Jazz Innovations, Part II

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 7:30pm
  • Jazz Innovations

Student jazz ensembles pay homage to the icons of jazz and break new ground with original progressive jazz compositions.

 Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus. Capacity in Brechemin Auditorium is limited to 100. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of the performance) required. Details of these protocols available here.


DIRECTOR BIOS

Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing to a wide range of artists such as Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie.

As a youngster, Cuong's intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released eight recordings, each making critics’ lists of the 10 best recordings of their respective years and has received rave reviews from notable publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, the Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, JazzTimes and Downbeat. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory as a trumpet player, blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic and sound world.

Awards and honors that Cuong has garnered include grants from the Royalty Research Foundation, the Donald E. Petersen Professorship, ArtistTrust, 4Culture, CityArts and the Colbert Award for Excellence.  Cuong is currently associate professor and chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington and was awarded the University of Washington's prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award in his third year on faculty. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He’s been recognized as one of the top 50 Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD” and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. Amazon listed Vu’s “Come Play With Me” on their “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time.”

Marc Seales

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 owes 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 is a professor in 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.

Ted Poor is a Seattle-based drummer whose adventurous, soulful playing has vaulted him to the stages of some of today’s most important musicians and placed him amongst those drummers most in demand. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, Ted moved from his hometown of Rochester, NY to New York City, where he quickly made a deep impression on its jazz and indie-rock music communities. In his ten years in NYC Ted appeared on dozens of recordings and shared the stage with many world-renowned artists such as Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Cuong Vu, Ben Monder, Myra Melford, Mark Turner, Gabriel Kahane, My Brightest Diamond, Aaron Parks, and Ralph Alessi.

Now a resident of Seattle, Ted has joined the band of Los Angeles based singer/song-writer Andrew Bird; appearing on and touring the albums Are You Serious and My Finest Work Yet (Loma Vista/Concord). As his presence in the Los Angeles music community has grown, Ted has collaborated with producers and artists such as Michel Froom, Blake Mills, Tony Berg and Madison Cunningham – appearing on Cunningham’s recent release Who Are You Now (Verve). Ted also performs regularly on the live radio broadcast of Live From Here with Chris Thile.

In the fall of 2018, Ted signed with record label New Deal (Verve/Universal) and is currently finishing his debut release You Already Know, a collaboration with saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo and producer Blake Mills. Ted is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Ted endorses C&C Drums.

Steve Rodby
Acoustic and electric bassist, audio and video editor and producer Steve Rodby was born in Joliet, Illinois. He began studying classical orchestral bass at age 10, and quickly developed parallel interests in pop and jazz. A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in classical bass performance, Steve spent many years as a multi-style studio musician on both acoustic and electric bass in Chicago recording studios, while also playing with the leading contemporary classical chamber music group in the city, the University of Chicago's CCP. Playing regularly at the Jazz Showcase also gave him the opportunity to play with numerous jazz masters. In 1981, Steve joined the Pat Metheny Group, and would play with the PMG for 3 decades. Steve also started, in the early 80s, producing records for the PMG and many others, as well as working as a video editor for both PBS music specials and other music DVDs. In all, Steve has won 15 Grammy awards. Recently, Steve has been touring and recording with the international group The Impossible Gentlemen.