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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