Jazz: The Second Century Series
The series brings the progression of jazz into creative motion and is a current and candid look at our city’s engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form. Jazz: The Second Century series has always been about exploring an important question: “One-hundred years into the art-form, what sonic shape does jazz take in its second century?” In 2022, we are continuing to find those answers together.
This series will be presented at a Watch Party at The Royal Room on Monday, October 17th starting at 7:30 p.m. PST. This event is both an in-person watch party* & livestream— free with RSVP. Please join us in-person at The Royal Room to attend the watch party. Witness the future of the art form at this in-person viewing party of this year’s video-streamed performers, then stay for Thomas Marriott’s weekly Royal Room jam session. Alternatively you can watch via livestream at home.
Congratulations to the following selected ensembles for 2022! Special thanks to Tara Peters for their coverage of these artists’ stories in the October Issue of the Earshot Jazz Magazine.
Ring of the Rath suite features Kate Olson (woodwinds), Naomi Moon Siegel (trombone), Dave Pascal (bass), Chris Monroe (drums), a cameo appearance by Jon Davis (Chapman Stick), and Daniel Barry on keyboards and compositions. The group aims to transport the listener away from the mundane details of life towards a dark magnificence, a pastoral expanse, or even a glimpse of divine light. This music is best visualized as vibrating combinations of colors, shapes, textures, and densities.
Ari Joshua is a jazz, rock, experimental, and improv musician known for his bell-like tone, lush and impressionistic chord voicings, and fiery improvisations with psychedelic-like sprawl. The South-African born, Seattle-raised guitarist for this series offers these reflections: “It’s said over and over that it is a true artist’s purpose to discover their own voice. To do so often takes risks, and requires courage, patience, and an ability to look fear head on. Being at the crest of that wave can mean being misunderstood at first… but eventually truth is undeniable. Jazz is truth, transcending barriers, a language of the soul, the mind, and the heart.”
FORAGER is a Seattle jazz project featuring Jackson Cotugno on tenor saxophone, Julian Weisman on bass, Martin Budde on guitar, and Rocky Martin on drums and cymbals. Founded in Seattle in 2021, FORAGER creates music for the present moment, for audiences yearning to experience presence, inclusion, and intimacy. The group draws inspiration from folk music, improvised music, visual score, martial arts, plant life, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the powerful gift of friendship and community amidst the pandemic era.
DeKirOpp is James DeJoie (flute, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and electronics), Steve Kirk (trombone), and Brian Oppel (percussion). The trio explores the rhythmic vitality that lies within all forms of music. DeKirOpp eschews over-reliance on academic harmonic structures in favor of vertical harmony and rhythmic drive, never losing sight of melody. The result is a sound filled with unapologetic energy and relentless exploration.
Dick Valentine and Don Berman love what they call “holistic musical lifestyles.” This entails continuous study, appreciation, and practice – both on and off the bandstand – of a wide variety of musical styles, composers, and performing artists. Valentine’s range extends from the sopranino down to the contrabass clarinet. Berman’s jazz interests range from straight ahead to free improvised music. As part of the duo’s philosophy, they have committed to playing music consistently, despite what may be occurring in the world.
Dio Jean-Baptiste and Ray Larsen
In reflecting on The Second Century Series, drummer Dio Jean-Baptiste offers this: “Jazz, in my understanding, is now simply slang. By this, I mean the ever-evolving aspect of language and communication, to mean everything and nothing all at once; to be outdated, and yet fresh. This reality of slang, being a staple, with some words outliving many others, and morphing into new meanings, this is what jazz has become, or more so was from the very onset. Jazz is a sonic exploration that has outlived its own moniker.” Joining him in this exploration of musical language is trumpeter Ray Larsen.
This series—presenting Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, performing original work—is a continuation of the very first programming initiative of the Earshot Jazz organization and embodies our core values— especially for community. Thank you to the artists, our panelists who help curate these concerts, and to audience members who support them. A list of past Second Century artists can be viewed here.
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