Greta Matassa | KNKX

Greta Matassa

Greta Matassa's new CD "Portrait," cover art by her father James Goehle.
Abe Beeson / KNKX

  

A true icon of Northwest jazz stopped by the KNKX studios recently. Singer, songwriter, educator, bandleader Greta Matassa has been a professional musician since her teen years, and was recently inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame. With her long-running band, Matassa gave an appreciative studio audience a thrilling taste of her new album, Portrait. Featuring a portrait of Greta's mother painted by Greta's father, Portrait gets the CD release party treatment at Egan's in Ballard on June 29.

Greta Matassa's beautiful "Portrait" — a delicious collection of songs with her regular band — and former Seattle pianist Larry Fuller's "Overjoyed" continues the tradition of his previous work with Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton Trios. Greta Matassa's CD is a well-chosen selection of songs from Lil Armstrong to Johnny Mandel, Michel LeGrand and a swinger by Sam Jones.

Courtesy of Greta Matassa

Since she was 14, Seattle jazz singer Greta Matassa has been drawn to the music of Ella Fitzgerald. She considers Ella a major influence and uses her singing as a teaching tool for her voice students.

Tuesday is Ella's 100th birthday. To celebrate, Matassa sat down with KNKX to talk about her life with Ella.