Butch Morris conducting his Conduction® No. 189, S & P at PONCHO Hall Saturday night.

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.

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Evan Flory-Barnes conducts his ensemble in the premiere performance of his large chamber composition ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A CELEBRATION at Town Hall in the final presentation of the 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival.

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What a great performance by the orchestra moving through a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and classical music, complete with modern dancers and freestyle break dancers.

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The Seattle bassist and composer is excited premiering the large chamber work, a snapshot of the abundance of inspiration that can thread artistic mediums together in Seattle. The premiere of Acknowledgement of a Celebration features 35 musicians and ten dancers set to Flory-Barnes’s new compositions.
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Flory-Barnes credits his University of Washington instructor Barry Lieberman and contemporary double bass player Francois Rabbath for his own technical bass skills and expressive and inspired playing.
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Flory-Barnes performs with an inclusive passion and expressive intensity, as though he were completely immersed in music. He regularly brings his trio, The Teaching, to the Lucid jazz club in the University District for an open community jam and hang. The Teaching appeared in the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.

Toshiko Akiyoshi

March 12th, 2009

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Toshiko Akiyosh conducts the Seattle Jazz Repertory Jazz Orchestra during a performance at Nordstrom Hall on March 7th 2009

In a fantastic and entertaining performance, internationally renowned, award-winning composer, pianist, and NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi  lead the SRJO in a concert of big band works from her many years touring the globe with the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band. Born in Manchuria, Akiyoshi took up jazz as a teenager in Japan, coming to the US in her 20s to immerse herself in the sounds of Basie and Ellington. She became the first woman named “Best Arranger and Composer” by Down Beat magazine, and has recorded over 45 albums with a refreshing view of the art of jazz.

This was one in a series of concerts by the : NEA Jazz Masters Live  a new NEA initiative and Earshot Jazz has been chosen to participate. The program celebrates the living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz, NEA Jazz Masters Live supports meaningful, in-depth, extended engagements featuring NEA Jazz Masters that:

* honor their body of work, history, or styles
* provide understanding of their significance to jazz through thematically-designed or retrospective programming
* broaden audiences’ awareness of their unique contributions to this original American art form.

Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in jazz photography, photojournalism and portrait photography for publications and corporations. He is also a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photojournalism among Seattle wedding photographers.

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