Peter Eldridge ranks "in the celebrated tradition of melodic poets, most famously represented by such disparate voices as Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Steely Dan - singer/songwriters who create catchy, beautiful tunes with insightful lyrics that are both personal and universal" (allmusicguide.com).
He continues to combine his talents into an eclectic mix of performing, composing and arranging, recording, as well as teaching (after almost twenty years at the Manhattan School of Music as the head of it's graduate jazz voice department, Peter joined the voice faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston this past Fall). Peter was also recently asked to be the artist-in-residence at Western Michigan University. To this date he has released four solo recordings. Stranger in Town, characterized by its bittersweet swing garnered Best Jazz CD of the year by Boston radio station WICN, and released in the same year was Fool No More, full of Peter's evocative original music in a sophisticated pop setting, were both released in the same year (Rosebud Records). Following on the heels of those albums was Decorum, a 2005 release of originals. Downbeat was noted as saying, "If musical intelligence and artistry were prompters to marketplace success, Decorum would grant him stardom. . . .strong, far-ranging voice . . hauntingly wistful". Finally the latin-inspired Mad Heaven was released in 2011 on the Palmetto label. "Mad Heaven showcases Eldridge as a major player in vocal jazz, an artist of extraordinary depth and conviction" (Jazz Review). Peter is currently working on two new recording projects, one with jazz pianist Kenny Werner and strings, and the other a project of originals and covers with his trio (Ben Wittman on drums/percussion and Matt Aronoff on bass). Both projects are being planned for release in 2015.
Championed by some of music's most celebrated figures, Sara Gazarek has emerged as a strikingly original artist with limitless potential. With four highly acclaimed CD's under her belt at the young age of 35, Sara has been hailed by the LA Times as "the next important jazz singer," and "impeccable," by the Winnipeg Free Press, Sara continues to seamlessly combine the intimacy of singer/songwriter stylings with the musical and improvisational elements of jazz. Blessed with a gorgeous, translucent voice, excellent pitch, and supple sense of time, Gazarek is steeped in the jazz tradition, but is not afraid to embrace the music that moves her generation. Her newest album, Dream in the Blue (2016, Steel Bird Music) was released to rave reviews, as Dan Bilawsky of All About Jazz has noted "...one of the best modern day piano-voice matches in action." Sara is currently on faculty at the University of Southern California, leading the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble there and teaching privately.
Boston-based multi-instrumentalist Mark Zaleski comes to Portland to celebrate the release of second album "Days, Months, Years". Zaleski performs on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and acoustic bass on this recording, unique to almost any jazz record ever recorded. The album includes clever through-composed music combined with choice standards reimagined to fit the style of his band of 10 years. Zaleski will perform on saxophone this evening as he puts a unique spin on modern jazz by fusing his love of rock music with his jazz training. He has appeared with Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Jethro Tull, the Either/Orchestra, Bob Moses, Tiger Okoshi, and Antonio Sanchez and is currently on faculty at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and Longy School of Music at Bard College.
Based out of Portland, The Cherry Blossom Orchestra were formed as a direct result of Louis Armstrong's visit to the city in 1965. He is one of many inspirations for the band - see also Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Spencer Williams, the Oklahoma City Blue Devils, and so many more. The Cherry Blossom Hot Jazz group use only premier musicians to accurately and sincerely remind their audience that the very roots of the music are as exciting to play as they are challenging to execute. With unqualified success, the band toured The Centenary Of Recorded Jazz Show in 2017, with highlights in Lincoln City, Salem, and the Waterfront Blues Festival right here in Portland. With an equal appeal to both listeners and dancers, we can proudly proclaim to play the jazz created during its most important period : the 1920s to the 1940s
Elise was born in Southern California to a South African father and a mother from New York in the very last year of the millennium. Raised on The Carpenters, Green Day, and 80s New Wave, I always looked forward to rides in my mom's car where she played her "mixtapes", whether it was on a compilation CD or an ancient iPod. Inspiration struck when my six-year-old self first heard the haunting piano melody in "My Immortal" by Evanescence. I distinctly remember a five hour plane ride that consisted of that one song blasting repeatedly into my ears. So I begged my parents for piano lessons, and after they finally relented, they were then begging me to not practice at five in the morning every day. I did it anyway, and my love for piano just grew stronger.
Life changed when my family bought the game Rockband for Xbox. After mastering the drums to "Dani California" on Expert Mode, I thought I was ready to rock (thank you, Chad Smith). It took a lot more to convince my parents I needed drum lessons, but I managed to wear them down with my obsessive talk and relentless requests. Luckily, at that time we were living on a 2-acre former chicken farm in the middle of nowhere, so the decibel change from piano to drums was irrelevant.
A few months after finding my way around an actual drum kit, my parents realized that I was serious about drumming, so they supported my cause and enrolled me in School of Rock, where I learned how to play and perform with other young musicians. Being one of the youngest only pushed me harder to keep up with the older kids. From Mitch Mitchell's jazz-rock waltz on Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" to the syncopated groove of Richard Bailey on Jeff Beck's "Blow by Blow" to the funky feel of Tower of Power's David Garibaldi, I wanted to learn it all.
During my high school years, I started reading charts in band, and jazz became another component of my musicality. At the same time, I began writing both on piano and guitar, spending hours before, after, and even during school to fulfill my creative desires. Because of my dedication to music and growing following on social media, I graduated early to commit fully to music and the creation of my first album. The decision to perform all of the instrumental and vocal tracks on the recordings stemmed from my desire to learn more about recording and to push myself beyond my own limits.
People ask me "What genre is your music?" With songs in 5/4 and 7/4, chords that you'd normally find in The Real Book next to "Take Five," and influences like Radiohead, The Police, and Steely Dan, I'm really not sure what box I fit into- I'll leave that up to you.
2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Muddy Award nominee for Best R&B act, The Ken DeRouchie Band is an 8-piece Soul/R&B/Funk/Blues band from Portland Oregon. The band features a crisp horn section and a tight rhythm section along with amazing 4 part vocal harmonies, performing original music written by Ken DeRouchie as well as a few handpicked twists on classic tunes. Influences for the band include everything from Aretha Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, Koko Taylor, Steely Dan, Jill Scott and Galactic. KDB has had the pleasure of opening for such national acts as Cheap Trick, Blood Sweat and Tears, Curtis Salgado, Robben Ford, The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, and Leftover Salmon. Top players from the Northwest join DeRouchie, including Northwest Soul phenom, Arietta Ward (DooDoo Funk All-stars), long-time KDB bassist Rob Busey (Robbie Laws), virtuoso guitarist Jeff Knudson (Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band), keyboardist Brian Harris (Curtis Salgado), drummer Chris Lay (Tim Snider Band), Pete Peterson on tenor sax and Caleb Denison on trumpet. Steve Pringle of KINK FM Portland writes "Ken and his band bring it each and every night. Horns that moan and wail, guitars that grind and soothe and a rhythm section tighter than a frogs ass. The KDB has a story to tell, pull up a chair." Marty Gunther - Blues Blast Magazine writes "Muse is totally soulful from beginning to end. DeRouchie is a masterful songwriter, and the varying musical textures used keep you interested throughout. Available through all of the major websites, this isn't your granddad's blues. It's totally modern in every way and definitely worth a taste." Andre Hagestadt, The Oregonian and Statesman Journal writes "....the Ken DeRouchie Band has developed a reputation for being one of the best live bands in the Northwest" The Ken DeRouchie Band puts on a HIGH-OCTANE, Soul, R&B and Blues fueled live show. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready for a world class live music experience. This will be the party of the year!
"What makes the homey Ozark stew of Handmade Moments so very nourishing, so perfectly spiced? Partake and be effortlessly guided through wistful and deep channels of musical flavor, rich with hearty roots and fungi, vegetables home-gardened and watered from the sacred well of American musics: jazz old-time country blues soul hip-hop rock (and it don't stop). Glistening with insight and whimsy, long-simmering with righteous compassion and beauty, Handmade Moments are a fearless all-weather duo - complementary spirits of musical tightrope and magic - serving up entrée to their secret river of goodness." - Matthew Souzis
Everybody knows about New Orleans' rich musical tradition - but an even more deeply rooted tradition in the Crescent City is one of perpetual reinvention. It's a city that's been reborn countless times over the course of its multi-cultural history, a legacy vibrantly reflected in its music.
With the release of their debut album, Dogs, in 2016, the Nolatet - vibraphonist Mike Dillon, pianist Brian Haas, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich - added their own new twist to the New Orleans tradition. Now the quartet returns with their much-anticipated follow-up, 'No Revenge Necessary,' which takes the music through as many winding turns and colorful pathways as a Second Line parade route.
"Dogs was beginner's luck," says Singleton. "We had just started as a band, and we managed to somehow pull together a cohesive program. To me that small miracle was a good omen for the future."
That omen proves true in myriad ways on 'No Revenge Necessary,' released via Royal Potato Family, which finds the band getting alternately (and often simultaneously) funky and ferocious, playful and profound, high-spirited and movingly solemn, irreverent, iconoclastic, and tapped into the bloodline that flows through the veins of every New Orleans musician.
After criss-crossing the country together touring behind 'Dogs' Haas says, "we can take bigger musical risks in the studio and not fall on our butts. The more you play improvised music with the same line-up the luckier you can get as a band. This new album is WAY rowdier and riskier." As Dillon adds, "a year of touring and festivals has made this band of unique improvisers stand on an island beyond the normal jazz arms race."
While 'Dogs' was the first time these four came together as a unit, there was plenty of history already shared between them. Singleton and Vidacovich can boast more than four decades of playing together, during which they've established themselves as New Orleans' most revered rhythm section. Dillon and Haas have crossed paths endlessly along the routes of their relentless touring schedules with bands like Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Garage a Trois, Critters Buggin and the Dead Kenny Gs.
"The wealth of music experience amongst ourselves is why Nolatet has its own voice," says Haas. "After a few years you don't learn the other person's music - you learn the other person!"
That knowledge pays off in a sonic portrait like "Lanky, Stanky Maestro," which Haas wrote in honor of Vidacovich and which evokes an explosive barrage of rakish outbursts from the drummer. Singleton calls it "pure slop/funk/mid-city/spaghetti- eatin' grease" - and he'd know better than anyone. He continues that the "constant counterpoint conversation (including and especially the kit) is a contemporary flowering of the polyphony present in New Orleans music from 100 ears and years ago. That's how we are able to reflect the complexities of adult lives with relatively simple materials."
With her thunderous, gospel-bred pipes and heart-to-heart content, the singer-songwriter can't help spilling the truth in her music. She knows the best route sometimes is the direct one. No detours. So listeners won't have to "get on her level." She's already on theirs. "I want people to get my music. I don't want them to have to decipher some code in order to understand where I'm coming from," says Avery. "I always talk about how much I love Joel Osteen-it's because he explains things in such a way that it's, not only easy to understand, but also, easy to communicate. When he preaches, I remember the whole sermon and can then go and share that same sermon with someone else. That's how we REALLY SHINE."
Soweto Kinch is a multi award-winning saxophonist, MC and composer specialising in a trademark style of Jazz, Rap and Spoken Word unlike that of any other performer in the world. Revered among both musicians and rappers alike, Soweto has amassed an unprecedented array of accolades including two MOBO awards, two Urban Music Awards, BBC Rising Star Award, BBC Best Jazz Instrumentalist, BBC Best Jazz Band, Montreux Jazz Festival Award, Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz innovation, Winner of the White Foundation World Sax Competition and a nomination for the much coveted Mercury Award as well as his own weekly BBC radio show.
Growing up with a playwright for a father and an actress for a mother, performance has always been in Soweto's blood and has over the years become an ambassador of urban culture as well as a British jazz institution with achievements ranging from the curation of several large international festivals to the production and scoring of various highly acclaimed music-based theatrical works to starring in a reality show series which followed him and other musical figureheads like Goldie and Ms Dynamite as they each mentored and coached 12 vulnerable youths ahead of their live performance before HM Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace. Soweto Kinch is currently touring in trio format with saxophone/vocals, drums and bass - Expect scalding hot, hard bop grooves mixed with racing freestyle lyrics in his hell raising live shows.
"Gangsta Rappa or Jazz Supremo? Both" Jazzwise
"Hyper-talented saxman/rapper" Evening Standard
"An amazing display of verbal and musical virtuosity" Telegraph
"Kicks pure Jazz and authentic rap into a brave new world." Guardian
"Hip-hop militant and exploratory jazz astronaut" Rochester City Newspaper
"One of the most eminent saxophonists on the British scene today" Music OMH
"Combines rap, spoken word, electronics and raw, high-energy jazz" All About Jazz
"Soweto Kinch adapts hard-bop sax to hip-hop rhythms and is a sharp MC" Metro
"Jazz and hip-hop are seamlessly blended without Kinch ever compromising either style" Time Out
"A distinct and commanding way of looking at jazz, at hip-hop, and at the whole performance situation" NY Times
"Contemporary and classic styles. It's difficult to think of anyone currently able to produce a more convincing and engaging mix than Soweto Kinch" BBC Music
Sean Tillmann has been making records under the name "Har Mar Superstar" since 1999. Under the Har Mar moniker, Sean has gone through a plethora of phases, ranging from fun- loving, beats-based music pioneer (he and Peaches shared stages early on) to angry arena crowd opener (a 2002 public lewdness allegation proves it) to soul music crooner. His last album Bye Bye 17 opened a lot of people's minds to his songwriting prowess, which has existed since day one of his career. For years, Tillmann was an artist's artist when The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gossip, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many other legends decided to collaborate and/or take him on tour. Different phases of his career brought him fame through the fickle worlds of indie, British pop, LA DJ-dom, and New York night crawling. Bye Bye 17 was an eye-opener to the music world, not that Tillmann wasn't used to accolades through his former work with Sean Na Na, Gayngs, Neon Neon, and Calvin Krime. Sean had "arrived as a songwriter." After living in LA and NYC for 12 years, Sean moved back to Minneapolis, MN, where he is most creative. With the help of Chris Bierden (Poliça, Bye Bye 17), Ryan McMahon (Har Mar, Lizzo), Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Adele, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Cat Stevens), and Ryan Olson (Poliça, Marijuana Deathsquads), Har Mar Superstar's album Best Summer Ever was born. Best Summer Ever, since its inception, has been imagined as a "Greatest Hits of Har Mar Superstar from 1950-1985." Tillmann was born in 1978. Wrap your head around that, please. Best Summer Ever is a slow burner with many ballads, dance-able tracks, and co-writes. Long- time friend Julian Casablancas (Cult Records founder, The Strokes), Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Erykah Badu, Voidz, Weezer), and Tillmann worked very closely to make the concept happen. Karen O, Matt Sweeney, and James Levy (Reputante, Lolawolf) all helped write songs on the record. Bobby Charles wrote "I Hope." "Youth Without Love" was a demo written by Julian that was sitting around that Har Mar fell in love with, so they made it for the record. Look out for Har Mar Superstar, now fronting a six-piece band -- complete with horns -- touring worldwide this year. The live show has always been a fun, sweat-soaked celebration of joy. The man was born to rock a stage. Join the party. Don't fake your love
After finishing her Master's Degree in Music and a few years of working in Sweden Catarina left for New York to improve her saxophone skills at the "New School of Jazz".
From 1995-2000 Catarina led her own six piece band in the Los Angeles area and also served as the musical director for "L.A. Women in Blues". Catarina produced, composed and arranged her first CD "Don't Stop Now" in 1999. Around this time Ms. New also incorporated her soulful vocals on her performances and recordings and has since been successful with her intimate connection with the audience.
Catarina is a seasoned performer and has among her track record, The House of Blues, B.B. Kings, La Ve Lee, Playboy Jazz-Fest in Los Angeles. Idyllwild Jazz festival, New York, New Orleans, Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, Brazil, Tahiti, Hawaii, Germany and Scandinavia on her list of venues.
The second album "The Point of no Return" was released in 2004 and shortly after, in 2006, Catarina won the "Southern California Music Awards" in the category "Best Jazz solo artist".
In 2010, Portland, Oregon became her new home and Catarina has since been awarded "Jazz musician of the month" by the magazine Oregon Jazz scene, in July 2012.
Catarina's third album was released in Portland (2014) with her new band "Brazilian Touch" Her music features both high lights from the Brazilian Jazz repertoire and her own originals. Catarina's music is melodic, rhythmical and full of intimate expressions.