Artists | 2019 Festival
Named “2010 Northwest Vocalist of the Year,” by Earshot Jazz Society. Gail’s rich, warm vocals and understated phrasing have been described as “deliciously soulful” by Cadence Magazine. After moving to Seattle, WA in 1996 she discovered a strong interest in West Coast Swing Dancing and Jazz. Gail has entertained audiences all over the world and has contributed vocals to Grammy-nominated CD collaborations, and she has song credits in major motion pictures.
Fans, critics and musicians place Richard Cole in the first rank of his generation's jazz saxophonists. A nationally acclaimed talent, Richard is among the most in-demand musicians in the burgeoning jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest. Beside work with such jazz greats as Randy Brecker, Dave Holland, Adam Nussbaum, Julian Priester and John Fedchock, he has toured with New Orleans icon, Dr. John, fusion star Dan Siegel, performed with r&b legends Gladys Knight, The Temptations, The Spinners and The Four Tops while also composing and performing his own music. Add to all this performances with the Seattle Symphony.
Richard's music is clearly jazz, following forward from the intense traditions of the jazz masters, yet it is enriched by the many lessons learned from his wide range of musical experiences. Richard cites numerous influences including the seminal jazz performances of John Coltrane and Joe Henderson. He studied music at Western Washington University and taught woodwinds, ensembles and improvisation at the prestigious Cornish School of Music in Seattle, Washington, Musicworks NW, a non-profit music school in Bellevue, Washington and Edmonds Community College in Edmonds, Washington. Richard’s latest album for the Origin label, Inner Mission, features modern jazz giant Randy Brecker.
Seattle- based Jazz Vocalist Susan Robinson began by performing rock and folk music all through her 20s. After writing and recording an album for KNHC Radio, her priorities shifted to family and work, putting music on the back burner until 2009. It was then that Susan discovered her passion for singing Jazz music.
Immersing herself in the Jazz culture of Seattle, Susan performed at Jazz Jam sessions in well-established venues like Tulah’s, The Paragon, North City Bistro and Egans Jam House. From there, her popularity rose and she began regularly booking public and private performances in the Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean. She was also a finalist for the Kobe Sister City Jazz Queen competition at Jazz Alley.
Her latest passion project is her studio album due to be released in January, 2019. The compilation of tunes found on the album range from latin to pop to sultry soundtracks all delivered with jazz flavor.
Collin Provence Trio
Collin is a Seattle native, and has been experiencing the rich musical culture playing jazz in town for over ten years. Following his passion of Jazz from a young age Collin graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Jazz Studies. He is best known for leading the house jazz trio at Sullivan’s Steakhouse since May 2010. When he’s not traveling around playing at various events, you can see find him at Tula’s restaurant and Jazz Club with the Smith Staelens Big Band and the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra. His music is inspired and influenced by a wide variety of musicians from Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson, to modern tunes like Esbjorn Svensson, Hiromi, and The Bad Plus. Reflecting Seattle’s diverse music culture, Collin brings his vibrant energy to the crowd every time. As a returning performer from Siren Song’s Summer Concert Series, Collin is excited to be back in Lake Chelan to kick off the Wine and Jazz Festival.
Greta Matassa is one of the most talented singers working in jazz today. She has been voted "Northwest Vocalist of the Year" by Earshot Jazz seven times in 15 years! She was voted again, Vocalist of the Year in 2014 and honored with a lifetime achievement award and inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame in 2014. Greta has been a mainstay on Seattle's Jazz stages for many years and with her recent successful dates at New York's Dizzy's Club at Lincoln Center, tours of Russia, Singapore and Hawaii, Japan and New Orleans, Greta's sound is now reaching new audiences. Greta has released 10 CD's on the respected jazz label Origin Records and a DVD live concert with guitarist Mimi Fox. Her latest CD, "I Wanna be Loved" (Resonance Records) was critically acclaimed. Greta has appeared with many notable jazz musicians including: John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Houston Person, Russell Malone, Mike Stern, Tamir Hendelman,
Bruce Foreman, Josh Nelson,John Pizzerelli, Mike Wofford, Holly Hoffman,David Frishberg, Mimi Fox, Peter Bernstein. Greta is also a respected and generous teacher. She has been on faculty at Jazz Camp West, Drayton Harbor Jazz Festival and The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. She has a thriving private teaching practice a new CD is coming in 2016.
With a performance history spanning more than two decades, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.
Kobie Watkins grouptet
Kobie Watkins is a professional drummer and percussionist in jazz, latin, and gospel music genres, and a music educator. Pursuing his true passion and enhancing his talent through education, Kobie attended Vandercook College of Music studying all forms and genres of the percussion family with Marc “Max” Jacoby (vibraphonist/ mallet) and Kevin Lepper (percussionist), both teachers igniting him to reach greater achievements and goals. While learning percussion and all other instruments, Kobie’s extra curricular time was spent playing jazz standards and trading solo-s with alto saxophonist Dennis Winslett. Kobie could also be found playing in local theatre and cabaret shows. In 1998, Kobie played in the Walt Disney World American All- Star Band in Magic Kingdom (Orlando, FL). He became a public school band director. At night, he played gigs around the Chicago area and throughout the United States. Watkins developed the nickname the Swing Master of Chicago. He was depicted in a front-page article in the Joliet, Illinois’- Herald, -a local newspaper titled, "Teacher has Alter Ego as Jazz Musician.
The Kobie Watkins Grouptet is a Surge of musical groove and melody. Drawing on years of artistry performing and recording internationally with jazz legend Sonny Rollins and many many others Kobie Watkins is taking the music in an exciting personal direction. Between them, Kobie, Ryan, Aaron and Justin have toured internationally performing classical and jazz music. They teach students of all levels, adolescents to university students and professional.
History of Nearly Dan Based in Seattle Washington, Nearly Dan is made up of 12 national musicians who share a distinctive passion for the music of Steely Dan —revered for inventive music-making, jazz-infected lush harmonies and their own lyrical color.
A Northwest favorite whose reputation is rapidly spreading, Nearly Dan not only plays the music of Steely Dan faithfully, but often does it better, playing the music of Steely Dan with creative abandon, often surpassing the original covers of the 1970s-‘80s rock anthems beloved by Baby Boomers. The 12-piece band is fast earning a reputation as the best Steely Dan tribute band in the world with every sold-out show and a hot new live album. The musicians of Nearly Dan go from jazz and pop, to rock and R&B, country, and blues, pouring decades of experience into the fresh, inventive arrangements and lively performances. Individually, they’ve worked with a diverse mix of superstars: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Ernie Watts, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis Jr., Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Olivia Newton John, Tower of Power, Tito Puente, Basia, Diane Schuur, and George Benson. Nearly Dan has played to sold out theaters and clubs on their own as well as including members of Steely Dan, Pete Christlieb and Tom Scott, in their ranks. They alway give the people what they want: a nostalgic hit with a difference.
An award-winning national performing/recording artist, Eugenie Jones is an American jazz singer/songwriter based in the Pacific NW. Her debut CD, Black Lace Blue Tears, is the first vocal release to be awarded Earshot Jazz's NW Recording of the Year Award. Also, a winner of Earshot Jazz's NW Vocalist of the Year award, Jones' recordings have been favorably reviewed in Down Beat and have reached Jazz Week chart's top-50 and rank #1 on CMJ charts.
Winner of the Allied Arts Foundation's Listen-Up women's songwriter award, critics refer to Jones as a cleverly gifted lyricist “possessing a voice that covers words like pieces of silk covering precious stones.”(The Stranger) She sings and scats her way vivaciously through popular jazz standards, draws listeners inside compelling jazz originals, and has the ability to rock audiences with favored blues and R&B melodies.
“In that overcrowded arena known as “female jazz singers", Eugenie Jones manages to stand apart from the crowd. She is one of the very few African-American women singer-songwriters in jazz today. And finally, the lady can sing as well as she can write. She is an intelligent, thoughtful composer in the tradition of Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone. Fans of true jazz singing, it’s time for you to sit up and take notice.” (Curtis Davenport)
Terry Hunt jazz band
Terry Hunt received his MA in music in 1988 from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. Terry has won awards for his music compositions which include works for choir and orchestra, a violin sonata, a piano trio, a guitar concerto and tunes for jazz combo. He and his wife founded a successful non-profit music school. He has produced several documentary films and runs a video website featuring happenings in the small community where he lives.
Laura Love is an award winning "folk-funk" singer/songwriter/bassist who has been touring throughout the world since the early 1990s. Laura has released 11 CDs on major and minor labels, she has performed at nearly every great music festival in North America and Australia, she has composed commissioned music for dance and theater productions and she’s a published author. Laura is currently recording a new CD of original songs which will be released late Winter/early Spring of 2018.
Cascadia Groove is an inspiringly upbeat Danceable Groove Jazz ensemble whose members are: Gary Tobin, Guitar; Paul Sherman, Bass; Alex Sheldon, Drums; Terry Nelson, Keys; Keith Stone, Sax... all world-class musicians. Get ready for energetic music throughout a tour of Blues, R&B, Jazz, World-beat, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and more with performances that get your foot tapping, blood pumping, and wanting to Move To The Music! Cascadia Groove sets feature 50%(+) outstanding original material by Gary Tobin in the style of The Yellowjackets, Jeff Lorber, The Rippingtons, Joe Sample, George Benson, Norman Brown (to name a few)... along with Jazz/Afro-Cuban/Latin interpretations of Pop and R&B covers by Michael Jackson, Chaka Kahn, Earth Wind & Fire, Toto, and many more. Add it all together and it's an event overflowing with positive uplifting music. What's more, Cascadia Groove often combines the music with a visual element using timed projected images and lighting resulting in a show that is extraordinarily fun, infectious, and memorable. Audiences simply love this group.
Justin began performing with his dad’s Top 40 band, Kaleidoscope. That’s where Justin honed his live show performances over 20 shows per month with as many as 5 performances each weekend. Success for Justin came in 2007 after releasing his debut album On The Way. He moved to Los Angeles, and began performing with his band at various Jazz festivals.The Detroit bred saxophonist earned his place on the jazz stage after an impressive win at the 2007 Capital Jazz New Artist Challenge in Columbia, Maryland. Following his win, Young played at the six-day Capital Jazz Super Cruise alongside Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Kim Waters and other jazz stars.
With his 2007 release, On The Way, which featured collaborations with Grammy award winning guitarist Paul Brown, Tim Bowman, and keyboardist Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra. He was a frequent headliner at Detroit casinos while attending Michigan State University, and acquired a taste for R&B/soul inspired jazz. He rose into the smooth jazz world by obtaining radio spins from respected jazz radio stations across the country.
With his 2008 releases “Nothin’ But Love” and “Home for the Holidays”, Justin enjoyed airplay from The Weather Channel and Delta Airlines along with radio stations across the U.S. Since then, Justin has become a budding new star waiting to be launched into commercial success.
Justin’s newest album is all about getting back to the basics of real instruments, analog equipment and unique saxophone rhythms. Live musicians performed in the recording studio which gives the songs a distinct uniqueness. No sequencers were used in the making of this album adding to the realness of music. The songs have a lot of raw feel and emotion without the aid of a computer changing the rhythm. The melodies on the saxophone have an undeniable old school feel with a unique twist of Gospel, Funk and R&B.
Stephanie Porter is a premier jazz vocalist who lives to sing. Stephanie was named “2013 Northwest Vocalist of the Year,” by Earshot Jazz Society. Her recordings have charted on the top 10 nationally and internationally. Musically inspired at an early age. Stephanie found herself mesmerized by music and the many layers of interpretations of songs by both instrumentalists, as-well-as vocalists. Moved particularly by jazz and it's progression of energy combined with cool. A stylist that has been influenced by music ...music and its many styles. “It’s difficult to define a specific artist as my major influence... Music is like a painting or a garden. How do you choose a color or flower? I am inspired by individuality and love to hear different interpretations from creative artists. I strive to be true to the songs I sing, honest with the audiences listening and enveloped in creativity with my band."
Nick Morrison, of KPLU describes her as “a favorite not only among Jazz listeners, but among Jazz artists as well”. Her voice has taken her to France, England, Canada, and other parts of the world. Locally, she has entertained audiences at the Triple Door, The Pampas Room, Tula’s Jazz Club as well as Benaroya Hall and Jazz Alley. Whether singing with a symphony or in a duo she pours her heart and soul in to the music. Her recordings have received air play both nationally and internationally. Editor’s Picks CDBaby stated "I am in total awe with this woman’s voice."
Her album of standards, How Deep is the Ocean, is a brilliant showcase of her amazing talent as a vocalist, Porter delivers each note with purpose and honesty. Her newest release, Radio Theatre blends her lush vocals with intriguing rhythms, inviting the listener to join her on a journey through longing, love and loss. Fusing a sublimely fresh collection of original tracks as well as well known standards.
Ellensburg Big Band
Founded in 2011, the Ellensburg Big Band is an 18 member classic Swing Jazz Band in the tradition of the wonderful dance bands of the 1940’s and 50’s. Featuring favorites from the Glen Miller and Count Basie Bands, they also play a wide variety of jazz standards and modern styles. The musicians hail from the Ellensburg community and beyond, and include many regional music educators, CWU music students, and a colorful bunch of professionals all of whom treasure the opportunity to make terrific music together.