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.
Here’s a photo from a recent gig with D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition at Tulas:
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!
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.
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, gretamatassa.com.
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
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:
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
Here is some Behind The Scenes footage of the McTuff “3 Big Organs” show at The Tractor Tavern on Wednesday, March 14th. The show, featuring Ty Ballie, Ron Weinstein and of course Joe Doria on organ was absolutely AWESOME! If you weren’t able to attend, you really missed out on a very special show that certainly should be featured as one of the top shows of 2012 in Earshot Magazine’s yearly “Golden Ear Awards” for “2011 NW Concert of the Year”. It was THAT good.
I am really excited to be included in a special THREE TENORS performance at The Royal Lounge in Olympia, WA. I will be performing with saxophone heavyweights Alexey Nikolaev and Jim Pribbenow. This concert was put together by Olympia trombonist Richard Lopez (who will hopefully be sitting in) and will promise to be a very exciting and burning show. I am just hoping I can keep up with badasses like Alexey and Jim. They are both SCARY good! The show starts at 8:00pm at the Royal Lounge (Address: 311 Capitol Way North. Venue phone: 360-705-0760).