June 12th, 2013
Roscoe Mitchell performed last weekend at a concert put on by Table and Chairs at Benaroya Hall. Table & Chairs, a New Music record label located in Seattle, brought the legendary saxophonist and composer ROSCOE MITCHELL to Benaroya Hall, where he was featured in a concert dedicated entirely to his landmark composition, “Nonaah” [no-NAY-uh]. The performance featured a rare, extended solo saxophone performance by the composer himself, as well as several different arrangements of “Nonaah” spanning the length of Mitchell’s career. Starting off the musical performances was a Cello Quartet version of Nonaah featuring David Balatero, Natalie Hall, Brad Hawkins and Lauren McShane, conducted by Marcin Pączkowski. Then Roscoe Mitchell played his solo version of Nonaah, followed by an Alto Saxophone Quartet of Jacob Zimmerman, Ivan Arteaga, Andrew Swanson, and Neil Welch. Bad Luck, Neil Welch, tenor saxophone and Christopher Icasiano, drumset then played their version, Nonaah Reimagined.
June 11th, 2013
I had the pleasure to hear Roscoe Mitchell perform again last weekend at a concert put on by Table and Chairs at Benaroya Hall. Table & Chairs, a New Music record label located in Seattle, brought the legendary saxophonist and composer ROSCOE MITCHELL to Benaroya Hall, where he was featured in a concert dedicated entirely to his landmark composition, “Nonaah” [no-NAY-uh]. The performance featured a rare, extended solo saxophone performance by the composer himself, as well as several different arrangements of “Nonaah” spanning the length of Mitchell’s career.
More pictures from this will be posted another day.
Saturday night at the Bellevue Jazz Festival was a special treat of Cyrus Chestnut Trio with Stefon Harris. I love to watch Cyrus play and this trio was really good, but when Stefon Harris came out and joined them it was a whole new ball game. Cyrus Chestnut on Piano, Eric Wheeler on Bass, Evan Sherman on Drums, Stefon Harris on Vibes.
Virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary jazz, traditional jazz and gospel, plus the occasional seasonings of Latin and samba, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in recognizable form.
Chestnut has played with many leaders in the music scene including Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, and Betty Carter, recording and performing live around the world. An extremely versatile pianist, Chestnut has also collaborated with Vanessa Williams, Brian McKnight, Kathleen Battle, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jimmy Scott, Isaac Hayes, and Kevin Mahogany. His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call pianist in larger ensembles including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra.
Chestnut’s new album, Journeys, is his most compelling to date. His compositions are more mature than ever. Drawing from all facets of his life experiences, the result is a very unique musical journey for all to enjoy. Almost 20 years into his impressive career, Chestnut is further developing his musical voice: lyrical, timeless, and always deeply.
Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (The Los Angeles Times). He is unquestionably developing what will be a long and extraordinary career.
Harris’ passionate artistry, energetic stage presence, and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him into the forefront of the current jazz scene. Widely recognized and lauded by both his peers and jazz critics alike, he is committed to both exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone.
His 2004 project Blackout, featuring a hybrid of acoustic music and progressive sounds, was praised for “pursing jazz on its own terms” (Washington Post), and was taken on tour to perform to sold out crowds at The Kennedy Center and North Sea Jazz Festival.
In addition to leading his own band, Mr. Harris has recorded as part of The Classical Jazz Quartet, a series of jazz interpreted classics with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Lewis Nash. He has also recorded and toured with many of music’s greatest artists, including Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Buster Williams, Kenny Barron, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Coleman, and Steve Turre among many others.
June 1st, 2013
The Bellevue Jazz Festival presented a special treat Friday night with the Kendrick Scott Oracle, featuring Seattle’s Aaron Parks on keyboards. An interesting, complex and very moving performance. They are Kendrick Scott on Drums, Joe Sanders on Bass, Aaron Parks on Piano, Matt Stevens on Guitar, and John Ellis on Sax.
Kendrick Scott is highly regarded as one of the premier drummers of his generation as shown by the New York Times naming him one of “Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now.” His band, Kendick Scott’s Oracle (KSO) released its second recording, Conviction on Concord Records in January 2013. Conviction showcases Scott’s incredible subtlety and intensity and highlights his strengths as a drummer, composer and a leader. This personal narrative album is a snapshot of the band in its full emotive, unique and magnetic sound. The work focuses on what it takes to live, act and love with Conviction. Scott penned half of the album and the other compositions are by Herbie Hancock, Broadcast, Sufjan Stevens and more., Scott is a longtime member of the Terence Blanchard Band and is a rising star in his generation alongside Robert Glasper, Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke. Sought after my may, Kendrick has shared the stage with a diverse and amazing list of artists including Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and currently backs fellow Concord Artist, Kurt Elling.
June 1st, 2013
As the 2013 Bellevue Jazz Festival continues, bassist and composer Evan Flory-Barnes opened for Kendrick Scott last night at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center with a wonderful group of artists and played some beautiful new compositions. Evan Flory-Barnes played on Bass, Dawn Clement on Piano, Craig Flory on Winds, Art Brown on Winds, Ahamefule J. Oluo on Trumpet, Josiah Boothby on French Horn, Nathan Vetter on Trombone, Jon Hansen on Tuba, Jeremy Jones on Drums
Flory-Barnes cultivation in music started early on at Garfield High School where he was a member of an award-winning symphony orchestra. The young Seattle native envisions the creation of music with no barriers— he strives to compose music that reflects beauty, stirs emotions and enlightens the soul. Flory-Barnes’ musical span reaches across many genres having written music for the hip hop group Maroon Colony and collaborated with many renowned jazz musicians nationally and internationally.