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Lew Tabackin, a monster saxophonist and flutist who transcends styles and cultures, is also respected as a master composer and arranger for the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. His trio includes Boris Kozlov on bass and Mark Taylor on drums.
Tabackin is an artist of astonishing vision: His electrifying flute playing is at once virtuosic, primordial, crosscultural and passionate; his distinctive tenor sax style shows the full range of possibilities of the instrument. He studied both in high school, and then majored in flute at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, studying privately with composer Vincent Persichetti.
Tabackin later moved to New York, where he played first with Tal Farlow and Don Friedman, and later in the big bands led by Cab Calloway, Les and Larry Elgart, Maynard Ferguson, Joe Henderson, Chuck Israels, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Clark Terry and Duke Pearson.
During the late 1960s, Tabackin led a trio in Philadelphia in addition to playing in small groups with Donald Byrd, Roland Hanna, Elvin Jones and Attila Zoller. In those early years, he worked with Doc Severinsen and the studio band for Dick Cavett's television show. He also spent some time in Europe, where he was a soloist with various orchestras, including the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Hamburg Jazz Workshop. In 1968, he met Toshiko Akiyoshi and the couple eventually married and moved to Los Angeles, where they formed the award-winning big band, the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra.
While in Los Angeles, Tabackin also played with Shelly Manne and with various trios of his own with Billy Higgins, John Heard and Charlie Haden. He also toured Japan frequently with the orchestra as well as with his own trio, which included drummer Joey Baron and bassist Michael Moore.
He continues to tour the world as a soloist, playing clubs and jazz festivals with his own groups and as featured soloist with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra.
Tabackin once mentored the Brooklyn-based rising sax star Ben Flocks, whose trio with Garret Lang (bass) and Evan Hughes (drums) opens the evening with "a jovial mix of American musical styles" (DownBeat).
Santa Cruz-born, Brooklyn-based rising saxophone star Flocks has earned critical acclaim with performances at the Bern, Umbria, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Growing up, Flocks took advantage of a multitude of musical opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area, attending shows at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center and camp at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, performing with both the SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensembles and the Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation Band, and studying with trumpeter and arranger Ray Brown.
In May 2011, Flocks graduated from the New School in New York City, earning a BFA in Jazz Performance, and during the summer completed a two-year mentorship program at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Flocks now serves on faculty at Stanford and at the Calhoun School in New York. He also teaches throughout New York City schools as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People programs. Flocks released his debut album Battle Mountain in February, to rave reviews.
Photo of Lew Tabackin by Dirk Stockmans.
Photo of Ben Flocks by R.R. Jones.
PONCHO Concert Hall (Kerry Hall, Cornish College of the Arts) (View)
710 E. Roy Street
Seattle, WA 98102
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|