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.








Phillip Glass in performance at Earshot Jazz Festival
Sunday night Earshot Jazz presented Phillip Glass in concert at the KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE CENTER in a beautiful concert.
A cultural and artistic giant, Glass is an iconoclast of contemporary composition. He returned to Seattle for a rare solo piano performance. Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. His operas play throughout the world’s leading houses; he has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures, such as The Hours and Martin Scorsese’s Kundun; while Koyaanisqatsi, his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since Fantasia.

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

Phillip Glass in performance at Earshot Jazz Festival




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

JAzz photography at Earshot Jazz Festival performance of Mehliana: Brad Mehldau  & Mark Guiliana
The Earshot Jazz Festival continued on Weds night at the Triple Door.  Brad Mehldau, one of the greatest of modern jazz pianists, debuted a piano-less duo, extending his range to Fender Rhodes and a battery of synthesizers, with Mark Guiliana, one of the most exciting young drummers on the scene. The result was a trance-laden, free and majestic live performance in which Mehldau displayed a pension for calmly improvising in a way no other modern pianist can. Guiliana’s jungle-beat precision and unbreakable groove touched upon modern drum ‘n’ bass, nodding back to the unbound dance-funk spirit of the early 70s. A completely free-form performance with no set compositions, the sound was two of the world’s most refreshing instrumentalists deftly humanizing live, improvised electronic dance music.
Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.

JAzz photography at Earshot Jazz Festival performance of Mehliana: Brad Mehldau  & Mark Guiliana

JAzz photography at Earshot Jazz Festival performance of Mehliana: Brad Mehldau  & Mark Guiliana

JAzz photography at Earshot Jazz Festival performance of Mehliana: Brad Mehldau  & Mark Guiliana



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

At the Kirkland Performance Center, one of America’s greatest living composers, trailblazer Philip Glass performed last night, with African kora virtuoso Foday Musa Suso, and percussionist Adam Rudolph in an evening

of  wonderful and masterful music.

The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival 

Born in 1937, raised in Baltimore, Glass went on to study at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar.

He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble – seven musicians playing keyboards and a variety of woodwinds, amplified and fed through a mixer. Glass’ new music, eventually dubbed minimalism, worked with extended reiterations of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry.

n the last 25 years, through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble and his collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.

The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival 


So for my final set of the evening on Sunday I ended up at Tula’s and got to enjoy the Jon Hamar Quintet.the top-flight Seattle bassist Jon Hamar explored new music with tenor-sax titan Rich Perry, virtuoso multi-reedist Todd DelGiudice , pianist John Hansen and drummer Julian MacDonough,

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Hamar released his third CD, Hymn (Origin), in September to stellar reviews. DelGiudice features on the release, which eschews the traditional trio format to explore the melodic possibilities sans drums. Bolstered by the lithe alto sax of DelGiudice and Grammy-nominated Geoffrey Keezer on piano, Hamar presents a diverse collection of originals and arrangements that highlights the spirited interplay of these three voices.

Kennewick-born Hamar began playing string bass at age 11. He earned a bachelor’s degree in classical bass performance from Eastern Washington University and a master’s degree in jazz from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He teaches at Central Washington University, Northwest University (Kirkland), Edmonds Community College.

Hamar welcomes Rich Perry, a colossal jazz talent appearing on over 70 CDs. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Perry became interested in jazz in high school, then studied briefly at Bowling Green State University before moving to New York City. In 1977, he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and spent two years touring the U.S. and Europe, and then continued with Mel Lewis. The band is now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has three Grammy-nominated CDs. Perry is on the jazz faculty of William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Also making up the group tonight: the fluid clarinet and sax tones of Florida-native Todd DelGiudice, assistant professor of clarinet and saxophone at Eastern Washington University and member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra; gem of the Northwest jazz scene, pianist John Hansen, an ensemble player with an attentive ear; drummer Julian MacDonough, the energetic timekeeper behind an eclectic mix of bands and instructor in Western Washington University’s jazz department.

– GB

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule

Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto played at Bake’s Place as the Bellevue Jazz Festival continued through June 3rd this year, and I caught Jovino and his group on Friday June 1st. It was my first time shooting at Bake’s and the red light is kind of overwhelming but the band sounds great. Managed to tame it a bit here for these images and here are some of my favorites from their performance.

Nelda Swiggett at The Chapel Performance Space

Earshot Jazz Festival 2011 presented Seattle gem, pianist Nelda Swiggett, who creates what All About Jazz called “refined and confident, open and inviting” music with “a bright palette, a sinewy execution, and a powerful, assertive command” with Chris Symer (bass), Byron Vannoy (drums), Rachel Swerdlow (viola), and Walter Gray (cello).

Check out the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule to see what’s next in the 2011 Festival lineup.

Clumps of notes. That’s how pianist Nelda Swiggett describes musical shapes that are the basis of her compositions. But don’t be misled by the word clump. The notes are not dissonant, grating or random. Her music is precise without being dry, clean without being dull, and light without being fluff. The sound is as clear, direct and crisp as the gaze of her piercing blue eyes. And behind those eyes teems a sharp mind that leaves plenty of air within and around those clumps

Swiggett finds material for composition by improvising at the piano. Her hands strike the keys, she finds pleasing sounds, and figures out harmony and time signature later. But the improvisations do not grow from the blues like much of jazz. Her roots penetrate classical music. “I was a serious classical pianist growing up, and now have my own piano students playing Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. I’m rediscovering all that great music as well. It’s all fodder for the imagination. But everything goes through the jazz filter.”

For this performance, Swiggett chose to add viola and cello. “I’ve been fantasizing about writing for strings for some time. Once I imagined strings, that was it. I was sure what I wanted to do. “My son Dylan became good friends with [Seattle Symphony violist] Rachel Swerdlow’s triplet boys in the Washington Middle School concert band years ago. When I set my sights on adding strings, I realized I had wonderful players right in front of my nose.” Swerdlow and Seattle Symphony cellist Walter Gray were enthusiastic about the project. “We’ve been having a great time sharing our different areas of musical expertise. Rachel is nervous but excited to be playing jazz for the first time. They’re showing me what incredible sounds and textures can be pulled out of the cello and viola.”

The rhythm section is anchored by Chris Symer on bass and Byron Vannoy on drums. “Chris and Byron have performed my music with me for several years now. They’re both incredibly musical. Have huge ears. They go wherever I go. Can swing hard, but drop to a whisper. That’s why I play with them.” – Steve Griggs from the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule.

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The Earshot Jazz Festival 2011 last Saturday Oct 15th, presented two leaders of East and West coast piano innovation at the University of Washington BRECHEMIN AUDITORIUM. Craig Taborn & Gust Burns debuted a collaborative two pianos project. Both contributing compositions and combining their respective approaches to post-jazz virtuosity and musicality, Taborn and Burns supply a contemporary voice to the tradition of two-piano jazz improvisation. Photos by Seattle photographer Brian Hartman. See who will be playing this week in upcoming concerts in the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule.

Born in Minnesota, Craig Taborn has been performing piano and electronic music in the jazz, improvisational and creative music scenes for 20 years. Jazz Times has called him “[p]erhaps the most influential keyboard sideman of the past 15 years.” He has played and recorded with many luminaries, including Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Tim Berne, Steve Coleman, Carl Craig, Dave Douglas and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Taborn leads the Craig Taborn Trio, Junk Magic, and the Ancients and Moderns ensemble, and is a member of progressive noise/punk band The Gang Font and the instrumental pop group Golden Valley.

Seattle-based pianist and composer Burns continues to develop new routes into improvisation on the piano, working with diverse areas of music, such as silence, density, structure and alternative narrative approaches, extending traditional piano technique, and developing new techniques for inside the piano. He performs on both traditional piano – playing the keyboard – and “inside piano,” or re-assembled and altered piano soundboard and strings, with or without electronics.

He has long-standing collaborations with top improvisers, including Wally Shoup, Jeff Johnson, Tim DuRoche, and many others. He has performed and recorded with Keith Rowe, Radu Malfatti, Andrea Neumann, Tetuzi Akiyama, Stéphane Rives, Jason Kahn, Michael Pisaro, John Edwards, Adam “Doseone” Drucker, Jack Wright, and many others. Burns was also director of the Seattle Improvised Music Festival from 2003-2011 and co-founder of Gallery 1412.
– Danielle Bias from the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule.

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Trio Commando DEBUT

October 1st, 2011

Trio Commando made their public debut last noght at the chapel Performance Space opening up for Eric Barber, performing improvisations, excavations and conversations through a high powered trio configuration featuring Wayne Horvitz (piano), Samantha Boshnack(trumpets), and Beth Fleenor (clarinets/voice). Unexpected and brilliant set of music with exciting electronic and vocal intermixing.

Since arriving in Seattle in 1998, clarinetist/vocal percussionist/ composer Beth Fleenor has carved a place for herself as an energetic multi-instrumentalist and dynamic generative artist. Her robust sound, organic approach, and openness to experimentation in all forms, actively fuels a long and varied list of collaborations. Ranging from shows in nightclubs, festivals, schools and galleries, to prisons, parties and concert halls, Fleenor’s work has been featured in live music, theater, performance art, recordings, modern dance, film, sound art and art installations.

Samantha Boshnack has composed and performed with a plethora of Seattle-based musicians and groups since arriving from New York in 2003. The Bard College graduate uses a broad palette in her compositions, including jazz, rock, hip-hop, Balkan, and contemporary classical music influences. Her work has received acclaim from music critics around the world, and has received support from 4Culture, Jack Straw Productions, ASCAPlus, and the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist, electronic musician, and producer. He has toured widely, and has collaborated with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, Robin Holcomb, Fred Frith, Julian Priester, Michael Shrieve, Bobby Previte, Marty Ehrlich, William Parker, Ron Miles, Sara Schoenbeck, Peggy Lee, Briggan Krauss, and many others. A recipient of numerous commissions and awards, his various ensembles include The President, Pigpen, Zony Mash, The HMP Trio, The New York Composers Orchestra, The 4 Plus 1 Ensemble, Sweeter Than the Day and The Gravitas Quartet.

Presented by NONSEQUITUR, which supports a wide range of adventurous music and sound art through recordings, performances, and exhibitions since 1989. They currently sponsor the Wayward Music Series in the Chapel Performance Space at the historic Good Shepherd Center in the Wallingford neighborhood.

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Kenny Werner played with special guests David Sanchez, Randy Brecker, Scott Colley & Antonio Sanchez at The Triple Door March 6th as part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series.

Kenny Werner is among the most gifted of pianists in jazz, possessed of a technique at once stunning in its range and sophistication and ear-opening in its aesthetic richness and depth. That reflects the scope of his experience in jazz. Early in Brooklyn-raised Werner’s career, he recorded early jazz, then played with Charles Mingus, and next toured and recorded extensively with Archie Shepp, and went on with stints with the likes of Mel Lewis and his orchestra, saxophonist Joe Lovano, and harmonica star Toots Thielemans.

A remarkable aspect of Werner’s career has been that he has developed his approach to playing into a pedagogy. He came by his approach through many years of thoughtfulness about music and life. In his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Werner, who teaches at New York University, explains how he has done just that in his own, séance-like playing. Werner’s All-Stars extend the lineup he featured on his 2006 recording Democracy Now (Half Note) with David Sanchez, one of the most sizzling of modern sax players.

From Puerto Rico, Sanchez has won the highest praise from the critics. Howard Reich said of him: “Technically, tonally, and creatively, he seems to have it all. His sound is never less than plush, his pitch is unerring, his rapid-fire playing is ravishing in its combination of speed, accuracy, and utter evenness of tone. What results is far closer to the more daring postbop tradition than to standard Latin music.”

As advanced a player as Sanchez is the seasoned trumpeter and flugelhorn player Randy Brecker, a veteran of a vast range of musical projects – not just the bands of jazz legends like Horace Silver and Jaco Pastorius, but also those of pop and rock stars of many kinds: James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Parliament Funkadelic, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa. Is there another musician alive who could boast a range of collaborations to match that?

Completing the lineup is bassist Scott Colley, a veteran of more than 200 recordings who has backed Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, Pat Metheny, and many others, along with Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez. A percussionist since age 5, Sanchez studied classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico before enrolling at Berklee and graduating with the highest honors. From there, he became a drummer of choice for many of the modern greats of jazz, including Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Charlie Haden.