Festival Previews, Week Three

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Festival Previews, Week Three

Marc Seales photo by Daniel Sheehan

Seales Brothers Band

Friday, October 23, 8pm | The Royal Room
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $9 students & military

In this rare, festival-only opportunity, we are teeming with excitement to see Marc and Jesse Seales, brothers and leading figures of separate Seattle scenes perform together.

Jesse Seales, a Bellingham blues- and rock-drenched jazzer and educator, was a founder of Stypes, one of the most notorious bands based out of Tacoma at the time. They worked the circuit for 15 years. As an avid traveler and Francophile, he has lived and studied in France, and expanded his knowledge of non-Western musical forms over the past two decades, further broadening his experience as a recording artist. He joined the pop-rock cover outfit Notorious 253 in May 2014.

Joining him is the celebrated Marc Seales, jazz professor at UW, bandleader, and recent inductee into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame. The force behind the Marc Seales Quartet’s expansive trilogy, American Songs, he has been described as sounding like a pre-funk Herbie Hancock, with hints of Bill Evans. Adding gas to the fire tonight are trumpeter Thomas Marriott, bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, and LA drummer Moyes Lucas Jr.

Tomeka Reid, Nicole Mitchell & Mike Reed

Friday, October 23, 8pm | Chapel Performance Space
$5-15 sliding scale

From Chicago come three key figures of the new generation of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians collective: versatile cello experimenter Tomeka Reid, renowned for her playing in many genres; frequent DownBeat poll winner Nicole Mitchell, whose explorations have taken her to a professorship at the UC Davis Integrated Composition Improvisation and Technology program; and drummer Mike Reed, “a center of gravity for music in Chicago (and beyond),” Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich says.

Creative flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator Nicole Mitchell is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal, and Sonic Projections. With her contemporary ensembles, from duet to orchestra, Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture and integrates new ideas with the legacy of jazz, R&B, blues and African percussion. A member of the AACM since 1995, she served as the first woman president of the organization. In recognition of her impact within the Chicago music and arts education communities, she was named “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. She’s the recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and among the first recipients of the Doris Duke Performing Artists Award (2012). She has been commissioned by Chicago Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and Maggio Florentino Chamber Orchestra.

Frank Catalano Quartet

Friday, October 23 & Saturday, October 24, 7:30pm | Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club
$20 general | $18 members & seniors | $10 students & military

Back by popular demand, the multi-genre, repeat Grammy Award-winning saxophonist excels whether accompanying the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Destiny’s Child, or in straight ahead jazz settings such as his riveting quartet.

Frank Catalano’s new Ropeadope Recording, God’s Gonna Cut You Down, debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz sales chart and was the #1 charting Instrumental album upon its release in April 2015. Love Supreme Collective debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts in July 2014 and is an homage to John Coltrane featuring Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), Percy Jones (Brand X), Chris Poland (Megadeath), and Adam Benjamin (Kneebody).

Now 37 years old, Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool, and Louis Bellson, while still in high school. This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to three Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He has also performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.

Being John McLaughlin

Saturday, October 24, 8pm | The Royal Room
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $8 students & military

The wholly sensible perception of the six Seattle mavericks of Being John McLaughlin is that, with sufficient application, and imagination, it is possible to do justice to the spirit of one of the most singular of musical outfits, John McLaughlin’s mighty Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The 1970s quintet of the legendary English guitarist was astounding, indeed epochal. McLaughlin honed the unit into so breathtakingly idiosyncratic a fusion of Indian- and Eastern-steeped rock and jazz that music and band have seemed inseparable. The “orchestra” was a formidable, juddering machine of superheated transport: McLaughlin, after the brilliance of his English release, Extrapolation in 1969, and then his stints with Tony Williams’s Lifetime and Miles Davis’s electric band, brought together keyboardist Jan Hammer, violinist Jerry Goodman, and bassist Rick Laird, and had Billy Cobham propel the mighty monolith with often staggeringly fast flashing sticks and pedaling feet.

The result was something so distinctively theirs that contemporaries could only stand and gape. But the time for that kind of reverence has passed; the Mahavishnu tunebook bursts with glorious compositions, all offering opportunities for exciting interplay among accomplished musicians alert to the spirit of Mahavishnu. And that  is what we hear stoked by keyboardist Ryan Burns, guitarist Tristan Gianola, violinist Alicia DeJoie, bassist Geoff Harper, drummer John Bishop, and special guest, saxophonist Mark Taylor. All are fixtures on the Seattle scene. Previous performances have proven their full readiness to take on a still-rare ascent of the mountain of Mahavishnu.

Julian Priester 80th Birthday Celebration

Saturday, October 24, 8pm | PONCHO Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts
$16 general | $14 members & seniors | $8 students & military
Co-presented with Cornish Presents

The trombone legend’s many Seattle-area friends pay tribute to his long career, which included spending the years 1979 to 2011 teaching at Cornish College of the Arts. His own quartet will be on hand, as will such friends as fellow trombonist Stuart Dempster, with a trombone choir.

Julian Priester grew up in Chicago, where his skills were apparent early and saw him playing with the likes of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Sonny Stitt. He joined the renowned Sun Ra Arkestra while still in his teens, and then from 1956 toured with Lionel Hampton and Dinah Washington. In New York, he worked in Max Roach’s band, and became a first-call trombone player for session work with many jazz greats, among them John Coltrane (including on the Africa/Brass sessions), Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, and Abbey Lincoln. Starting in the late 1960s, he toured with Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock, and later played with Sun Ra again, as well as Dave Holland, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and Lester Bowie’s New York Organ Ensemble.

In Seattle he has added to his long list of projects and recordings as a leader while also collaborating with a host of area innovators, among them Jerry Granelli, Wayne Horvitz, and Tucker Martine.

Jessica Lurie Ensemble

Sunday, October 25, 7:30pm | Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $9 students & military

Seattle- and Brooklyn-based Jessica Lurie is one of the elite artists to come out of the Seattle 1990’s explosion of jazz and improvisational music. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, Lurie performs on saxophones, flute, accordion, electronics, and voice. Growing up under the influence of an inquisitive musical household and Seattle’s divergent yet crossover-rich music community, she calls on a wide range of musical influences from around the globe as a composer and performer. Known for “melding lyrical pop, stinging rock, rhythmic Eastern European folk music and improvisation-heavy jazz with a dose of free-wheeling avant-groove-meets-grind” (Dan Oulette), her performances are dynamic, full of high-energy interaction between band members. In fact, 2015 has been a watershed year for Lurie, with multiple European tours with The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet and as a soloist, ongoing development, and groundbreaking performances with the NYC Jewish Afrobeat group Zion80, creative growth with her Ensemble, the founding of improvising funk group Full Fathom Five, and the revitalization of the Living Daylights with Arne Livingston and Dale Fanning.

At this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival, she presents her Instant Light Ensemble. The name of the group and many of her new compositions are inspired by polaroids and memoirs by Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky. Performing with her will be long-time collaborator and co-producer Todd Sickafoose on bass, dynamic improvisor Bill Horist on guitar, and high-octane drummer Tarik Abouzied, with special guest Alex Guy on violin. Lurie plans to record a new CD with Sickafoose this coming winter, to be released in Spring 2016.

The Westerlies / Skerik

Sunday, October 25, 8pm | Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium
$22 general | $20 members & seniors | $11 students & military

The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of four Seattle natives: Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. The players have followed similar musical veins, all products of one of two of the best US high school jazz programs – Garfield and Roosevelt – and further training in New York City at either the Manhattan School of Music or Juilliard.
Last May, The Westerlies released their praised debut album Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz, a brass reinterpretation of a collection of compositions by Seattle-based composer and mentor to the ensemble, Wayne Horvitz. With an unorthodox instrumentation and exceptional precision, the collaboration of Horvitz’s music and The Westerlies has been called “a perfect fit” (NPR’s Kevin Whitehead) and “one of the very best things released in 2014” (jazz blog Bird Is The Worm). This September, the group returned to the studio for an anticipated second album of new music; its release date is still to be announced.

Also on the bill is genre-defying saxophonist Skerik. Performing with electronics and looping, the Seattle native is a pioneer of a playing style dubbed “saxophonics.” The 2003 Earshot Jazz Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year was an original member of Les Claypool’s Fancy Band and Frog Brigade and a founding member of Critters Buggin and Garage a Trois. Skerik’s current projects include the rhythmically driven Bandalabra with revered Seattle players Andy Coe, Evan Flory-Barnes, and D’Vonne Lewis.

Monktail Creative Music Concern 15th Anniversary

Monday, October 26, 7:30pm | The Royal Room
$14 general | $12 members & seniors | $7 students & military

For 15 years, the Monktail Creative Music Concern has fueled innovation in Seattle jazz and jazz-related music through its many member bands. It’s time to celebrate a collective of composers, musicians, and artists who live by a simple credo: “Thrive o­n the atypical and exigent; the real weirdo stuff.”

The MCMC was founded in 1990 by John Seman and Mark Ostrowski, two jazz musicians who sought to explore improvisation in jazz and contemporary music. Seman started the organization after he graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and moved to Seattle, soon followed by high school friend Ostrowski, who had studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. By 2000, the pair were admitting to having “abducted performers, artists, and other nogoodniks from Seattle’s seedy underbelly” to fuel the Monktail cause. Today Monktail musicians hail from Whidbey Island and Long Island to the UK and beyond.

So come party with the thriving Northwest collective, and share the joy of its fostering the expansive projects of many of the region’s leading voices in adventurous and entertaining music – and doing all of that in a sustained and still-expanding way.

On show are two of Monktail’s many member bands. In the sonic-spelunking noise guerrilla trio Special O.P.S., Bay Area electric guitarist Stephen Parris joins Seattle’s John Seman on contrabass and Mark Ostrowski on drums to engage and skirmish with all elements of timbre, volume, and electrical resistance.

Non Grata is Monktail’s flagship big band. It doses its large-scale free improvisation with cued material, comet chasing the cosmic trails of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, The Mothers, and Globe Unity Orchestra. It features Darian Asplund, Robby Beasley, Kenny Mandell, Billy Monto, Pat Holen, Greg Campbell, Bob Rees, Mark Ostrowski, Stephen Fandrich, David Milford, Scott Adams, Stephen Parris, Simon Henneman, and John Seman.

Nate Wooley & Paul Lytton

Tuesday, October 27, 8pm | Chapel Performance Space
$16 general | $14 members & seniors | $8 students & military

Trumpeter Nate Wooley teams with free jazz percussionist Paul Lytton to form a textural, avant-garde duo. Wooley uses amplifying effects on his instrument, and impresses with virtuoso playing, using experimental registers and sentimental phrasing. Lytton creates lush, minimalistic sounds with electronics and obscure tones. The adventurous percussionist incorporates a clutter of objects like water, a flour sifter, and wooden blocks into his kit playing. While British Lytton and American Wooley have a 27-year age gap, the musicians have found a commonality in their improvising styles, making for a collaboration that organically avoids a repetition of ideas.

Lytton has worked extensively on the London free improvisation scene in the 1970s and was a founding member of the London Musicians Collective. The percussionist has appeared on over 40 recordings and worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Barry Guy, and the London Jazz Composers Orchestra.

Wooley has released multiple records under his own name since 2009 and has been gathering international acclaim for his playing for the last three years. The “iconoclastic trumpeter” (Time Out New York) has had his compositions featured in art festivals in New York, Copenhagen, and Poland. Wooley also acts as the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music.

Chano Domínguez Trio

Wednesday, October 28, 7:30pm | Teatro ZinZanni
$11-27, with discounts available for members, seniors, students & military
Presented by Teatro ZinZanni

Reared in Cadiz, steeped in his father’s passion for flamenco, and remarkably fluent in a number of styles, this flamenco-jazz pianist has become a favorite of European audiences for his earthy, flamenco- and bolero-infused style. Now a Seattle-area resident, Chano Domínguez debuts a new ensemble featuring percussionist Jose Martinez, bassist Jeff Johnson, and special guest musician on woodwinds, Hans Teuber.

Renowned pianist and composer Domínguez has pursued expression of his flamenco origins in jazz from his youngest days, on guitar and then piano. After 25 years on the piano, he has dazzled all kind of audiences and great musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Riveria, Herbie Hancock, Paco de Lucia, Tomatito, and many others. His compositions have been played by WDR Big Band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Latvia Symphonic Orchestra, and Ballet Nacional de Espana. Domínguez won a Latin Grammy for the soundtrack of the movie Calle 54 (2001), directed by Fernando Trueba, as well as a Grammy nomination for best Latin Jazz Album category with Flamenco Sketches (Blue Note Records 2012).

Mimi Fox

Wednesday, October 28, 8pm | Chapel Performance Space
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $9 students & military

Joe Pass, one of the greatest 20th-century guitarists, once said that Mimi Fox “plays with tremendous fire” and “can do pretty much anything she wants on the guitar.”

Fox’s “firm control, clarity and concept” (AllAboutJazz.com) will provide an evening of both rich musical texture and passion. Winner of six consecutive DownBeat Magazine’s international critic’s polls, Fox is not only a world-renowned guitarist but composer and recording artist as well. Her introduction to the international jazz scene in the 1990s with a pair of CDs on Monarch records was followed by eight more, many critically acclaimed. Perpetually Hip, a 2006 double CD, was called a “masterwork” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Of her most recent album, Standards, Old & New, Guitar Player Magazine proclaims, “Beyond her passion and virtuosity, Fox plays with a profundity that only comes from a lifetime devotion to ones art.”

Touring extensively throughout the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, her schedule includes major festivals from Tokyo to New York, including Montreal, Guinness Cork, Perth International, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. In addition to her breakneck performance calendar, Fox has composed and performed original scores for orchestra, documentary films, and dance, and has received prestigious grants from organizations including the California Arts Council and the William James Association.

“A remarkably accomplished straight ahead player with flawless time, pristine execution, serious chops…and an inner urge to burn” (JazzTimes), Fox will provide a profound evening of both rich virtuosity and passion.

Sonic Evolution: Seattle Symphony Orchestra w/ Bill Frisell, Shaprece, & Derek Bermel w/ Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

Thursday, October 29, 7:30pm | Benaroya Hall, S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium
$25-45
Presented by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

What does the evocative work of African American painter Jacob Lawrence have to do with jazz, have to do with the Seattle Symphony, have to do with the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band? It’s all about influences.

Jacob Lawrence, a longtime professor at the University of Washington, created a body of work called The Migration Series, depicting the Great Migration of African Americans out of the South. Derek Bermel, a noted composer and clarinetist, saw Lawrence’s work and wrote a piece that was hailed by the New York Times as “riveting” and “wondrous.” Now, add the performers, acclaimed Roosevelt High School Jazz Band and the Seattle Symphony, and you have the cornerstone work for this Sonic Evolution.

More influencing: the renowned jazz guitarist and Seattle transplant Bill Frisell, along with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (directed by Ludovic Morlot), takes on a new work by the prolific jazz pianist and composer Wayne Horvitz. Seattle-born, nationally rising vocalist Shaprece closes the evening with new orchestral arrangements of her soulful blend of modern jazz, R&B and electronica.