Internationally renowned jazz musicians Bill Frisell, guitar, Reid Anderson (BadPlus), bass, and Bill McHenry, tenor saxophone, join with UW Jazz Studies students and faculty June 2-4 at the UW Meany Studio Theater for IMPFest VIII, co-presented by UW Music and the student-run Improvised Music Project.
Over the past eight years the student-led Improvised Music Project has instigated new directions in Seattle’s jazz and improvised music scene. The annual festival, pairing seasoned guest musicians with some of the UW’s most talented student jazz musicians as well as members of the UW’s stellar jazz studies faculty, is IMP’s signature annual event. This year, IMP and the School of Music welcome renowned guitarist and UW faculty member Bill Frisell, and special guests bassist Reid Anderson (Bad Plus) and tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, performing with UW students and Jazz Studies faculty.
All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at the UW's Meany Studio Theater. Tickets and details are available here.
IMPFest VIII Schedule
Thursday, June 2: Music of Bill Frisell and Talon
Talon (Greg Sinibaldi/Ryan Ferreira/Ted Poor)
Bill Frisell/Luke Bergman and students
Friday, June 3: Music of Reid Anderson
Reid Anderson and students
Reid Anderson with Bill McHenry, Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Ted Poor
Saturday, June 4: Music of Bill McHenry
Bill McHenry with Students
Bill McHenry Trio with Bill Frisell, Reid Anderson
Bill McHenry Quintet with Cuong Vu, Ryan Ferreira, Ted Poor, Luke Bergman
Originally from Minneapolis, Reid Anderson emerged as one of the most promising bassists and composers on the New York jazz scene. He studied classical music at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, graduating in 1993.
Upon arriving in New York in 1994, he began working with like-minded young players such as Mark Turner, Jorge Rossy, Ethan Iverson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Bill McHenry. Anderson has released a number of fine albums on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label, and he co-leads an acclaimed trio called the Bad Plus with Iverson and drummer David King. In addition, Anderson also fronts his own rock band, the Sun, for which he sings and plays guitar.
Innovative bassist, composer and producer Luke Bergman has become an integral part of the music scene in the Northwest. His artistic and educational efforts as well as his dedication to creative music have served as a touchstone for a new generation of Seattle musicians.
Bergman's music has garnered critical acclaim on a national and international level for his work with Heatwarmer, Speak, Thousands, and The Cuong Vu Group.
He is dedicated to the development of the local music community and serves as co-creator, organizer and artistic director of The Racer Sessions, a weekly performance series which is devoted to the advancement of avant-garde music in Seattle. Debuting new works each week and operating as a performance workshop for group free improvisation, the series has provided a place for artists to interact and inspire each other on a regular basis. Bergman also serves as a board member, producer, recording engineer and co-founder of Table and Chairs Music, a not-for-profit, independent record label that documents and promotes creative music in Seattle.
Ryan Ferreira joined the School of Music faculty in Fall 2015 as an artist-in-residence in the Jazz Studies program. An in-demand New York City-based session guitarist now making Seattle his part-time home base, Ferreira is well-regarded in forward-thinking jazz and improvised music circles, having collaborated and performed with renowned jazz and creative improvisers Tim Berne, Colin Stetson, Chris Dingman, and others. In his work with ambient sound, Ferreira seeks to create “soundscapes that provide a comfortable open environment for the listener." At the University of Washington, he teaches electric guitar and works with students in the Jazz and Improvised Music program.
One of the most sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music, Bill Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, The Frankfurt Ballet, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois.
The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament not only to his singular guitar conception, but his musical versatility as well. Much has been made of the uncategorizable nature of Frisell's music and the seamlessness with which his bands have navigated such a variety of styles. "Frisell's pals just happen to be superb musical chameleons, up to every change of gears and genre the guitarist's catch-all music throws at them.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). The Chicago Tribune observed that "Frisell possesses not only impressive compositional skills but also a remarkable ability to encompass seemingly antagonistic musical genres." Commenting on his eclectic compositional inclinations, Frisell told Down Beat: "When I write something, it just sort of comes out. I'm not thinking, 'Now I'm going to write a cowboy song'. It just happens, then I usually think about what must have influenced it later."
A musical kinship with Miles Davis has been cited repeatedly in the music press. The New Yorker notes: "Bill Frisell plays the guitar like Miles Davis played the trumpet: in the hands of such radical thinkers, their instruments simply become different animals. And, like Davis, Frisell loves to have a lot of legroom when he improvises--the space that terrifies others quickens his blood."
Bill McHenry is a saxophone player and composer who lives in New York, Barcelona, and Maine. He has made seven recordings as a leader, and is known for his work with Andrew Cyrille, Paul Motian, Eric Revis, Guillermo Klein, Andrew D’Angelo, Reid Anderson, Orrin Evans, John McNeil, Ben Waltzer, Rebecca Martin, Duane Eubanks, Jamie Saft, and Ethan Iverson.
His first two albums for the Sunnyside label, Roses, and Ghosts of the Sun are with Paul Motian, Reid Anderson and Ben Monder. His 2012 album, La Peur du Vide, was recorded live at the Village Vanguard with Orrin Evans, Eric Revis, and Andrew Cyrille.
After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, drummer Ted Poor moved to New York City, where he has made a deep impression on the jazz and improvised music scene. Modern Drummer describes his playing as “adventurous, truly dynamic, and forward-thinking.” Jazz Review writes, “Ted has an uncanny ability to shape the music and a refreshingly unique, organic approach to playing the drums.” This unique approach has caught the ears of many of jazz’s most established musicians and quickly placed him amongst those drummers most in demand.
Ted has toured the world over and is a regular member of many bands, including those of Grammy award winning trumpeter Cuong Vu, guitarist Ben Monder, Bad Touch, and the Respect Sextet. Ted’s most recent project as a leader is called Mt. Varnum. Formed in August of 2011, Mt. Varnum reconciles a life-long love of deep swing with an equally earnest adoration of classic and indie rock. The band’s forthcoming debut release “Wounded Caroline” is a powerful and complete manifestation of that union.
As an in-demand sideman, Ted has appeared on dozens of recordings and has shared the stage with many world renowned artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill Frisell, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Maria Schneider, Aaron Parks and Ralph Alessi. As a guest soloist and educator, Poor has held residencies at, among others, the Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Cal Arts, Lawrence University, the University of Oregon, and the HR Big Band of Frankfurt. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Innovative saxophonist and composer Greg Sinibaldi has established himself as one of the Northwest’s most inventive musicians, embracing a diverse musical world. Whether he’s performing with his own groups, playing in metal bands, or composing new chamber music, he brings forth a characteristic and unique voice each time he performs. Inspired by a wide range of music and art, Greg has developed a unique improvisational language, developing a virtuosic and rich sonic palette.
Inspired by collaborations with many musical innovators Greg has worked and performed with Gunther Schuller, Jimmy Giuffre, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Cuong Vu, Ted Poor, Robert Dick, Dave Douglas, Matt Moran, Rueben Radding, Jesse Canterbury and many others. He has toured with a wide range of bands and can be heard on numerous recordings, the most recent being Burn List. In collaboration with clarinetist Jesse Canterbury, his recent record Ascendant, was recorded in a 4-million gallon Cistern. He’s also played an integral role on many recordings including Frieze of Life’sNuclear Frog Pond, Uncle Pooch’s Oneirophrenia and Goat’s Special Agent.
Greg has been the recipient of grants and awards from the Puffin Foundation, Jack Straw Foundation, Centrum, 4Culture, Earshot Jazz and The City of Seattle. He has also been Artist in Residence at the Banff Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and Centrum. He studied at the New England Conservatory working with a wide range of artists, including George Garzone, Jimmy Guiffre, and Joe Maneri. While receiving a Masters degree from the University of Washington he studied with Richard Karpen.
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. Peterson 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.”