2005 Earshot Jazz Festival – WOW!

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Fall is here in Seattle – the days are shorter and cooler, the rain has returned, and it’s time for the Earshot Jazz Festival.

Once again, John Gilbreath and his crew of hard-working colleagues have put together one of, if not the, best jazz festivals in the world.

While I haven’t bought tickets yet, performances that are on my list for this year include:

  • Bulgarian Bebop: Yuri Yunakov Ensemble w/ Ivo Papasov at Town Hall on Oct 19 – I don’t know Yuri Yunakov, but I couldn’t believe the astounding virtuosity of Ivo Papasov when I first heard his Bulgarian Wedding Band fifteen years ago, and the music is unbelievably complex and dense. Think the Mahavishnu Orchestra on borscht and pirogies.
  • World Saxophone Quartet Experience: Tribute To Jimi Hendrix on Oct 21 at the Triple Door. I noticed that the WSQ recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. David Murray, Hammiet Bluiett, and Oliver Lake – what more could you ask for (well, Julius Hemphill, RIP)?

    When asked why play Hendrix, David Murray said: Everybody likes Jimi Hendrix. Everybody in the band likes Jimi Hendrix. I think the world likes Jimi Hendrix.

  • Omar Sosa Quartet & Dafnis Prieto Quintet at the Triple Door on Oct 23. A couple of young Cuban jazz guys (pianist and percussionist, respectively) with their groups.
  • Dave Douglas: Keystone at the Triple Door on Oct 24. The very cool NY trumpeter and composer with an electric group playing his original scores for the silent film comedies of Fatty Arbuckle. The program doesn’t say whether they’ll be showing the films, but I’d imagine they will.
  • Joey Defrancesco Trio Oct 26 at the Triple Door – I’m a sucker for a bluesy Hammond organ, and DeFrancesco is the reigning heir to the tradition.
  • Olu Dara Quartet Oct 30 at the Triple Door. I first knew Olu Dara as a trumpeter in the NY jazz scene of the late 70s and early 80s. Now he’s become a roots-blues-americana treasure, but there’s still a bit of the avant-garde impusle in there too. Not to be missed.
  • Ravi Coltrane Quartet Nov 2 at the Triple Door. Yes, he’s John’s son, but he sounds to me more influenced by Joe Henderson, and he’s becoming an important voice on his own.
  • GangbÉ Brass Band at the Triple Door on Nov 5. They’re from Benin, and the program says a fusion of Lagos and New Orleans. What more do you need to know?
  • Virginia Rodrigues on Nov 6 at the Triple Door. She’s a Brazillian vocalist, and the samples I’ve heard sound amazing.

There’s lots more, so check it out – support our local festival!

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