We’re working on finalizing the 2015 Jazz Port Townsend faculty. Please check back soon for a complete list. Here’s who has committed so far:
JOHN CLAYTON – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Grammy-winning bassist/composer/conductor John Clayton has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, DeeDee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Milt Jackson, Nancy Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dr. John, Regina Carter and many others.
John has been commissioned by many ensembles including the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the American Jazz Philharmonic, The Iceland Symphony, The Metropole Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, The Richmond Symphony, the WDR Orchestra, and the Amsterdam Philharmonic. John was awarded a platinum record for his stirring arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” performed by Whitney Houston during the Super Bowl in 1990.
John has won numerous awards such as the Golden Feather Award, and the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Composer/Arranger award. Most recently, John won a Grammy for his arrangements on Queen Latifah’s, Trav’lin’ Light. John has served as the musical director of several jazz festivals including the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, the Santa Fe Jazz Party, and the Vail Jazz Workshop.
John is a co-founder of the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, which is co-led by John, his brother, saxophonist, Jeff Clayton, and drummer, Jeff Hamilton. Also, John and his brother Jeff co-lead the Clayton Brothers Quintet, who have been nominated for two Grammy awards.
Pianist George Cables has played with Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson, and many other legendary jazz musicians.
His own records include the 1980 Cables’ Vision with Freddie Hubbard among others. In the 1980s he worked in the project Bebop & Beyond, who recorded tribute albums to Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.
According to Victor Schermer, “Anyone who is serious about jazz will tell you that George Cables belongs in the pantheon of the greatest jazz pianists. Everyone, that is, except George Cables. Exceptional in every way, he is yet a team player. He sees himself as part of the rhythm section, and has always emphasized the group over the soloist. ”
He is currenty performing and recording as a soloist, with trio and larger ensembles, and as a clinician in college jazz programs.
Violinist Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation – a designation which doesn’t quite paint the picture.
Carter was the first jazz artist to perform and record on Niccolo Paganini’s famous Guarneri violin, which led to her album Paganini After a Dream. In 2005, she received a MacArthur Fellowship, which helped fund her research into African folk rhythms and ultimately her 2010 album Reverse Thread.
Her curiosity, passion, and quest for beauty led to her 2014 release Southern Comfort (Sony Music Masterworks), in which she explores the folk music of the South.
DAWN CLEMENT – PIANO
Pianist/Composer and vocalist Dawn Clement hails from Seattle, WA. A veteran of Jazz Port Townsend, Dawn is involved in several collaborations including the Jane Ira Bloom Quartet, Priester’s Cue with the legendary Julian Priester, the Seattle Pianist Collective, as well as her own trio.
Dawn has performed with such notables as Nancy King, Ingrid Jensen, Hadley Caliman, John Clayton, Mercer Ellington, Mark Dresser, Jay Clayton and Pharaoh Sanders. Dawn has performed in some of the world’s most premier venues such as Carnegie Hall, Le Conservatoire Superieur, Paris, and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, as well as numerous clubs (including Sweet Rhythm, Tonic, and Iridium), art museums, and theaters.
In addition to her work with Jane Ira Bloom, Dawn has toured the U.S. with a number of projects including the Sabella Consort, and the Rubin/Clement Piano Dialogues. Dawn is currently on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts and maintains a rigorous performance schedule.
Duduka Da Fonseca was born in Rio de Janeiro when Rio was enjoying the embryonic stages of Bossa Nova. Since moving to New York in 1975 Duduka has played and recorded with Haroldo Mauro Jr, Sergio Barrozo, Alfredo Cardim, Ion Muniz, Toninho Horta, Victor Assis Brasil, Claudio Roditi, Tenorio Jr, Dom Salvador, Cesarius Alvim, Edison Maciel Ricardo Santos, Edson Lobo, João Donato, Nana Vasconcelos, Mario Adnet , Nivaldo Ornelas, Paulo Jobim, Jacques Morelenbaum, OSESP (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra), Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi and Raul de Souza amongst many others.
In addition to being a founding member and co-leader of Trio Da Paz, Duduka has appeared on over 200 albums and performed with artists such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Gerry Mulligan, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, Eddie Gomez, Rufus Reid, Lee Konitz, Herbie Mann, Jorge Dalto, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, Emily Remler, Nancy Wilson, Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gil Goldstein, Joanne Brackeen, Marc Johnson, George Mraz, John Patitucci, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Maucha Adnet , Phil Woods and Steve Allee amongst many others.
Duduka is the author of the bestseller instructional book and CD, Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset.
CHUCK DEARDORF – BASS
Chuck Deardorf has recorded and toured internationally with Bud Shank and Don Lanphere, George Cables and Kenny Barron, Winard Harper, and Larry Coryell. As the first call bassist in Seattle, Chuck has performed with Chet Baker, Zoot Sims, Art Farmer, Howard Roberts, Monty Alexander, Kenny Burrell, Marian McPartland, Mel Lewis, Pete Christlieb, Joe Williams, Kenny Werner, Carl Fontana, Joe LaBarbara, and Tal Farlow.
Chuck’s latest solo release on Origin records, “Transparence” (released 2011) demonstrates his performing, producing and arranging abilities with a host of great musicians. He is currently a member of the Deardorf/Peterson Group (whose 2004 Origin release “Portal” won critical acclaim), the Jovino Santos Neto Quartet, the Susan Pascal Quartet along with the Bill Ramsay Big Band.
An accomplished studio musician, Chuck’s bass has been heard on many first run movie soundtracks, dozens of albums and CD projects, and numerous Broadway touring shows. Chuck also has performed on numerous occasions with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
“Joy and spirited musical communication” are what characterize the artistry of Alvester Garnett’s drumming. Singers such as the living legend Abbey Lincoln and the late great Betty Carter, to instrumentalists Wynton Marsalis, James Carter, Regina Carter, and Cyrus Chestnut have all called on Mr. Garnett for the energy and fire that he brings to the bandstand.
Garnett has appeared on Great Performances on PBS in a tribute to Kurt Weill along with Betty Carter, a live record with Teddy Edwards, the CD’s Earth Stories with Cyrus Chestnut and Who Used To Dance with Abbey Lincoln. He also played on James Carter’s In Carterian Fashion.
Other recorded performances include Stefon Harris’ A Cloud of Red Dust on Blue Note records and Abbey Lincoln’s latest recording, Wholly Earth. He has also performed at many notable Jazz Festivals. Some of them are the JVC Jazz Festivals of NY and Paris, The Newport Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Vienne Jazz Festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival, The DuMaurier Jazz Festival, The Nice Jazz Festival, The San Francisco Jazz Festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival, and The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Pianist Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. Combine mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with no one less than the most celebrated artists of the last half century, and it’s no wonder Green has been hailed as perhaps the most exciting hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist to ever emerge from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Recognized as having incredible talent at a young age, Benny began his touring life with Betty Carter for four years and realized a life long dream of becoming a Jazz Messenger. In 1993 Oscar Peterson chose Benny as the first recipient of the City of Toronto’s Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music culminating in Oscar & Benny (1998) recorded for Telarc. Appearing on well over one hundred recordings, with artists such as: Betty Carter, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Watson, Milt Jackson, Diana Krall, and he is particularly featured in Ray Brown’s trio series of CD’s for Telarc: Bass Face, Don’t get Sassy, and Some of my best friends.
His latest recording is the self-produced “Magic Beans,” featuring original compositions for jazz trio.
A pianist, arranger, composer, lyricist, and author, Randy has enjoyed an international performing career, having played and/or recorded with Mimi Fox, Ray Drummond, Jay Clayton, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, James Moody, Herb Ellis, Mel Brown, Nancy Kelly, Houston Person, Sheila Jordan, Ernestine Anderson, Rene Marie, Bobby Shew, Marlena Shaw, Jackie Ryan, Jiggs Wigham and John Stowell.
Randy’s book, Metaphors For The Musician: Perspectives From A Jazz Pianist (Sher Music 2002) has become one of the most highly acclaimed texts in jazz education. His composition “When Springtime Turns To Fall” appears in The All-Jazz Real Book (both books published by Sher Music Co. in 2002). His recordings include Inner Voice (Pony Boy Records 1991), Clockwork (Pony Boy Records 1995), Parallel Tracks (Origin Records 2004), and Flash Point (Origin Records 2010).
Randy makes his home in the Pacific Northwest and has taught for many years at Seattle’s prestigious Cornish College of the Arts.
Jon Hamar is a versatile artist who’s ability to find a tasteful, unique voice in any musical situation has made him a staple in the Northwest music scene. Hamar’s friendly nature, sense of humor and work ethic has kept him busy as a freelance bassist in multiple performance genres.
Jon graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media, studying with Jeffrey Campbell, James Vandermark, Harold Danko, Clay Jenkins, Raymond Ricker and Fred Sturm.
Since moving to Seattle in 2001 Hamar has been active in the role of supporting bassist. Hamar performed for four years with jazz and blues great Ernestine Anderson and is currently a regular with Northwest notables such as Greta Matassa, Jim Knapp, Randy Halberstadt and Dawn Clement. Jon also performs regularly in an orchestral setting recording on movie soundtracks, and playing recitals and concerts around the Northwest.
As an educator Jon keeps busy teaching at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington and Edmonds Community College in Edmonds, Washington as well as maintaining an active private studio. Jon currently has former students attending Berklee College of Music, The New School and the Manhattan School of Music.
Originality is what versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings to the groups he performs with and is one of the reasons why he is constantly in demand, whether he is recording or performing with his trio, the Clayton Brothers or co-leading the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to his many recordings with Ray Brown, Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, George Shearing, Dr. John, Clark Terry, Gene Harris, Toshiko Akioshi, Scott Hamilton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Keely Smith, Bill Holman, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Mark Murphy.
Jeff is a frequent guest of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. He also appeared in Natalie Cole’s Great Performances PBS special, Unforgettable and an Oscar Peterson documentary, Life In The Key Of Oscar.
JOHN HANSEN – PIANO
Information coming soon!
Born in Mt. Morris, New York, Joe La Barbera’s first musical experiences began at home as part of the family band with his parents and two older brothers, saxophonist Pat and trumpeter and arranger/composer John La Barbera. After Berklee and two years with the U.S. Army band at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Joe began his professional career with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, and then moved onto The Chuck Mangione Quartet. In 1978 Joe was asked to join Bill Evans in what was to become a landmark trio. Along with bassist Marc Johnson, the trio grew over a two-year period to become one of Evans’ finest (see performances of “My Romance”, “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “Bill’s Hit Tune” on YouTube). After Bill’s untimely death in 1980, Joe joined singer Tony Bennett.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Joe is involved in a wide range of music locally, nationally and internationally. On the local scene he is busy with his own quintet as well as sideman duties with many well known jazz artists. Recent dates in North America include performances with Bill Mays, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker and brother Pat LaBarbera.
In 1985 Romero Lubambo came to the United States and brought with him a new sound in Brazilian jazz guitar. Romero’s playing unites the styles and rhythms of his native Brazilian musical heritage with his fluency in the American jazz tradition to form a distinctive new sound.
After arriving in New York City, Romero quickly established himself as a “first call” session and touring guitarist who was in demand not only for his authentic Brazilian sound, but also for his command with a variety of styles. He has performed and recorded with many outstanding artists, including Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Herbie Mann, Wynton Marsalis, Gal Costa, Kurt Elling, Kenny Barron, Luciana Souza, Cyro Baptista, Sergio and Odair Assad, Ivan Lins, Grover Washington Jr., Vernon Reid, Flora Purim and Airto, Paquito D’Rivera, Harry Belafonte, Larry Coryell, Gato Barbieri, Leny Andrade, James Carter, Paula Robison, Dave Weckl, Jason Miles, and Cesar Camargo Mariano… among many others.
Romero has also established himself as a composer and performer on his own critically acclaimed recording projects as well as on those of Trio Da Paz. He is considered by critics to be “the best practitioner of his craft in the world today… the guitarist’s facility, creativity and energy are in a class all their own.”
Percussionist, composer, music director and band leader Kelby MacNayr performs jazz, classical, new music, and has collaborated with many acclaimed artists including Anne Schaefer, pop group Elephant Island, N.Y. pianist Misha Piatigorsky, composer and pianist Marianne Trudel, Christine Jensen, Chuck Deardorf, Ian McDougall, Chet Doxas and many others.
Kelby is currently the Artistic Director for the Art of the Trio Series, and is a member of the Marc Atkinson Quartet, the Marianne Trudel Quintet, and Misha Piatigorsky’s Canadian trio.
His group the Kelby MacNayr Quintet has been earning critical acclaim in the US and Canada. (Photo by Jim Levitt)
Described by DownBeat magazine as “a powerhouse bass player,” Nilson Matta has been a force in the evolution and popularity of Brazilian jazz. At a young age in his native Brazil he was already playing the with luminaries such as João Gilberto, Hermeto Pascoal, João Bosco, Johnny Alf, Helio Delmiro, Luis Bonfá, Chico Buarque, MPB-4 and many others.
Since moving to New York in the 1980’s he has performed and recorded with such renowned artists as Sadao Watanabe, Paquito D’Rivera, Mark Murphy, Don Friedman, Oscar Castro Neves, Paul Winter, Claudio Roditi, Gato Barbieri, Herbie Mann, Joe Henderson and many others. Nilson joined Yo-Yo Ma for his new Brazilian music project, recording three Grammy-winning CD’s and touring worldwide for two years.
Along with longtime friends Romero Lubambo and Duduka Da Fonseca, Nilson was a founding member of “Trio Da Paz,” which quickly gained a distinction of one of the foremost Brazilian Jazz groups. In recent years he has been focused on many of his own projects including “Walking With My Bass,” Copacabana” and “Black Orpheus.”
Nilson enjoys sharing his passion for Brazilian music as Music and Artist Director of Samba Meets Jazz, a series of weeklong workshops in Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Bar Harbor, Maine.
Julian MacDonough is a Pacific Northwest drummer, who tours with the Mike Allen Quartet/Trio (Vancouver BC), the genre-bending “funk” band Megatron (Bellingham Washington) the Monday Night Project, and alt-country singer songwriter Kasey Anderson (Portland Oregon).
In addition to those bands, Julian has been very active as a freelance musician. Primarily hired as a jazz drummer up and down the west coast, he has also spent a lot of time in recording studios with over 40 CDs under his belt. Some of his favorites are Mike Allen’s 2003 award winning album “Dialectic,” 2004 “Fearless,” and 2006 “Love One Another.” Kasey Anderson’s “Nowhere Nights” Havilah Rand’s 2009 “Bengalese Butterflies”, Jenni Potts’s “Take This and Go” and New York pianist Aaron Parks “First Romance.”
Saxophonist Bob Mintzer is a twenty year member of the Grammy award winning Yellowjackets who also leads a Grammy winning Big Band, travels with his own Quartet, and plays with numerous bands globally.
A respected educator, Bob is holds the Buzz McCoy endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and has written nearly twenty books used by Jazz educators worldwide.
Bob honed his big band writing and playing skills in the bands of Tito Puente, Buddy Rich and Thad Jones-Mel Lewis. He has written over 200 works for orchestra, concert band and big band. He has also written works for the National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra of the Netherlands. WDR Big band in Cologne, HR Big Band in Frankfurt.
As an instrumentalist Bob has worked with Art Blakey, Jaco Pastorius, Sam Jones, Randy Brecker, Gil Evans, the Yellowjackets, GRP All Star Big Band, Mike Manieri, and The New York Philharmonic, to name a few. He has done session work for James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Queen, Donald Fagan, Milton Nascimento, and countless others.
Gary Smulyan attended SUNY-Postsdam and Hofstra University before he joined Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd in 1978. In 1980, he became part of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra then under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer.
Smulyan also found work with other important large ensembles including the Mingus Epitaph band, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Smulyan has shared the stage and the recording studio with trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie, saxophonist Stan Getz, pianist Chick Corea, timbales king Tito Puente, and R&B/blues and soul icons Ray Charles, B.B. King and Diana Ross.
Smulyan is a perennial (and 2014) winner of the DownBeat Critics and Readers Polls, and a five-time Grammy award winner for his work with B.B. King, Lovano, Holland and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers University, and SUNY Purchase.
Based in New York, acclaimed trumpet player Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
Since the mid-1990’s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.
He is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP).
Dayna Stephens’ debut album The Timeless Now (Contagious Music 2007) features jazz legends John Scofield, Taylor Eigsti, Ben Street, Eric Harland and Nick Vayenas. The record was immediately embraced by the jazz community. It received warm reviews from a number of magazines, including a four-star review in the Nov 2007 issue of Downbeat Magazine and climbed to #11 on the Billboard Jazz Charts, #9 on JazzWeek and NPR Top 10 Jazz Jewels of 2007.
In recent years, Dayna has appeared on stage with numerous established musicians and other rising stars, including Terence Blanchard, Geoffrey Keezer, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Matt Wilson, Oliver Lake, Carlos Santana, Stefon Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peter Apfelbaum, Tom Harrell, Gretchen Parlato, Josh Roseman, Ray Drummond, Winard Harper, Bobby Short and many others.
CHRIS SYMER – BASS
Information coming soon.
Pianist Eric Verlinde has excited audiences worldwide with his energetic and passionate performances. His music touches the very soul of the listener.
He has played with Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, Mark Murphy, Luis Conte, Thelma Huston, Francine Reed, Kelley Gray, Don Lamphere, Jay Thomas, Buddy Cattlet, Greta Matassa, and Luis Peralta.
Eric is in high demand and is constantly performing, refining the sound and creating new music. His different groups create music that is pure, creative, spontaneous, superbly structured and melodic.
Matt Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. Matt is integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom and Dena DeRose among others.
He has performed with many legends of music including Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Andrew Hill, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvis Costello, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Marshall Allen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Hank Jones.
Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases.
Steve Wilson has attained ubiquitous status in the studio and on the stage with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right.
A musician’s musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller among many others.
Wilson has seven recordings under his own name, leading and collaborating with such stellar musicians as Lewis Nash, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Cyrus Chestnut, Greg Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, and Nicholas Payton.
As Wynton Marsalis said, “Ben Wolfe swings with authority.” Downbeat Magazine says, “ He hews to the esthetic of group interplay and the rhythms of bebop, and displays a well-honed sense of sonic narrative.”
As a member of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), Ben has performed with Joe Henderson, Doc Cheatham, Jon Hendricks, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Billy Higgins. Other artists he has also recorded with include Branford Marsalis, James Moody, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, and Benny Green.
Ben is currently on the teaching faculty at The Julliard School in the Jazz Division.