PULLMAN, Wash. – Individually they are faculty members in the School of Music and Theatre Arts at Washington State University. Together, they are Jazz Northwest, eight music professors who love jazz and are bringing their act to Experience Music Project in Seattle, Jan. 28.
The group includes Greg Yasinitsky (saxophone), coordinator of jazz studies, and vocalist Jennifer Scovell, director of Vojazz, the university’s vocal jazz ensemble. David Turnbull plays trumpet and also has a reputation for training world-class trumpet players. Geoffrey Bradfield (saxophone, improvisation) is featured on eight recent compact discs.
Group member David Jarvis (acoustic and electronic percussion) is a prolific composer with pieces published by Southern Music Co. David Snider (bass) has more than 20 years of experience leading jazz bands in the U.S. Air Force. Horace-Alexander Young (woodwinds and vocals) brings years of professional jazz experience to the group and is the only faculty member who teaches jazz full time. Professor Charles Argersinger, the group’s pianist, is a traditional classic music composer and organizer of the university’s annual New Music Festival.
“Even though several of us also teach classical, jazz is the common thread that binds this group together,” Yasinitsky said.
Jazz has become a point of national pride at WSU with graduate student Julie Silvera awarded “most outstanding college vocal performance” by Down Beat magazine last year. She also won the best college solo/alto division at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in 2002 for the third year running. Matt Reid, a sophomore student studying with Turnbull, is working on a minor in jazz studies and placed second in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition held in Manchester, England, last summer.
In 1977, Tom Barber, a former student of Turnbull’s and a member of the WSU jazz band, took top honors at the same competition. Down Beat and Jazz Times, two of the most regarded jazz magazines on the newsstand, have named WSU in their guides of the best places to get a jazz education.
Jazz Northwest plays a unique mixture of original compositions and distinctive arrangements of classic jazz standards. The group performs at WSU and regularly appears at festivals, conferences and schools throughout the Pacific Northwest. Individually, Jazz Northwest members have worked with many of the leading figures in jazz, including Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner, Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, Dave Hazeltine and Bobby Shew.
“We are really looking forward to the experience of playing at EMP,” Yasinitsky said. “Many of us are hoping to see former students in the audience.”
Jazz Northwest will appear at Seattle’s EMP 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the JBL Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission. People can reserve tickets by calling the EMP box-office at (206) 770-2702 or toll free, (877) 454-7836.
Pictured in the digital photograph:
front :Charles Argersinger – (piano), Jennifer Scovell – (vocalist)
behind: Dave Snider (bass), David Turnbull – (trumpet), Greg Yasinitsky – (saxophone), Geof Bradfield – (woodwinds), Dave Jarvis -(drums), Horace Alexander-Young – (woodwinds and vocals)