Seattle Jazz Vespers
|June 02, 2013||Carl Majeau Quintet|
|June 02, 2013||Carl Majeau Quintet|
|May 05, 2013||BlueStreet Jazz Voices|
BlueStreet Jazz Voices is a 20-voice vocal jazz ensemble with a tremendous backup trio. They sing and perform technical, precise, emotive, and above all, fun presentations of jazz standards, contemporary hits, gospel, rich ballads, plus arrangements of big band favorites, songs of contemporary jazz artists such as: Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and jazz arrangements of other popular artists such as – The Beatles, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Paul Simon.
BlueStreet has performed in great venues including: Kirkland Performing Arts Series, Seattle Jazz Vespers, Earshot Jazz SAM concert series, The Triple Door and Tula’s Jazz Club.
The mission of BlueStreet Voices is to build and share a community of vocal jazz. BlueStreet Voices provides its members with diverse and educational musical opportunities through studying, performing, listening to, and experiencing high-quality, adult vocal jazz literature.
They support the Puget Sound community by performing in self-produced concerts, sponsored concert series, local community summer concerts and jazz festival series.We provide our community with opportunities to learn about a variety of jazz styles, composers, and repertoire by producing concerts and workshops in a variety of settings.
They are a Community-based, IRS 501c(3) non-profit ensemble that hopes to inspire young people in our local high school and college music programs through collaborative workshops and performances. BlueStreet is an important resource for the Puget Sound community, as they provide a great opportunity for singers who want to continue their singing and performance passion after college.
|April 07, 2013||Annie Eastwood sings with the Bill Chism Ensemble|
Stickshift Annie Eastwood with the Bill Chism Ensemble; guitarist Bill Chism, Larry Hill on bass, Tom Brighton on percussion, and James Middlefield on harmonica.
|March 03, 2013||Billet Deux Quartet - (The Troy Chapman Group)|
Jazz filtered through the cafes of Paris, the tradition of Django Reinhardt, Classical concert halls, and bebop all combine within Billet-Deux (The Troy Chapman Group) to create an incredible musical experience. Guitarist Troy Chapman (founder of Billet-Deux) and Cellist James Hinkley (of Billet-Deux) join forces with special guests Scott Small (drums) and Jon Small (bass) to continue to explore the possibilities inherent in the melding of their individual influences into a sound bigger than the sum of the parts.
|February 03, 2013||Jay Thomas Quartet with guest vocalist Kelley Johnson|
Seattle multi-instrumentalist Jay Thomas leads his quartet on Sunday, February 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Jay Thomas is a long-time fixture on the Seattle Jazz scene, having performed with a preceding generation of musicians and now teaching a new generation as he continues to perform. Jay Thomas plays trumpet, flugelhorn and tenor sax and is joined by John Hansen, piano, Chuck Kistler, bass and Adam Kessler on drums in this concert.
Special guest vocalist Kelley Johnson is an international award winning jazz vocalist who is known and respected as an arranger, poet and lyricist with a personal body of recordings. Kelley’s lithe velvety voice mixes with a dynamic delivery and tricky colorful arrangements to showcase her interpretive finesse and inspired soloists. An organic groovy singer with a direct approach, Kelley reaches her audience with storytelling, subtlety, soulfulness and swing.
|January 06, 2013||Cocoa Martini|
Kimberly Reason, Kay Bailey and Nadine Shanti return by popular demand to sing their inimitable solo, duet and trio arrangements. These three women will be accompied by Bill Anschell on piano, Chuck Kistler on bass, and Brian Kirk on drums.
|December 02, 2012||Legacy Quartet led by Clarence Acox|
An all star line up performing jazz standards.
|November 04, 2012||"Five Families Who Do Music Together"|
Opening the first set is the spirited Swiggett Family Band, Cliff and Nelda with sons, Jack and Dillon, followed by four family groups and pairings that are sure to inspire a desire to participate in the final number.
The Swiggetts will conclude the concert with a swinging jam that everyone knows.
Come and Join the Fun!
|October 07, 2012||Stephanie Porter and her Trio with guest Lance Buller on Trumpet|
Kicking off our Eleventh Season of 100-minutes of the Pacific Northwest’s fi nest Jazz Concerts, Seattle Jazz Vespers presents: Stephanie Porter and her Trio; Stephanie Porter - vocals, Overton Berry - piano, Don O’Brian - bass, Stephen Yusen - drums, and SPECIAL GUEST Lance Buller - trumpet.
Seattle native Stephanie Porter, a naturally-gifted vocalist, has had a passion for music her whole life.
“It’s in my inner fabric,” said Porter. “Most of my childhood memories are associated with music in some way.”
When she was a baby, Porter’s father made her a reel-to-reel tape of “The Wizard of Oz,” which she listened to almost every night for years.
“Judy Garland’s voice amazed me and I would sing along with the tape,” she said. “Not surprisingly, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ was one of my first songs.”
Her mother, who has always loved Ella Fitzgerald, would pick Porter up and dance with her on her hip to Ella records.
“I think listening to the freedom of Ella’s voice soaring over melodies inspired me and helped open my mind at a young age,” said Porter. “We had stacks of records too. I would listen to album after album and heard so many renditions of songs. I didn’t have a favorite. I loved hearing all the expressions each artist had. I listened to them all.”
Porter was brought up in a house rich with music. Her family is filled with musicians – from vocalists to pianists to horn players. Her grandfather, Pietro Carrabba performed in bands at the first-ever world’s fair. He played in theaters and was a well-respected teacher. He passed his gift on to three of his children. Their children are now working in the music industry as well.
“We had parties that would often turn into jam sessions. They loved to play and I loved to listen,” said Porter. “A grandmother born in 1899, my parents the 1930’s, brothers and sisters in the 1950’s and 60’s and then myself in ‘73. …From room to room, there were different genres of music playing and all were welcome. Opera, big band, jazz, classic rock, disco… you name it. I would sing everything, entertaining anyone who would listen.”
At 19, Porter started sneaking into jazz clubs and sitting in with bands. She would go to jam sessions at different clubs in town, from Mindamen’s in Renton to Sorry Charlie’s in Seattle – anywhere she could listen, learn and participate. Her first live jazz experience, outside of the family, was at Laferno’s where legendary bassist Buddy Catlett led a jam session.
“My heart was racing because I was under age,” said Porter. “I was wearing hiking boots and jeans and was invited to sing a song. I stood on stage in a pose that could have been mistaken for a runner just before the gun goes off.”
Porter quickly grew as an artist. The following year, in 1993, she was hired for her first paid gig, performing with award-winning pianist Zyah Ahmonuel, at Cheers West in Tacoma. By the time she turned 21, she was working regularly at a number of clubs. Porter was Tula’s first weeknight entertainer, singing jazz with a Trio every Monday night.
It was in the mid-90’s that Porter proved her versatility, when she was selected, out of over 150 vocalists who auditioned, to join the popular disco group, “Hit Explosion.” She performed with Hit Explosion from 1996 to 2000, opening for a multitude of national acts (including Chaka Khan, Living Colour, Cameo, Glen Fry, Michael McDonald and Kansas). During this time, she also continued to perform jazz, her favorite medium, recording “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” which ascended to the top 100 of the Gavin Jazz Chart.
Harvey Siders (Emmy Award winning producer, composer, and jazz critic of Down Beat and Jazz Times) wrote about her critically-acclaimed album, Mood Swings, “Stephanie Porter is one of the most complex individuals and unpredictable singers I’ve ever met. But, to know her is to love her; she’s the paragon of honesty … Lord, how this lady sings.” National Public Radio station, KPLU (88.5 FM), still features a number of songs from this classic album nationwide. The album has been sold in over 25 countries.
A longtime figure in the Northwest jazz scene, Porter has worked with over 50 groups as a freelance vocalist and is often spotlighted as a featured or special guest artist. She has worked in some of the top venues in the region including Jazz Alley, the Triple Door, Tula’s and El Gaucho’s Pampas Room. She is an outstanding jazz vocalist with a clear, sultry tone and a bright and appealing stage presence.
“Seattle musicians encouraged me, and I have had a lot of support working with great band leaders and musicians,” said Porter. “There is a wealth of knowledge in this town and many well-traveled, experienced musicians find their way here. I have had the opportunity to work with many of them, which has been a great experience.”
Over the years, she has performed at numerous festivals and special events. She has also headlined at high-profile galas for such organizations as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition to the Northwest, she has performed in venues across the country, as well as Canada, France and England.
“I can’t imagine not singing,” she said.
Her latest album, How Deep is the Ocean, is a brilliant showcase of her amazing talent as a vocalist. Porter delivers each note with purpose and honesty.