Now in his second year at the University of Northern Colorado's highly regarded jazz program, drummer Ryan Leppich returned home to Puget Sound with a pair of college friends to play a few shows around town. We were lucky enough to host them for an energetic set of clever original songs live in the KNKX studios.
Recent graduate Tom Amend showed off his well-honed piano chops alongside talented bass player Seth Lewis, and they both seemed right at home in the pocket of rhythm provided by Leppich.
They told us about the jazz education as well as the gigging opportunities to be had around Greeley, Colo. for young jazz musicians. They have plenty of work not only with fellow students, but with a welcoming group of veteran performers around nearby Boulder and Denver as well.
The toes of our studio session audience tapped furiously through the Dizzy Gillespie-inspired "Yes, I Would" and "Keep Wahti'n", with Leppich's own composition "Natural Decay" finding a mid-tempo swing and a memorable melody.
This was the second studio session band led by Ryan Leppich, the first with his teen-age friends just after he graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School. We couldn't be more excited to share the meteoric growth of this talented School of Jazz veteran from the Great Northwest.