The Spokane Jazz Orchestra will be debuting big band arrangements of Gershwin music, something that has never been done, at this concert. The arrangements by SJO Music Director Dr. Don Goodwin will honor the classic Gershwin tunes while adding jazz flair and big band styling.
Guest artist Jody Graves is the perfect artist to feature in this evening of Gershwin music as evidenced by her lauded performances of Rhapsody in Blue, the title song of this concert. She was recently inducted into the Steinway Hall of Fame, one of only 43 pianists across the U.S. and Canada to be so honored!
Jody maintains an exciting, diverse and active performing career, and is recognized nationally as a distinguished artist and teacher of piano. Her engagements take her across the United States and around the world -- performing in Europe, Asia and the Middle East -- even serving as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. Jody has also been a featured performing artist several times on public radio.
Dr. Graves (she holds a Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York) is in great demand as an adjudicator for piano competitions and festivals. She is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Eastern Washington University.
Learn more about Jody.
March 14, 2020
Jody Graves – Rhapsody in Blue:
The Music of George Gershwin
May 23, 2020
Keleren Millham – The Great American Songbook: Then and Now
Keleren Millham wowed the SJO audience two years ago during a concert featuring the music and influences of Sting. The May 23, 2020 concert has been in the making since then as SJO Music Director Don Goodwin sought a vehicle that would suit both the SJO and Keleren’s style.
“The Great American Songbook: Then and Now” will feature a blend of classic songs from the canons of jazz and current music that SJO Music Director Dr. Don Goodwin believes will be awarded classic status in 50 years. In fact, many of the classics in this concert began as songs from musicals in the theater, then were arranged for big band jazz, and are as captivating today as they were when first played.
Guest artist Keleren, who often performs with her husband Michael on guitar, tours the Western U.S. and beyond. Her music is influenced by classical training, pop, folk and world music. Keleren and Michael’s debut album, “Sidhe” spent years on the top ten lists of local artists and has received airplay on numerous college and public radio stations. Their follow-up recording "Live at The Shop" has been equally well received.
Keleren’s voice is described as "soaring...and affecting". Learn more about Keleren.
Concerts from Earlier in Our Season
September 14, 2019
Jamie Shew – The Great Women of Song
Our special guest artist is the captivating jazz vocalist Jamie Shew, in an ode to the legendary women who have influenced her and the jazz world. Jamie is a highly regarded jazz vocalist who performs with many internationally recognized jazz musicians. Her SJO concert appearance will also include selections from her stunning new album, Eyes Wide Open. The album chronicles the 20-year relationship with her husband, bass player Roger Shew, who died of cancer. The music is filled with love, joy, pain and loss.
In addition to a rich performance career, Jamie is Coordinator of Vocal Jazz Studies at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California. She is also an in-demand adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals throughout the country and internationally, has served as the past Vocal Jazz Chair of the Southern California Vocal Association, and has directed the California All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Jamie grew up in the Tri-Cities. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Washington State University and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance/Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University. As a graduate assistant at WMU, she had the opportunity to study privately with one of her favorite jazz vocalists, Sunny Wilkinson, and perform and record with the renowned vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company.
Learn more about Jamie Shew.
December 7, 2019
A Glenn Miller Christmas:
The Glenn Miller Nutcracker Suite,
with special guest Cami Bradley
Glenn Miller’s jazz arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite is a very special piece of music that is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit, and we are pairing it with an exceptional local talent – Cami Bradley.
Cami is an American singer-songwriter and keyboardist from Spokane who gained fame in 2013 as a contestant on season eight of America's Got Talent, during which she advanced to the finals. Cami has released solo albums and also sings and releases music as part of a duo, The Sweeplings. Born into a musical family, Cami still sings in the church where her father is worship leader.
Cami’s voice has been described as “haunting”, “breathtaking”, and as conveying “pain and passion, charged with a poignant edge.”
Learn more about Cami.
The SJO Christmas concert may sell out, so get your tickets early.