45th Annual Concert Season 2013-2014
Our 45th concert season opens 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The friends are Brian Steever 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.