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Cornish Music Series: Scrape, Nov. 21

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SEATTLE, WA – Performing compositions by jazz great Jim Knapp and guest composers, Scrape creates a new genre where chamber music meets improvisations.  Join us for the release concert of their new CD, Approaching Vyones, as part of the Cornish Music Series on Thursday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy St., Seattle.

Tickets for this event are $20 general admission, $15 seniors (62+), $10 students and Cornish alumni and $5 Teen Tix (members only) and can be purchased online or by phone at Brown Paper Tickets, 800.838.3006. Learn more about the Cornish Music Series at

Scrape debuted in 2010 under the direction of composer Jim Knapp and composer/violist Eyvind Kang. The orchestra, comprising violins, violas, cellos, bass, harp and electric guitar, is fueled by the creative energies of some of Seattle’s finest instrumentalists and improvisers and led by Concertmaster Heather Bentley. Since its inception, Scrape has collaborated and performed with such luminary artists as vocalists Jessika Kenney, Jay Clayton, and guitarist Bill Frisell.

Most 17-member groups would choose to have a conductor, but Scrape made the decision early on to rely on chamber music skills to develop a natural sense of ensemble through a combination of eye contact, breathing together and musical ESP. Without a drummer, every member of the orchestra becomes a de facto time keeper. Musical scores evolve in consultation with the always-present composers during the rehearsal process. Their organic and collective approach to rehearsing and performing gives the group a flexibility of timing, cohesion of sound and commonality of purpose that resonate deeply with listeners.

Scrape’s highly anticipated debut album, Approaching Vyones, consists mostly of original music by Jim Knapp and is performed by the adventurous Scrape musicians. One track “Naomi”, is Scrape’s adaptation of a piece by Bill Frisell. The album will be released on the Origin Classical label with CD art and the liner notes designed by Steve Griggs.

Jim Knapp, co-composer of Scrape, director of the Jim Knapp Orchestra, trumpet player, composer, and teacher, was born in Chicago and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Composition from the University of Illinois. He has served as director of The Composers and Improvisers Orchestra, and has led various small jazz groups. After developing the Jazz Program at Cornish College of the Arts, he continues to teach there with the academic rank of Professor. Knapp has received a National Endowment for the Arts “Jazz Composition Fellowship,” a Seattle Arts Commission “Individual Artist Music Composition” grant, a “Special Projects Music Composition” award from the King County Arts Commission, and support from Meet the Composer and Artist Trust. In 2006, he was honored by Cornish College of the Arts for “35 Years of Jazz.” In 2007, he was inducted into the Earshot Hall of Fame and in 2010 received the “Certificate of Excellence in Teaching” for 2009-2010 from Cornish College of the Arts. He has recorded as a composer and/or performer on the ECM, A-Records, Origin, Pony Boy, Seabreeze, Flying Fish, Catalyst, and Mode record labels. The Jim Knapp Orchestra won the Earshot Best Acoustic Jazz Group award in 1995 and its album, Things For Now, received the Earshot Jazz Record Of The Year award in 1999. Knapp’s music has been recorded on albums by Kelly Johnson, Mark Taylor, Steve Korn, The Jazz Members Big Band, Henry Franklin, and Steve Treseler.

Scrape Concertmaster Heather Bentley (violin and viola) is passionately involved with numerous projects in the Seattle area. With her chamber ensemble, Trio Pardalote (Victoria Parker, violin, and Rowena Hammill, cello), she runs a collaborative, roving chamber music series called Club Shostakovich, which is in the midst of the 15 quartet Shostakovich cycle. As a founder of SCAMP (Seattle Collaborative Artisanal Music Project), she is co-creating a contemporary opera about the Babylonian goddess of sex and war, Ishtar, with Seattle artists Beth Fleenor, Paris Hurley, Evan Flory-Barnes, Trey Gunn, and William Hayes. She also can be found serving as Principal Viola for the Northwest Sinfonietta. Heather is Artist-in-Residence at Seattle’s Lakeside School, where she teaches a studio of violinists and violists, and runs their chamber music program. She was Director of the Westside Chamber Program at the Seattle Conservatory of Music from 2001 to 2009 and was Conductor of the Northwest School Chamber Orchestra from 2000 to 2008.


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