Festival Previews, Week 2

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Chucho Valdés photo by Carol Friedman.

Darius Jones

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: Adult $18, Senior (60+) $16, Earshot Member $16, Student $10, Military $10
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: Adult $23, Senior( 60+) $21, Earshot Member $21, Student $10, Military $10

Welcomed by Rainier Avenue Radio.

Over the past decade, Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice as a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music. He has been recognized not only for his dynamic emotional and technical range on the alto saxophone, but for his compositional and improvisational breadth and depth that pulls uncompromisingly from every corner of his self in search for more pure and absolute ways to communicate and be understood. He is equally at home in a classic avant-garde setting with open air to fly as he is composing focused vocal chamber ensemble compositions.

At any in time, he is able to call on the rich melodic histories of soulful blues and church traditions and then seamlessly transition to powerful splittones reminiscent of Pharoah Sanders and Roscoe Mitchell.

He tells Avant Music, “I love good music and I want to create good music. For me, there is no style. There is no genre. There is no One Way. This is just a love thing, and the more organic the process, the better. It doesn’t matter what you want to call it, I just want to feel it in my soul.”

In the ever-growing catalogue of Jones’ ambitious, intentional, and vulnerable exploration, we do indeed witness the epic transcription of an open soul. Perhaps this is no more evident than his ongoing album cycle. His 2009 debut album as a leader, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing), marked the start of the Man’ish Boy album cycle that is set to be completed after the 9th album is released. We are currently on album number five, Le bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation), released in 2015.

On this evening of the festival, Jones will be performing a solo set in the intimate sonic sanctuary of The Chapel Performance Space. In the perpetual unveiling of his own story and relentless pursuit of truth, his extensive command of musicality and humanity promises to reveal something to all who attend.

In the words of Jones, “When we get outside our comfort zones we feel the discomfort from the unknown because we don’t know where we belong, where to step. In that lack of knowing, we actually begin to surprise ourselves. We begin to open up, and our perspective widens. We see and understand things we didn’t before. I believe that this makes us more patient and compassionate, which can break down barriers of hatred and fear.”

Seattle/New York poet and jazz thinker, Paul Harding, will take the stage with Darius Hones after the music set for an interview and discussion. $10–23. For details visit earshot.org.


TICKET PRICES: $45-55. Available through the Triple Door.

Presented by Triple Door.

From Ukraine comes the inimitable DakhaBrakha, which evolved from avant-garde theater accompaniment to create its own brand of “ethnic chaos” music.

The quartet’s name means “give and take” in old Ukrainian, and its members certainly live up to that. They formed in 2004 at the behest of innovative theater director Vladyslav Troitskyi at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art (DKAH). Those theatrical origins remain evident in their flamboyant performances, as they transform the folk traditions of their nation. They add music of nearby regions, and crank it all up with instruments from around the world.

“We want people to know as much as possible about our corner of the world,” says Marko Halanevych. A vocalist and player of the darbuka (drum), tabla, and accordion, he grew up amidst village life, made his mark in the theater of DAKH, and draws on his rural upbringing still in his singing and playing. Like Halanevych, Iryna Kovalenko performs at the DAKH theater, and in the band sings and plays percussion, accordion, and piano. So too does Olena Tsybulska, a specialist in folkloric wedding songs at the National University of Ukraine. On cello and vocals is the self-taught Nina Garenetska.

With its taut balance of the avant garde theater and village celebration, the band swirls far away from the Soviet era of ideologically straitened pseudo-aesthetic folklore. It’s a band that has to be seen live to truly savor its daring, riveting bravura. $45–55. For details visit earshot.org.

Here to Play

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: Adult $18, Senior (60+) $16, Earshot Member $16, Student $10, Military $10
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: Adult $23, Senior (60+) $21, Earshot Member $21, Student $10, Military $10

Three Seattle musicians are possessed by the free-jazz spirit and aesthetics of late-era John Coltrane and compelled to breathe life into their own, endlessly searching, music. Never rehearsing, always playing.

Called Here to Play, the virtuosic trio of expansive power and energy is comprised of Kelsey Mines (upright bass), Gregg Keplinger (drum set and handhammered metal), and Neil Welch (tenor sax/electronics).

Keplinger and Welch have always shared this inescapable spirit. Keplinger was a witness to Coltrane’s “Live in Seattle” sessions at the Penthouse—a singular experience that forever seared an impression on the percussionist. Welch—stalwart of Seattle’s improvised music scene and half the duo of Bad Luck—has long channeled the raw intensity and advanced techniques of Coltrane’s tenor partner Pharoah Sanders. Mines, with her anchoring and surgical force, transforms the music into something truly special.

As drum, bass, and sax goes, Here to Play brings the traditional trio to a modern sound.

Mines—who draws her own influences from the likes of Abbey Blackwell, Jimmy Garrison, Larry Grenadier, Stephan Crump, and Carmen Rothwell— combines her extensive palette of harmony and technique with Welch’s use of multiphonics and electronics to lay a rich and dense conceptual framework for the group. In this foundation, freedom is found by all. It allows Keplinger to color the rhythmic propulsion without restraint, Mines to dig deeper into and around the energy center, and Welch to embody the liberating, unrestrained improvisational might that came to define late-era Coltrane. It’s a group that is built for the transcendent moments of live performance. This festival performance also serves as an album-release for their self-released album, Here to Play. $10–23. For details visit earshot.org.

Seattle Modern Orchestra w / Darius Jones & Wayne Horvitz.

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: Adult $18, Senior (60+) $16, Earshot Member $16, Student $10, Military $10
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: Adult $23, Senior (60+) $21, Earshot Member $21, Student $10, Military $10

Welcomed by KBCS.

With co-artistic directors Julia Tai and Jérémy Jolley at the helm, there are few better equipped to present the ever deep and broad imagination of contemporary music than Seattle Modern Orchestra—the only large ensemble in the Pacific Northwest solely dedicated to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

SMO and Earshot Jazz are collaborating for the first time to present an exceptional evening of composition and performance. In addition to featuring compositions by Anthony Braxton, Earle Brown, George Lewis, and Tyshawn Sorey, the evening will also feature the highly distinguished performers and composers Darius Jones (Alto Sax) and Wayne Horvitz (piano).

Jones has firmly established himself as an iconic voice in music today, being hailed by the New York Times as “the most visceral and distinctive alto saxophonist of this era.” His sound pulls directly from the heart and is uncompromising in its display, shifting from the rich melodic history of soulful blues and church traditions one moment and into the powerful Earthshattering split-tones of Pharoah Sanders the next.

Horvitz—a Seattle treasure and 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award winner—is a prolific and heralded composer who has spent a career blurring the lines of contemporary jazz and classical music in both composition and performance. SMO will be commissioning and performing a world premiere of Horvitz’ entitled Vagabond: Constructions for Chamber Orchestra and Improvisers (2019).

The demands of the music being performed not only require the highest caliber of musicianship, but, due to the core nature of improvisation, also require a sincere belief in the power of surprise to transcend expectation. It’s a practice that does not always come easily for musicians or audience members who might prefer the protection of controlling their own emotional experience. It requires reaching beyond one’s own preconceptions into the unfamiliar to gain a better understanding of others through their music. But perhaps there is not a better time for engaging in new music than now, for as Jolley says, “The exploration of new music is a state of empathy.” $10–23. For details visit earshot.org.

Aaron Parks Little Big

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: Adult $28, Senior (60+) $26, Earshot Member $26, Student $10, Military $10.
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: Adult $33, Senior (60+) $31, Earshot Member $31, Student $10, Military $10

Welcomed by KNKX.

Forward-thinking Seattle-born, NYC-based pianist Aaron Parks leads his fresh quartet, Little Big, into exciting soundscapes. At age 34, Parks is 17 years into a distinguished career, and continues to prove himself as not just an in-demand accompanist, but a brilliant leader.

Parks entered the public eye during his time playing with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. The New York Times has praised Parks for being “a step ahead of everyone else.” At just 15, the Seattle-raised pianist was a triplemajor in math, computer science, and music at the University of Washington. That same year, Parks was selected to participate in the GRAMMY Jazz Band, which led to a move to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music at age 16.

At 18, while a member of Blanchard’s band, he earned the title of Cole Porter Fellow from the American Pianists Association. Parks has appeared on three Blue Note albums by Blanchard, including Blanchard’s 2007 Grammy Award-winning opus A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina).

The young pianist worked with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel steadily between 2008–2015. Of Parks, Rosenwinkel says, “When I think of the word ‘genius,’ I think of a connection to nature, that nature can express itself undisturbed through human activity. I feel that in Aaron’s playing. He illuminates natural shapes and figures. His intuitive understanding is so strong and powerful that it’s always informing his technique, which is homegrown. He has a high-level intellect, which serves to embrace and give headroom to his daydreams.” (DownBeat).

Parks is increasingly stepping out as a leader as he approaches the third decade of his career. His color-rich electro-acoustic quartet Little Big sees impressive members backing Parks: Greg Tuohey (guitar), David “DJ” Ginyard Jr.(bass), and Tommy Crane (drums). Each player brings their varied experiences from jazz, improvised music, electronica, R&B, indie pop, alt-country, and much more to this “genre-fluid” music, which creates a world of its own.

Aaron Parks Little Big’s self-titled 2018 release on the Ropeadope label picks up where 2008’s Invisible Cinema left off: “Like that disc, this is the product of a piano-and-guitar quartet playing modern rock-and electronica-influenced postbop. Time, though, has altered Parks’ music: less ostentation, more gravitas. It’s the beauty and vision of the older album, filtered through maturity” (JazzTimes). 21+. $10–33. For details visit earshot.org.

Knife Knights/ Darius Jones / Stas Thee Boss

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: Adult $22, Senior (60+) $20, Earshot Member $20, Student $10, Military $10
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: Adult $27, Senior (60+) $25, Earshot Member $25, Student $10, Military $10

Co-presented with Langston.

After more than a decade of collaboration, local mystic minds Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood have released their first full-length album, 1 Time Mirage, together under the moniker Knife Knights.

Butler is well known as one part of Shabazz Palaces, the future-forward hip-hop duo that’s been at the outer frontier of the genre since their formation in 2009. Prior to Palaces, Butler is known as the founder of the GrammyAward winning hip-hop trio, Digable Planets, formed in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York. After the disbanding of Planets in the early 90s, Butler returned to Seattle and performed briefly under the name Cherrywine, after a chance encounter led to guitar lessons and mentorship from Thaddeus Turner.

Fast-forward to 2003 and another chance encounter—this time at a Spirtiualized show with Erik Blood, the Tacoma-born, Seattle-based engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer—and the beginning of a new partnership.

Blood has had his hand in projects from Seattle luminaries as varied as the Moondoggies, THEESatisfaction, Tacocat, and Champagne Champagne, and has released two solo albums, Touch Screens (2014) and Lost in Slow Motion (2016). As the engineer behind Shabazz Palaces, Blood has been an undeniable force in shaping the sound and vision.

Butler seems to be in a constant state of becoming. His “single-take ingenuity came from studying intuitive maestros Miles Davis and Sun Ra” realizing that “the magic is in the moment” (Pitchfork). With their shared affinity for hip-hop, shoegaze rock, ambient soundscapes, and in-the-moment improvisation, a proper collaboration between Butler and Blood was inevitable.

Knife Knights effortlessly fuses ambient synths and drums with elements of rap and R&B; forever pushing the definitions of genres and the envelope of music itself.

Butler and Blood are two of Seattle’s “most legendary contemporary artists” (KEXP) and together revel in creative candor. For their festival appearance, Butler and Blood are joined in Knife Knights by OCnotes and Marquetta Miller.

Opening: New York based alto saxophonist, Darius Jones and South Seattle’s own hip-hop artist and Knife Knights collaborator, Stasia Irons, better known by her stage name Stas Thee Boss. $10–27. For details visit earshot.org.

Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá

TICKET PRICES: $18-55 Prices vary depending on seat location.

Sponsored by BECU.

The powerful Cuban piano virtuoso Chucho Valdés has been on a roll the past decade, issuing one outstanding concept album after another, including last year’s Jazz Batá 2.

Valdés appears at the Earshot Jazz Festival with his quartet, an elegant, creative band that has more “air” in it than many Valdés projects and features the woody, full-bodied bass of Yelsy Heredia, the restrained percussion of Yaroldy Abreu Robles, the percolating batá drums and pining chants of Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé, and, not least, the dazzling accuracy, wild flourishes and percussive clang of Valdés’ piano. \Jazz Batá 2 explores the Yoruban drum music from Nigeria that informs much Cuban culture, through the Afro-Cuban faith Santeria. Valdés’ return to batá—so called because of the two-headed, hourglass-shaped Nigerian drum of the same name —is a return to his own roots as well as the roots of Cuban music. His breakthrough 1972 album was titled Jazz Batá. Back then, bringing Yoruban elements forward in Cuban music, so common today, was not only avant-garde, but frowned on by the government.

Born in 1941 near Havana, Valdés graduated from the Conservatorio Municipal de Música de la Habana when he was 14 and a year later formed his first jazz trio. In 1959, he debuted with his father’s band, Sabor de Cuba, then joined Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna. One of the singers they backed in those days was Omara Portuondo, who would gain fame outside Cuba through the Buena Vista Social Club recordings.

Until the late ‘90s, Valdés had worked primarily as a sideman, but in 1998 he launched a solo career, which has showcased his extraordinary virtuosity, as well as his composer’s pen and knack for concept albums. All this has not gone unnoticed. He has won six Grammy awards, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy, and in 2018 was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. $18-60. For details visit earshot.org.

Cécile McLorin Salvant

TICKET PRICES: $18-55. Prices vary depending on seat location.

Welcomed by KNKX.

2019 DownBeat Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, 30-year-old Cécile McLorin Salvant is the voice to know in jazz’s second century. A—what Wynton Marsalis calls—“once in a generation or two” singer, her talent transcends virtuosity.

McLorin Salvant’s meteoric rise has been unconventional. The daughter of a French mother and Haitian father, she was raised in a bilingual household amidst the rich cultural mix of Miami. Early studies included piano and singing Broadway.

Moving to France to study law and opera in 2007, she began studying Baroque voice at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory. There, McLorin Salvant began to explore the deep roots of jazz and American music under the direction of multi-reedist Jean-François Bonnel.

Three years later, she entered and won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which netted her a recording contract with Mack Avenue Records. Her first recording, Womanchild (2014), gained her international acclaim and a Grammy-nomination. It also marked the beginning of her working relationship with the Aaron Diehl trio.

The album and its Grammy-Award winning follow-up, For One to Love, established her style, showing her full range, and ability to stretch and inhabit a lyric without employing scat or other standard jazz vocal practices. Two years later, her third Mack Avenue release, Dreams and Daggers, also took home a Grammy, as did 2015’s For One to Love and 2018’s duo with pianist Sullivan Fortner, The Window. Recording accolades aside, McLorin Salvant’s true genius lies onstage. To hear her is transporting, to see her is transfixing. As an artist, she embodies her work, taking on multiple personas—“judicious, confiding, theatrical, skeptical (Nate Chinen, New York Times)—in just one song or phrase alone. She notes, “jazz would not be what it is without its theatrical origins, vaudeville, and minstrel shows.” Her unflinching performances point us to consider race, sex, gender, and power.

McLorin Salvant has found a match in the Aaron Diehl Trio. The group, still reeling from the untimely death of young drummer Lawrence Leathers, continues to offer up hope in the magnificence of their music. Diehl, 33, is a classically trained pianist and composer celebrated for his “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint” (New York Times). The pianist has been called “The Real Diehl” by Wynton Marsalis, after touring with his septet. He has also performed with Wycliffe Gordon, Warren Wolf, and Matt Wilson, among others.

McLorin Salvant and the trio’s approach is sophisticated, with an uncommon wisdom and understanding of harmony, yet their style is accessible to the listener. She taps into the audience’s emotions, with a playful, often mischievous delivery to well-worn, seemingly out of touch lyrics, enabling her to transform a tune without altering a single word—“her singing amounts to a kind of re-writing” (The Nation). In the new century, now nearing its twentieth year, McLorin Salvant is clearly the standard for the next generation of jazz vocalists to aspire to. $18–60. For details visit earshot.org.

Clarice Assad

$5-20 Sliding Scale

Presented by Nonsequitur.

A “serious triple threat” (San Francisco Chronicle), the Brazilian-American virtuoso is a bold composer, brilliant pianist, and inventive vocalist all rolled into one. She deftly spans the worlds of classical, jazz, and Brazilian music.

Classically trained as a pianist, Assad set out to create a personal musical idiom that reflects Brazil’s musical melting-pot heritage of African rhythms mixed with European melodies and harmonies. The result is a dazzling harvest of evocative color, rich textures, and captivating stylistic range. 

As a composer, she is prolific. She’s commissioned music for the likes of Evelyn Glennie, Yo-Yo Ma, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Assad has released seven solo albums and has appeared on or had her works performed on another 30.

Assad was born in Rio de Janiero into a musical family: her father Sérgio Assad and uncle Odair Assad comprise a renowned guitar duo, and her aunt is singer/songwriter Badi Assad. With family members as guides, Clarice Assad has been performing professionally since she was seven. She went on to complete degrees in music and composition from Roosevelt University in Chicago and the University of Michigan.

For this concert, in addition to performing solo works for piano and voice, she will present three works for a chamber ensemble of Seattle newmusic stars, Brandon Vance (violin), Alina To (violin), Heather Bentley (viola), Gretchen Yanover (cello), and Taina Karr (oboe).

They perform “Synchronous” (2015), for string quartet and solo oboe; “Obrigado” (2011), for string quartet and mandolin; and “Rodapião” (2016), for string quartet and bass, the latter played by Assad. $5–20 sliding scale. For details visit earshot.org.

Roosevelt Jazz Band w / Jay Thomas EWA

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: $22 Adults, $20 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: $27 Adults, $25 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military

The Roosevelt Jazz Band—regarded as one of the nation’s top high school jazz orchestras—takes to their home stage with 2019 Festival Resident Artist, Jay Thomas and his EWA (East West Alliance) project with friends from Japan, including tenor saxophonist Yasuhiro Kohama, pianist Yuki Hirate, alto saxophonist Atsushi Ikeda, explosive drummer Daisuke Kurata, Seattle bassist, Phil Sparks, and vocalist Maya Hatch—a Roosevelt High School grad who enjoys a successful career in Japan.

Under Scott Brown, a dedicated teacher and accomplished jazz musician who has led the program for more than 30 years, the Roosevelt Jazz Band maintains its long tradition of excellence in big-band jazz. The renowned program has put out some of the best talent in the Seattle scene today, including fellow festival artist D’Vonne Lewis.

From its triumphs at regional and national annual competitions, the ensemble’s trophy case becomes more and more crowded. Most recently, Roosevelt took home the first place prize at this spring’s Essentially Ellington Competition at New York City’s Lincoln Center after a stunning performance of the challenging Dizzy Gillespie tune, “Things to Come.”

A hard-swinging unit that can outpace many of the nation’s college bands, Roosevelt has competed in the finals at Essentially Ellington 19 times, and has won first place four times, and second place five times, and third place twice. It’s a staggering record!

As Scott Brown says—can say—every year: “We’re going to have a great band this year!”

Appearing with the young musicians is Jay Thomas, a celebrated musician and educator and this Earshot Festival’s Artist in Residence. Known as a horn and reeds player and one of the few remaining links between Seattle’s storied jazz past and promising future, his appearance with the Roosevelt Jazz Band is sure to provide a rare learning opportunity over the course of an energetic and inspiring evening. $10–27. For details visit earshot.org.

Joel Ross ‘Good Vibes’

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: $23 Adults, $21 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: $28 Adults, $26 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military

Welcomed by Rainier Avenue Radio.

Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based vibraphonist, Joel Ross is one to watch. At 23 years old, the young vibraphonist is on “his own rocket-like trajectory” (New York Times).

Ross comes from a musical family and began playing drums at age three alongside his twin brother. Admitting his brother is “the better drummer,” Ross took to mallet percussion. Ross began music studies at the Jazz Institute of Chicago, later becoming one of the first students at the city’s first public arts high school, Chicago High School for the Arts.

Soon after, he found a mentor in the great vibraphonist, Stefon Harris, who encouraged Ross to pursue a two-year fellowship with Harris’ Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet in Northern California. After completing the fellowship, Ross transferred to the New School, where he would meet the peers that make up his Good Vibes quintet: Immanuel Wilkins (alto saxophone), Jeremy Corren (piano), Benjamin Tiberio (bass), and Jeremy Dutton (drums). For their Earshot performance, bassist Kanoa Mendenhall will perform in place of Tiberio.

The “earnest interiority” and “kinetic magnetism” of Ross’ playing is palpable (Nate Chinen, NPR). Pitchfork agrees, saying “It’s clear that he is a maestro at the vibraphone, malleting out repeated patterns and complex phrases that work as melodic statements as well as percussive shapes.”

Ross has played with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Makaya McCraven, Louis Hayes, and recorded on pianist James Francies’ recent album, Flight.

The Chicago-based drummer and producer McCraven named a track off of 2018’s Universal Beings—on which Ross performs—”Young Genius” in the vibraphonist’s honor. The young genius has stacked up an impressive list of titles including two-time recipient of the Thelonious Monk Institute National All-Star award, a 2013 YoungArts Jazz Finalist, first place at the 2016 BIAMP PDX “Jazz Forward” competition, and winner of the Keep an Eye International Jazz Award, in Amsterdam. More, we’re sure, are soon to follow for this rising talent.

Ross released his debut album Kingmaker on Blue Note Records earlier this year. Upbeat melodies and passionate notes filled with stories of faith, family, and hope reverberate as slyly into the listener’s ears as they flow from Ross’ knowing hands. 2018 festival attendees might recall his lightning flow with Marquis Hill’s Blacktet—this year’s performance will be no less electrifying. Ross performs a day before at the Vashon Center for the Arts on October 18. More information at vashoncenterforthearts.org. $10–28. For more information visit earshot.org.

Shai Maestro Trio / Wayne Horvitz & Sara Schoenbeck

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: $28 Adults, $26 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: $33 Adults, $31 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military

“Hearing Shai Maestro is like awakening to a new world” (All About Jazz). The spellbinding Israeli pianist performs with breathtaking fluidity, grace, and imagination in a powerful, harmonious trio with Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder and Israeli drummer Ofri Nehemya.

Maestro has earned his family name through stellar performances around the world and a series of riveting releases, most recently last year’s The Dream Thief, his fifth album and first on ECM.

Maestro began his classical piano training at the age of five. At eight, hearing Oscar Peterson’s The Gershwin Songbook inspired him to become a jazz musician. He won the National Jazz Ensemble Competition, Jazz Signs, in 2002 and 2003, and along the way studied Indian classical music.

Early in Maestro’s career, Avishai Cohen, the longtime bassist in Chick Corea’s band, invited him to join his trio. The pianist formed his own trio in 2010. His approach, both steeped in the output of jazz pianists before him and yet highly personal and explorative, is enthralling. His motto: “I always try to remember to embrace history while not trying to be anything or anyone else—to let the music come out of me.” On his approach to the jazz trio: “Our mission is to blur the differences between life and music, and to try to express the rawest form of our being.”

Opening: Bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz call their collaboration “a study of the crossroads where texture and extended technique meet with and support the expression of melody and song.”

Horvitz is, of course, renowned in Seattle and far beyond as a musician and composer who can do it all. Long resident here but a global musician, he has excelled in genre-expanding jazz and various related fields such as theater, and film.

Schoenbeck is classically trained and currently on the faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Packer Collegiate Institute. the New York Times has called her performances “galvanizing” and “riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound.” $10–35. For details visit earshot.org.

DJ OCnotes / SmackTalk w/ visuals by OCnotes

ADVANCE TICKET PRICES: $23 Adults, $21 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military
DAY OF SHOW TICKET PRICES: $28 Adults, $26 Earshot Members & Seniors, $10 Students & Military

Starting off the evening, DJ OCnotes takes the reins on vinyl and visuals. Best known for his wildly unpredictable and consistently on-point DJ sets, OCnotes has been the host of “Sunday Soul” on 90.3 KEXP since May 2018.

Born Otis Calvin III, OCnotes has been a vibrant figure on Seattle’s music scene since the turn of the decade, releasing over fifty albums, mix tapes, and EP’s over the years. OCnotes records as a solo entity, but also as one-half of Metal Chocolates with rapper Rik Rude, one-third of Indian Agent with Nicholas Galanin & Zak Dylan Wass, one-half of FREEKAZOIDZ with longtime friend Thrills, and is a member of the Black Constellation (Shabazz Palaces’ universe), among other collaborations.

OCnotes juggles performing and DJ’ing with his work as a live visual artist, often collaborating with Shabazz Palaces. His visual talents are out front-andcenter of his own beats for this not-to-miss Timbre Room show.

Smacktalk is a five-piece jazz-fusion collective. With a focus on original music, the group harnesses the powerful capabilities of the saxophone and rhythm section to create textural landscapes across a variety of genres. Formed in 2016, SmackTalk is party music for smart people. The ensemble is Natalie Barry (saxophone), Luca Cartner (drums), Sidney Hauser (saxophone), Ori Levari (keys), and Seth Thomsen (bass). Their jazz chops fuse with funky soul and indie rock energy for a brand of modern music all their own.

SmackTalk is one of several New Cool (88.5 KNKX) favorites attracting a younger audience. Sax frontwoman Barry tells KNKX: “Jazz qualities are absolutely appealing to younger listeners, because everyone likes to emotionally connect with the music they’re listening to. I think that jazz tonalities are particularly good at doing that. There’s nothing that says that the jazz scene is only inclusive of people that are hip to complicated chord changes and fast, intricate lines…but jazz influences are exploding and showing up everywhere.” $10–16. For more information visit earshot.org.


Posted on

October 3, 2019