Saturday, October 7
7:30 pm PDT
Town Hall Forum
In-person* & livestream
This year’s Festival Resident Artist is one of Seattle’s most outstanding jazz musicians. Johnaye Kendrick is a superb vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and composer, whose career took off to a promising and prophetic start. Whilst studying music at Western Michigan University, Kendrick was awarded a DownBeat Student Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, and was featured in an honors recital with pianist Fred Hersch. While attending the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute, Kendrick worked with many outstanding jazz musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Brian Blade among others.
After sharing her talent and wowing audiences in festival and concert performances both here in the US and abroad, Kendrick eventually worked her way into the hearts and minds of the Seattle Jazz community. She had worked with resident artists such as D’Vonne Lewis, Chris Symer, Wayne Horvitz,, Thomas Marriott, and many others. A dedicated educator, she currently serves as Professor of Music at the Cornish College of the Arts. As former-fellow Cornish professor and collaborator Dawn Clement lays it out: “Johnaye is one of the most extraordinary musicians I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Kendrick has released two albums as leader; Here (2014) and Flying (2018), both on her own label, johnygirl records. She is a true improviser, with amazing ears, an exceptional instrument, and the ability to raise the bar on any bandstand she graces.” Kendrick has breathtaking technical skills, but what sets her apart is her ability to pull the listener into her world with an intimacy that very few vocalists can achieve, a talent that has nothing to do with chops or genre and everything to do with humanity, positivity, and communication. It’s obvious that Kendrick feels deeply what she’s singing about, and inhabits her music with a grounded authority and authenticity that’s not easy to come by in any art form.
For this performance Kendrick’s ensemble will include Dawn Clement (piano), Chris Symer (bass), Steve Treseler (saxophone), and Ted Poor (drums). They will perform originals and arrangements from Kendrick’s upcoming album Heart Songs.
As well as this debut performance for the Earshot Festival, don’t miss her other festival performances: on October 13 she performs with the Grammy-nominated vocalist, supergroup säje, and on November 2, Kendrick will perform with another ensemble as Johnaye Kendrick’s Grounded at Cornish’s ultra-modern concert hall, Raisbeck Auditorium.
*Earshot Jazz COVID-19 Policy: Earshot recommends that all ticket holders be vaccinated. Policy subject to change. Full COVID policy here.
Johnaye Kendrick photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn