2013 Jazz Port Townsend Mainstage Preview: July 27 Afternoon

Saturday afternoon at Jazz Port Townsend is the stuff of legend.  John Clayton, The Festival’s Grammy-winning Artistic Director,  will kick off the mainstage performances in Fort Worden State Park’s 1200-seat McCurdy Pavilion day with his own family combo. And of course a perennial highlight of the afternoon show is the Festival All-Star Big Band. 2013’s Big Band will showcase the music of Quincy Jones.

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Saturday Afternoon Concert
1:30 pm; McCurdy Pavilion
Reserved Seating $25/32/49; 18 & under free

The Clayton Brothers with special guest Stefon Harris

  • Jeff Clayton, alto
  • Terell Stafford, trumpet
  • Stefon Harris, mallets
  • Gerald Clayton, piano
  • John Clayton, bass
  • Obed Calvaire, drums

René Marie and Sachal Vasandani Quintet

  • René Marie & Sachal Vasandani, vocals
  • George Cables, piano
  • Chuck Deardorf, bass
  • Joe LaBarbera, drums

Centrum All-Star Big Band, directed by Clarence Acox: “Salute to Quincy Jones”

  • Mark Taylor, alto; Bill Ramsay, alto; Travis Ranney, tenor; Jay Thomas, tenor; Gary Smulyan, bari; Brad Allison, trumpet; Tom Marriott, trumpet; Vern Sielert, trumpet; Andy Omdahl, trumpet; Jiggs Whigham, trombone;  Dan Marcus, trombone; David Marriott, Jr., trombone; Greg Schroeder, bass trombone; Dan Balmer, guitar; Randy Porter, piano; Jon Hamar, bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums



John and Jeff Clayton prove conclusively, that while blood may be thicker than water, it can also carry an unimpeded flow of pure creativity.Their Grammy© nominated quintet The Clayton Brothers was founded in 1977, and while their paths sometimes diverge, the brothers continue to share a common musical vision that draws them back together.



From her debut release in 2001 onward, René Marie has proven herself to be one of the most daring vocalists around. She attracted much notice for her powerful rendition of “Strange Fruit,” which was paired with the unlikely “Dixie” featured on her 2001 release “Vertigo.” On her 2003 album, “Live at Jazz Standard,” she delivered a soaring a cappella version of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” to open Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” In 2009, she was awarded the Denver Post’s Reader’s Choice for Best Solo Performance of 2009, and her latest release “Voice of My Beautiful Country” is an ambitious celebration of Americana and the cultural diversity of these United States.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Sachal Vasandani has released three albums on Mack Avenue Records, Eyes Wide Open in 2007, We Move in 2009, and Hi-Fly in 2011. The Chicago-born artist attracted attention when he was named Down Beat magazine’s Collegiate Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 1999. He has worked with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. His debut recording, Eyes Wide Open, lead to tours and opening for artists such as jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and pop singer Joan Osborne. Vasandani’s second album, 2009′s We Move, was chosen as a New York Times Critic’s Pick.



Big band leader Clarence Acox has been working the past few months with John Clayton and trombonist Dave Marriott to assemble a big band program salute to the amazing Quincy Jones. Over at The Seattle Times, Paul de Barros talks with Acox about the program and Jones. We highly recommend the article to get a sense of what’s in store for this set.

From Paul’s post:

“Quincy had a knack for creating beautiful melodies,” says Acox. “But he also had a knack for putting together great arrangements that were appealing to the audience and that were substantive enough that the musicians enjoyed playing them.”

Fans familiar with the sizzling 1960 Jones unit that included Seattle players Buddy Catlett (bass), Patti Bown (piano) and Floyd Standifer (trumpet) will be delighted to hear that among the charts on Acox’s agenda is “Birth of a Band,” which rips by a startling tempo. But Acox says “Dum Dum,” from the Count Basie album, “Li’l Ole Groovemaker” (which also featured Catlett), is “even faster.”

Here’s a video of Quincy’s band in Europe in 1960 playing “Birth of a Band,” with Buddy, Patti and Floyd.

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