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Jazz It Up, Bobby!
Bellevue, WA
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Jazz It Up, Bobby!
Jazz giant Bob Hammer honored in concert at Meydenbauer Theater/Bellevue

At 81 years old, he still adds a kick with his arrangements to the local jazz scene.

Ken Wiley from KPLU's "Art of Jazz" will host and Emcee, Vocalist Stephanie Porter, and the Full Circle Jazz Ensemble will deliver some of Bob Hammer's arrangements in this production at the Meydenbauer Theater on Thursday July 28, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  

This concert will celebrate Mr. Hammer's 60 + years in the American music industry and service as a fundraiser/benefit for Bob, to help him with costs incurred from a recent major surgery.

Pianist, Bob Hammer has had a major hand in the American Jazz Scene for over sixty years. He has arranged and played for legends such as Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, and Charles Mingus (Mingus referred to Bob as his, "Beethoven").

Keynote Speaker Ken Wiley of KPLU's Art of Jazz, says, " is about the art of jazz, and Bob Hammer is a true artist"  

Emcee Ken Wiley will be joined by Nathaniel Paul-Schleimer's Full Circle Jazz Ensemble, 11 piece with:
Stephanie Porter - vocals
Eric Verlinde - piano
Andy Zadrozny - bass
Garey Williams - drums
Jack Klitzman and Galen Green (Nearly Dan) - woodwinds
Bobby Medina and Ron Barrow - trumpets
Bill Anthony - trombone
Johnny Conga - percussion
Frank Seeberger - guitar

In addition,  enjoy Latin dancers Maureen Munoz and Wladimir Pino Olivares doing a few numbers and tap dancer Tim Hickey


Bob Hammer studied at Manhattan School of Music before taking private lessons by composer Henry Brant.  Hammer led a band together with Bob Wilber (1955). He worked in the Sauter/Finnegan Orchestra, the Roy Eldridge Quartet (1956) and with Gene Krupa (1956/57). He was a member of Red Allen's band (1958-1962) and Eddie Condon' (1959/60) band. At that time he recorded with Charles Mingus (who called him his 'Beethoven') and began to work as arranger for the bassist on Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus, Townhall Concert and the celebrated The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. . In 1963 he played with Pee Wee Russell, Krupa and Eldridge. In 1964 he was on tour with Bobby Hackett. From 1965 to 1967 he worked as arranger for the Merv Griffin Show. He recorded with Jimmy Knepper, Johnny Hartman, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, and Elvin Jones. Between 1977 and 1988 he worked as a member of show bands in Las Vegas. After an engagement with Slide Hampton he worked as instructor for jazz improvisation at El Camino Community College and played in the Jimmy Cleveland Octet. He also worked with Barbara McNair, the Tommy Newsome Quartet and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 2004 he recorded with Floyd Standifer's quintet.

Ken Wiley studied at NYU, University of Chicago and Berkeley, majoring in English which he taught for years. He has hosted KPLU's "Art of Jazz" for thirty years and only missed work twice.  To Ken life is simple.  It's "...about the art of jazz."

Nathaniel Paul Schleimer has played saxes, flute and clarinet with countless acts including Rosemary Clooney, Ray Anthony, The Spinners, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Wayne Newton, has been a member of the Jay Thomas Usual Suspects band since 1999, a member of Bobby Medina's Red Hot Band since 1997 and has led many small ensembles through out the Puget Sound region for the past thirteen years.   Nathaniel has taught woodwinds in the Northwest since 1997.

Stephanie Porter, a naturally-gifted vocalist, has had a passion for music her whole life. Porter was brought up in a house rich with music. Her family, filled with musicians  from vocalists to pianists to horn players, would often host jam sessions that she would sing in. At the young age of 19, she began sitting in local jazz clubs. Porter quickly grew as an artist, opening for a multitude of national acts (including Chaka Khan, Living Colour and Kansas), as a member of the popular disco group, "Hit Explosion" from 1996 to 2000. During this time, she also continued to perform jazz, her favorite medium, recording "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," which ascended to the top 100 of the Gavin Jazz Chart.    Harvey Siders (Emmy Award winning producer, composer, and jazz critic of Down Beat and Jazz Times) wrote about her critically-acclaimed album, Mood Swings, "Stephanie Porter is one of the most complex individuals and unpredictable singers I've ever met. But, to know her is to love her; she's the paragon of honesty  Lord, how this lady sings." National Public Radio station, KPLU (88.5 FM), still features a number of songs from this classic album nationwide. The album has been sold in over 25 countries.   A longtime figure in the Northwest jazz scene, Porter has worked with over 50 groups as a freelance vocalist and is often spotlighted as a featured or special guest artist. She has worked in some of the top venues in the region including Jazz Alley, the Triple Door, Tula's and El Gaucho's Pampas Room. She is an outstanding jazz vocalist with a clear, sultry tone and a bright and appealing stage presence.   Over the years, she has performed at numerous festivals and special events. She has also headlined at high-profile galas for such organizations as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition to the Northwest, she has performed in venues across the country, as well as Canada, France and England.   Her latest album, How Deep is the Ocean, is a brilliant showcase of her amazing talent as a vocalist. Porter delivers each note with purpose and honesty.

Bobby Medina, Lead Trumpet
Bobby's career highlights include world tours and national shows with Ray Charles,
Mel Torme, Frankie Valli, The Four Tops, C.J. Chenier, The Coasters, The Spinners,
Martha Reeves, The Funk Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Ann Jillian, Harry Blackstone Jr.,
Shari Lewis, Andy Russell, Celio Gonzalez, Eddie Cano, Rolando La Serie and many others.
Locally Bobby performs as a guest artist with numerous school band programs, with his
own band and also runs Medina Entertainment Resources, his talent agency.  In addition to this, Bobby is also in demand for recording music for television and radio ads
and has three of his own recordings out on Sound Facet Records.

Eric Verlinde (pianist) has excited audiences worldwide with his energetic and passionate performances. His music touches the very soul of the listener. He has played with Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, Mark Murphy, Luis Conte, Thelma Huston, Don Lamphere, Jay Thomas, Buddy Cattlet, Greta Matassa, and Luis Peralta. He is in high demand and is constantly performing, refining the sound and creating new music. His different groups create music that is pure, creative, spontaneous, superbly structured and melodic.

Galen Green was raised in Longview, Washington, where he developed an interest in music at an early age. He was very active in the local music community, performing with local jazz and symphonic bands, and studying privately with the great jazz saxophonist Hadley Caliman. In 1996, Galen moved to Seattle to further his music education at Cornish College of the Arts, where he continued his musical studies with Caliman, Julian Priester, James Knapp, Dave Peck, and many others. Galen graduated Cum Laude from Cornish College in 2000 with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, since which time he has worked as a bandleader for Celebrity Cruises, and as a showband musician for Paramount Entertainment and American West Steamboat Company. He currently  Seattle, where he writes, plays, and teaches music.  In addition to regular performances with numerous Seattle-based bands and musicians, Galen has also recently played with Tom Scott, Pete Christlieb, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Giovanni Hidalgo, Tito Puente, Jr. and Joe Santiago.  He recently released his first album as a solo performer and producer, Tiny Weapons, and leads a band of the same name.

"JC" Johnny Conga has toured, recorded and performed all over the world, with such artist's as Sergio Mendes, Gloria Gaynor, Mongo Santamaria, Paquito D'Rivera, The Jackson 5 and over 2o Grammy winner.  To date he has been in over 150 bands. Of Cuban descent, Johnny brings the fire of the island, and the experience of over 47 years on the "Business of Show" to the Full Circle Jazz Orch....Currently Hosting a very popular radio show in Seattle,WA called AL LADO LATINO at 91.3 every Saturday from 6 to 8pm for the Best in Latin music.  He also has a current CD's available  at and is now working on his 3rd self-produced Independent production.

Garey Williams has steadily built a reputation as both a world-class drummer and uniquely gifted educator. With over thirty years playing experience and over twenty years teaching experience, Garey has received attention from International publications and well known drummers.
Percussive Notes said: "Williams sounds like a combination of Vinnie Colaiuta and Peter Erskine through his careful attention to the orchestration of each section of the tune. His relaxed, flowing style suits the music, yet he is always pushing the other players to new heights."
Dom Famularo said: "I listened to the CD. I am very impressed with everything! You're playing was first class - creative, musical and inspired. This is 'Art'... and this is a wonderful contribution to the music industry. It sets a high standard and a clear vision of what to strive for!" Also: "Garey's clinic presentations are relaxed and well delivered. It's clear he's been doing this for a long time."
With a Master's degree in Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies at Central Washington University, drummer Williams has been a fixture in the Northwest scene, having performed with such musicians as Diana Krall, Kristin Korb, Bud Shank, Barney McClure, Howard Roberts, Joe Williams, Bobby Shew, Jay Thomas, Clay Jenkins, Milt Jackson, Cedar Walton, Ray Brown, Eddie Daniels and Dizzy Gillespie. In 2001 he re-formed Ecstasy In Numbers with guitarist Mike Mattingly and bassist Rick White. The band became a hit on the underground scene and for three years have toured and performed in Seattle and the Northwest to standing-room-only crowds. The bands progressive-jazz/rock sound has been gaining the attention of clubs and promoters, as well as the ears of a small but growing European fan base.

Bill Anthony has been a professional trombonist and arranger for more than 30 years. In addition to being a featured soloist with jazz ensembles on both coasts of the U.S., he has performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Benny Goodman, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Closer to home, he plays regularly with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Roadside Attraction Big Band.

Ron Barrow received a BA from the University of Washington in Music Education. He has been teaching trumpet privately for more than 20 years and is also an active freelance musician. He currently performs with many different bands playing a diverse range of styles including cuban music, big band swing, modern jazz, and classical music.

Jack Klitzman master of saxophones, flutes and clarinets, Jack is a force in the national music community.  His credits include performances in swing, jazz, R&B, pop, rock and big bands as well as acclaimed works as a composer, arranger and orchestrator. Jack's skills include contracting musicians, and producing scores for films, albums and commercial projects. His passion is for well-designed arrangements, where the subtleties aren't lost. Jack has appeared with renowned artists and celebrities such as Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, George Burns, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Perry Como, Lou Rawls, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, Julio Iglesias, Tony Teneille, Ben Vereen, Roberta Flack, Howie Mandel, Mickey Rooney and the Seattle Symphony.

Andy Zadrozny (bass) has been integral to the Seattle scene for 25 years, recognized as a performer in several musical circles.  
His playing style has been described as rich, nuanced and complex.  ...widely respected as a master teacher and composer/improviser..."

Nathaniel is originally from Pasadena, California where he studied with Stewart Fischer, older brother of Clare Fischer, at Pasadena City College in the early 1980's. In recent years, Stewart encouraged Nathaniel to start a 9-piece band by sending him boxes and boxes of his original arrangements. While Nathaniel was gathering interested musicians for the project, he shared the idea with Bob Hammer, legendary pianist and arranger. Bob shared his enthusiasm and offered to share his book of classic arrangements. Since then, the band has added guitar and congas to become an 11-piece band. The Full Circle Jazz Ensemble made its Seattle debut at El Malecon restaurant in October of 2009. With the addition of master vocalists Bernie Jacobs and Stephanie Porter and the wonderful tap dancing of Tim Hickey and his team, the Full Circle Jazz Ensemble presents a veritable jazz cabaret with regular performances (last Sunday's of the month at El Malecon 1122 Post Ave).


11100 Northeast 6th Street
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States


Arts > Dance
Arts > Performance
Music > Jazz

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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