Starting 2011 With Some Swing

2011 is going to be a big year for Jazz Port Townsend

Washington’s longest-running summer jazz festival is anchored by a weeklong workshop curated and led by Artistic Director John Clayton.

Some notable thematic elements are on tap for for the 2011 experience (July 24-31) – in fact, one might call 2011 the “Year of the Composer” :

  • Bill Holman. An NEA Jazz Master, Bill is THE elder statesman of big band composition/arranging. Centrum has received a special NEA grant to commission Bill to write a piece dedicated to Paquito D’Rivera, which will be premiered in Port Townsend during the week.
  • John Clayton is writing a new big band piece in honor of Centrum’s founding director Joseph Wheeler, which will be premiered in Port Townsend during the week.
  • Arthur Hamilton. The man who wrote the wrote the classic tune “Cry Me A River,” among countless others will be on our vocal faculty, giving the track a new angle on interpreting songs from a writer’s perspective. Along with the return of Dee Daniels and new faculty Sunny Wilkinson, the 2011 vocal track will be very special.

That’s a pretty great start, but it’s only the beginning.

Stefon Harris (pictured above), will be spending the week with us teaching vibes and marimba. Walter Smith is an exciting tenor sax player participants will get to know. Trombone legend Jiggs Whigham is returning – and he’ll be bringing an entire student big band he conducts (age 18 – 24) from Germany!

Jeff Hamilton will spend the week in Port Townsend, as will the other members of his trio–Tamir Hendelman and Christoph Luty. And drummer Matt Wilson. And bari sax star Gary SmulyanAnd many, many more.

If you are a jazz instrumentalist, vocalist, or composer, register online right now for Jazz Port Townsend, July 24-31, 2011.

For complete information, visit our Jazz site at