April is already a week old, and I neglected to mention that it is Jazz Appreciation Month! I don’t really need another reason to celebrate anything and everything jazz, but JAM reminds me to take a moment to think about jazz, its history, and enduring legacy. And it reminds me that, as a lover of jazz, I am very lucky to live in Seattle. We have an unusually vibrant community of jazz musicians, students, and listeners plus a network of clubs, house concerts, festivals, jazz appreciation societies, record labels, and radio stations that all nurture our local scene. We can hear high-quality, live jazz every night of the week.
So, if in honor of JAM, you would like to take in an extra concert, here are a few resources to consult:
- Earshot Jazz has a monthly newsletter that highlights noteworthy musicians and performances, and their calendar, Jazz Around the Sound, is a near comprehensive list of regional shows. Take a look, and you will see, first hand, the wealth of jazz performed each and every night.
- Seattle Jazz Scene is a blog organized by the folks at Origin records and includes more reviews, interviews, and news.
In addition to the usual jazz offerings, there are two jazz festivals this month:
- The Eleventh Annual Ballard Jazz Festival is April 17-20. Four nights of jazz, including evenings devoted to drummers and guitar players, a jazz walk featuring the best local talent with a few guest artists thrown in, and a Swedish pancake brunch (it is Ballard, after all), not to mention the mainstage concert on Saturday night featuring Gary Bartz with the George Colligan Trio and the Lew Soloff Quartet.
- The Seattle Women in Jazz Festival is the next weekend, April 26-28. Three days of concerts and community outreach featuring Seattle’s many notable female jazz artists. Highlights include performances by Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Clave Gringa, Cynthia Mullis, Stephanie Porter, Katy Bourne, Samantha Boshnack, and many others.
Finally, JAM culminates with International Jazz Day on April 30. Since most of us won’t be able to make it to the big concert in Istanbul, Turkey, we can celebrate closer to home, too, at Boxley’s in North Bend. Vocalist Katy Bourne will perform a special International Jazz Day concert with the Tim Kennedy Quartet.
That’s enough jazz to get us started for now, but I’ll be posting more about these and other events as the month, dubbed JazzApril by the Jazz Journalists Association, progresses. Until then, happy listening!