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The New Cool: Upcoming live modern jazz

Abe Beeson
It's always sunny at the New Cool stage at Folklife, we're back May 25!

The nights are getting longer in the Northwest, and there's plenty of live modern jazz sounds to be found around Seattle. This week's New Cool previews several hot dates in Seattle over the next seven days, including two shows presented by KNKX.

Friday night, May 24 at The Royal Room, The New Cool presents a Seattle-Portland connection of world-class trio grooves. From the Rose City, Trio Subtonic makes a long-awaited return trip north. They thrilled a packed Jack London Revue when I saw them last at the Portland Jazz Festival, and Seattle audiences have been denied the live experience for too long. Keys man Galen Clark and bassist Bill Athens have been the co-leading/co-composing heart of the trio, with drummer Micah Hummel making his Seattle debut with the band at The Royal Room.

Opening this battle-of-the-grooves is Seattle's Hammond organ future legend Joe Doria. The leader of the long-running McTuff trio, Doria hosts a free late night show with a variety of collaborators at the Seamonster Lounge every Tuesday night. This show will feature frequent Wallingford cohorts Ari Joshua and Brad Gibson on guitar and drums. Don't be late for the 8:30 p.m. start, and remember to make a reservation to get the best seats.

The New Cool is proud to be back at Northwest Folklife for a third annual New Cool stage featuring three of our favorite modern jazz acts in Seattle. All three have performed sessions in the KNKX studios, including the recent visit from pianist Dylan Hayes and drummer Xavier Lecouturier with their eight-piece DX-Tet. Their intricate compositions are fueled by improvisational energy, with the two co-leaders enjoying a musical rapport formed as teenagers a decade ago. The DX-Tet leads off our New Cool showcase at the Fountain Lawn stage at the Northwest Folklife Festival next Saturday, May 25, at 12:30 p.m. — so don't be late!

Next up on the New Cool stage, the jazz rock of Smacktalk will launch into their funky fusion at around 1 p.m. The band will tour down the West Coast this summer to celebrate their new EP "Servin' It Hot," which you'll hear on The New Cool Saturday afternoon.

Ending our showcase with a bang, Freudian Slurp will lay down their epic, cinematic funk-jazz soundscapes. Normally topped by the clarinet and sax of Dave Dolengewicz, 'Slurp will feature Smacktalk saxophonist Sidney Hauser. This on-the-fly collaboration is a great reminder of the adaptability and community spirit of the jazz scene in Seattle.

It's gonna be a great afternoon of modern jazz at  the Northwest Folklife Festival on the 25th, all-ages and always free, we're excited to see you there!

There are more great shows upcoming in the Seattle area, mark these down on your calendar. Saturday, May 18, at the Blue Moon, funk collective Horse & Tiger welcome guest musicians Skerik, Andy Coe and Josh Rawlings. Jazz meets the music of Soundgarden with drummer Phil Parisot's all-star band at Tula's Tuesday, May 21, featuring Jared Hall, Steve Treseler, Dan Kramlich and Michael Glynn. Wednesday, May 22, Joe Doria adds his Hammond organ expertise to saxophonist Peter Daniel's funk trio at the Seamonster.

Along with the fun at The Royal Room May 24, the Neptune Theater features a night of jazzy funk with the True Loves that night. And, because Miles Davis personafied modern jazz, we must mention Thomas Marriott's seventh annual birthday shows for the trumpet legend at Tula's Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25. New Bad Plus pianist Orrin Evans will join Thomas for both nights!

Snarky Puppy's concert at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle is coming up May 28, and check this space later this summer for updates and notes on concerts from the Barrett Martin Group, The New Triumph, The Comet Is Coming, Donny McCaslin, Jacob Collier, the return of Kate Olson, and the highly anticipated double bill of Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock bands at Marymoor Park. Whew!

The New Cool airs Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.