as a vocal musician of excellence.

In the mid-1980s, Mátus was introduced through a former band member to Frank Sinatra, Jr. Her respect for him, along with his passion for the music and his own multifaceted talent, greatly inspired and influenced her. Thanks to Frank’s influence, the JaZz bug had bitten her; she was thoroughly hooked and her music was forever, joyfully changed. Her formative experiences with preeminent Las Vegas JaZz musicians including internationally renowned trombonist, Carl Fontana, amongst many others, are the basis for the singer she is today. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, Carolena continues to expand the scope of her music partnerships and has been blessed by a variety of expert musicians from Portland to Seattle, including Randy Halberstadt, Bill Anschell, D’Vonne Lewis, John Stowell, Chris Symer, Osama Afifi, Phil Sparks, Michael Barnett, Clipper Anderson, Darin Clendenin, Jay Thomas, Bert Wilson and Joe Baque.

Pianist Bill Anschell has performed in premiere venues throughout the U.S. and abroad, both leading his trio and as pianist/musical director for vocalist Nnenna Freelon. His concert credits include six European tours with Freelon and seven South American tours with his trio, including concerts in many of the leading international jazz festivals. Most recently, the Bill Anschell Trio toured Peru in April 2012, with performances in Lima, Cusco, and Puerto Maldonado, and performed at Paraguay’s annual jazz festival in 2014.

Anschell was the creator, producer and theme music composer for JazzSouth, a syndicated radio program broadcast from 1990 – 2002 on more than 200 stations around the world. In 1998 his CD, a different note all together, was selected by UPI (United Press International) as one of the year’s “10 Best” jazz releases. That CD and his two follow-up releases When Cooler Heads Prevail (2001) and More to the Ear than Meets the Eye (2006) both enjoyed critical acclaim and extensive stays on the national jazz radio charts. His 2009 duo CD of spontaneous improvisations with saxophonist Brent Jensen was described by Cadence as “startlingly beautiful, surprising, and powerful … a transforming experience.” Anschell is also highly regarded as a composer; his original pieces have been featured on many network and cable programs including NBC’s The West Wing, HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire, and the CBS show NCIS: Los Angeles.

Anschell, a Seattle native, returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after a long residency in Atlanta, Georgia. He received Earshot’s Golden Ear Award as the “Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year” in 2005, 2010 and 2011; his trio was named “Northwest Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year” in 2006; his Figments CD was named “Northwest Jazz Recording of the Year” in 2011, and in 2016 he was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.

Osama Afifi has been a professional bassist since 1983. He recorded and performed with the internationally renowned Greek pianist, Yanni, for two years during his U.S. and Canadian concert tours. He toured Europe and Canada with French artist Vanessa Paradis, produced by Lenny Kravitz, and appeared on the TV show “Storytellers” with The Doors. He has worked with Grammy-nominated jazz vocalists Kurt Elling and Nnenna Freelon, The 5th Dimension, The Cadillacs, jazz saxophonist Gary Herbig, singer Debbie Boone, former Miles Davis keyboardist Kei Akagi, Doors drummer John Densmore, and jazz trumpeter Tony Guerrero.

Afifi was the bassist for the B Sharp Jazz Quartet, with whom he performed at the North Sea, Istanbul, Nice, Brecon, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. As a composer, Afifi’s tune “Nami,” was featured on the group’s CD, Searching for the One. “Nami” was noted to be “a future Jazz standard” by Billboard Magazine, and was included on a compilation CD for jazz station, KLON, in Los Angeles.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest Afifi has worked with the Tacoma Symphony, Judy Collins, Kareem Kandi Quartet, Darren Motamedy, David Keys, Hook Me Up, Gail Pettis, Michael Powers, Wally and the Beaves, and many others. His education includes studies at the Dick Grove School of Music, as well as with bassists Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis.


May 30
5:00 pm7:00 pm
Event Category:


Seattle Marriott Bellevue
200 110th Avenue, NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
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(425) 214-7600


Bellevue Downtown Association