Starting its sixth full season, Sudden Valley Jazz is once again featuring jazz vocalists. Unlike past vocalist tributes, which always featured female jazz singers, however, this series will feature both male and female singers in its concert presentations.

       The series kicks off on Saturday, March 18th with a concert featuring the different aspects of the Western Washington jazz program. The opening act will be the current Western Jazz Orchestra and will feature both male and female jazz singers including Sage Romer and Kirk Roa with the full orchestra. The second half will feature the program’s new head, trumpeter Kevin Woods, and his quartet which includes Cole Shuster on guitar, Greg Feingold, bass, and our old friend, Julian MacDonough on drums. 

The second concert, on Saturday April 22nd, features another old friend, jazz vocalist Greta Matassa backed by vibraphonist, Susan Pascal, singing her favorite jazz tunes and followed by her husband, bassist Clipper Anderson, singing his favorite jazz tunes. Although most of us are familiar with Greta’s work and love it, fewer Sudden Valley concert-goers have heard Clipper, who is a great vocalist in this own right with the same great musical taste in songs. They’ll play a musical version of she said, he said with Greta going first.

The third concert on Saturday, Oct. 7th, is a bit of an experiment. We are bringing back old favorite, Josephine Howell, from Seattle to perform her magic and we are pairing her with a local blues and rock band, The Atlantics. Although the Atlantics used to play at the Dance Barn quite regularly in past years, they haven’t been back for quite a while. We hope this concert will have special appeal to the younger families who live in Sudden Valley as well as the jazz fans. While Josephine will be providing the female song stylings, the distaff side will be handled by Atlantics leader, Paul Klein, a good blues singer in his own right.

Finally, we end the series year with a brand new jazz singer for Sudden Valley, Rebecca Kilgore, a great singer from Portland. Once again, her taste in songs is superb. We’ve been trying to get Rebecca here for years and we were able to work it out for this series. The male vocalist is her drummer, Dave Tull, who is also a songwriter in the Dave Frishberg style. They’ll be appearing at the Dance Barn on Saturday, Nov. 11th.

Tickets for individual concerts, all in support of the South Whatcom Library, are $20. You can purchase the entire series for $70 at Village Books, the YMCA desk at Sudden Valley or on-line at For further information, contact K.C. Sulkin at 360-671-1709.