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 - JIMMY SEELEY and FRIENDS
Trumpeter Jimmy 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.
THE JOE CARTWRIGHT QUARTET!
The Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc.’s sixth concert in the 2013-14 season will feature KC native, Joe Carwright, along with LESTER "DUCK" WARNER, and regulars TOMMY RUSKIN on drums and GERALD SPAITS on bass.
Pianist JOE CARTWRIGHT has lived, performed and taught in the Kansas City area for the last thirty three years. Described by our reviewer, Dr. Chuck Berg, as one of the brightest stars in the K.C. jazz firmament, Joe is a graduate of the UMKC Conservatory of Music, leads his own duo, trio and quartet, and is currently musical director for the critically acclaimed NPR radio show 12th Street Jump. He has worked with internationally recognized artists Eddie Harris, Sheila Jordan, Bill Watrous, Jerry Hahn, Jeff Hamilton, Rob McConnell, Carl Fontana, Red Holloway, John Clayton, Karrin Allyson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Kevin Mahogany, and Mel Torme. He has been a featured performer with the Kansas City Symphony and the Independence Symphony, and his trio was featured in performance at the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville, Spain as a representatives of Kansas City Jazz. In the fall of 1998 he toured Africa as part of the USIA/KENNEDY Center Jazz Ambassador Touring Program. In the spring of 2000, he toured the Middle East, Africa, India and Southeast Asia as a USIA Jazz Ambassador. In September 2012, the Joe Cartwright Quartet was chosen to represent Kansas City Jazz at the CCPA Jazz Festival in Asuncion, Paraguay. When not performing or giving clinics, Joe composes, arranges and teaches jazz piano and theory.
LESTER WARNER, affectionately known as “DUCK”, is a quiet, soft-spoken man who transforms himself into a spectacular entertainer when he takes the stage. His voice is a rich baritone with a beautiful full falsetto that has been compared to Nat “King” Cole. He is a gifted instrumentalist who plays valve trombone. Duck has headlined Japan’s first International Jazz Festival, Kansas City’s Spirit Festival, and the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival. He was voted Kansas City’s best male vocalist three years in a row, 2000-2003. Duck has been recognized by the International Trumpet Guild as a veteran of the revered “old school” associated with the special brand of Kansas City “Swing” music. Benny Powell, trombonist with the Count Basie Band, calls Duck a “premier entertainer.
Completing the Joe Cartwright Quartet at the January 19 concert will be regulars TOMMY RUSKIN on drums and GERALD SPAITS on bass. This will be Duck Warner’s first appearance on the TJW Inc. stage. It will be Joe’s 22nd time (!) plus six Topeka Jazz Festivals, the Jim Monroe Memorial Concert in 2006, and several private home parties. In a special tribute to Tommy Ruskin in September 2007, a total of 105 performances in Topeka were listed !!! And Gerald Spaits’ numbers exceed 40.
The concert will be Sunday January 19, 2014, at the downtown Ramada, 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is by season membership only. The cost of a season membership is $100 per adult ($50 for students under 21), which will provide admission to four concerts in the period January 19 through April 2014. Season memberships may be purchased in advance, or at the door on January 19 by cash, check, or major charge card.
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