14th Annual Jazz Under the Stars
Jazz Under the Stars at Pacific Lutheran University combines two ideas - provide outdoor, evening jazz performances and the chance to gaze at the stars from the university's observatory.
Vocalist and Tacoma native Sommer Stockinger will open the annual JUTS on the right note, July 12, at the MBR amphitheater.
The university event is in its 14th year and has featured returning and new artists every summer. The concerts are free to the public and a perfect way to enjoy jazz in the setting of the Mary Baker Russell building's outdoor amphitheater. Along with the series being free, refreshments are provided and star charts are passed out for those interested in viewing the night sky from the campus’ observatory. Keck Observatory nights are planned for Aug. 2, 9 and 16.
When: Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m., July 12-August 16
Where: PLU, Mary Baker Russell Amphitheater
July 12 - Sommer Stockinger and Kareem KandiSommer Stockinger, a native of Tacoma, has been performing jazz throughout the Northwest since 1997. Stockinger has evolved through traditional and Brazilian jazz, blues and R&B, listing her strongest influences as Nina Simone, Chet Baker, João Gilberto, Nat King Cole, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Etta James, Ernestine Anderson, Nancy Wilson, Donny Hathaway and Aretha Franklin. Stockinger has been performing Jazz since the age of 17, and began regularly gigging at local venues throughout Western Washington, particularly in Tacoma and Seattle. Stockinger regularly sits in at Kelley’s in downtown Tacoma. She was mentored by big-band legend and bassist Red Kelley, who was best known for playing with Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton during the reign of the big band.
July 19 - Tracy KnoopTracy Knoop received his musical training at Berklee School of Music in Boston. After leaving Berklee, Knoop joined the world famous Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with which he was a member for 10 years. Knoop has performed with such greats as Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Buddy Rich and Bernadette Peters, to name a few.
July 26 - Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Jazz OrchestraRich Wetzel and his Groovin’ Higher Jazz Orchestra bring an exciting and unique mix of big-band jazz and jazz-rock fusion. The all-star lineup features top performing jazz musicians from all over the Puget Sound. They have three CDs to their credit, all of which hit top-10 rankings with jazz stations all over the world. This nationally renowned treasure based in the Pacific Northwest has been featured by articles in Jazz Improv, LA Jazz Scene, Brass Herald and more.
August 2 - David Deacon-Joyner Trio with Dennis HastingsDavid Deacon-Joyner is professor and director of jazz studies at PLU. A native of Memphis, Tenn., Deacon-Joyner was mentored by jazz piano great James Williams, and has performed with jazz artists such as Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm, Marc Johnson, Ed Soph and others. Deacon-Joyner currently arranges big band charts for Jeff Coffin, saxophonist with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, published by UNC Press. He is arranger, vocalist and pianist for In Full Swing, a Dallas-based jazz vocal group that appears with symphony pops orchestras across the United States.
August 4 – David Deacon-JoynerDavid Deacon-Joyner is professor and director of jazz studies at PLU. He is a native of Memphis, Tenn., mentored by jazz piano great James Williams. Deacon-Joyner came to western Washington from the University of North Texas in Denton, where he held the position of associate professor of jazz studies from 1986 to 2000. He has served as clinician and adjudicator at festivals and workshops in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Idaho and Washington. He is the lead instructor for the Great Basis Jazz Camp, a summer jazz camp held at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. Deacon-Joyner has free-lanced for over 30 years in the Memphis, Cincinnati, and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. He ahs performed with jazz artists such as Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm, Marc Johnson, Ed Soph, and others. Deacon-Joyner is a professional vocalist in both studio and live settings, and is a composer and arranger. He currently arranges big band carts for Jeff Coffin, saxophonist with Bela Flect and the Flecktones and the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, published by UNC Press. He is arranger, vocalist, and pianist In Full Swing, a Dallas-based jazz vocal group act that appears with symphony pops orchestra across the country.
August 9 - Neil Andersson and Malibu Manouche
Malibu Manouche is a quartet that blends Gypsy jazz, surf, guitar classics and original compositions to form an eclectic mix of instrumental music. Members are guitarists Peter Pendras and Neil Andersson, bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer Mark Ivester.