April 17th, 2013
The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble playing Monday night at the Royal Room.
The RRCME is a 15-20 piece band featuring Seattle’s finest and most innovative improvisers under the direction of composer Wayne Horvitz and performed his compositions in a loosely constructed format using a combination of on-the-spot (re)arranging and various other techniques, some of which have come to be known as “conduction”. Regular members include Beth Fleenor, Chad McCullough, Al Keith, Sam Boshnack, Ryan Burns, Geoff Harper, Greg Sinibaldi, Jacob Zimmerman, Craig Flory, Eric Eagle, Kate Olson, Naomi Siegel, Jacob Herring and Wayne Horvitz.
For moe on this amazing group of people look for the upcoming May issue of Earshot Jazz Magazine.
November 3rd, 2012
Last night at Town Hall, Earshot Jazz presented the Ballard and Roosevelt High School Jazz Bands as part of the 2012 Earshot Jazz festival. I missed the Ballard Band but made some pictures of the Roosevelt HS Jazz Band. Under Scott Brown, Roosevelt has been a perennial powerhouse at the national Essentially Ellington festival. It shared the stately Town Hall stage with its ever-strengthening Ballard HS counterpart, directed by Michael James.
The 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival continues in it’s last week ending on Sunday with Robert Glasper. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival
Roosevelt returned from a two-week summer European festival tour and second place finish at New York’s Ellington contest last May. “With loads of new talent and a strong core of veteran leadership,” Brown writes, “this year’s band is sure to be swinging!”
Brown, a trombonist, loves his job. “As a director, I am blessed to have so many wonderful musicians attending Roosevelt High School. When everyone in the band is ‘on the same page’ musically and spiritually, there is nothing better than to hear them swinging their tails off!”
These band directors draw on the pool of professional freelance regional artists to mentor their students. Brown hired saxophonist Stuart MacDonald as assistant director. MacDonald graduated from Roosevelt in 1991. James enlisted saxophonist Gary Hammon to help develop his band. Hammon emerged from the Seattle funk and free jazz scene, studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, toured with organist Big John Patton, returned to Seattle and recorded Fangs in 2005 with saxophonist Hadley Caliman.
October 24th, 2012
The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival
Wow. Last night at The Royal Room was a blast. B’shnorkestra is trumpeter Samantha Boshnack’s 14-piece ensemble of strings, horns and drums. Now a one-year-old amalgam of regional performers, the group is Joshua Kohl conducting Boshnack and violinists Alex Guy and Alina To, violist Brianna Atwell, cellists Daniel Mullikin and Maria Scherer Wilson, bassists Tim Carey and Isaac Castillo, woodwind players Chris Credit and Tobi Stone, French horn player Greg Campbell and percussionists Lalo Bello and Adam Kozie.
Boshnack attended Bard College, where she studied jazz performance and composition. A move from New York to Seattle in 2003 prompted lasting music collaborations. Of this project, the composer writes, “New musical connections and friendships have been forged. It felt wonderful to be the catalyst of that and have such accomplished musicians playing my music, really getting into it, and working together so well.”
Boshnack garnered financial support for this large project from multiple granting organizations and raised funds through Kickstarter to record eight compositions at Bear Creek Studio. That recording will be released in 2013, and this festival performance includes music from the recording, plus the premier of a new work.
October 23rd, 2012
Monday night at the Triple Door as the 2012 Earshot Jazz festival enters another week of wonderful performances, The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble put on a great set. The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble is a conduction group led by Wayne Horvitz, featuring many of the same musicians as the Voodoo Orchestra who they were opening for: drums Bobby Previte, saxophones Greg Sinibaldi, Neil Welch, Kate Olson, bass clarinet Beth Fleenor, trumpets Al Keith, Samantha Boshnack, Steve O’Brien, trombones Naomi Siege, Jacob Herring, French horn Tom Varner, string bass Geoff Harper and piano Ryan Burns.
Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival continues.
The Royal Room Collective operates around a unique system of instant arranging fueled by musical symbols that Horvitz newly created specifically for this music.
December 9th, 2010
International jazz star and acclaimed saxophonist, flutist, composer and band leader James Moody died today in San Diego. Above picture was made at the Earshot Jazz Festival in 2008 when he played with the SJRO and came out on stage with Bill Cosby.
“Mr. Moody died at 1:07 p.m. at the San Diego Hospice, according to his wife, San Diego Realtor Linda McGowan Moody, who was by his side. His death came after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
“He couldn’t have gone more peacefully,” said Mrs. Moody, who on Monday had her husband moved from their San Carlos home to the San Diego Hospice.”
Continue reading at San Diego Union-Tribune
June 3rd, 2010
Once again the Bellevue Jazz Festival is here and kicking it off at the Meydenbauer Theater was The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO), the Northwest’s premier big band jazz ensemble. Founded in 1995, the 17-piece big band is made up of the most prominent jazz soloists and band leaders in the greater Seattle area. SRJO played a concert of highlights from their 2009-2010 concert season, including hits from their November 2009 “Tribute to Ray Charles” concert (“One Mint Julep,” “Moanin”), their March 2010 “Big Band Monk and Mingus” concert (“Haitian Fight Song” by Mingus, “Misterioso” by Monk), their April 2010 “Birth of the Cool” concert (Boplicity, Rocker), and a new Michael Brockman composition for the SRJO titled “Passage Noir.” Featured soloists included trumpeter Jay Thomas, baritone saxophonist Bill Ramsay, pianist Randy Halberstadt, tenor saxophonist Hadely Caliman and Travis Ranney, trombonists Dan Marcus and David Marriott, plus alto saxophonists Mark Taylor and Michael Brockman.
Here are some highlights from the concert.
For tickets and more information go to the Festival website; Bellevue Jazz Festival
Jazz Photography by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, who photographs jazz performances, and creates portrait photography for publications and Seattle Wedding Photography with an artistic photojournalist style. See more work from this Seattle Photographer.
March 7th, 2010
The New York-based composer, conductor, and cornetist Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris redefined the roles of composer, conductor, and performer with this concert which featured two separate 15-member ensembles. Below is Butch working with the Associate Artists Ensemble.
The Associate Artists Ensemble was: Darian Asplund, soprano sax; Jacob Brady, drums; Colin Field, cello; Jacob Herring, trombone; Jamie Maschler, accordion; Evan McPherson, guitar; Steven O’Brien, trumpet; James Pfeffer, percussion; Matthew Reed, clarinet; Dick Robinson, flute; Sydney Robinson, voice; Jacob Stickney, tenor sax; Martin Strand, bass; Brent Vaartstra, guitar; Colby White, alto sax
The second group was the Master Artists Ensemble of: Brianna Atwell, viola; Heather Bentley, violin; Samantha Boshnack, trumpet; Greg Cambell, percussion; Lesli Dalaba, trumpet; Beth Fleenor, clarinet; Craig Flory, woodwinds; Wayne Horvitz, electronics; Paris Hurley, violin; Paul Kukichu, percussion; Joanne de Mars, cello; Lisa Miller, piano; Steve Moore, keyboards; Katie Rife, vibes; Monica Schley, harp; Tom Varner, horn.
This was one of the most interesting performances I have seen in a log time. Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris is recognized internationally as a leading innovator in the confluence of jazz, new music, improvisation and contemporary classical music and the principal theorist and practitioner in the evolution of Conduction®. Since 1974, his career has been distinguished by unique and outstanding international contributions to film, theater, dance, television, radio, interdisciplinary collaborations, concerts and recordings. Employing more than 5,000 musicians in 23 countries and 63 cities, Morris has opened the door to a new understanding of musical language. Morris has acted as a resident conductor and lecturer at institutions such as Princeton University, California Institute of the Arts, Yale University, Wesleyan University, New York University, University of Westminster, London, Orchestra della Toscana, Florence, Mito Museum, Mito, Japan, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and many others.
January 28th, 2010
This all-star dectet reunited and paid tribute to the inspirational iconoclast Sun Ra by playing many of his compositions from the late 1950s and early 1960s. There were sparkly robes, processions, group vocals, flying objects and planetary alignment. The cast of characters included Stuart Dempster: trombone, Bill Smith: clarinet, Tom Baker: guitar, Greg Sinibaldi: saxophone, Michael Monhart: saxophone, Jim Knodle: trumpet, Lynette Westendorf: piano, Greg Campbell: percussion, horn, Dan O’Brien: bass, Bill Moyer: percussion.
Jim Knodle on trumpet
Sunship reunited Brian Heaney, one of Seattle’s most creative guitarists, with the amazing New York saxophonist Michael Monhart, both formerly of the band Stinkhorn. Along with a fantastic rhythm section – David Revelli on drums and Andrew Luthringer on bass – and top it all off with the inimitable Stuart Dempster (trombone, didjeridu, conch, etc.) this swinging “intergalectric” ensemble lifted-off for a tour of the galaxy and it was a lot of fun. The packed house loved it too judging from the great reception they got.
Maybe I will see you there this weekend. The line up looks great here is the schedule for the rest of the festival:
The second weekend of: Is That Jazz?
Friday, January 29
JESSE CANTERBURY’S VERTIGO
Seattle clarinetist Jesse Canterbury leads an all-acoustic ensemble in a strikingly original mix of chamber music, improvisation, and tune-oriented melodic material informed and inspired by the music of clarinetists Louis Sclavis and Michael Moore. The group includes guitarist Tom Baker, cellist Joanne DeMars, and trombonist Chris Stover.
Co-led by drummer Chris Icasiano and saxophonist Neil Welch, Bad Luck is about sound art, slowly developed loops and pedals used to propel the music into new aural fields. Tight-knit original compositions meet sonic mosaics in a musical relationship cultivated by years on the bandstand.
Saturday January 30
CUONG VU TRIO
The brilliantly creative Cuong Vu brings his trio mates (Stomu Takeishi and Ted Poor) from New York to headline and close out the 2010 Is That Jazz? Festival. If you haven’t heard this scorching ensemble, do not miss this opportunity. In the words of one critic: “It’s pure art. There’s dark-darkenss, joyful lament… and everything about anguish and despair in flat, naked beauty… it will shake you.”
TOM BAKER QUARTET
Led by Seattle guitarist and composer Tom Baker, this quartet (with clarinetist Jesse Canterbury, bassist Brian Cobb, and drummer Greg Campbell) weaves modern avant-jazz tunes with beautiful and haunting improvisations. Their music blurs the boundaries between notated music and free improvisation; the unique soundscapes that result are grounded in history, while pushing at the boundaries of jazz.
Festival Website for further information:
All performances at: The Chapel Performance Space
(4639 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle – SW corner of 50th and Sunnyside in Wallingford).
October 23rd, 2009
October 19th, 2009
The award-winning Roosevelt High School Jazz Ensemble played Monday night at the Triple Door. After opening the show with some of their own material they were joined onstage with the Matt Wilson Quartet.
Under the 23-year leadership of Scott Brown, the big band remains one of the best of its kind in the country. In 2008, for the second year in a row and third time overall, the band won top honors at the Essentially Ellington competition. The Roosevelt High School Jazz Ensemble is directed by Scott Brown with the assistance of Stuart MacDonald.
Kirk Knuffke (trumpet), Jeff Lederer (alto sax), Chris Lightcap (bass), ands MAtt Wilson, (drums) join the Roosevelt High School Jazz Ensemble on stage at the Triple Door.
“This Matt Wilson Quartet is dedicated to bringing the music to the people. We perform music that is not afraid to challenge andentertain. We have fun and so will you!” Such is the guiding philosophy of percussionist Matt Wilson’s longstanding and widely celebrated quartet.
I will post a lot more photos over the next couple of days in a gallery when I can process them.