Thursday, February 20, 2014


I have had the immense pleasure of attending a plethora of fabulous Seattle area house concerts over a 6-year span, and 2014 promises to be truly incredible!  As we bade farewell to the hugely popular concert series of well respected musicians Lance and Laurie Haslund, who hosted their final December house concert in Burien after a 7-year run, I soon discovered a fantastic new “Loft Concert” series located in the quaint West Seattle home of famed jazz saxophonist Anton Schwartz.  He brings top-of-the-line jazz musicians together in an inviting setting with a party vibe, and also hosts the “Loft Concert” series in Oakland, CA.  You can visit Anton at to find more information and reserve coveted seats for both locations!

A particularly wonderful vocal jazz house concert series is JazzScapes, held in the beautiful Arroyos neighborhood of West Seattle and hosted by renowned vocalist Julie Olson and esteemed pianist Ivy Nugent.  They will be presenting terrific concerts this year with an absolutely stunning array of gifted vocalists and instrumentalists, which includes the 2012 Downbeat Critic’s Poll male vocalist winner Ed Reed on Saturday, January 18th.  Please visit their website at for the latest artist and concert updates and to make reservations!

I have enjoyed many awe-inspiring house concert experiences, and those near and dear to my heart are Nich Anderson’s stellar JazzVox concerts.  Nich is a revered local vocalist/educator, and this month begins his 7th year of hosting this unique vocal jazz house concert series.  Also in January, he “launches” a brand new venue on Bainbridge Island in addition to his locations in NE Seattle, Downtown Seattle, the Madrona neighborhood, and Camano Island.  Folks flock to JazzVox performances and rave about the high caliber of acclaimed national and international artists gracing his stage.  Nich will present nine monthly shows in 2014 featuring superb vocalist Peter Eldridge of New York Voices fame in January, and culminating with dazzling songstress/bassist extraordinaire Kristin Korb in November.  You can visit for the complete schedule of artists and concerts and to reserve your seats early!

These three outstanding house concert series offer something very special and memorable for everyone and are simply not to be missed!  As an added enticement, each series features a succulent buffet either before or after every show – we’ll see you there with bells on!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


It’s that wonderful time of year to be thinking about special music events coming up in the New Year, and Nich Anderson’s fabulous JazzVox concert series comes to mind as an annual favorite of steadfast devotees and newer fans alike.  Being himself a lauded member of the Seattle Jazz Singers, Mr. Anderson has fashioned an exquisite taste for presenting the finest vocal jazz artists from the USA and around the world in an intimate house concert setting.   He elaborates by saying - “I’m so excited to offer more venues for JazzVox folks to enjoy by rotating concerts into two new Seattle spaces this year (Madrona and Downtown) in addition to the existing locations in NE Seattle and on Camano Island”.

Nich enthusiastically kicks off his 6th season in January with innovative, eloquent chanteuse Alexis Cole performing on January 12th and 13th.  The incredible 2013 JazzVox concert schedule also features Grammy award-winning vocalist/composer John Proulx who visits in February; renown singer/educator Stephanie Nakasian makes an appearance in March; soul-stirring jazz maven Wendy Pedersen arrives in April; mega-talented vocal phenom Jennifer Barnes is spotlighted in May; brilliant songstress Jackie Ryan graces the stage in June; ­­acclaimed singer with the velvet voice, Kevin Mahogany is showcased in July; inspirational vocalist extraordinaire of New York Voices fame, Kim Nazarian helps Nich celebrate his 41st birthday in September; “perennially classy” jazz vocalist/songwriter also of New York Voices fame, Peter Eldridge is featured in October; and famed eclectic song stylist Rebecca Kilgore closes out the Series in November.
Nich exudes about his wonderful 2013 JazzVox line-up and dedicated concert-goers – “Choosing the ten vocalists is a blessing and a curse – with each passing season there are even more artists I’d love to repeat and yet there are so many artists I still want to bring to the series – it’s a balancing act.  I’m so thankful for the great audiences that support live music in Seattle and to the homeowners that make house concerts so special!”

Another welcome feature of the multi-faceted JazzVox experience is an absolutely succulent buffet for each concert lovingly prepared by close friend Patti Carr and her husband Andy Carr who resides as superb purveyor/wine connoisseur.  Together they have been co-hosting JazzVox performances in their beautiful home on Camano Island and coordinating food and beverage layouts for a majority of the concert venues.  If you truly desire to be a part of this amazing Series, please visit for all the latest artist and concert information and to make reservations – we’ll see you there!

                        FEATURING DEE DANIELS

I had the great pleasure of attending the highly anticipated grand opening weekend of Bake’s Place Bellevue on Sunday, May 13.   This fine Eastside supper club, now residing in downtown Bellevue, accommodates a large seating capacity of 100 while retaining the “living room” feel of the old Bake’s Place in Issaquah.   Free courtesy parking is available in the Columbia West Building, where it is located, and two greeters at the door personally extended a warm welcome to me, creating a most engaging first impression.

The featured artist was none other than internationally acclaimed jazz chanteuse Dee Daniels whose endearing wit and charm delighted sold-out crowds for three consecutive nights beginning Friday, May 11.  She literally brought the house down with her smokin’ brand of gospel and blues-infused vocals, and was perfectly augmented by a stellar combo comprised of bassist Chuck Deardorf, drummer D’Vonne Lewis, saxophonist Brian Kent and pianist Tony Foster.  Together and as soloists, they embellished every song with just the right amount of rhythmic audacity and melodic intention.  Dee’s 90-minute set showcased her extraordinary range and velvety, impassioned tones, and spanned a variety of styles with heartfelt renditions of Frank Sinatra’s swinging signature tune “That’s Life”, Earth, Wind and Fire’s inspirational soul classic “You Can’t Hide Love”, and the captivating Billie Holiday standard “Love for Sale”.

The musicality of Dee Daniels and her fabulous group was truly an inspiration in such a splendid setting as “Bake’s Place on Bellevue’s South Side”, as Dee teasingly put it.  I was immediately taken by the hushed, intimate ambiance of the room with its general layout being very conducive to superior listening.  Looking out of the beautiful floor to ceiling windows, one saw a gorgeous patio with colorful umbrellas, perfect for accompanying guests in the warm spring and summer days.  Equally impressive were the gracious hospitality of their world-class staff, the wonderful service, and an exquisite array of succulent cuisine specialties!

Bake’s Place owners Craig and Laura Baker have done a marvelous job ushering in Bellevue’s newest venue, and their eclectic range of live music offerings is sure to entice many concert goers throughout the region.  They welcome you to check out and enjoy an incredible musical and culinary experience with them any day of the week!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Nicolas Bearde photo by Libby Graham

Hello, I’m Libby Graham, an avid Earshot volunteer and devoted music fan who would love to enlighten you about the thriving vocal jazz house concert scene in this region.  For those of you who yearn for an alternate listening experience or wish to augment what is offered by local nightclubs and restaurants, house concerts are truly the way to go.  They provide an exciting, affordable opportunity to see stellar local and national artists perform in an intimate setting.  I find that these wonderful musicians are more relaxed in this kind of environment, allowing freer expression and excellence in their craft.

There are four fabulous vocal jazz house concert series to choose from, each unique in their own way.  I have been closely affiliated with JazzVox which is jazz fanatic Nich Anderson’s series, now in its fifth year, featuring premier vocalists from around the world accompanied by first-rate instrumentalists from the Seattle area.  He has presented such luminaries as velvet baritone virtuoso Kevin Mahogany, bebop jazz veteran Sheila Jordan, primal hipster Bob Dorough, vivacious San Francisco singer Madeline Eastman and lauded LA-based vocalist/composer John Proulx.  Fresh jazz sensation and Berklee Professor Jeremy Scott Ragsdale will make his highly anticipated appearances on April 20 and 22.   Nich has fantastic venues in Auburn, Camano Island, and Seattle, making it easily accessible for folks to attend.  Please visit for more information and to make reservations.

Another quality house concert series is JazzScapes, held by budding pianist Ivy Nugent and gifted vocalist Julie Olson in a beautiful West Seattle setting in the Arroyos neighborhood.  They have hosted the show for two years now and give it a cozy yet very elegant quality.  Together Ivy and Julie have cultivated a dedicated following and are known for treating their guests and artists with a gentle touch.   Acclaimed local favorites as Alma Villegas and Greta Matassa as well as nationally-known prodigy Nicolas Bearde have graced their stage, and upcoming concerts include Dallas-born maven Kellye Gray on April 21st and Seattle’s own enchanting songstress Stephanie Porter on June 2nd.  Visit for all the latest concert and artist information and to reserve your seats.

If the caliber of talent and the festive atmosphere weren’t enough, you are also treated to a succulent buffet for both the JazzVox and JazzScapes concert series.   All homemade recipes and special creations are lovingly prepared by cuisine connoisseurs.  A selection of wine is also served at these gatherings.

A third hugely popular house concert series, currently in its sixth year, is hosted by Lance and Laurie Haslund in their wonderful Burien home.  They are well respected musicians in this area and feature mainly classical, Americana, and swing as well as eclectic jazz artists. Their warm welcome has most recently been extended to Canadian-born vocal jazz songbird Jennifer Scott and Portland-based singer extraordinaire Nancy King, as well as fabulous local chanteuse Gail Pettis.  Lance and Laurie generously accommodate a spread of delicious foods to savor and encourage patrons to bring an appetizer or dessert and beverage to share.  They choose not to have a website and communicate via email with their series followers – contact them at to be added to their mailing list and to reserve your seats early, as they typically go fast! 

A fourth outstanding house concert series, located in central Seattle's Colman neighborhood, is the Teahouse Concerts Series hosted by jazz aficionados Reggie Bardach and her husband Richard Wells.   Founded in 2004 with an inaugural concert by renowned jazz vocalist Jay Clayton and the late, great trumpeter Floyd Standifer, this special series has become the spring and summer event worth waiting for, held in Bardach's lovely backyard garden.   Concerts take place in the late afternoon on Sundays in August, and there is time for refreshments, socializing, and enjoying the garden as well as an array of incredible music.  For the last two years, they have also presented smaller, intimate indoor house concerts featuring local artists as superb singer and pianist Dawn Clement and revered vocalist and educator Greta Matassa.  Please visit their website at for more information.

With the advent of spring, folks will be more than ready to get out and enjoy the wealth of remarkable talent in such a variety of warm and inviting abodes. This flourishing jazz house concert scene is definitely here to stay in Seattle and you are sure to relish all that these one-of-a-kind concert experiences have to offer – we’ll see you there!

Monday, March 12, 2012


John Proulx photo by Ziggy Spiz
Our trip up to Camano Island (with my sister Sally and brother-in-law Mort) was so scenic with the snow-capped Cascades looming to our right, and when we took our seats in the living room of JazzVox co-hosts Andy and Patti Carr, we had a birds-eye view of the glistening Sound through their picture window.  It was the perfect setting for one of music fanatic Nich Anderson’s marvelous JazzVox vocal jazz house concerts, and his featured artists, John Proulx and Kristin Korb, were in rare form that afternoon.

 John is a lauded LA-based vocalist/composer/pianist, and Kristin does double duty as a first-rate bassist and singer who now resides in Denmark.  They worked together in LA for many years and consider each other musical soul mates who speak the same “language”.  This is totally evidenced in the synergy they create, anticipating each other’s ideas and complementing one another so beautifully with a rich palette of moods and emotions.  Their songs ranged from John’s infectious original composition honoring his wife “Push Hands Ana” to Kristin’s soulful rendition in Portuguese of “You made me love you”.  Other crowd pleasing favorites were old chestnuts as “There will never be another you” and “Them there eyes” as well as eclectic jazz arrangements of “Sing” and “Don’t fence me in”.  John’s exquisite rendition of the beautiful ballad “I can’t make you love me” was especially heartfelt as was the ever enchanting “Will you still be mine?”

John Proulx and Kristin Korb together made those songs magically come alive for an enthralled audience through their dazzling vocal arrangements as well as his swinging hot piano and her amazing, groove-driven bass.  It was a stellar program of sheer artistic genius and enlightened musical poetry, and a shining example of the very best JazzVox has to offer!  Another wonderful feature of this series is of course the succulent buffet lovingly prepared by Patti Carr and Desiree Dyck for each concert, which today included two heavenly pasta creations and a yummy garden salad.  After the show, having worked up quite an appetite, we were treated to a succulent array of chocolate desserts, wines and rich dark roast coffee that was indeed icing on the cake.  I always come away from such extraordinary JazzVox concerts feeling very fulfilled, in more ways than one, and enjoy letting folks know what a treasure they are.  If you wish to be a part of this incredible experience, please visit Nich Anderson’s website at for all the latest concert information and to make reservations.  You’ll be so glad you did!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Sheila Jordan and Cameron Brown photo by Libby Graham

I had the utmost pleasure of attending an absolutely stellar concert, as part of Nich Anderson’s popular JazzVox house concert series, in Auburn on February 10th featuring NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan.  To see this indomitable vocal jazz veteran cozy up with her long-time bassist Cameron Brown was a sight that won’t soon be replicated.  After all, they originated the “base and face” concept in jazz and totally mesmerized us with their nuanced, heartfelt delivery on such classics as “I’ve grown accustomed to your face” and “It’s you or no one for me”.   Also of note were her fabulous “Freedom for Humanity” interpretation of Martin Luther King’s teachings and a medley of infectious blues standards to close out this extraordinary evening.

Sheila began performing in the storied jazz clubs of Detroit and New York at an early age and was so ingratiated with the bebop scene that she married Charlie Parker’s pianist, Duke Jordan.  She studied the bebop idiom with Lennie Tristano and was known for patterning her vocals after instrumental solos and improvising logical lyrics (which often rhymed).  Sheila thus became one of the few singers to lead her own Blue Note album in 1962 and went on to record with a variety of artists including Steve Kuhn in the late `70s.   Jazz audiences had begun to understand her uncompromising style, and by the `80s, gained the recognition she deserved 20 years earlier.   The rest, as they say, is history, and still very much in the prime of her career, Sheila Jordan tours all over the world, acts as a visiting professor at Stanford, and holds a multitude of incredible seminars and master classes.  In 2012 Sheila received the prestigious NEA Jazz Master award which is the highest honor in jazz and accepted it with her trademark grace and dignity.

Cameron Brown established a name for himself early on, performing and recording with such greats as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Don Pullen, and Archie Shepp.  He first met Sheila Jordan in 1974 and has forged a uniquely special collaboration with her to this day.  Cameron’s specialty has always been the double bass and utilizes his prodigious talent teaching at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York in addition to touring extensively world-wide.  His style is breathtakingly stunning and inventive, providing the perfect accompaniment to Sheila’s starkly honest, emotional lyricism and sweeping, rhythmic tenacity.

To learn more about and stay in contact with these remarkable artists, visit Sheila Jordan’s website at and Cameron Brown’s website at  For more information about the JazzVox vocal jazz house concert series and to make reservations, please visit

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Deborah Brown photo by Libby Graham
Deborah Brown is JazzVox host Nich Anderson’s favorite living jazz singer and she certainly didn’t disappoint that sublimely lovely Friday night before last (1/6/12).  Music aficionados Angela and Paul Frankel so graciously opened their Northgate home for the occasion and are scheduled to co-host two more JazzVox concerts this year.  They helped kicked off Anderson’s  5th year of hosting his hugely successful  house concert series to an very appreciative audience.

Deborah is an ultra soulful jazz maven hailing from Kansas City which is the birthplace of the blues jazz genre, and brought it all home along with local pianist extraordinaire Bill Anschell.  Deborah’s songs ranged from Irving Berlin’s “Falling in love with love” to Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” to Don Redman’s “Gee baby Ain’t  I good to you”.  She has incredible vocal control and can swoop, turn, or extend a melody to fit the song’s mood and lyrics.  Her scatting is effortless and beguiling, and has the ability to connect to an audience with utter flair, wit and charm.  There is not much this fine lady cannot do, and I will be an uber fan of hers forever!

Please visit Deborah Brown's wonderful website,, for her discography and bio, as well as Nich Anderson's great JazzVox website,, for all the latest concert/artist info and to make reservations.