November 1st, 2009
Jim Knapp, one of the most respected composers and arrangers on the West Coast, has evolved his concept of ensemble music into a uniquely identifiable sound. Jim lead his orchestra in a performance last night at Poncho Hall at Cornish as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.
His 15-piece orchestra featured many of the finest jazz soloists in the Northwest, and has appeared in collaboration with Lee Konitz, Jay Clayton, Julian Priester, Jovino Santos Neto, Robin Holcomb, Kirk Nurock, Carla Bley, and Steve Swallow. Knapp has also served as director of The Composers and Improvisors Orchestra and has led various small jazz groups such as Ohio Howie and the Temple of Boom and the J-Word. Knapp founded and developed the jazz program at Cornish College of the Arts in the late 1970s, where he continues to teach and currently serves as a professor of music. In 2006, he was honored by Cornish College with a special “35 Years of Jazz” award in recognition of his many years of service to that institution.
Photographs by Seattle photographer Michael Craft