AUGUST 30, 2015 TJW BAND WITH GUEST, JIM OATTS, TRUMPET
Continuing tradition, we will open the season with a rousing concert by the Topeka Jazz Workshop Band under the direction of Ryan Simpson, this time with guest artist, trumpeter Jim Oatts. Oatts has an impressive background which includes stints with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Woody Herman, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, and the trumpet rock band Chase. He has been leader of the Des Moines Big Band for the past 25 years.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2015 CONCORD RECORDING ARTIST KARRIN ALLYSON AND HER QUARTET
One of our most favorite vocalists returns with her sensuous, one-of-a-kind song stylings. She accompanies herself on piano and will have with her Todd Strait on drums, Rod Fleeman on guitar, and Bob Bowman and Gerald Spaits sharing the spotlight on bass (one set for each). This will undoubtedly be one of the major highlights of our 47th Season.
OCTOBER 11, 2015 AARON WEINSTEIN, JAZZ VIOLIN, AND MATT MUNISTERI, GUITAR
In his three prior appearances with TJW, Weinstein has managed to convert many diehard “anti-violinist jazz fans” to his instrument. We hope many more will leave this concert with an appreciation for what a classical instrument can do in the hands of a true jazz artist. This will be the Topeka debut for Matt Munisteri who has been described as “a sparkling guitarist, a wry yet honest singer, and someone always guaranteed to swing like mad.” With Gerald Spaits on bass.
NOVEMBER 15, 2015 PETE CHRISTLIEB, TENOR SAX, AND LINDA SMALL, TROMBONE
Christlieb has a truly remarkable background as a West Coast bebop tenor saxman who has played with many big jazz names including Louie Bellson, Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Count Basie, and Doc Severinsen. He can be heard on Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable” album. His wife Linda plays a red hot trombone and together they have formed a 10-piece group called the “Tall and Small Band.” On our stage, the duo will be backed by Todd Strait, Gerald Spaits and Roger Wilder.
DECEMBER 6, 2015 THE NEW RED ONION JAZZ BABIES
Dixieland aficionados will love this one and we suspect a lot of the “straight ahead, right down the middle” fans will have a hard time keeping their toes from tapping! The Kansas City- based “ Babies” have been around a long time and graced our stage three times in the 1980s. We know you will love them!
JANUARY 17, 2016 TODD WILKINSON’S UNUSUAL SUSPECTS
Todd is a former TJW Inc. Board member and jazz educator at Ottawa University who plays a mean tenor saxophone and other reed instruments. He has assembled a group of Kansas City’s “best” jazz artists, and to distinguish them from other “best groups” he calls them the “Unusual Suspects.” They are, in addition to Todd, Joe Cartwright on piano, Michael Warren on drums, Clint Ashlock, who is also director of the K.C. Jazz Orchestra, on trumpet, Jeff Hamer on trombone, and Steve Rigazzi on bass. This promises to be a V.E.E. (Very Entertaining Event).
FEBRUARY 21, 2016 FOUNDATION 627 BIG BAND, STEVE LAMBERT, DIRECTOR
Lambert will bring his 13 piece Big Band to our stage, reminiscent of Jack Taylor’s New Vintage Big Band from February 2015. The quality and quantity of K.C. jazz talent is simply awesome, and we are proud this season to showcase the many great groups just down the pike from us. This will be another big band blast that so many of our members enjoy.
MARCH 20, 2016 JIM DEJULIO, BASS, AND LARRY FULLER, PIANO
DeJulio has introduced us to several great jazz artists over the years including Ted Howe and Josh Nelson. Now he is going to introduce us to another remarkable pianist, Larry Fuller. Based in New York City, Fuller is a world class jazz pianist rooted in the hard-swinging tradition of mainstream jazz. He was the last pianist with the legendary Ray Brown Trio, a member of the Jeff Hamilton Trio, and most recently a member of the John Pizzarelli Quartet. DeJulio has been a loyal supporter of our series for many years. Based in the L.A. area, he has backed many of the greats, including Frank Sinatra in his later years. Drumming for this duo will be handled by Kansas Citian John Kizilarmut.
APRIL 17, 2016 STAN KESSLER’S K.C. JAZZ ALL-STARS
Yet another K.C. group will close out our 47th Season. Not to be confused with Stan’s Sons of Brasil, Stan’s All-Stars are Stan on trumpet, Monique Danielle on vocals, Brian Steever on drums, Matt Otto on tenor sax, Roger Wilder on piano, and Jeff Harshbarger on bass. This will be a fitting finale to another fantastic season of jazz.