So to catch up on my festival coverage,  last night’s show  was the wonderful Eric Vloeimans as Earshot Jazz Festival 2014 rolls on. Eric Vloeimans was as wonderful as ever playing with a new group and  a delightful set of music. Always a great dresser I was most impressed with his shoes last night.

“Jazz trio instruments that come to mind typically aren’t trumpet, accordion and cello. Nor was it necessarily so for Dutch trumpet sensation Eric Vloeimans (pronounced “Flooeymans”), who concocted the present ensemble by combining an instrument he loved (cello) with one he formerly hated (accordion) and added himself. The initial gig proved electrifying for audience and performers alike and, thus, Oliver’s Cinema (the name is an anagram of the trumpeter’s name) was born. Rounding out the trio are accordionist Tuur Florizoone from Belgium and cellist Jörg Brinkmann from Germany.

Regarded as one of Europe’s best performers, Vloeimans has been active in a wide variety of ensembles. He has toured the U.S. twice with his acoustic chamber jazz group, Fugimundi Trio, whose repertoire ranges from contemporary jazz, hymns, and world music to standards. He also leads Eric Vloeimans’ Gatecrash, which has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s top cross-over bands. Vloeimans has played with an array of international artists, among them Mercer Ellington, Peter Erskine, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz and Joey Baron.

Jörg Brinkmann studied at the college of Arnheim, Netherlands, and is renowned for his ability to play with jazz and pop bands. Tuur Florizoone is one of the most beloved musicians from Flanders, and has performed with a wide range of contemporary artists, including Carlos Nunez, Manu Chao, Zahava Seewald, and more.

The group’s 2013 CD takes the cinema theme seriously, and includes music written for film, including themes like Rosemary’s Baby and Cinema Paradiso, music with a cinematic quality, Ennio Morricone-like soundtracks and new, original and evocative compositions for imaginary films.”

Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule






Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet

June 27th, 2014

Jazz muscian Ambrose Akinmusire in Seattle

Last night at the Seattle Art Museum, Ambrose Akinmusire kicked off the Earshot Jazz 2014 Summer Concert series.

Blue Note recording artist Ambrose Akinmusire is a trumpeter and composer who has gone from strength to strength since winning the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. He has since taken such honors as DownBeat’s 2012 trumpeter of the year title, and several others. As that would suggest, his albums, including When the Heart Emerges Glistening and the imagined savior is far easier to paint, both on Blue Note, have won critical acclaim. His forward-reaching compositions have earned him a commission from New York’s Jazz Gallery and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation’s MAP Fund and Chamber Music America’s French-American Jazz Exchange Program. In 2011, he debuted his star-studded Big Band on one of the world’s most renowned stages, Carnegie Hall. The following year he was named Artist-in-Residence at the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The latest Blue Note album of the forward-thinking, Oakland-raised musician “with a bent toward atmospheric post-bop,” as Blue Note puts it, was out in March: the imagined savior is far easier to paint. His quintet collaborators are Walter Smith (tenor sax), Sam Harris (piano), Harish Raghavan (bass), and Justin Brown (drums).

Jazz muscian Ambrose Akinmusire in Seattle


The UW School of Music and Earshot Jazz presented renowned guitarist Bill Frisell in an evening of duo and trio performances with trumpeter Cuong Vu and pianist Robin Holcomb in this Earshot Jazz Festival event celebrating Frisell’s appointment as affiliate professor of music in the UW Jazz Studies program. this was the first of four appearances by Frisell in the 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival.


Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.









Also last night at the Royal Room Earshot Jazz Festival presented  the Steve Treseler Group with Ingrid Jensen.Seattle tenor saxophonist Steve
 Treseler celebrates the release of Center Song, with renowned guest trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, pianist Dawn
 Clement, guitarist Chris Spencer,
 drummer Steve
 Korn. The group explores new material by Treseler, a piece by Jensen, a Lee 
Konitz tune, a Sunny Day Real Estate
 adaptation and some short improvisations.

Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.









Earshot Jazz Festival 2013 presented The Westerlies opening for Dave Douglas on Saturday night at Poncho Concert Hall at Cornish College. Later they returned and played a few numbers with Dave and his group.


Trumpet Madness

October 5th, 2013

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle

Friday night at Tula’s saw a return of Jay Thomas this time with his Trumpet Madness.  Jay Thomas brought Willie Thomas (trumpet), young Seattle trumpeters, John Hansen (piano), Chuck Kistler (bass) and Adam Kessler (drums) to Tula’s.

A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Thomas began to develop his lyrical and bluesy tone as a teen on scholarship to Berklee. He then worked and studied for several years in New York, then, the Bay Area. Later, in Seattle, Thomas became a frequent member of the house band at Parnell’s Jazz Club, working with artists George Cables, Charles McPherson, Bill Mays, Ralph Penland, Harold Land, Diane Schuur, Slim Gaillard and many jazz greats as they traveled through Seattle. Today, he is a member of one of Japan’s leading big bands, where he records and performs several times a year. Often, he shares those star players with audiences in the States.

Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle

Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle


Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.

Christian Scott Band

October 31st, 2012

I was really impressed with the Christian Scott Band last night at the Triple Door as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. I had never heard Christian play and he has a wonderful tone and a high level of energy that was great.

The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues in it last week. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival 
Christian Scott grew up in a jazz family in New Orleans. His grandfather Clinton Scott was the host of “Sittin’ in with Clint,” a jazz program at the WWOZ radio station; his uncle, saxophonist Donald Harrison, is a modern jazz icon. Scott takes these traditional foundations and creates innovative compositions with his self-described style of “stretch music,” pushing the limits of traditional jazz by adding stylistic elements like rock and hip-hop. Bandmates Matthew Stevens on guitar, Lawrence Fields on piano, Kris Funn on bass and Jamire Williams on drums meet him at every beat.

Scott started playing the trumpet at 12 and within a year was performing alongside his uncle. When he was 18, he self-released his self-titled album Christian Scott. At 22, he signed with Concord Jazz and released the Grammy-nominated album Rewind That. With the release of sixth album Christian aTunde Adjua this year, Scott shows no signs of slowing down.

Christian aTunde Adjua’s two-CD, 23-track collection takes traditional New Orleans jazz to edgy territories. Trained in classic jazz, Scott says, “My uncle took me back to the very beginning of the music. He taught me stuff that Buddy Bolden was playing in the early 1900s.”

Scott’s provocative style goes a step further to illuminate current social and political issues. He reflects on the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, racism, abortion and gay marriage. Song “The Last Broken Heart,” from his Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (2010), was inspired by debate over gay marriage. “It’s a very challenging song to play, but the small dissonances within the song make it very captivating,” Scott says. “What could be more beautiful than two people deciding to love each other? It’s better than two people deciding to hate each other, but somehow that’s more acceptable.”
Scott says, “There’s no better time than right now to fix all of the problems and issues that we face as individuals and as a society,” he says. “The problems that some of the musicians of the 60s addressed still exist. They may look a little different, but they’re still around.” – ST

Cuong Vu’s Triggerfish

October 18th, 2012

Last night at ILLSLEY BALL NORDSTROM RECITAL HALL AT BENAROYA HALL was a special treat. Comfortable seats, a great view and a wonderful sound of two great trios starting with Cuong Vu’s Triggerfish. The 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival continues and tonight completes the first week. It goes on until Nov 4th.
Cuong Vu is a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. As a youngster himself, Vu’s intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music, then to New York in 1994 to begin an early career alongside other West Coast transplants Chris Speed, Jim Black, Andrew D’Angelo. Vu led various groups while touring extensively and performing with Pat Metheny, Myra Melford, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie.

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

As a leader, Vu has carved out a distinct sonic territory on the trumpet, blurring stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic. Now an assistant professor in jazz studies at the University of Washington, he was recently awarded the UW’s prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award and is a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. For this performance, he is joined by Ted Poor on drums and Eric Revis on bass.

– DB

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

New York-based composer and trombonist Andy Clausen joined former tongue-in-cheek cross-town rival Riley Mulherkar (now classmates at Juilliard) to present the complete Birth of the Cool suite with a Seattle nonet, including French hornist Tom Varner and alto saxophonist Mark Taylor last week at the Chapel Performance Space presented by Earshot Jazz.

To bring a faithful rendition of the classic 1949-1950 recordings, Clausen and trumpeter Mulherkar have compiled parts from various sources and transcribed and edited scores for the complete Birth of the Cool suite. Clausen “I find this music compelling enough to merit serious investigation … I have personally dedicated dozens of hours to copying out every part from the scores and preparing the music to be as accurate as possible. This music needs to be heard.”

If you haven’t heard Birth of the Cool, get it and listen immediately: the legendary nonet with Miles out front plays with the timbre and density of combinations of trombone, tuba, French horn, alto and baritone saxes and rhythm section – lasting as some of the most elegant approaches for groups of its kind. For Clausen, a personal investigation of this suite is not anachronism but a natural extension of his work for his Wishbone Ensemble, an acoustic group featuring his original music for trombone, clarinet, piano, accordion and drums.

Clausen graduated from Roosevelt High School and was the recipient of the 2009 Gerald Wilson Award for Jazz Composition from the Monterey Jazz Festival. An active composer, arranger and bandleader since the age of 14, Clausen has released two albums of original music to critical acclaim. The New York Times has described his work as “sleek, dynamic large-group jazz, a whirl of dark-hued harmony and billowing rhythm.”

Riley Mulherkar, a graduate of Garfield High School, was the recipient of the 2010 Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist award from the Essentially Ellington Competition; the New Yorker calls him a “brilliant teen-aged trumpeter”; and Wynton Marsalis named Mulherkar among a high-profile list of the Next Generation of Jazz Greats in a recent interview in JET magazine.

Ballard Jazz Festival

May 24th, 2012

Here is some belatedly coverage of the wonderful Ballard Jazz festival. I have been preoccupied for a while and apologize for just getting around to posting these shots.
Above is Human Spirit at Conor Byrne Pub. Human Spirit is Thomas Marriott – trumpet; Mark Taylor – saxophone; Orrin Evans – piano; Phil Sparks – bass; Matt Jorgensen – drums

Todd DelGiudice Quartet was playing next door on Ballard Ave the same night at LOCK ‘N KEEL. Above are Todd DelGiudice – saxophone; Jon Hamar – bass; Julian MacDonough – drums

Another highlight of the evening was Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto playing at PARATII CRAFT BAR on Leary Ave. Jovino Santos Neto – piano; Chuck Deardorf – bass; Ben Thomas – vibes; Byron Vannoy – drums

Pearl Django was great playing at the LEIF ERIKSON LODGE. Michael Gray – violin; Rick Leppanen – bass; David Lange – accordion; Ryan Hoffman – guitar; Troy Chapman – guitar
they had a good turnout and it was fun watching people dance to their tunes in the back of the hall.

Above is another shot from Human Spirit. Wish I could have seen more. Got to the COPPER GATE just as Jon Alberts / Tad Britton / Dean Schmidt finished their last set.