Tia Fuller photo by Jerry Madison
Saturday, November 3, Seattle Art Museum, 8pm
Saxophonist Tia Fuller has a sound direct and intelligent, but articulate in its passion, a “versatile, creative voice on alto saxophone, soprano, and flute,” according to trumpeter Jon Faddis. Having just released her fifth album as a leader, Diamond Cut, featuring Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland, Fuller comes to the Earshot Festival with her quartet.
Fuller grew up in a musical family listening to the likes of Sarah Vaughan and John Coltrane. After earning her undergraduate degree at Spelman College in Atlanta and her master’s degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder, she is now a faculty member at Berklee College of Music. In musical performance and recording, her collaborators have include the late Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Esperanza Spalding, and Ralph Peterson, and she is currently a member and featured soloist of Beyoncé’s all-female touring band.
Fuller’s band includes guitarist Andrew Renfroe, bassist Chris Smith, and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr. A graduate of Juilliard and the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, Renfroe has played in groups led by Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, and Terrace Martin, and played in working groups with Braxton Cook, Jonathan Barber, and others.
Bassist Chris Smith has played with a dizzying variety of artists, including Quincy Jones, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Joshua Redman, and Robert Glasper. He also collaborated with Thundercat on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Award-winning To Pimp a Butterfly.
Hailing from Brooklyn, Mark Whitfield Jr., the son of guitarist Mark Whitfield, is a graduate of the Berklee who has studied with the likes of Joe Lovano, Hal Crook, and Ralph Peterson. His current collaborators include Myron Walden and Yasushi Nakamura.
Together they promise an evening of riveting music from a singular figure in jazz. As Ron Savage, chair of music at Berklee when Fuller signed on there, told DownBeat: “It’s not typical for any musician to go from playing hardcore, straightahead jazz to playing with one of the world’s biggest pop stars, and also have a master’s degree. She’s a complete package.”
$26 adults, $24 Earshot members and seniors, $10 students and veterans/military. Tickets at www.earshot.org.