August 17, 2014 - The Topeka Jazz Workshop Band with Bill Watrous
Again we open our season with the swinging Topeka Jazz Workshop Band, under the direction of Ryan Simpson. This concert will feature one of the most exciting trombonists alive, Bill Watrous, who is noted for his “mellifluous sound and as a master technician.”
Bill has played for us at least 5 times and we’re excited to welcome him back to Topeka!
August 17, 2014 - The Topeka Jazz Workshop Band with Bill Watrous
We are very excited to welcome our guest soloist for the opening concert, Bill Watrous, who will kick off the season with the Topeka Jazz Workshop Band, under the direction of Ryan Simpson!
September 28, 2014 - DENISE DONATELLI and MAX HAYMER
Denise has been described as a “ premiere vocalist with a voice of exceptional nuance, agility, and unerring pitch.” Up-and-coming pianist Max Haymer has an adventurous style, impressive technique, and his own fresh chord voicings . Max and Denise are both based in the L.A. area and both have received many awards and honors. It’s quite an honor to have them both headlining the front-end of our season.
October 26, 2014 - THE BUCKY PIZZARELLI/ ED LAUB GUITAR DUO with K.C guitarists DANNY EMBREY and ROD FLEEMAN
Four guitarists ending up on the stage together – Voila! Bucky is one of the most loved guitarists of all time. For the past 12 years, he and his former student, Ed Laub, have been performing as a Duo. Of course, Danny and Rod are well known to our TJW audience. They both shared the stage with Bucky at the 2000 Topeka Jazz Festival, so this will be a reunion of sorts.
November 16, 2014 - CHUCK REDD and NICKI PARROTT with TODD STRAIT and ROGER WILDER
We’re always excited to have a great vibraphonist back on our stage. Chuck Redd is an excellent vibes player and drummer who began his professional career playing with Charlie Byrd and the Great Guitars in 1980. Nicki is an Aussie who moved to New York in 1994. She plays double bass and sings. Todd Strait is a world-class drummer familiar to the Kansas area; and KC pianist Roger Wilder is a perfect fit to round out this group.
December 7, 2014 - THE ROGER WILDER QUINTET
Continuing a tradition of featuring our talented “backup” pianists, we are pleased to present KC’s Roger Wilder this season with a talented list of K.C. musicians – David Chael and Matt Otto on tenor and soprano saxes; Seth Lee on bass; and Sam Wisman (a TJW 2000 and 2001 scholarship winner) on drums. Roger is much in demand these days and we feel very fortunate to have him frequent our stage.
January 18 , 2015 - PBT plus MEGAN BIRDSALL and DANNY EMBREY
A long-time favorite K.C. Trio returns – Paul Smith on piano, Bob Bowman on bass, and Todd Strait on drums. This trio has been entertaining us for years. We asked Paul to pick two more for this gig and his choices were vocalist Megan Birdsall and guitarist Danny Embrey. It will be a first appearance here for Megan, but certainly not for Danny who will be returning from his encounter with Bucky Pizzarelli and the other guitarists in October.
February 22, 2015 - THE NEW VINTAGE BIG BAND from Kansas City
Our TJW Band leader Ryan Simpson has been touting this group under the direction of Jack Taylor for a long time, and with Ryan’s blessing we are excited to present a second big band sound on our stage this season. By the way, it is not just coincidence that we are presenting so many K.C. musicians this season. We have long felt blessed to have so many fine musicians just a few miles down the pike and are delighted to be able to showcase them.
March 8, 2015 - DIEGO FIGUEIREDO, Brazilian guitarist, with STAN KESSLER’S SONS OF BRASIL
What, you say? Another guitarist? You bet! This one was discovered by two of our Board members – Jerry Goodell and Jim Beardmore – at the Vail Jazz Festival last summer and we can still hear their praises ringing in our ears. It seemed a perfect opportunity to bring back the Kansas City SOBs who have been long time favorites of many of our members. This one is bound to get toes tapping and garner rave reviews!
April 12, 2015 - HARRY ALLEN, tenor sax, JOHN ALLRED, trombone, and ROSSANO SPORTIELLO, piano, with Gerald Spaits, bass and John Kizilarmut, drums
We like to end our seasons on a high note and they don’t get much higher than this threesome. Harry loves the Topeka audience as much as we love his smooth, swinging style. John and his dad Bill, also a trombonist, are long time friends of TJW, and we are eternally grateful to Harry for introducing this marvelous piano player, Rossano, to us.
I'm sorry to announce the recent passing of one of our long-time members, Jim Winn, of Lawrence. He was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University majoring in psychology and minoring in music. Following service in our armed forces, he returned to Topeka where he enrolled in Washburn's Law School, graduating in 1957. In addition to his working career, he also played upright bass with many area musicians and bands including a November 1954 concert with TJW "Godfather", Mel Kime, as part of the Jazz at the Jayhawk series, a precursor of today's Topeka Jazz Workshop. Both Jim and his wife, Barbara who survives, loved jazz and were active supporters of our TJW Concert Series and Scholarship Programs. The family suggests donations in Jim's memory be made to: Topeka Jazz Workshop Scholarship Fund, PO Box 452, Topeka, KS 66601. A full obituary may be seen at www.rumsey-yost.com.
When the weather turns bad...
Winter weather seems to be just around the corner (AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!). Sometimes this does impact our TJW concerts. While we hope that doesn’t happen this year, if in doubt, tune in to your local TV stations and check here for the latest updates. We’ll also try to get an email blast out if any concerts need to be cancelled or postponed.
Steve Waugh, President
Topeka Jazz Workshop
The fifth concert in the 46th TJW Inc. concert series features the ROGER WILDER QUINTET from Kansas City. This is the complete original quintet that performed on Roger’s album, “Stretch”: Roger Wilder, Matt Otto, David Chael, Seth Lee, and Sam Wisman.
ROGER WILDER has been a frequent piano accompanist for TJW Inc. artists the past several years. His full quintet is being featured at this concert. A native of Rochester, New York, Wilder received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami in 1986. He relocated to Kansas City with his family in 2000 and is now an adjunct professor at UMKC. For the past nine years he has hosted his own jazz radio show as “The Jazz Geek” on 90.1 FM KKFI on Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. In addition to his own ensembles, some of the noted jazz stars Wilder has played with include Joe LaBarbera, Stanley Turrentine, Randy Brecker, Kim Park, Mike Metheny, Angela Hagenbach, Sons of Brasil, the Aurora Consort, Boulevard Big Band, and Westport Art Ensemble.
MATT OTTO , saxophones, studied music performance and composition at Indiana University, the Berkelee School of Music, and California Institute of the Arts. While living in Japan, New York, and L.A. over a span of 18 years, Matt performed with many jazz artists (Joe LaBarbera, Charlie Haden, and LeRoy Vinegar to name just a few) and he co-founded the Los Angeles Jazz Collective, an artist-driven composer’s record label dedicated to promoting and recording creative improvised music. Matt is also an adjunct professor at K.U. teaching improvisation, Jazz Combo 1, and private lessons. His own quartet includes Gerald Dunn, Jeff Harshbarger, and Mike Warren.
DAVID CHAEL, also saxophones, comes from a musical family that endowed him with a lifelong passion for music starting with the saxophone at age 13. He earned a B.A. in Music at Missouri State University in 1998 and a Masters in 2001 from North Texas State University where he was a member of the acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band. Currently he has a day job with the Social Security Administration in K.C but he is also very involved in the K.C. music scene, including with Roger Wilder, Mike Pagan, the K.C. Jazz Orchestra, Mike Moreland, Bram Wijnands, the Russ Long Project, HoraceScope, Kelley Hunt, and many others. He considers himself lucky to be part of such a healthy K.C. jazz scene.
SETH LEE, bass, attended the Paseo Academy for the Performing Arts where Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Heath were among the artists in residence. He has recorded with saxophone great Ahmed Alaadeen and numerous other K.C. artists and groups. He appeared on two tracks with a saxophonist named Najee and pianist James Lloyd on a release called “The Smooth Side of Soul,” and he played on Roger Wilder’s album “Stretch.” Seth looks forward to being active in what is becoming a world class jazz community in K.C.
SAM WISMAN, drummer/percussionist, is a versatile fixture in K.C.’s thriving creative music scene. Starting out at Topeka High School as a two-time TJW Inc. scholarship winner, Sam graduated cum laude from the UMKC Conservatory of Music in 2005 with a degree in percussion performance. He is a member of numerous groups including the Mark Lowrey Trio, Westport Art Ensemble, the Shay Estes Quartet, HoraceScope, and now the Roger Wilder Quintet. He has performed with the K.C and Topeka Symphonies, K.C. Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Watson, Angela Hagenbach, Kathleen Holeman, Terrell Stafford, Rob Scheps, and many more . He has also worked with musical theaters in the area and he teaches drums and percussion at UMKC and Missouri Southern State University. You can listen to Sam as a DJ on 90.1 FM KKFI.
The concert will be Sunday December 7, 3 - 5, at the downtown Ramada’s Regency Ballroom. Admission is by season memberships which will be available at the door for $100 per adult for five concerts December through April. Payment by cash, check or credit card.
TJW Members, we need your help. The great jazz that we enjoy every month doesn’t come cheap. Artist fees, travel costs, ballroom costs and administrative costs keep increasing. For us to keep pace, maintain quality and hold the line on membership costs, continually recruiting and converting guests to new members is critical to our long-term survival.
At this point in the season our membership stands at 301. By the end of our season, we need this to reach the 340 range. That means if just 1 out of 10 existing members can recruit a new member, we are able to meet our goal for the year.
Please use your guest tickets to invite and recruit potential new members for Topeka Jazz Workshop. By doing that, you’ll be doing your part to “keep the joint jumpin’”!
Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc. is one of the nation’s longest, continuously running jazz concert series, dating from 1969. As we begin our 46th annual concert series in August of 2014, 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
The Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc 46th Concert Season Announced!
All Concerts 3-5pm at the Topeka Ramada Hotel and Convention Center
420 SE 6th Street, Topeka, Kansas (click here for directions)
Check out Steve Waugh from the Topeka Jazz Workshop visiting with Chris Schultz on Talk About Topeka.