The Ballard Jazz Festival starts tomorrow with the Brotherhood of the Drums (the 21st) followed by the Guitar Summit (the 22nd), the Jazz Walk (23rd), Mainstage Concert (24th), and closing with not one, but two Jazz Brunches (25th). In just its eighth year, the festival has earned worldwide recognition by presenting lineups largely made up of the Pacific Northwest’s best players.
When drummers and artistic directors John Bishop and Matt Jorgensen, founders of Origin Records, launched the first “Jazz Walk” in 2003, they spread the music over one night and six clubs. This year’s festival will keep the music, and the jazz lovers, flowing for five days in and out of fifteen venues. And the regions finest jazz voices, once again, will be heard.
Fans of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra have an opportunity to see several of the bands featured soloists leading their own groups, and performing in a variety of ensembles – all in intimate venues with casual crowds out for the hang.
On Friday the 23rd, pianist Randy Halberstadt‘s Trio holds forth at Bad Albert’s Tap & Grill. Sax player Mark Taylor joins guitarist Corey Chritiansen’s Quartet at the Conor Byrne Pub. And trumpeter Thomas Marriott performs two shows, leading a quartet, and as a member of the John Moulder Quartet, at the New York Fashion Academy.
Hadley Caliman, whose Origin release “Straight Ahead” recently reached No. 2 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart, opens the Mainstage Concert with his quartet featuring Thomas Marriott, pianist Eric Verlinde, recent Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and bass player Phil Sparks, and drummer Matt Jorgensen.
Hadley’s playing is as strong and soulful as ever. In the words of All About Jazz reviewer C. Michael Bailey, “Caliman is one of those rare gems put in a safe place and forgotten about until rediscovery, leading to the hope of hearing more from this fine saxophonist.” Many musicians and jazz lovers in the region have never forgotten about him, and those close to Hadley know now is a wonderful time to hear him play. Support local jazz, walk the walk. Go see Hadley play.