Jim Knapp Retires Big—With Scrape Performance

Jim Knapp. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Jim Knapp Retires Big—With Scrape Performance

Longtime Music Professor Jim Knapp Scrape reminds Cornish and the Jazz community what they’ll be missing with a Cornish Presents performance of Scrape on January 27.

Jazz has been taught at Cornish College of the Arts since the 1960s, but came into its own when a young trumpeter named Jim Knapp “… codified the program as we know it now,” in words of tribute from departmental colleague Chuck Deardorf. It’s been the better part of 50 years since then, and because of Knapp’s pioneering work, Jazz at Cornish has national stature. His skills as a composer and musician will be on display Friday, January 27, 8:00 p.m., at the PONCHO Concert Hall as he and his group Scrape, brought to the stage by Cornish Presents.

Scrape is an original music string orchestra with guitar and harp. Their concert will feature soloist Chérie Hughes, and it opens with the Cornish Jazz Ensemble IV, led by Chuck Deardorf. Scrape will perform compositions by Jim Knapp and Jarrad Powell. The program lists Knapp compositions The King of Kish, Nocturne (new revision), guitar improvisation/Chiaroscuro, bass improvisation/Follow Me, A Letter 2015, Only Those Who Have Dared, Approaching Vyones, and Echoes, along with Canon Mutabilis by Powell.

A Chicago native, Knapp attended the University of Illinois, from which he received both a bachelor of arts and a master's degree. He has served as director of The Composers and Improvisors Orchestra and has led various small jazz groups, including Scrape, originally with Eyvind Kang '93, and the Jim Knapp Orchestra.

Jim Knapp was for years the program head of Jazz within the Cornish Music Department. Among his awards, which are almost too numerous to mention, are 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 November 2006, he was honored by Cornish College of the Arts for "35 Years of Jazz." In 2007, he was inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2010 received the "Certificate of Excellence in Teaching” for 2009-2010 from Cornish College of the Arts.

Knapp has recorded as a composer and/or performer on the ECM, A-Records, Origin, Pony Boy, Seabreeze, Flying Fish, Catalyst, and Mode record labels.