Category Archives: Culture

SRJO unplugged!

That’s right – an all acoustic big-band jazz concert – Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance II

Following its sold-out Harlem Renaissance concerts in 2011, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra presents more fantastic music from the 1920s and 1930s, played as it was originally created–with original instrumentation and without amplification – no microphones.

Meschiya LakeWe’ll present music of Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington (when he was in his 20s!), and Sy Oliver. The show will feature special guest vocalist Meschiya Lake from New Orleans, who specializes in singing with big bands using no microphone. Our special guest narrator, KPLU radio host Robin Lloyd, will read excerpts from the KenRobin Lloyd KPLU Burns film “Jazz” with depictions of life during the early jazz age. Program highlights include Ellington’s 1931 hit, Rockin’ in Rhythm, and 1932 hit It Don’t Mean a Thing, plus early hits by the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, For Dancers OnlyYard Dog Mazurka, and more!

This show will also feature guest soloists selected from the Seattle area’s award-winning high school jazz programs, an annual special presentation. Last year’s Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance concert was a sold-out show, so get your tickets now.

  • Saturday, June 16, 2012 (7:30 pm) Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall – Purchase Tickets or call 206-215-4747
  • Sunday, June 17, 2012 (3 pm) Kirkland Performance Center – Purchase Tickets or call 425-893-6159
  • You can also order individual tickets by phone through the SRJO offices at 206-523-6159
Wait, there’s more!
Are you a fellow jazz lover in your 20s or 30s? Are you looking for something new and fun to do on a Saturday evening? Don’t miss out on this special first time event offer – $10 tickets to the SRJO’s Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance concert Saturday, June 16th at the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. Join us for a pre-concert get together at Elephant and Castle. The first 15 guests to arrive will receive a drink on us, as well as a chance to win raffle prizes and a chance to sign up for our limited 20/30 Club tickets for our very special November concert.

  • Where: Elephant and Castle – 1415 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
  • When: Saturday, June 16th – anytime between 5:30 and 7pm
  • RSVP to Stephanie at to purchase your $10 special offer tickets


“An Evening with Ol’ Blue Eyes”

What better way to launch the 2011-2012 Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra main stage concert series than with the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra.

  • Saturday, Oct. 29th (7:30 pm) – Nordstrom Recital Hall
  • Sunday, Nov. 6th (3 pm) – Kirkland Performance Center
James Caddell

James Caddell

In a celebration of Sinatra’s many recordings with large ensembles, the SRJO presents big band jazz of Count Basie, Quincy Jones, and Nelson Riddle, featuring guest vocalists Danny Quintero and James Caddell singing their favorites in a tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”

Selections include Come Fly with Me, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Don’t Worry About Me, Luck Be a Lady Tonight and The Best Is Yet to Come, plus other great pieces recorded for the classic 1966 collaboration of Sinatra with Quincy Jones and the Count Basie band, Sinatra at the Sands.

Danny Quintero

Danny Quintero

James Caddell is a longtime favorite with SRJO fans and is heard on recordings with Don Lanphere and Clarence Acox. While Danny Quintero is new on the scene specializing in music of Sinatra, he is hailed by all as a singer with talent far beyond his years.

Tickets are selling fast, and opening night is looking like it will sell out. Act fast to make sure you enjoy one of this year’s hottest shows!

Ticket Purchase and Information

This concert is part of the exciting line up presented by the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival.

Jazz4Kids added to season opener

SRJO Jazz4Kids audience The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra opens its 2011-12 concert season with another of its highly popular Jazz4Kids concerts on Saturday, October 29th (4:30 PM) in the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya. This concert is presented with special support from Seattle’s Child and PONCHO.

SRJO Jazz4Kids tromboneThis Jazz4Kids event includes instrument demonstrations, a “petting zoo” hands-on instrument display in the lobby (courtesy of Kennelly Keys Music), and questions from kids in the audience, and features pieces selected from main stage “An Evening with Ol’ Blue Eyes” concert that the SRJO is presenting on Saturday night.


Jazz4Kids concerts are presented at a nominal ticket charge ($1.00 per seat; Ticket price = $.01, plus a service charge of $.99 at for each child or youth, plus any parent, teacher, family member, or youth group leader accompanying them. You can print your tickets for the Jazz4Kids concert at home, but get them quick – past Jazz4Kids concerts have sold out!

Blocks of free tickets are also available to schools and community youth groups.

Seattle Child logo  Poncho logo

Click HERE to visit the SRJO Jazz4Kids page.

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An afternoon of jazz on the beautiful grounds of The Bloedel Reserve

Bloedel Reserve Willow TreeWhile we won’t be playing under this wonderful old Willow, it’s always nice to take the band outdoors, especially in the summer time, and the venue is as beautiful as the grounds of The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

If you’re lucky enough to live on Bainbridge Island, join us on Sunday, July 17 at 4:30 PM and catch SRJO performing audience favorite from this year’s main stage concerts (on the mainland) without jumping a ferry. If you don’t live on the island, it’s a chance for a pleasant jazz getaway. Think of it as a mini-vacation, but check the ferry schedule (from Seattle || from Edmonds)!

No matter how you get there, the setting and the music will be outstanding. We’ll feature selections from “Jazz Goes to the Movies,” “Tribute to Benny Goodman”, “The Zen of Ten” and “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance.” And, we’ll be featuring 17 of the most prominent jazz soloists and band leaders, including in-demand young players and seasoned veterans.

The Bloedel Preserve grounds open at 10:00 AM and The SRJO takes the stage at 4:30 PM – Sunday, July 17.

Seating for the show is at the Bloedel Mansion is on chairs under a tent, or optionally on the grass. Tickets can be purchased on line through Brown Paper Tickets, by phone (206-842-7631), or at the door.

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Jazz Northwest to feature “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance”

Tune in to Jim Wilke’s “Jazz Northwest” show on Sunday, July 2 at 1 PM on KPLU FM 88.5, or on the web at  to hear highlights from the SRJO’s two recent sold out concerts, “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra SRJO LiveHarlem in the Twenties and Thirties was bursting with creativity, exemplified by the jazz of the period: Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jimmy Lunceford and others.

Hear examples of this great music played live by SRJO, with trumpeters Jay Thomas and Tom Marriott; saxophonists Bill RamsayMark Taylor, Michael Brockman and Travis Ranney; drummer Clarence Acox, clarinetist Dan Wickham, trombonists David MarriottScott Brown, David Bentley and Bill Anthony, pianist Randy Halberstadt, and bassist Phil Sparks.

Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for KPLU and The program is also available as a podcast on Monday following the broadcast, along with an archive of past podcasts.

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Young Turks: Jazz is in good hands.

SRJO with Xavier Del Castillo, Ian Frost, Jack Walters

Xavier Del Castillo, Jack Walters, Ian Frost with SRJO

One of SRJO’s most popular programming features each year is sharing the stage with award winning area high school students. This year was no exception.

At last weekend’s “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance” shows, backed by the entire band, five outstanding high school guest musicians to solo turns in Thad Jones’ 1967 composition “Groove Merchant” earning standing ovations from both Saturday and Sunday audiences.

Check out this 1968 performance by the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis featuring Sir Roland Hanna

Jack Walters on clarinet with SRJO

Jack Walters

Jack Walters, from the Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Ensemble, won 1st in State on Clarinet, was selected to National Association for Music Education (MENC) All-Northwest band, and was named Outstanding Tripler – on Tenor, Alto, and Clarinet, at Essentially Ellington 2011. Check him out in this 2010 Hot Java Cool Jazz performance of Artie Shaws “Concerto for Clarinet”, adapted for the MTHS band by SRJO’s David Marriott, Jr.

Ariel Pocock with SRJO

Ariel Pocock

Pianist Ariel Pockock, from Newport High School Jazzband, is also the band’s singer, and has sung with guest artists like Wycliffe Gordon and Lew Soloff (but that’s another story). Last year she won the high school division of the sixth annual Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition at Jazz Alley, and was selected to perform at McCaw Hall for Starbuck’s annual shareholders meeting. Check out this short interview with Ariel about her selection as a Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Star.

Xavier Del Castillo with SRJO

Xavier Del Castillo

Roosevelt High School Jazz member Xavier Del Castillo was featured on Tenor Saxophone. Xavier was the only student from Washington State to be selected to the 2011 Grammy Jazz Band, was named Outstanding soloist on Tenor at the 2011 Essentially Ellington Competition, and was honored by an invitation to play in the intimate setting of “Hamp’s Club” at the 2011 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.

Ian Frost with SRJO

Ian Frost

Ian Frost, multi-reed player for Garfield Jazz, was also featured on Tenor Saxophone. Check out his solo on this hot performance of Thad Jones’ “Basically Yours” at the 2011 Reno Jazz Festival. Ian has performed with the Young Person’s Composers Orchestra, was named Outstanding Soloist on Tenor at the 2010 Essentially Ellington competition, and was a 2011 “Hamp’s Club” invitee.

Zack Hartmann with SRJO

Zack Hartmann

And, featured on Bass was Zack Hartmann, from SRJO trombonist David Bentley’s Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble. Zack was recently selected to the 2011 Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars, and can frequently be heard with his own Zack Hartmann Trio. Many thanks to Zack and his fellow musicians for sharing their talent. As SRJO Artistic Director Clarence Acox announced at the end of each show, “jazz is in good hands.”

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Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance & the art of Jacob Lawrence

“Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance:
featuring the paintings & prints of Jacob Lawrence”

Saturday, June 18 (7:30 p.m.) Benaroya Hall/Nordstrom Recital Hall
Sunday, June 19 (3 p.m.) Kirkland Performance Center.

Poster featuring "The Village Quartet" by Jacob Lawrence

"The Village Quartet" by Jacob Lawrence

With special guest soloists from award winning high school jazz programs in our region.

Come hear many of Seattle’s best-loved soloists play fantastic music from the 1930s and 1920s:

  • trumpeters Jay Thomas and Tom Marriott
  • saxophonists Bill Ramsay, Mark Taylor, Michael Brockman and Travis Ranney
  • drummer Clarence Acox
  • clarinetist Dan Wickham
  • trombonists David Marriott and Bill Anthony
  • pianist Randy Halberstadt
  • bassist Phil Sparks


Special guest soloists from award-winning high school jazz programs:

  • Jack Walters, clarinet (Mountlake Terrace High School)
  • Ariel Pocock, piano (Newport High School)
  • Xavier Del Castillo, tenor saxophone (Roosevelt High School)
  • Ian Frost, tenor saxophone (Garfield High School)
  • Zack Hartman, bass (Mercer Island High School)

Featured works:

  • Wrappin’ It Up (Fletcher Henderson)
  • Keep a Song in Your Soul (Fats Waller)
  • Beau Koo Jack  (Louis Armstrong)
  • Stealin’ Apples (Fats Waller)
  • Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington)
  • Creole Love Call (Duke Ellington)
  • East St. Louis Toodle-oo (Duke Ellington)
  • Down South Camp Meetin’ (Fletcher Henderson)
  • and more!

SRJO will hold a fundraising raffle of the above limited-edition, commemorative poster at this weekends concerts. One winner at each concert will receive a framed, Harlem Renaissance concert poster, featuring the Jacob Lawrence painting “Village Quartet” autographed by band members, plus one SRJO CD of the winner’s choice.  Unframed posters will be available for sale after the concert.  Raffle proceeds will help fund future SRJO concerts, recordings and education efforts.

Give yourself a chance to win a wonderful keepsake.
Raffle Tickets are only $10, or better yet, 3 for $25.

Join in the fun! Come on out to savor the sound, and support the joy of JAZZ!

SRJO thanks the Northwest African American Museum for use of the image, and Allison & Ross Fine Art Services, for poster framing.
Regular ticket prices range from $21 to $40

Order by phone (and choose your seats) directly from the
Benaroya Hall/Nordstrom Recital Hall ticket office at 206-215-4747.

Order by phone (and choose your seats) directly from the
Kirkland Performance Center ticket office at 425-893-9900.

Around 50 tickets remain on sale at the concert halls!

In a special effort to encourage attendance by young people at SRJO subscription series concerts, the SRJO offers tickets for all jazz fans ages 25 and below at $15 (for all seats in the house).

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