Scrape photo by Jerry Morrison
Wednesday, August 2, 8pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N
Audiences partial to the “third stream” in music – a term coined by composer Gunther Schuller to describe the fusion of jazz sensibility into classical forms – will be excited to witness the forward-thinking, Seattle-based string orchestra, Scrape, in a concert at the pristine Chapel Performance Space on August 2. The evening features performances of original compositions by Knapp and guest composer and lyricist Toni McGowan. Scrape is also joined by vocalist Chérie Hughes singing a new piece by McGowan and special guest soloist, saxophonist Mark Taylor.
Founded by local composer, performer, and teacher Jim Knapp and composer and violinist Eyvind Kang, Scrape is a conductorless ensemble which features harp and guitar, along with traditional string sections.With its choral combination of voices and big-band approach to harmony, Scrape pairs the thematic and filmic evocativeness of a full symphony along with the suggestiveness and poetry of a chamber group. Its varied instrumentation of string textures, evoking wide emotional horizons while sustaining a surprising intimacy, has proved a welcome frame for the works of composers such as Wayne Horvitz, Bill Frisell, Jarrad Powell, and Sumi Tonooka.
Toni McGowan, a graduate of the Cornish College of the Arts, is a violinist and jazz singer in addition to composer. Her breadth of interest and variety of skills have lead her to play across the Northwest with artists including D’Vonne Lewis, Jovino Santos Neto, Randy Halberstadt, Max Holmberg, and more.
Another Washington native, Mark Taylor has been a force to reckon with on the Seattle scene and beyond. Taylor, who plays tenor, alto, and soprano sax, has joined giants such as Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and Ray Charles, but has also been a member of Matt Jorgenson +451 and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and has been featured by the Seattle Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Taylor was named the 2008 Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year, and recently earned the 2016 Golden Ear Award for Northwest Concert of the Year, for his and Dawn Clement’s group LineUp! featuring Julian Priester at the Ballard Jazz Festival.
“I love thoughtful composition,” Taylor has stated, “but also complete freedom, stuff that has depth and pushes you out of your comfort level.”
Chérie Hughes also has a remarkable performance record, and has played throughout the United States as a chamber musician. As one-half of the Pacific Duo with guitarist Roberto Limón, Hughes championed Mexican and Latin American composers in prominent concerts across Mexico. Hughes has performed, premiered, and recorded with a diverse array of classical ensembles from opera to the orations of Bach and Faure. She is currently director of vocal studies at Seattle Pacific University.
“The difference between composing and playing is a matter of speed and sociability,” Scrape composer and co-founder Knapp has aptly spoken. Knapp’s career has similarly veered between the conductor’s chair, the composer’s desk, and the bandstand. Born in Chicago, Knapp attended the University of Illinois, where he received his education in composition.
The radical artistry of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Don Cherry, and others inspired Knapp, a trumpet player, to embrace the instrument of the orchestra. Moving to Seattle, Knapp developed the jazz program at Cornish College of the Arts, from where he retired earlier this year. He has served as director of The Composers and Improvisors Orchestra and has led various small jazz groups, including Scrape and the 13-piece Jim Knapp Orchestra.
Knapp was for years the program head of Jazz within the Cornish Music Department. Among his awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Composition Fellowship, a Seattle Arts Commission Individual Artist Music Composition grant, and support from Meet the Composer and Artist Trust. In November 2006, he was honored by Cornish for “35 Years of Jazz.” In 2007, he was inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2010 received the “Certificate of Excellence in Teaching” for 2009-2010 from Cornish College of the Arts. In 2017, Knapp was awarded a special Golden Ear Award “in recognition that his forward-thinking work in jazz education has helped to shape Seattle’s jazz legacy”
Tickets will be on a sliding scale of suggested donation $5-15.