Gary Hammon: “In case you didn’t know”


Sunday, November 3
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 7:30PM

Support provided by 4Culture.
Co-presented with Langston.
Welcomed by Rainier Avenue Radio.

“You gotta understand that jazz is an expression of self.” Driven by a sense of history and purpose, Seattle jazz titan Gary Hammon debuts his brand-new project, “In case you didn’t know,” at this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival in an evening rooted in Seattle’s Central District jazz legacy.

Blending live storytelling and original compositions, this show is inspired by Hammon’s experience growing up in the CD in the ‘60s and ‘70s before his storied career in New York with key figures like Big John Patton, Ray Charles, Jaki Byard, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Stevie Wonder, and many more.

Learning saxophone as a student at Garfield High School, Hammon later studied under Joe Brazil, and played with many Seattle-based bands including Dave Lewis, the Black and White Affair, Chuck Metcalf, and Booker T. Williams. In 1969, he went on to attend the New England Conservatory as part of its first intake of black students.

After spending decades in the New York and Boston jazz scenes, he returned to Seattle to “give back to the community that raised him.” Hammon performed with another great Seattle based saxophonist, Hadley Caliman, eventually making a two tenors album Fangs (2005).

Continuing to enrich the local scene, Hammon often performs with seasoned Seattle stalwarts including trumpeters Nathan Breedlove and Erik Esvelt, and saxophonist Booker T. Williams Jr., among others. Passing on his knowledge to a new generation, Hammon mentors and coaches the award-winning jazz band at Ballard High School.

The festival appearance marks the project’s debut in its entirety. Hammon is joined by Carter Yasutake (trumpet), Booker T. Williams (saxophone), and special guests.

As Seattle continues to rapidly change, it is more vital than ever to honor the cultural arts districts and heroes that brought the city to life:  Gary Hammon’s “In case you didn’t know,” is an illuminating work of art that does just that.

$10–23. For details visit earshot.org.


Posted on

November 1, 2019