Cornish Presents Spring 2015 Music Performances

UPDATE: After this release was sent out, the Vijay Iyer Trio performance on Feb. 21 was canceled. This group will be rescheduled at a later date.

SEATTLE, WA –The Spring 2015 Cornish Presents music series in Seattle features performances by some of today’s most adventurous jazz and chamber music artists in an intimate concert setting on Capitol Hill.

Jazz  lovers will not want to miss vocalist René  Marie and her tribute to the legendary Eartha Kitt, the much-heralded jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and his trio, Thumbscrew featuring the adventurous young guitarist Mary Halvorson, the Ben Wendel Quartet, and the noted New York-based trombonist Ryan Keberle and his group Catharsis.

Chamber  music concerts include a recital by noted pianist Peter Mack, classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery, pianist/composer Dawn Clement and an exciting new collaboration between Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra concertmaster Michael Lim (violin), chamber artist Melia Watras (viola), and jazz artists Cuong Vu (trumpet) and Ted Poor (drums). 

The spring season concludes with audience perennial favorite Gamelan Pacifica in a concert celebrating the release of their new recording Nourishment.


Ticket prices are $20 to $25 for general admission, $15 to $20 for seniors, and $10 to $15 for students and Cornish alumni. Please see for further information.

Ben Wendel Quartet
January 25 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Kneebody mainstay Ben Wendel returns to Seattle with his latest project, a blazing new quartet featuring the pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Eric Harland.  Presented in association with Earshot Jazz

February 8 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Thumbscrew brings together three of the most adventurous souls in jazz today: Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (double bass), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). Presented in association with Earshot Jazz

Vijay Iyer Trio
Update January 29:  This performance has been rescheduled from February to May 9, 2015.
May 9 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
​Described by The Village Voice as “the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years,” Vijay Iyer brings his trio to Seattle once again for this special concert. Concert made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Foundation. Presented in association with Earshot Jazz.

Peter Mack
February 22 at 7 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Cornish faculty member and nationally known Steinway artist Dr. Peter Mack presents a solo piano recital featuring seldom heard gems from the 19th and 20th Century piano repertoire.

René Marie
March 24 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Daring singer, actress, performer René Marie sings works from her new album, I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt) and solidifies her reputation as one of the most provocative risk-takers among today’s jazz divas.

Lim + Watras + Vu + Poor
March 29 at 7 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall

An exciting musical collaboration emerges when the accomplished classical music duo of Michael Jinsoo Lim (violin) and Melia Watras (viola) teams up with jazz greats Cuong Vu (trumpet) and Ted Poor (drums).
Lim and Watras start the evening with compositions for violin and viola and are joined on the second half by Vu and Poor for a set of improvised music.

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
April 7 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall

 “A trombonist and composer with far-ranging credentials, Ryan Keberle is onto something with Catharsis, his update of a pianoless post-bop quartet,” writes Nate Chinen in The New York Times.

Gamelan Pacifica
April 12 at 7 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Gamelan Pacifica celebrates the release of its new recording Nourishmentfeaturing works by Lou Harrison, Philip Glass, Al. Suwardi, Jessika Kenney, Stephen Fandrich, and Jarrad Powell. An audience favorite for more than 30 years, the adventurous Javanese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Pacifica is under the direction of noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell. “With an air of timelessness, Gamelan Pacifica has done an unparalleled job of taking gamelan music to new heights, while remaining respectful to the roots and cultural significance of its instruments.” - SOMA Magazine

An Evening with Dawn Clement
April 14 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Pianist/composer Dawn Clement presents a special concert featuring a set of her new works for string quartet and voice featuring violist Mara Gearman, cellist Paige Stockley, and violinists Mischa Schmidt and Adrianna Hulscher, as well as a set of solo piano improvisations by Clement. 

Benjamin Verdery
April 17 at 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Hailed for his innovative and eclectic musical career, guitarist and composer Benjamin Verdery performs at Cornish in conjunction with the 2015 Northwest Guitar Festival.


All master classes are free and open to the public and do not require a ticket. All master classes occur at Cornish College’s PONCHO Concert Hall in the historic Kerry Hall at 710 East Roy Street in Seattle.

The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums
January 15 at 12 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall

The Tiptons saxophone quartet members AmyDenio (alto sax, clarinet, voice), Jessica Lurie (alto and tenor sax and voice), Tina Richerson (baritone saxophone and
voice),  Sue Orfield (tenor sax, voice) and Tarik Abouzied (drums) share their own approach to music-making with Cornish student musicians.

February 9 at 12 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
The jazz trio - Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (double bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums)  - presents a master class.

New West Guitar Group
February 18 at 12 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
The cutting-edge guitar ensemble New West Guitar Group (John Storie, Perry Smith and Jeff Stein) presents a master class.

Morgan Smith
February 26 at 12 p.m.
One of America's top young baritones today, Morgan Smith returns to Cornish to present a master class for classical vocalists.

Hal Galper
March 3 at 1 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Noted jazz pianist Hal Galper presents a master class for Cornish student jazz composers and pianists.

René Marie
March 24 at 1 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Daring singer, actress, and writer René Marie conducts a master class with Cornish vocal jazz students.

Ryan Keberle
April 7 at 1 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall
Trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle presents a master class.

More about Cornish Presents

 For more than 35 years, Cornish College of the Arts’ professional music series has introduced Seattle audiences to both emerging artists and established masters in jazz, chamber music, world music, electronic arts, and more. Whether in the intimate PONCHO Concert Hall on Capitol Hill or the larger Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center, these low-cost concerts and the accompanying free master classes enhance not only the student experience at Cornish but also provide musicians and music lovers in the community a way to connect with the artists that they love.

More about Cornish College of the Arts

Begun in 1914, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Art, Dance,Design, Performance Production and Theater, a Bachelor of Music degree and anArtist Diploma in Early Music. Since its beginning, the College’s founder Nellie Cornish, and the many teaching artists who followed her, believed in education through exposure to all the arts. This approach continues to inform the College’s curriculum and community involvement today. The College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

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