Modern jazz from the Portland Jazz Festival comes to Seattle this month
In a long list of the modern jazz stars featured at this month's Portland Jazz Festival, many of them are also entertaining audiences in Seattle. New Cool host Abe Beeson has the details and will dedicate the first hour of the show Friday night at 9 to this impressive array of today's improvisational innovators.
Makaya McCraven - Star Theater Feb. 19, Feb. 20 9 p.m.
The drummer, producer, sound collagist and "beat scientist" remixed vintage jazz from the Blue Note Records catalog for his recent album Deciphering the Message. His quartet includes De'Sean Jones on sax and flute, with guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist Junius Paul.
In Seattle at the Neptune Theatre Feb. 21
Marquis Hill - The Old Church Feb. 21 8 p.m.
Leading a new quartet in a program called New Gospel Revisited as a headliner in Portland, Hill's band will be the opening act at their Seattle performance. Hill has blurred the lines of jazz, hip-hop and soul with his Blacktet ensemble after emerging in the Marcus Miller band less than a decade ago.
In Seattle at the Neptune Theatre Feb. 23, opening for Nate Smith + Kinfolk
Immanuel Wilkins - Jack London Review Feb. 22 8 p.m.
Wilkins' second album for Blue Note Records, The 7th Hand, was released last week. His music reaches epic proportions, written as his own kind of suites, striving for deep connections within the band and audience.
In Seattle at the Earshot Jazz Festival last October, Wilkins will not return to Seattle on this tour.
Brandee Younger & Dezron Douglas - The Old Church Feb. 23 8 p.m.
This musical (and romantic) partnership produced a series of remote concerts from their home in New York in the early months of the pandemic, resulting in the duets album Force Majeure. Younger's new album, Somewhere in Time, expands the possibilities of jazz harp, while Douglas has established himself a force on the bass, including with his band Black Lion.
No scheduled performances in the Seattle area ... yet.
Eric Krasno & Son Little - Aladdin Theater Feb. 23 8:30 p.m.
Guitarist for New Cool favorites Soulive and Lettuce, Eric Krasno has pursued more solo pursuits recently. Blending classic soul, blues, modern jazz and hints of much more co-headlining with guitarist and singer Son Little, this program includes backing for both men from Krasno's new band The Assembly, which also features dynamic keys player Wil Blades.
In Seattle at Nectar Lounge Feb. 22
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Aladdin Theater Feb. 24 8:30 p.m.
Proving his live skills on his brilliant recent concert album Axiom, the New Orleanian trumpeter expands his efforts at creating a global music by joining forces with the sounds of West Africa. Ghana-born, New Orleans-based djembe master Weedie Braimah possesses breathtaking skill and a deep breadth of knowledge — and a talented musical family that includes legendary jazz drummer Idris Muhammad.
In Seattle at the Crocodile Feb. 25
Nate Smith + Kinfolk - Stage 722 Feb. 25 9 p.m.
A triple-threat drummer, composer and bandleader, Nate Smith offers a modern jazz view of the building blocks of hip-hop, soul, funk and pop music of the last half century with Kinfolk. Celebrating their new album See the Birds, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist Brad Allen Williams share the frontline of this potent ensemble. This show is a double bill with The Soul Rebels, the modern brass crew from New Orleans.
In Seattle at the Neptune Theatre Feb. 23; Marquis Hill's band opens the show at 8 p.m.
Outer Orbit with Sarah Clarke - Jack London Review Feb. 25 11 p.m.
Stay up late in downtown Portland to catch this hometown soul jazz outfit led by Trio Subtonic keys player Galen Clark and starring singer Sarah Clarke of the band Dirty Revival. Their new self-titled album includes a guest feature for John Medeski and finds funky fun deep in the pocket.
In Bellevue at Bake's Place Feb. 18; Galen Clark's Trio Subtonic combines forces with Seattle's McTuff.
Robert Glasper - Portland Art Museum Feb. 26 9 p.m.
Perhaps the leading figure in modern jazz today, Robert Glasper has earned him nine Grammy nominations across eight categories — with two wins — for his work on keyboards and in the producer's chair. His jazz/hip-hop fusion often includes guest vocalists, but the live show is always compelling. This tour will highlight the Robert Glasper Experience's Black Radio 3 album, coming out Feb. 25, nearly a decade after its predecessor.
In Seattle at The Moore Theatre Feb. 27
The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.