There was a time, decades ago, when every city in America boasted a ‘hot jazz society” — Seattle still has one devoted to early traditional jazz — in which aficionados gathered, usually monthly, to pore over new records or present concerts for their members.
In Bellevue, a good old-fashioned jazz society still exists. It’s called the Eastside Jazz Club and it’s run by the estimable South African swing drummer Lioniel Kramer and his wife, Cooksie, a pianist, who present monthly concerts by local musicians with an almost quaint air of devotion.
Every year, the club presents an “extravaganza” featuring local musicians. On Saturday, the ninth extravaganza features vibraphonist Susan Pascal and vocalist Stephanie Porter.
Pascal, a student of jazz vibes as well as classical percussion, has been on the Seattle scene for several decades. For a time, she had a not altogether compelling group that cross-bred jazz and the music of the Renaissance, and she has a general affinity for hyphenated music. However, Pascal has developed into an impressive, four-mallet jazz player who can swing up a storm with her lithe, thoughtful lines. Her Latin chops are nothing to sneeze at either, thanks to a longtime crush on Cal Tjader.
For this concert, Pascal appears with her sizzling Brazil Project, anchored by Seattle’s premiere Brazilian percussionist, Jeff Busch, plus Bill Anschell (piano) and Chuck Deardorf (bass). The concert will be opened by vocalist Stephanie Porter, a full-throated, forthright swinger. Porter will be accompanied by Anschell, Dan O’Brien (bass) and Steve Yusen (drums).
Eastside Jazz Jazz Extravaganza:
7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, 11010 N.E. Eighth St., Bellevue; $15-$20 (425-
828-9104 or www.brownpapertickets.com).