I had an exhilarating and inspiring trip to New York last week—I’m already itching to go back.
I’m delighted to host events for student musicians in Seattle for three of my favorite organizations.
I had the privilege of contributing to a couple great new records:
Stephen Colbert on John Zorn:
I had a blast directing the inaugural JazzClubsNW Improv Lab at Boxley’s. I led a group of 14 middle school students through game pieces, conducted improvisations, and riff blues tunes.
JazzClubsNW is new non-profit organization dedicated to bringing educational programs and world-class artists to venues throughout the Northwest. It’s an expansion of Boxley’s, the member-supported venue in North Bend, WA. JazzClubsNW just launched venues and programs in Bellingham and Tacoma. Look for more Improv Lab classes in the future!
NPR’s Jazz Night In America hosted by Christian McBride devoted last week’s program to the Kenny Wheeler tribute project with I co-led with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen featuring Geoffrey Keezer, Martin Wind, and Jon Wikan!
Huge thanks to NPR Music, The Royal Room, Earshot Jazz, John Gilbreath, Wayne Horvitz, Jim Wilke, WGBO, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Robert Lang Studios! Look for the Wheeler tribute record later this year.
Band photo by Jim Levitt
Come celebrate the culmination of my graduate studies at University of Washington this Thursday 5/28 at The Royal Room to hear the debut of two new projects. One set at 6:00, no cover!
This Tribute to Kenny Wheeler was produced by Earshot Jazz, John Gilbreath, Executive Director, and was recorded by Jim Wilke for NPR’s Jazz Night in America, and KPLU’s Jazz Northwest. NPR music also shot a video of the evening. The musicians also spent a day in the studio recording this music for a future release.
Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke for 88.5 KPLU. The program airs every Sunday afternoon at 2 PM Pacific and streams at kplu.org. A podcast of each show is available after the broadcast at jazznw.org
(all photos by Jim Levitt)
NPR’s Jazz Night in America hosted by Christian McBride will be recording and filming our Kenny Wheeler Tribute show at The Royal Room for a national broadcast and webcast! The program is scheduled to air in the spring. HUGE thanks to NPR Music, WBGO, Jazz at Lincoln Center, KPLU, The Royal Room, and Jim Wilke for making this happen.
I am thrilled to announce that Ingrid Jensen and I will be co-leading a project in honor of the great Kenny Wheeler.
We will be playing at The Royal Room in Seattle on March 1st and 2nd as part of the Earshot Spring Series and recording a new album. Check out Earshot’s article about the show and you can pre-order the album and support the recording project at: http://igg.me/at/KWTribute
Canadian born trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler spent most of his career in London. He is known for his stunning writing for large and small jazz ensembles and imaginative improvisations. Kenny passed away last year at age 84 leaving us with a rich legacy of music. See the 2014 NY Times article and Ingrid’s tribute to Kenny on Ethan Iverson’s “Do The Math” blog.
For this project, we will be joined by a stellar rhythm section from one of Ingrid’s regular bands, featuring piano great Geoffrey Keezer, who has worked with Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Ray Brown, and Sting!
We will play our own interpretations of Kenny’s music, original pieces dedicated to Kenny, and spontaneous free improvisations.