Originally published at Earshot Jazz, by Lucienne Aggarwal, May 2018
Now spanning 10 years, the annual student-led jazz project known as the Improvised Music Project (IMPFest), produced by the University of Washington’s School of Music, shows no sign of slowing down. The festival brings together all-star faculty and students with world-renowned musicians. This year’s headliners are guitarist Bill Frisell, jazz pianist Myra Melford, and alto sax player Andrew D’Angelo. The festival runs for two evenings, May 30 and 31, at UW’s Meany Studio Theater.
Internationally renowned jazz veteran Bill Frisell needs no introduction. Both a returning performer at the IMPFest and a well-respected jazz guitarist, creator, collaborator, and pioneer, accolades precede him. Stereophile honors him by stating, “for over ten years Bill Frisell has quietly been the most brilliant and unique voice to come along in jazz guitar since Wes Montgomery…[and] he may also be one of the most promising composers of American music on the current scene.” Apart from his own undeniable talent, Frisell has been involved in masterful collaborations, working with such diverse and talented performers including Elvis Costello, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Marianne Faithful, Vernon Reid, Vinicius Cantuária, Bono, Suzanne Vega, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Gus Van Sant, The Frankfurt Ballet, and Rickie Lee Jones. His collaborations and musical influence continue.