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Seattle's Jazz Scene

Steve Scher
12/29/2010 at 9:00 a.m.

Seattle is a good place to grow up loving jazz music. The school bands from Roosevelt and Garfield High schools are regular finalists in the Essentially Ellington competition in New York. There are multiple festivals, radio stations and venues all over town where jazz is played live on a regular basis. Is Seattle a jazz city on the level of New Orleans or New York? Is it a place where high school jazz musicians can stick around after graduation to make great music? Every weekend at Cafe Racer in Seattle's University District, a group of local jazz musicians improvise together around a theme. Trumpeter Cuong Vu and some of the regulars from The Racer Sessions will join us in the studio to play a little music and talk about Seattle's jazz scene.


Cuong Vu is an assistant professor of jazz studies at the University of Washington. He has played trumpet with a number of musicians including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie and Cibo Matto. He has released five albums as a band leader and has received numerous awards, including two Grammy's for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group.

Andrew D'Angleo is a composer, performer and bandleader based in Brooklyn, NY (though he is a Seattle native). He has worked with many musicians, including Kurt Rosenwinkel and the Human Feel. He is currently releasing his latest trio CD.

Luke Bergman is 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. He also serves as a board member, producer, recording engineer and co–founder of Table and Chairs Music, a not–for–profit, independent record label in Seattle.

Evan Woodle is a graduate of the Roosevelt High School jazz program. He is also a co–founder of The Racer Sessions and a board member of Table and Chairs Music. He is a co–founder of the Improvised Music Project at the University of Washington, a student group that promotes improvised music and presents an annual creative music festival.

John Gilbreath is the executive director of Earshot Jazz. He also hosts jazz shows on KBCS and KEXP.

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