Cliff Colón | Saxophonist

New Velocity CD Now Available!

I am excited to announce that the new Velocity CD, “Displacement Over Time”, is now available for sale and download. We think that you are really going to enjoy the music included in the project. The music grooves and is musically adventurous. Here’s more information about the band and album.



In physics, VELOCITY is defined as being the total displacement over a period of time divided by the time. DISPLACEMENT is the distance from where you started to where you are now. TIME is the measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.

In music, VELOCITY is a Tacoma, Washington based quartet that draws its musical lineage from a variety of musical styles ranging from jazz, funk and fusion. The music combines hard hitting grooves and hook melodies with open improvisation. Many aspects of the physics definition of velocity is constantly weaved into the energetic original compositions, written by keyboardist Peter Adams. Common time is uncommon with Velocity. Elements of rhythmic hemiola and counterpoint melodies are commonly fluctuating in conjunction with another. However the music is always grooving and is fundamentally adventurous in its displacement.

The group was originally founded by a collaboration between keyboardist Peter Adams and drummer Brian Smith, whose fluidity of polyrhythms bind the songs to the laws of physics. After a time spent writing the original material, the duo teamed up with saxophonist Cliff Colón and bassist Rob Hutchinson to form the group Velocity in 2011. Since then, Velocity has been performing throughout the Seattle/Tacoma area and recorded their debut self-titled album in 2014. They have just recorded their second album, appropriately titled “Displacement Over Time”, which will be available for sale and download in December 2015. All the tracks except for Generator (written by Rob Hutchinson) are composed by Peter Adams, with arrangements done by Peter Adams and Brian Smith.

As defined by physics, the direction of velocity is always the same as the direction of that displacement. The direction of the quartet VELOCITY mimics that of its definition. Time signatures are constantly evolving. Melodies are twisted and warped around each other. Solos are aggressive yet bind the compositions to a set of defined rules and formulas. But the musical direction is the same; hard hitting grooves of displacement over a period of time. This is the definition of the band, VELOCITY.


Peter Adams – Keyboard and Composition
Brian Smith – Drums and Composition
Cliff Colòn – Saxophone
Rob Hutchinson – Bass




“Accelerated Expansion”
“Clarity and Precision”


“‘Displacement Over Time’ offers a very skillful approach to modern jazz-fusion.” – Edan Kroliwecz (Earshot Jazz Magazine)

“The Tacoma, Washington-based quartet’s sounds travels crisp, tightly-woven modern jazz terrain not unlike that of pianist Chick Corea’s Elektric Band: groove-centric drums and bass, a hot saxophone not quite out front but incorporated more equally into the ensemble sound, and some fine and fancy electric keyboards giving the music a futuristic feel.” – Dan McClenaghan (

“Pianist/songwriter Adams, saxophonist/co-arranger Colon, drummer/co-arranger Brian Smith, and bassist Rob Hutchinson give a group pulse to every funked-out track, as if they were on a mission to extract the full consequences of dreaming big — as both engineers and artists.” – Carol Banks Weber (

“The music that Velocity plays is sometimes complex but always easy on the ears. That’s why Displacement Over Time is easy to recommend if old school funk-jazz is your thing.” – S. Victor Aaron (Something Else Reviews)


Earshot Jazz Magazine

All About Jazz

Something Else Reviews

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Velocity “Displacement Over Time” Music Videos & Album

One of the bands I currently perform with is an original composition funk/fusion band called VELOCITY. This past summer we recorded our 2nd album, called “Displacement Over Time”. I am really happy with how the recording turned out, which was recorded and filmed live at David Lange Studios. All of the tracks are SO hip! I’m especially happy that we chose to record the studio session on video. Hopefully this will enable new listeners to enjoy listening to our music worldwide rather than just in the Seattle/Tacoma music scene.

Please check out this music video of the song “Mosaic” which will be the first track on the new album, available for sale and download in the Winter 2015. Help support VELOCITY by pressing the Like button, Sharing the video with your friends and Subscribing to our YouTube channel. Also, be sure to Like us on Facebook to get notified on our upcoming performances. Thanks!


Jeremy Ryan: Goodbye For Now


On March 13th, 2015 I was shocked and saddened to find out that my longtime friend, pianist, chef and handyman Jeremy Ryan had passed away due to health complications. We had just gotten together the month prior for another of his famous jam sessions / cooking adventures that he regularly hosted at him home. I had just communicated with him a few days prior to is passing. It is devastating to lose a friend at such a young age and so suddenly.


I first met Jeremy in the practice rooms at Pacific Lutheran University around 1997. We were both their practicing our instruments, and quickly got to talking due to our similar musical interests. Within a few days, Jeremy had me record some tracks on a CD he was working on at the time. From that point on, Jeremy was not only my music colleague but also a dear friend.


He had such a wonderful personality and was ALWAYS the life of the party. I cannot count the times that we shared laughter and music over nearly 2 decades. Jeremy was always there when you needed him. He would stop whatever he was doing to help a friend in need. He always welcomed guests into his home with welcome arms. His love for music was infectious and he was a skilled composer. All of Jeremy’s music just made you feel good. They resonated with you upon first listen and it almost seemed like you’ve known the song your whole life. Jeremy was super talented in that way. He knew how to make everyone he came in contact with feel good. I have SO many wonderful memories of Jeremy. At this time it is too painful to translate all of them to you, but I hope the photos included in the post will give you a glimpse into the type of man he was.


Goodbye for now, Jeremy. I’m sure you are hosting some unbelievable events in heaven with music and your famous gumbo. We’ll meet again. In the meantime, make God laugh for me. Love ya.


D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition

Here’s a photo from a recent gig with D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition at Tulas:



Velocity LIVE @ Doyles on November 15th


On Saturday, November 15th I will be playing with “Tacoma’s #1 fusion/jazz/funk quartet featuring mathematical time signatures with galactical influences”, otherwise known simply as VELOCITY, at local hotspot DOYLES. If you haven’t heard Velocity yet, you’re missing out! Formed in 2012 by lead composer/pianist Peter Adams and drum maverick Brian “Hannibal” Smith, Velocity features all original compositions that are funky, fresh, fun for listeners and challenging for musicians. We just released our debut CD called… wait for it… “Velocity” this year and will be going back into the studio this winter for Volume 2. Check out the music at the following sites:

Dig the music? Please help support live music by purchasing one of our limited copy CD’s at one of our upcoming live performances. All funds go back into finanicing the next CD project which is looking to be even funner than the original. Again, come out to Doyles at 9pm to see Velocity LIVE and in full fury. You won’t be disappointed!



Snarky Puppy @ Tractor Tavern (4/13)



Last night I had the honor of opening up for Snarky Puppy at the Tractor Tavern. For the past few years, Snarky Puppy has probably been my favorite modern band to secretly stalk online through their numerous YouTube videos. Seattle drummer D’Vonne Lewis put together an all star line up with his band “Limited Edition” as part of the opening act, featuring Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), Josh Rawlings (rhodes) and Gregg Belisle-Chi (guitar). Afterwards, NY vocalist Alison Wedding played an opening set with some of the musicians from Snarky Puppy, which was a real treat. Snarky Puppy hit the show hard and absolutely destroyed it! There were numerous moments during their performance that I was absolutely blown away with their musicianship, compositions and solos. It was so cool to have so many Seattle musicians in the audience to watch SP to their thing. They’re a true musicians band that appeals to all hip listeners.


Light Out of Darkness: The Music of Ray Charles


On Sunday, January 27th I will be performing with Greta Matassa at Bake’s Place for a very special Ray Charles Tribute Show. I recently performed with Greta over the holidays for a Christmas Show in Astoria, Oregon which was fantastic, so I am really looking forward to this upcoming performance. Here’s a little more information regarding this special Ray Charles show:

A brand new show featuring Greta and the quartet performing some of Ray Charles’ greatest hits, R&B, jazz and ballads. Songs include: Let the Good Times Roll, Just for a Thrill, Hit the Road Jack, Drown in My Own Tears and Sticks and Stones.

Greta Matassa is one of the most talented singers working in jazz today.

She has been voted “Northwest Vocalist of the Year” by Earshot Jazz six times in 15 years!.

Greta’s latest cd “I Wanna be Loved” Resonance Records remained on the national jazz charts for radio airplay for 3 months.

This new release features arrangements by Tamir Hendelman.She is surrounded by a host of top LA musicians and string orchestrations.

Greta has been a mainstay on Seattle’s Jazz stages for many years and with her recent successful dates at New York’s Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center, tours of Russia, Singapore and Hawaii and Japan, Greta’s sound is now reaching new audiences. Greta has released seven CD’s on the respected jazz label Origin Records and a DVD live concert with guitarist Mimi Fox.

Greta is also a respected and generous teacher. She offers private lessons locally and nationally, via Skype. She is on the faculty of many of the nations jazz festivals as a performer and clinician.

“Matassa’s performance was a marvel of virtuosity.” —Los Angeles Times

Boppish, Snappy and conversational”- Downbeat
“One of the best jazz vocalists we have to boast about these days.” —John Clayton
“Worldly, gentle, bold, dynamic, Favorites From a Long Walk is a gift for the heart. Greta Matassa is one of America’s finest singers, and stands firmly among the best in today’s jazz.” —Jazz Review
“Greta Matassa moves from triumph to triumph.” —Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times

She can give Ms. Streisand a run for it!  Seattle times

“Matassa is a Seattle treasure.” Seattle Times

Her scatting is as confident, nimble an energetic as Ella’s and her phrasing is hip like Nancy Wilson’s” -Earshot Jazz


More information and reviews can be found on her website,



Mandolin Cafe Jam Session – 6/24


This Sunday I will be subbing for my good friend Kareem Kandi for his weekly jam session at The Mandolin Cafe in Tacoma. Come out and jam with an AWESOME band featuring Delvon Dumas on the Hammond B-3 Organ and D’Vonne Lewis on drums, as well as some VERY special guests. The session runs from 2:00-5:00pm THIS Sunday, June 24th. There is a $5 suggested donation for the cover, although if you only have $3, come by and support in any way you can. I am hoping to pack the point to help encourage live music in Tacoma. The Mandolin Cafe has great food, beer & wine, and of course… coffee. Start making your plans today!

The Mandolin Cafe
3923 South 12th Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 761-3482


The Three Tenors show was AWESOME!

I had a BLAST performing with saxophonists Alexey Nikolaev and Jim Pribbenow last night at The Royal Lounge (Olympia, WA)! It was a great night of music and the audience really seemed to enjoy it. I would like to give a special shoutout to the rhythm section (Drew Gibbs, Kerry Black and Steve Bentley) who put up with A LOT of tenor sax choruses. Here are a few videos and photos of the night:


“Nothing Personal”: The Owl N Thistle Jam (Sax Solo)

Here is a brief video clip from the Owl N Thistle jam session of the song “Nothing Personal”. The video, audio and lighting is poor, but the energy was semi-captured. This was a fun night filled with great music and jammers.

Cliff Colón – Sax
Eric Verlinde – Keys
Evan Flory-Barnes – Bass
DVonne Lewis – Drums

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