Tag Archives: jazz at sudden valley

Sudden Valley Jazz – Boffo Bossa Nova

   A quartet with no horns kept 177 spectators enthralled for over 2 hours yesterday at the Dance Barn in Sudden Valley playing the sultry Brazilian music of the bossa nova. Attached is a photo taken by Jim Ollette of Marco Carvalho backed by bassist, Jeff Johnson. As Johnson stated during the concert, “Lots of jazz groups are now playing the bossa nova, but Marco is the real deal.”  Our next concert is a salute to the 60th anniversary of Dave Brubeck’s seminal jazz album, Time Out, with a quartet led by Dave’s son, Dan Brubeck on drums, Miles Black on piano, Miles Hill on bass and Steve Kaldestadt on reeds. Get your tickets early. – K.C. Sulkin

Bosa Nova Salute at Sudden Valley Dance Barn – Saturday April 27th at 3:00 PM


Drummer, Jeff Busch, now lives in Seattle, but has deep Bellingham roots. Interested in rhythms that originated outside the U.S., he has revisited his hometown with groups playing African and Latin American music that feature many artists from foreign lands who now call Seattle home. Jeff will be bringing up two fabulous musicians originally from Latin America as part of a salute to the unique Brazilian contribution to the world of jazz, the Bossa Nova.
The first Brazilian is Marco de Carvalho who will providing both the guitar and vocal contributions to the Bossa Nova Quartet Marco is a Brazilian musician, originally from Rio de Janeiro. He graduated from the prestigious Music Conservatory of Rio de Janeiro under Juarez Carvalho and Sergio Vale. He studied composition and harmony under Luiz Eça and Ronaldo Miranda. Marco has been a performance guitarist, composer and arranger for thirty years. He plays an extensive repertoire of music from Rio de Janeiro as well as his own compositions. Marco has played with many musicians in Brazil and the USA. He has recorded on numerous CDs and sound tracks also producing and arranging.
The pianist is Julio Jauregui who was born in Louisiana and grew up in Mexico City.
In 1990, Julio moved to Eugene, Oregon. In Eugene, he attended Lane Community College for two years where he received best theory student of the year award. He later enrolled at the University of Oregon to finish his music degree. He studied jazz piano with Gary Versace and jazz improvisation with saxophone player Steve Owen.

Bassist Jeff Johnson will be appearing with the group as well.

Since bossa nova music was created for dancing as well as listening, we’ll be keeping a large portion of the dance floor available for those who would like to express their enthusiasm vertically.

Concert is on Saturday, April 27th from 3-5pm at the Dance Barn in Sudden Valley (Gate 2), 8 Barnview Court. Tickets are in aid of the South Whatcom Library and cost $20 with a special student discount prices of $10. Tickets are available at Village Books, the Sudden Valley Office or on-line at http://lcj3.com/websites/suddenvalleyjazz/. For more information or special requests, call Mr. K.C. Sulkin at 360-670-1709.

Tribute to Jazz at the Philharmonic – Opens Sudden Valley 2019 Jazz Series


By K.C. Sulkin, producer Sudden Valley Jazz

In the mid-’40’s, jazz producer Norman Granz, looked at the empty stage of Los Angeles’ Philharmonic Hall, and saw a great opportunity to fill a musical void. The swing era was winding down and there were a lot of great jazz musicians looking for work. To add to that, be-bop, the new jazz style, was not grabbing the attention of the general public the way swing dancing had done and that meant more great jazz jazz musicians looking for jobs. Back East in New York City, big auditoriums like Town Hall were drawing large audiences to see dixieland and trad jazz musicians under the leadership of Eddie Condon and Mezz Mezzrow, get together and play, without any pre-rehearsal, whatever they decided to play at that moment.
Granz decided to rent Philharmonic Hall in L.A. for the same kind of jam session concert, but using swing and be-bop musicians instead of dixie cats. To his delight, they were a huge success and he later decided to tour the group, utilizing appropriate halls in different cities across the U.S. Later tours went to Europe and the far East.
Bellingham drummer, Julian MacDonough and I decided to pool our talents to re-create this free, jam session concert as part of the 2019 Sudden Valley Jazz series. Budget restraints meant that he would not be able to open the doors to large amounts of players, but Julian felt that we could recreate the atmosphere of the original with 7 jazz players from the region and I suggested that we must get a vocalist to fill the spot usually taken by Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday. Who better to fill the bill than Seattle’s Greta Matassa. With Greta on board, Julian wracked his brain to think of jam session musicians from the Pacific Northwest who were comfortable in both the swing and be-bop modes. He enlisted sax men, Thomas Harris and Jonathan Doyle, trombonist Brad Shigata, trumpet player Michael VanBebber, pianist, Tony Foster and bassist Michael Glynn.
The concert is planned to feature all horn players playing a solo number to begin the concert with a jam session ending the first half. Greta will do a set backed by her trio including Darin Clendenon, Clipper Anderson and Mark Ivester that will feature vintage jazz standards and will then join the ensemble for a final jam on that 40’s jazz classic, “How High The Moon”.
The fruits of all this labor will be on display at the Dance Barn in Sudden Valley on Saturday, March 30th at 3pm. Don’t miss it (or as they said in the 40’s, “be there or be square”!
Tickets are available at Village Books, the main office at Sudden Valley in Gate 2 or on-line at www.fswl.org. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students. For further information, call K.C. Sulkin at 360-671-1709.

2019 Sudden Valley Jazz Season Announced – Special Ticket Price at November 10th Concert

The 9th season of the Sudden Valley Jazz series promises to be as exciting as past seasons with both new and old jazz acts added to the mix. An all four concert package, with a face value of $80, will be on sale for the special price of $60 at the final concert of this season, the Salute to Miles Davis on Saturday Nov. 10th at the Dance Barn in Sudden Valley. That’s equal to one free concert.

The 2019 season is as follows:

March 30th- The Pacific Northwest salutes Jazz At the Philharmonic starring Greta Matassa and the Julian MacDonough All-Stars. Jazz At the Philharmonic (or JATP as it was referred to by hip fans), was the creation of legendary jazz impresario, Norman Granz. Granz saw the availability of a number of great jazz musicians after World War 2 (caused mainly by the collapse of the swing band era and the failure of be-bop to capture the public’s imagination) as an opportunity to feature great musicians in a jam session format for a reasonable price. He put on shows at the Philharmonic Hall in Los Angeles that were a tremendous hit and always featured a set with a leading female jazz vocalist of the day, usually Ella Fitzgerald. We have hired the Pacific Northwest’s answer to Ella, Greta Matassa, to fill that spot in the program. She’ll be backed by Julian MacDonough’s trio, including Tony Foster on piano and Michael Glynn on bass. Musicians who may be included in the jam sessions are Jonathan Doyle, Thomas Harris, Brad Shigeta and Michael VanBebber although there may be personnel changes.

April 27th – Bossa Nova Brazil starring two Brazilian natives, Nilza Lessa and Marco de Carvalho playing and singing bossa nova songs backed by Jeff Johnson on bass and Jeff Busch on drums. Although we have devoted concerts to swing, dixie, be-bop and gypsy jazz, we have never given the full spot light to bossa nova, Brazil’s greatest contribution to the jazz lexicon. We’ll correct that at our April 27th concert. Marco is a Brazilian musician, originally from Rio de Janeiro. He graduated from the prestigious Music Conservatory of Rio de Janeiro under Juarez Carvalho and Sergio Vale. Nilza Lessa, a vocalist originally from Brazil, recently took part in Seattle’s Salute to the music of Carlos Jobim.

Oct. 12th- Brubeck Plays Brubeck honors the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dave Brubeck with a concert of his music led by his son, drummer Dan Brubeck, saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, bassist Miles Hill and the return to Sudden Valley of Miles Black on piano. The current plan is to recreate Dave’s Time Out album, one of the biggest selling albums in jazz history, from top to bottom.

Nov. 9th- Ron Jones’s Jazz Forest 12 piece jazz recordings orchestra. Jones is a Los Angeles arranger who has worked extensively in television and movies and has recently moved to Stanwood and set up a recording studio. He convinced fellow Los Angeles based musicians, the husband and wife team of tenor sax player Pete Christlieb and trombonist, Linda Small, to move to the area with him. He then recruited the best talent from Seattle, including vibes player, Susan Pascal, to fill out his 12 piece ensemble.This band, with special guest soloist, the drummer/vocalist, Dave Tull, will close out our 9th year.

For further information, contact Mr. K.C. Sulkin at 360-671-1709.

Tribute to Jazz Legend Miles Davis at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn Saturday, November 10, 2018


The salute to jazz legendary trumpet player, Miles Davis, has added another all-star musician for the November 10th concert at the Jazz Barn in Gate 2 in Sudden Valley. Seattle pianist, Bill Anschell, will be joining a group that already includes Kevin Woods on trumpet; tenor sax man, Josh Cook; bassist Roger Yashamita and Judd Sherwood on drums.

The band will heavily feature the music that Davis played for Columbia Records in the 60’s under the direction of Gil Evans and with Davis’ own small jazz group that included John Coltrane. Woods plays the Davis parts and Josh Cook is an admirable stand-in for Coltrane. Some of the pianists who worked with Davis included Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock and Anschell fits nicely in that niche.

The concert also features the Sudden Valley premiere performance of a new, 8 piece vocal group called PNWVoices that sings in the style of the Hi-Lo’s and Manhattan Transfer.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased on-line at www.fswl.org, Village Books, the Sudden Valley Association Office or by contacting K.C. Sulkin at 360-671-1709. The concert is at 3pm on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Dance Barn, 8 Barnview Court, Gate 2, Sudden Valley.

Tickets for next year’s series, an $80 value, will be sold for the special advance price of $60 during the concert.

October 6th, 2018 Jazz Concert by Magic Circle at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn

Magic Circle Brings Jazz from South Africa to Sudden Valley

Since jazz was born in the miasma of the Mississippi Delta after the Civil War, it has migrated to foreign lands and transformed itself according to the preferences of the locals. The group that will be playing a concert at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn on Saturday, Oct. 6th, pays tribute to the transmutations of jazz in 3 of those foreign climes – Brazil, Cuba and, most importantly, South Africa. This music was popularized in the States by Hugh Masakela and Ibn Ahbrahim (better known as Dollar Brand). The Magic Circle Sextet has taken on a heavy load in paying tribute to the musical genres of those 3 nations but they’re more than up to the task.
The band features a killer front line, featuring Alex Dugdale on both saxophone and tap dancing,Steve Mostovoy on trumpet and Jerome Smith (who most ably backed up La Von Harrison at our last concert) on both trombone and sousaphone. They’re all anchored by a great rhythm section featuring Eric Verlinde (who was also featured with La Von Harrison) on piano, Dean Schmidt on bass and Sudden Valley veteran Jeff Busche, on drums.
Their concert at Sudden Valley takes place in the Dance Barn at 3pm on Saturday, Oct. 6th. Tickets are $20 in aid of the South Whatcom Library and can be purchased at Village Books in Fairhaven, the Sudden Valley Association Office, on-line at www.fswl.org or by called K.C. Sulkin at 360-671-1709.


The new season of Jazz at Sudden Valley has been booked and should be a great one. And once again, concertgoers at the final concert of this season on November 11th, will be able to buy the entire series, an $80 value, for only $60. This offer is for this concert only. The price then goes to $70 which is still a $10 savings.

Next season’s opener takes place on Saturday, April 14 and features New York reedman, Evan Arntzen, along with his brother, guitarist and banjo player, Arnt Arntzen, in a quintet that will be playing both swing and dixieland music for listening and dancing. Evan just permanently joined the prestigious New York swing orchestra, Vince Giardano’s NightHawks, in the reed section. He is also a fine vocalist and last played the Dance Barn as part of the Salute to Louis Armstrong. The quintet will also include Jennifer Hodge, a fine bass player from Vancouver and Bellingham’s own, Julian MacDonough, on drums.

The second concert follows on May 5th and features a wonderful Olympia-based vocalist, La Von Hardison, with her quintet. Players include Eric Verlinde on piano, Osama Affifi on bass, Jeff Busch on drums and Jerome Smith on tuba and trombone.

After a break for the hot summer weather, we’ll be back in the fall with the final two concerts. On October 6th, drummer Jeff Busch is back with a group called Magic Circle that is devoted to jazz music from Cuba, Brazil and South Africa. It features Alex Dugdale who is both a wonderful sax player and tap dancer, Steve Mostovoy, Jerome Smith, Julio Jauregui, Dean Schmidt along with Jeff on drums. Once again, we’ll keep the dance floor open for those who like to dance to jazz.

The final concert of 2018 is on Nov. 10th and features a wonderful tribute to Miles Davis, with Kevin Woods playing the Miles solos. The rest of the group is made of some wonderful local players who haven’t been heard on the Dance Barn stage before. Josh Cook will be taking the John Coltrane tenor solos, Blake Angelos is on piano and the rest of the rhythm section consists of Roger Yamashita on bass and Jazz Project head, Judd Sherwood, on drums. Since Kevin is head of the jazz program at Western, the No. 1 Western Jazz Band will open the concert with a short set.

Pictures are of the Arntzen Brothers, La Von Hardison, Magic Circles and Kevin Woods.