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Saturday night at Cornish was a special event in the 2015 Earshot Jazz festival hosted at Cornish College Poncho Hall. The trombone legend’s many Seattle-area friends paid tribute to his long career, which included spending the years 1979 to 2011 teaching at Cornish College of the Arts. His own quartet will be on hand, as will such friends as fellow trombonist Stuart Dempster, with a trombone choir.

Julian Priester grew up in Chicago, where his skills were apparent early and saw him playing with the likes of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Sonny Stitt. He joined the renowned Sun Ra Arkestra while still in his teens, and then from 1956 toured with Lionel Hampton and Dinah Washington. In New York, he worked in Max Roach’s band, and became a first-call trombone player for session work with many jazz greats, among them John Coltrane (including on the Africa/Brass sessions), Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, and Abbey Lincoln. Starting in the late 1960s, he toured with Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock, and later played with Sun Ra again, as well as Dave Holland, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and Lester Bowie’s New York Organ Ensemble.

In Seattle he has added to his long list of projects and recordings as a leader while also collaborating with a host of area innovators, among them Jerry Granelli, Wayne Horvitz, and Tucker Martine.

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