August 18, 2013 - The Topeka Jazz Workshop Band with Mike Metheny
We open the season again with our wonderful TJW Band under the direction of Ryan Simpson, this time with trumpet extraordinare from K.C., Mike Metheny. Mike, the older brother of famous guitarist Pat Metheny, played for us with the Tommy Ruskin Trio in 1989 and at a jazz brunch in 1995.
August 18, 2013 - The Topeka Jazz Workshop Band with Mike Metheny
We are very excited to welcome our guest soloist for the opening concert, Mike Metheny, who will kick off the season with the Topeka Jazz Workshop Band, under the direction of Ryan Simpson!
September 15, 2013 - CONCORD RECORDING ARTIST, KARRIN ALLYSON
The lovely Karrin Allyson returns for another spell-binding concert featuring her sensuous voice and piano styling. With regular backups Todd Strait on drums , Rod Fleeman on guitar, and Gerald Spaits on bass.
October 13, 2013 - HOUSTON PERSON
New to our stage will be the swinging sax man who specializes in a “Saturday Night Dance” format. Be sure and wear your dancing shoes to this one! Houston’s backups will be Tommy Ruskin on drums, Joe Cartwright on piano, and Gerald Spaits on bass.
November 10, 2013 - BILL MAYS
Many of you will remember this talented, versatile pianist from the 2004 Topeka Jazz Festival. You will love him ! He will be backed by Bob Bowman on bass and Todd Strait on drums.
December 1, 2013 - BRAM WIJNANDS WITH BOB KINDRED
Bram has been a piano fixture on the K.C. jazz scene a long time and has driven over to tune our piano at every concert since last spring when we lost our long-time piano tuner from Holton, Richard Knaak. Kindred is a well-known sax man from New York who has played in Topeka many times, including at the Jim Monroe Memorial concert in 2006. He remembered playing with Bram and asked if he could join Bram’s group this season. Accompanying them will be Tommy Ruskin on drums and Dominique Sanders on bass.
January 19, 2014 - THE JOE CARTWRIGHT QUARTET
Joe is a popular pianist in K.C. and beloved by our audiences as one of their favorite backup pianists. We thought you would enjoy an entire concert featuring Joe and his cohorts “Duck” Warner on valve trombone and vocals, Tommy Ruskin and Gerald Spaits.
February 23, 2014 - JIM SEELEY and FRIENDS
Trumpeter Jim Seeley hails from Holton, Kansas and was a TJW Inc. scholarship winner in 1978 who now plays out of New York. We had him back in 2010 to do a concert with old family friend Gary Foster. Then last fall he played an outdoor concert in Holton with local friends Brian Steever on drums, Charlie Gatschet on guitar, Roger Wilder on piano, and Gerald Spaits on bass and that’s the group featured here.
March 30, 2014 - THE REBECCA KILGORE QUARTET
We had this group in November 2007 when they were called the B.E.D Quartet (for Becky, Eddie, and Dan), plus Joel Forbes on bass who they couldn’t figure out how to work into the acronym. Becky is a vivacious vocalist, Eddie Erickson plays a mean guitar and banjo, Dan Barrett is an excellent trombonist, and Joel Forbes is a popular bassist in the jazz world. You will note that they do not use piano and drums, at least not in this grouping, but Becky says that’s what makes it so unique.
April 13, 2014 - GARY FOSTER and FRIENDS
The friends are Kansas Citians Tommy Ruskin on drums, Gerald Spaits on bass, and Roger Wilder on piano. Woodwinds specialist Gary Foster is a native of Leavenworth and a graduate of K.U. so it is like old home week when he returns to us. He is stationed in L.A. and keeps extremely busy with studio work, movie and TV soundtracks, and performances everywhere.
Help us welcome the Rebecca Kilgore Quartet to our stage: Rebecca Kilgore joined by Dan Barrett on trombone, Eddie Erickson on guitar/banjo, Joel Forbes on bass.
Rebecca Kilgore is one of America’s leading song stylists who finds particular delight in preserving and interpreting the music of the Great American Songbook. Her quartet continues to captivate audiences with their eclectic repertoire of classic jazz.
Rebecca is the glue that holds her group together. They are not exactly close neighbors, Rebecca living in Portland, Oregon, Eddie Erickson in Pacific Grove, California, Dan Barrett in Costa Mesa, CA., and Joel Forbes in New York. The group has been playing together for over ten years and used to be called B.E.D.
Rebecca has been a frequent guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” She was inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2010 and some of her venues have been Feinstein’s in New York, The Jazz Bakery in Culver City, CA., the Westin at LAX, and Spazios in Sherman Oaks, CA. She brought her group B.E.D. to the Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc. stage in 2007.
“Fast Eddie” Erickson is described as a fine guitarist and banjoist, an excellent singer, and a very funny ad-libber. His background includes working at Disney World and Disneyland in the 60s. His association with the Rebecca Kilgore Quartet has been hailed as the perfect forum for his humor, vocals, guitar and banjo work.
Trombonist Dan Barrett was in Benny Goodman’s last orchestra and has been a welcome guest at dozens of jazz festivals here and abroad. He has been praised for knowing how to use a plunger mute with taste and, in total, as a player Duke Ellington would have loved. He has recorded with Doc Cheatham, Scott Hamilton, Rosemary Clooney, Ruby Braff, Jay McShann , Buck Clayton and many others, but spends most of his time these days playing with Rebecca.
Joel Forbes is a master of the acoustic bass and has held a place on the New York jazz scene for 30 years. Joel’s father by the same name who died in 2002 was a pianist who grew up in NYC. Joel says “having a father playing and singing so many of the great jazz songs around the house really put the music in my ear and in my heart. Hearing the music live like that and playing gigs with him was very lucky for me. I owe him a great deal.”
The Rebecca Kilgore Quartet is unique in that they do not use a piano or drums. Rebecca says the foursome has spent more than 10 years developing a very special chemistry and unique sound without the more conventional instrumentation.
Click here to visit the Rebecca Kilgore website and learn more.
The concert will be March 30, 2014, at the downtown Ramada, 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is by season membership only. The cost of a season membership is $55 per adult ($50 for students under 21), which will provide admission to two concerts in March and April 2014. Season memberships may be purchased in advance, or at the door on March 30 by cash, check, or major charge card.
Gary Foster closes out our season, along with Tommy Ruskin on drums, Gerald Spaits on bass, and Roger Wilder on piano
Gary Foster is a “multireedist” who plays saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. He is considered a “crossover” artist who performs in jazz, pop and classical genres, but jazz is his great love. “I’m a jazz player at heart…that’s my main interest.” Gary is known for his elegant and laid back style and his “woodwind doubling” which refers to a musician with the ability to play multiple instruments, making him highly prized in the studio world. He has received the Most Valuable Player Award for woodwind doubling from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Born in 1936 in Leavenworth, Kansas, Gary started on the clarinet at age 13 and by 15 was playing VFW Hall dances. After high school, he studied at Central College in Fayette, Missouri, then K.U. where he received his Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor in Clarinet Performance. While at K.U., he met and played with K.C. jazz great Carmel Jones.
In 1961 at age 26, Gary moved to L.A. and soon concluded there wasn’t enough work available for a saxophonist to make a living just playing jazz. So he turned to studio work and became prominent in the film, television, and recording industry for five decades. He has played woodwinds in over 500 movie scores and as a member of over 200 live and television orchestras. He has recorded for artists such as Carol Burnett, Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Frank Sinatra, John Williams, Natalie Cole, Cal Tjader, Michael Buble, and many others. Most recently, he has worked on soundtracks for movies such as “Monsters Inc.”, “Ice Age,” “Elf,” “Meet the Fockers.” and a long list of others. He has been a member of the Academy Awards Television Orchestra for 30 different broadcasts.
Major influences in Gary’s career have included Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz. Warne Marsh, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Serge Chaloff, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond, Art Pepper, On the classical side, he has played with the L.A. Philharmonic, L.A. Chamber Orchestra, L.A. Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl. He is amongst only a handful of musicians in the world who have made a career being able to easily and frequently cross over from jazz to classical to pop on several instruments at a consistently high level. Gary is a strong advocate of music education and has taught privately and at the collegiate level since 1960.
Gary has appeared for TJW Inc. on at least 13 occasions since 1973 plus three Topeka Jazz Festivals. He was the logical choice to be asked to serve as Artistic Director of the Jim Monroe Memorial Concert at White Concert Hall in July 2006, which involved coordinating the presentations of 41 musicians from across the country who waived their fees to participate in this loving tribute to the long-serving leader of TJW Inc.
The concert will be April 13, 2014, at the downtown Ramada, 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is by season membership only. The cost of a season membership is $55 per adult ($50 for students under 21), which will provide admission to this final concert of the season.
Check out Steve Waugh from the Topeka Jazz Workshop visiting with Chris Schultz on Talk About Topeka.
Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc. is one of the nation’s longest, continuously running jazz concert series, dating from 1969. As we begin our 45th annual concert series in August of 2013, we invite you to join us as we continue our journey to “keep jazz alive and well through a live jazz concert series and a youth jazz scholarship program”.
- Click on History of Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc. (under About Us) to learn more about our organization.
- Click on Concerts to see our current season artists, and
- Click on Membership to download our membership application.
Be sure to bookmark this website and check back often so you can stay current on our jazz happenings.
Keep Swinging!- Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc, Board of Directors