Tom Collier and Marc Seales: Hammer Jazz
School of Music professors Tom Collier (vibes and marimba) and Marc Seales (piano) perform duo arrangements of jazz selections.
Tom Collier, percussion
Director of percussion studies at the University of Washington School of Music since 1980, associate professor Tom Collier has performed and recorded with many important classical, jazz, and popular artists, in addition to recording and performing with his own jazz group. He is a veteran of more than 50 years in music — his first public appearance was at age five, on xylophone, and his first professional performances were made as a nine-year-old marimba virtuoso.
Collier has appeared in concert with many important jazz and popular artists, including Eddie Daniels, Roger Kellaway, Frank Zappa, Emil Richards, Laurendo Almeida, Buddy DeFranco, Diane Schurr, Peggy Lee, Herb Ellis, Ernestine Anderson, Natalie Cole, Mannheim Steamroller, The Beach Boys, Della Reese, and many more. Although his primary focus in recent years has been jazz, Collier has continued to perform occasionally as a featured mallet soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and the Denver Symphony.
He has made commercial and educational recordings with his own jazz group for various jazz labels, including Inner City (New York), Music Minus One (New York), TC Records (Seattle), Nebula (Baton Rouge), and Studio 4 (Los Angeles). Collier has also made recordings with many internationally known jazz and popular artists, including Ernie Watts, Don Grusin, Bud Shank, Alex Acuna, Bobby Shew, Laurendo Almeida, Barbra Streisand, Ry Cooder, Nilsson, Howard Roberts, and others. In addition, he has appeared on many Hollywood film soundtracks under the direction of composers such as John Williams, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith, and Oliver Nelson.
Collier has also established a reputation as a jazz/percussion composer, with many of his compositions for jazz percussion ensemble published by Studio 4 Productions and distributed by Alfred Music. He has won 15 consecutive ASCAP Popular Panel Awards for his jazz and percussion compositions.
Collier has recorded several educational albums for Music Minus One and Studio 4 Productions, as well as presenting more than 300 jazz concerts in public schools around Washington for the Arts in Education Program, Washington State Arts Commission. The National Association of Jazz Educators presented him with an “Outstanding Service to Jazz Education” award in 1980.
A UW alumnus, Collier graduated from the School of Music in 1971 with a BA/BM in percussion performance.
Marc Seales, piano
A noted pianist, composer and leading figure in the Northwest jazz scene, Marc Seales has shared stages with many of the great players of the last two decades. He has played with nearly every visiting jazz celebrity from Joe Henderson and Art Pepper to Benny Carter, Mark Murphy, and Bobby Hutcherson. With the late Don Lanphere he performed in such places as London, England; Kobe, Japan; The Hague in the Netherlands; and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
The musicians he admires most are Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, John Lewis, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Wynton Kelly, though he is quick to acknowledge that he owejkjs the basically be-bop/post be-bop sound of his playing to his mentors, Don Lanphere and Floyd Standifer.
Critics have praised Seales variously for his "meaty piano solos," and "blues inflected, Hancock-inspired modernism." Winner of numerous Earshot awards (Instrumentalist of the Year in 1999 and Acoustic Jazz Group in 2000 and 2001; Jazz Hall of Fame, 2009), Seales is today promoting jazz awareness and molding young talents as a Professor of Music at the University of Washington, where he serves as Chair of the Jazz Studies Program. He teaches an array of courses, including History of Jazz, Jazz Piano, and Beginning and Advanced Improvisation, as well as leading various workshops and ensembles.