Festival Previews, Week 2

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Festival Previews, Week 2

Fred Hersch photo by Mark Niskanen

Fred Hersch

Sunday, October 9, 8pm | PONCHO Concert Hall
Welcomed by 88.5 KNKX
$32 general | $30 members & seniors | $20 students & military

A select member of jazz piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades. Known for his solo recordings as well as collaborations with vocalists, horn players, and rhythm section players alike, Hersch has established himself as an incredibly strong improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator, and recording artist. Over the last few years, Hersch’s collaborations have included musicians such as guitarists Julian Lage and Bill Frisell, vocalists Jo Lawry, Nancy King, and Norma Winstone, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, percussionist Richie Barshay, and others. As part of his solo career, Hersch became the first pianist to ever perform a full week at the legendary Village Vanguard as a solo pianist. In 2016 alone, he was named a Doris Duke Artist by the Doris Duke Foundation and Jazz Pianist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. He has also been nominated for eight Grammy awards. In addition to a strong performance career, Hersch has spent a significant amount of time in education, teaching at New England Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The New School, and The Manhattan School of Music. He currently teaches at Rutgers University.

“One of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation,” says DownBeat of the refined, romantic pianist. This is a rare opportunity to be in a small concert hall with a gorgeous 9’ Steinway and a brilliant pianist.

Josh Rawlings Trio Album Release Party

Sunday, October 9, 7pm | Bake’s Place
$20 general

The Josh Rawlings Trio, established in 2001 when they started at Cornish College of the Arts together, now celebrates 15 years playing as a group in Seattle with the release of their newest album, Swell. This sophomore album gives an honest look at the growth of their adventurous and energetic trio jazz style of playing since their debut Climbing Stairs released in 2008 at the previous Bake’s Place location. Swell features a collection of originals and exciting covers that include wonderful guest performances by other Seattle talent: vocalist Isabella Du Graf, trumpet player Gabriel Burbano, and tap dancer Jessie Sawyers. Swell is an album about the ebb and flow of life and the swell of emotion and sounds that come and go.

Comprised of Josh Rawlings on piano, Nate Omdal on upright bass, and Adam Kessler on drums, the Josh Rawlings Trio has a rich history, tight rapport, and eclectic repertoire. Whether swinging through jazz standards or putting their interpretive spin on modern classics, the group brings passionate energy and musical chemistry to each and every song they play.

Freddy Cole Quartet

Monday, October 10, 7:30pm | Triple Door
Welcomed by 88.5 KNKX
$32 general | $30 members & seniors | $20 students & military

“Blessed with warmth, timbral beauty, and grace” (Entertainment Weekly), Freddy Cole delivers his songs with such sensitive maturity and elegant reserve that it makes listeners reexamine their sincerity in all matters of consciousness. His pure and honest delivery, and the warm timbre of his voice make him one of the most formidable male jazz vocalists of his generation.

The last of a musical dynasty, he has led sparkling groups in swinging renditions of deeply felt and stylish vocal jazz. Guitarist Randy Napoleon, who has been playing and recording with Cole since 2007, says, “Freddy just glides through life. He’s got a lot of patience, warmth, a great sense of humor. The music is really inseparable from the person…One of the things that makes Freddy really great is his elegance and careful, judicious editing. He doesn’t play a lot of notes on piano, but the ones he plays really do make the band feel great. They’re melodic, it swings, and that’s it. He doesn’t feel you need a lot of extra, fancy stuff.”

Tonight, Freddy Cole is joined by guitarist Bruce Forman, drummer Quentin Baxter, and bassist Elias Bailey, who supported him on his Grammy-nominated 2010 release Freddy Cole Sings for Mr. B. They will be playing a tribute to his brother, the late, great Nat “King” Cole.

Kris Davis & Craig Taborn Duo

Tuesday, October 11, 8pm | PONCHO Concert Hall
Co-presented with Cornish Presents
$20 general | $18 members & seniors | $10 students & military

It is not often that concertgoers have an opportunity to completely reconsider the possibilities for an instrument as common as the piano. Earshot audiences that have spent time with either Kris Davis or Craig Taborn in concerts past can understand that potential. We’ll go you one better – we now have the unique opportunity to hear these two innovators together, in a two-piano concert in the air-tight PONCHO Concert Hall. The two will just be completing a tour on the heels of Davis’ new recording, Duopoly, that has taken them to prestigious stages around the country.

The Vancouver-born pianist/composer Kris Davis has played in New York jazz venues, and is known for her ability to seamlessly move from jazz standards to experimental improvisations evocative of avant-garde. Sometimes lightly percussive, at other times she is almost mathematical. Her 2011 album, Capricorn Climber, made “best of the year” lists in The New York Times and Art Forum, as well as on NPR. She holds a master’s in classical composition from the City College of New York and she teaches at the School for Improvisational Music. A prolific musical talent, Davis has appeared and recorded with many jazz leaders such as Bill Frisell, John Hollenbeck, and Mary Halvorson. In 2015 she was granted the Doris Duke Impact Award.

Craig Taborn is a remarkable pianist with a wide view. After an early stint as an integral part of the saxophonist James Carter’s ensembles, he opened his interests to move from straight-ahead jazz trios to solo electronic improvisation. He was heard often in Tim Berne’s bands and played with Dave Douglas, Gerald Cleaver, and many others. Now living in Brooklyn, Taborn is as likely to be playing free improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell as he is to be playing straight-ahead jazz at New York City’s Village Vanguard. Taborn’s 2011 composed solo piano album Avenging Angel was critically acclaimed. JazzTimes ranked Taborn in its 2013 critics’ poll as “best piano player,” and in 2014 he was granted a Doris Duke Artist Award.

Brian Lynch w/ Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Band

Wednesday, October 12, 7:30pm | Edmonds-Woodway High School Little Theater
Presented by Edmonds-Woodway High School Music Boosters
$12 general | $8 students

Edmonds-Woodway High School Music Boosters present the EWHS Jazz Band with special guest, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch. Edmonds-Woodway, under the direction of Jake Bergevin, has distinguished itself as a thriving community of jazz musicians, establishing Edmonds itself as a jazz town. The intimate theater at Edmonds-Woodway High School boasts a prime location and a promise for a great night of live music.

Brian Lynch, an honored graduate of two of the jazz world’s most distinguished academies – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet – brings to his music an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience. He has received wide acclaim during his long tenures with Latin jazz legend Eddie Palmieri and straight-ahead master Phil Woods, and has also been a valued collaborator with jazz artists Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons Héctor LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries including Prince.

A four-time finalist in the Essentially Ellington competition, the EWHS Jazz Band has also received Gold Commendations at the Loyola Jazz Festival in New Orleans, and is a regular participant in Starbucks’ annual Hot Java Cool Jazz. Graduates have attended such prestigious colleges as Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and USC Thornton School of Music.

Georg Graewe

Wednesday, October 12, 8pm | Chapel Performance Space
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $10 students & military

One of the most gifted improvisers in any kind of music, the remarkable German pianist returns to the pristine Chapel space for an unforgettable solo piano concert.

With more than 30 recordings to his name, Georg Graewe has been called “a pianist and composer of exquisite technique” (Allmusic.com) where “performing and improvising is visiting the past, setting an accent, against or with others” (E-Pulse Magazine).

Born in Bochum, Germany, in 1956, his career began in rock bands, but quickly moved to jazz. His influences are vast and eclectic, where recordings by Cream, Jelly Roll Morton, Schoenberg, and various country artists all share the same musical shelf space.

He has been a leader in new music, with a variety of ensembles, from trios – most notably his union with Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger and American percussionist Gerry Hemingway – to chamber orchestra formats. For 11 years, Graewe directed the 10-piece chamber music ensemble, GrubenKlangOrchester, including famed instrumentalists Franz Koglmann and Theo Jörgensmann.

He has played with acclaimed musicians in new music from all around the world. Innovators like Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Dave Douglas, and Phil Minton have joined him innumerous recording projects and concerts that span his productive career.

A prolific composer, since 2000, Graewe has composed three operas, and curated a series of 27 events presented in the European Captial of Culture RUHR.2010. His own record label, Random Acoustics, is aptly named: in Graewe’s own words, it’s about “coping with the momentary situation as a factor of music making.”

Graewe’s music may rejoice in birthing the random into art, but there’s nothing random in buying a ticket – another “don’t miss” Earshot opportunity.

Kareem Kandi Trio

Thursday, October 13, 5:30pm | Seattle Art Museum (Brotman Forum)
Co-presented with Seattle Art Museum
Free and open to the public

The talented and versatile saxophonist Kareem Kandi returns to the Brotman Forum at Seattle Art Museum with his trio. A preferred artist in the monthly Art of Jazz series, Kandi is joined by the soulful B-3 organist Delvon Lamarr and capable drummer Max Wood. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Kandi has been a sought-after performer, composer, and educator, willing to go beyond the expected to create his own unique style. After graduating from Cornish in 2002, he has garnered praises for his hard-swinging tunes and is appreciated by enthusiastic audiences with his impact on the regional jazz scene. While paying tribute to traditional and timeless musical styles of jazz, blues and funk, the Kareem Kandi Trio has a sound that is fresh, innovative, and appealing.

STG Presents Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Thursday, October 13, 7:30pm | Paramount Theatre
Presented by Seattle Theatre Group
$45-125

Truly a legendary artist and jazz icon of our times, Wynton Marsalis defies an introduction. As an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator, and a leading advocate of American culture, his music spans the jazz continuum, from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an immense range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Marsalis has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Marsalis attended Juilliard in 1979, and in 1980 joined the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. Marsalis’ entrance onto the jazz scene initiated the “Young Lions” movement and inspired an entire new crop of brass players. A multi-award-winning composer, his rich and expansive body of music places him among the world’s most significant composers.

In 1987, Marsalis co-founded and became Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In 1996, JLCO was installed as a new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet – a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution.

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock

Friday, October 14, 8pm | Chapel Performance Space
$18 general | $16 members & seniors | $10 students & military

Two of the most fascinating musicians in the free improvisation scene appear in duo tonight at the Chapel. Ingrid Laubrock, DownBeat’s 2015 soprano saxophone rising star, and Tom Rainey, a drummer “who swerves between avant-garde notions and a mainstream sensibility” (L.A. Times), improvise with captivating intuition.

After collaborating together for many years, these New York-based real-life partners debuted their 2014 recording And Other Desert Towns in 2014 to strong acclaim. This year’s follow-up, Buoyancy, continued to highlight their “undeniable rapport…as their lines and ideas weave and develop through close conversation” (FreeJazzBlog).

Originally from Germany, Laubrock was an active saxophonist and composer in the UK for 20 years, before moving to Brooklyn. She has collaborated with artists including Jason Moran, Mary Halvorson, and Tyshawn Sorey, and leads several of her own projects.

Born in L.A., percussionist Rainey moved to NYC in 1979, where he remains an active sideman and leader, working with artists including Tim Berne, Mark Helias, and Joe Lovano.

Brian Lynch & Thomas Marriott: “Night of the Cookers”

Friday, October 14 & Saturday, October 15, 7:30pm | Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club
Welcomed by 88.5 KNKX
$22 general | $20 members & seniors | $10 students & military

What happens when you mix Thomas Marriott’s “serious chops and a luxuriant sound”(JazzTimes) with “a masterful soloist…offering peerless, flawless improvisations”(L.A. Times)? You get a “Night of the Cookers,” a collaboration of two of the top-ten rated trumpet players in the world.

Brian Lynch, Grammy Award-winner and graduate of two of jazz world’s elite academies, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, joins forces with Thomas Marriott, seven-time Golden Ear Winner, winner of the Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition, and member of Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band, to whip up audiences in a trumpet extravaganza.

Lynch’s surefire recognition in both the bop and Latin worlds, having played with such notables as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson, along with Latin icons Héctor LaVoe and Lila Downs, will blend flavors well with Marriott’s extensive experience touring the world with the Tito Puente and Chico O’Farrill Orchestras, Rosemary Clooney, Les Brown and His Band of Renown, and many others. With more than two dozen recordings produced between the two of them, and hundreds of album credits to their names, both men are not only players of distinction, composers, producers, and leaders, but well-versed collaborators.

Backed by artists Marc Seales on piano, Matt Jorgensen on drums, and Chuck Deardorf on bass, a night with “deep confident tone and liquid phrasing”(Jazziz) boiled up with “passionate, brilliant solos, peppered with high notes”(Seattle Times) has gotta be tasty.

SWOJO w/ special guest Jenny Kellogg

Saturday, October 15, 7:30PM | Shorewood Performing Arts Center
$20 general | $18 members & seniors | $10 students & military

Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra with special guest, renowned trombonist Jenny Kellogg, presents a concert that celebrates contemporary jazz written by women composers. The evening also features the world premiere of “The Whale” by Miseung Kang, winner of SWOJO’s fourth annual composition contest, and the honorable mention composition “Smoking Monkeys” by Lauren McKinley.

SWOJO, co-founded by Barbara Hubers-Drake and Ellen Finn, was formed to nurture the musical, educational and artistic growth of individual musicians, to encourage women to become involved in jazz performance/composition as a career or avocation, and to foster community interest in and appreciation of jazz as an art form.

Since the first rehearsal in January of 2000, the band has performed at clubs, jazz festivals, and concert halls on two continents and performed with many distinguished artists including Don Lanphere, Mimi Fox, Becca Duran, Susan Pascal, Greta Matassa, Kelley Johnson, Hazel Leach, Jill Townsend, Ingrid Jensen, and Grace Kelly.

Scott Amendola & Wil Blades / Hunter Gather

Saturday, October 15, 8:30pm | The Royal Room
Welcomed by KEXP
$20 general | $18 members & seniors | $10 students & military

Described as “lean and mean” and “one of the liveliest acts in the Bay Area” by Forrest Dylan Bryant of Jazz Observer, the duo of drummer Scott Amendola and organist Wil Blades is living proof that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This collaboration formed with the ambitious goal of emulating the big band sound – with only the two of them. Through their tenacity and knowledge of how their instruments blend, they created their own cover of Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite. Amendola and Blades have since branched out to developing original material, exploring diverse genres running the gamut from avant-garde and funk to bebop and rock.

Opening the show is the Seattle band Hunter Gather, which also appeared in Earshot’s Jazz: The Second Century concert series earlier this summer. Consisting of frontman Levi Gillis on tenor sax, Cameron Sharif on keyboard, Ronan Delisle on guitar, and Chris Icasiano on the drums, Hunter Gather seeks to channel the fundamental spirit of jazz while also boldly bending and experimenting with the conventions. Their work incorporates genres spanning from indie rock to Afro-Caribbean, all while encompassing the ad libbing upon which jazz is based.