The Westerlies

Chances are, you’ve never heard a quartet quite like The Westerlies.  Generally, a jazz quartet is a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) with a lead instrument (say, saxophone).  Not The Westerlies.  No, no.  Here you have two trumpets and two trombones.  With this unique configuration, they present what is best described as chamber jazz—original compositions, unique arrangements and beautiful improvisation.

Sasha Arutyunova

The Earshot Jazz Festival continues through November 18 with a wide variety of performers in various venues around Seattle. Earshot's Executive Director John Gilbreath talks with Jim Wilke about some of artists appearing in the latter half of the festival.  

The music includes Flamenco jazz by Chano Dominguez, the brass quartet The Westerlies, solo guitarist Mimi Fox, retro bopper Jacob Zimmerman, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra celebrating the Billy Strayhorn centennial, and reunions with former Seattle musicians Jay Clayton and Art Lande.

Dorsay Alavi

Seattle's biggest jazz event of the year is the Earshot Jazz Festival, encompassing dozens of performances from Benaroya Hall to intimate jazz clubs such as Tula's.  The Wayne Shorter Quartet (pictured) headlines this year's festival on October 11, but there are many outstanding jazz groups playing all around Seattle from October 9 through November 18.  Earshot's Executive Director John Gilbreath joins Jim Wilke on Jazz Northwest (Sunday, 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU) to talk about and share music by some of the performers in the first weeks of the festival.

Andrew Swanson

The Westerlies are a new young brass ensemble based out of New York City. They’re an all-over-the-musical-map group whose first album is already garnering critical praise.

And this first bit of success could have something to do with their Seattle roots. All four musicians, all in their 20s, grew up in Seattle where they absorbed much of the local music scene. They’re the product of two of the best high school jazz programs in the country: Garfield and Roosevelt high schools. And their debut album, recorded in a family friend’s cabin on Lopez Island, is a reinterpretation of an eclectic mix of compositions by Seattlelite Wayne Horvitz.