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Artist Spotlight: Jazz at Bumbershoot

The Seattle music scene is home to not only the infamous origins of grunge or the latest up-and-coming hip hop, but also to a recently revitalized, world-class jazz community with roots in Prohibition-era nightclubs. Bumbershoot is proud to highlight Seattle’s love of jazz music with a programming block on Saturday, August 31 at the Starbucks Stage. This section of the lineup will highlight three groups of local performers in celebration of the 15th Anniversary of Seattle jazz label Origin Records, as well as the Brooklyn-based, Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment.

Origin Records has been promoting local jazz artists and presenting the annual Ballard Jazz Festival for over 10 years. Drummer Matt Jorgensen, one of the forerunners of the current Seattle jazz scene through his work with the label, will perform at Bumbershoot with both his group Matt Jorgensen +451 as well as with Human Spirit, which also features Jorgensen’s longtime friends and collaborators Thomas Marriott and Mark Taylor.  Watch these fantastic musicians perform together in this clip from The Brotherhood of the Drum, an annual event at the Ballard Jazz Festival:

At the other end of the spectrum is Grammy-winning sax player Ernie Watts. A jazz veteran, Watts has appeared on over 500 recordings and played with artists ranging from Frank Zappa to Marvin Gaye. He has been playing professionally since the age of 16 and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In celebration of Origin Records, Watts will be joined at Bumbershoot by New Stories, a Seattle-based, Grammy-nominated jazz trio that features Origin founder John Bishop on drums. The musicians have collaborated in the past–including on a full-length album–and their Bumbershoot performance is a must-see.

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Rounding-out the jazz programming block is national act Robert Glasper Experiment. Their most recent album, Black Radio, took home the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album, though it certainly doesn’t stay restricted to just one genre. With twelve tracks featuring a multitude of artists, as well as a seven-and-a-half-minute cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Robert Glasper Experiment clearly isn’t a one-trick pony. Check out this live footage of the group with special guests Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def):

Looking to catch some of the biggest names in local and national jazz? Don’t miss this music focus on Saturday, August 31, and be sure to add the artists from this feature to your Bumbershoot schedule.