Jazz: The Second Century 2017 Series
July 6, 13, 20 & 27, 8pm
Chapel Performance Space
Welcome to the 2017 edition of Earshot’s juried series, Jazz: The Second Century. Early in June, a listening panel of four convened to review the artist entries and engage in the difficult but rewarding task of selecting ensembles for this year’s series. Earshot Jazz thanks all the unique and enterprising musicians who submitted their work for consideration.
This series – presenting Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, performing original work in a concert setting – is a continuation of the very first programming initiative of the Earshot Jazz organization, and embodies one of our core values. Earshot’s first concert series, New Jazz/New City, was mounted in the New City Theater, now the Richard Hugo House, on Capitol Hill in 1986. The series has continued each year since: as New Jazz/New City, the Earshot Spring Series, Voice and Vision, and now Jazz: The Second Century.
From the core of this series – a question about the expansion of conventions of jazz – one might expect a tendency to grandiose re-invention. Instead, the series is a current, subtle, perhaps refreshing, un-sentimental look at our Emerald City’s engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form.
Thanks again to our panelists, who helped curate these concerts, and to audience members who support them.
Back in April 2013, guitarist and composer Michael Whitmore began a weekly residency at the Snapdragon Café on Vashon Island. Over the next couple of years, this Sunday night jam grew into a full-blown ensemble. Since then, Some’tet has been gigging around the Puget Sound, mostly as a sextet, sometimes as a quartet, as a trio, but always Some’tet. The music is both composed and improvised; the overall sound is mellow, almost West Coast cool with moments of intense invention, plus a dollop each of American primitivism, clusters of neo-bossa nova rhythms, and the occasional art song, augmented with a chunk of free jazz and outside music, and soulful vocals. Four elements are important to the music of Some’tet: adventure, beauty, spirituality, and soul.
The members of Some’tet live on Vashon, an island known for its idiosyncratic personality. Barry Cooper (trumpet, flugelhorn) hails from Orange County, CA. For many years he performed with his dad, the renowned SoCal educator Dick Cooper, before moving to Vashon about seven years ago. Dianne Krouse (alto & tenor sax, clarinet) was born and raised in Issaquah. She formally held the lead alto sax chair in the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, and was the first musician to regularly sit in on the Snapdragon sessions. Upright bassist Patrick Christie is a respected professor at the University of Washington, and has led various comparative, socioecological research projects around the world. Dodd Johnson (drums, percussion) hails from Wisconsin and has played with dozens of bands from rock to free jazz. Vocalist and Seattle native Christine Goering met Whitmore at a karaoke session on Vashon. She also leads her own band, Delilah Pearl and the Mantarays. Whitmore was a veteran of the Los Angeles improvised music scene before moving to Vashon about a decade ago. He has a few dozen recording credits under his belt as either a leader and as a sideman, and has received an NEA Composers grant.