Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters Quartet

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Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters Quartet

Bram Weijters, Chad McCullough, John Bishop, and Piet Verbist photo courtesy of the artist.

Thursday, November 1, Royal Room, 7:30PM

Seattleite John Bishop, drummer of choice for a multitude of visiting leaders, brings three of his longtime musical friends to town. He and Chicago-based Chad McCullough worked together at the international Seattle label, Origin Records, that Bishop so ably runs with fellow drummer Matt Jorgensen, while McCullough was building a reputation as one of the city’s finest trumpeters and flugelhornists around.

About a decade ago, McCullough met pianist/keyboardist Bram Weijters at a workshop in Banff. Even before graduating in jazz piano from Antwerp Conservatory and then in jazz composition and arranging at the Brussels Conservatory, Weijters had become an accomplished and eclectic musician in his childhood and youth. He trained classically in piano, but also taught himself percussion, including by playing drums in several alternative rock bands. He also experimented with tape recorders and electronic circuits, influences still heard in his open-eared music, today.

Then, Bishop recalls, he and McCullough “were going to MIDEM in Cannes every year, so we figured out that we could stop off in Belgium and do some gigs with Bram and his favorite bass player, Piet Verbist. We’ve been doing Belgian tours every year for the past eight years now….Antwerp is a little home away from home for us now. We’ve recorded two albums in Seattle and the most recent one in 2014 in Brussels.”

McCullough and Weijters also released a duo album last year. Reviewing Abstract Quantities, Bird is the Worm wrote: “Together they make music that features fine tunesmithing and expertly paced and sparkling execution that rivets attention. Whether melodic and savored, or upbeat and driving, it all progresses with tightly sprung restraint and release.”

Their sound is at once classic and of-the-moment, as Harold Taylor of KUCI, Irvine observed: “Like Robert Glasper, Vijay Iyer, The Bad Plus, and Kris Bowers, sometimes they use traditional jazz instrumentation and structure to enhance melodies and beats that might resonate for audiences weaned on acid jazz and hip-hop.”

$18 adults, $16 Earshot members & seniors, $10 students & military/veterans