Darrius Willrich photo by Daniel Sheehan
1st Sunday of the month, 6pm
October 2022 – June 2023
Seattle First Baptist Church
1111 Harvard Ave
BY REBECCA JANE
Seattle Jazz Vespers (SJV) offers the entire jazz-loving community in Seattle a gift. For twenty years, enthusiasts who appreciate an amazing venue, and those with families who may have wanted to bring kids to hear great jazz, have been enjoying free—or by voluntary donation—musical offerings at Seattle First Baptist Church, at 6pm on the first Sunday of each month, October through June.
Now in its 21st season, this series remains a completely volunteer-run event that brings all walks of life together to appreciate the best jazz music. Plus, the audience enjoys opportunities to meet with, and buy merchandise directly from the artists.
Each performance will include two sets with a short interlude in between. These monthly offerings include a non-sectarian inspirational message, plus opportunities to mingle after the performance. The venue is a gothic-style sanctuary, and SJV takes pride in its sophisticated sound system and perfect acoustics; no matter where listeners sit, they hear everything perfectly. Sound engineer, Kellie Whitlock says, “The acoustics are phenomenal.” And Whitlock would know, having worked magic in the sound booth at this event for the past 20 years.
The 2022-23 season opened on October 2 with Seattle Jazz Hall of Famer Greta Matassa and her Quintet that includes Brian Monroney, guitar; Clipper Anderson, bass; Mark Ivester, drums; and Alexey Nikolaev, sax.
On November 6, the Scott Lindenmuth Group will play jazz standards, Latin, funk, fusion, and some original pieces. Known as one of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest instrumentalists, Lindenmuth is considered a “genre-crossing virtuoso.” And rounding out the year on December 4, is Blue Street Voices, an 18-member mixed-voice vocal jazz ensemble who will perform holiday tunes. Blue Street Voices promotes jazz vocal education and music in the community. Whether its gospel or rich ballads, the high quality of their performances preserves a precious Puget Sound music resource.
In the new year, the Darrius Willrich Quartet will deliver feel-good music. This soul singer, trained jazz pianist, and songwriter is known for music with uplifting messages that are sweet, lyrical, and harmonic. As the creator of Critical Sun Recordings and Critical Sun Publishing, as well as a jazz educator and Digable Planets keyboardist, Willrich is a musician with extraordinary gifts and multiple talents. A sanctuary is the perfect venue to absorb this quartet’s messages of love.
Doors open at 5:30pm. Seating is first come, first serve. To stay informed and to view the remainder of the 2023 season, visit seattlejazzvespers.org. Mark your calendars because you won’t want to miss this season!