Tribute to Jim Knapp

November 14th, 2011

Cornish College and the Seattle jazz community came together on November 2 at the Triple Door to celebrate Jim Knapp, the trumpeter, composer, and band leader who founded the college’s jazz program 40 years ago. Earshot Jazz Festival 20011 presented  the Jim Knapp Orchestra, the Cornish big band, and surprise musical guests.

Jim Knapp makes music, mentors musicians and likes laughter. For the past forty years, Knapp fed the Seattle jazz scene with his compositions, improvisations, ensembles and students. And he shows no signs of slowing down. This concert is an opportunity for the community to give back for all of Knapp’s selfless gifts to the Seattle music environment.

All of Knapp’s music expresses his dry wit, experimental outlook, and meticulous craft. As a composition student, one of his early works for the University of Illinois jazz band was titled Summertime. After quoting the first three notes of the Gershwin opera tune, the melody is abandoned for a lush exploration of harmonies and textures hinted at from just that fragment.

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