Unpublished Autobiography of James Washington

WashingtonFoundationI began work on Sound In Stone yesterday by visiting the James and Janie Washington Foundation. I read a 21 chapter draft autobiography that was assembled with the help of Doreen Mitchum and Nancy Rawles. Mr. Washington describes his experiences with racism, relationships with Mark Tobey and Diego Rivera, and artistic process. I look forward to weekly visits at this rich trove of information.

Performance at Jack Straw

GJack Strawrateful for the attentive audience and passionate performance at Jack Straw on January 14. It is a joy to share the story of Joe Brazil with people unfamiliar with his life. Jay Thomas, pictured here on trumpet, played his first jam session with Joe. Susan Pascal, vibraphonist out of the frame to the right, is married to Dave Pascal, who worked in a band with Joe. In the audience was a student from one of Joe’s History of Jazz classes. Stories of musicians are a backbone of the jazz tradition. Blending new music and old stories is at the heart of my artistic practice. Thanks to Jack Straw for supporting this project through discounted studio time.

January ’15 Performances

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were restorative and the year is beginning well.

I’m excited to have been awarded funding for two new commissions this year. King County will support Listen to Seattle about Chief Seattle’s words of peace and harmony. The City of Seattle will support Sound In Stone about sculptor James Washington. Details on the premieres will follow soon.

This month, the Steve Griggs Ensemble will be performing Panama Hotel Jazz and A Cup of Joe Brazil. Come out and bring your friends. Free admission thanks to sponsors 4Culture Historic Site Specific Grant, National Park Service Japanese Confinement Sites Program, Jack Straw Foundation Artist Support Grant, and Earshot Jazz.

January 10, 2:00PM Panama Hotel Jazz, Panama Hotel Tea Room, 605 S. Main St., Seattle
January 14, 7:30PM A Cup of Joe Brazil, Jack Straw Studio, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle

4Culture recommends funding for Listen to Seattle

site_specificThe review committee for the 4Culture Historic Site Specific Program has recommended funding for the commission and performance of Listen to Seattle. The Steve Griggs Ensemble will will premiere the program at the Duwamish Longhouse in 2015. More information to come at http://listentoseattle.blogspot.com/.


Panama Hotel Jazz Comes to Vashon Island

jazz-series-2014-2015-slider-638x338Kicking off the Vashon Allied Arts Jazz Series, the Steve Griggs Ensemble will perform Panama Hotel Jazz at the Vashon High School Theater 7:30pm Saturday, November 22. Tickets are available through a link at http://vashonalliedarts.org/jazz/.

This performance was made possible through a King County Engagement Grant.