2019 Guest artists
Dr. Jay Easton
Jay C. Easton is a unique multi-instrumental performer who is skilled on an array of woodwind instruments from around the world and across the centuries. He is one of the few musicians in the world to perform on the entire saxophone family of instruments. Dr. Easton is the founder of the Brass Dragon Saxophone Band, Northstar Saxophone Quartet, and Crosswinds Duo. He has performed with the Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Lyric Opera San Diego, Spectrum Quartet, numerous professional musical theater productions, and many other large and small ensembles in both professional and educational settings. His pioneering CD "So Low" is the first album ever dedicated solely to the largest saxophones, and his book-and-CD "Writing for Saxophones" provide the first comprehensive guide to the complete range of the saxophone family for composers and performers. His solo performances feature rare and unusual reed instruments and their repertoire, with special emphasis on the saxophone family and the lower reeds.
Heard on the popular radio programs Performance Today and Northwest Focus Live, saxophonist Soren Hamm is a versatile musician, performing repertoire spanning the Renaissance through the Avant-garde. He is the first person to win both the solo and (with the Equus Saxophone Quartet) ensemble categories of the Frances Walton Competition, and was a winner of the Northwest MTNA Competitions on multiple occasions. Soren is passionate about chamber music, contemporary music, and outreach. With flutist Cassie Lear, he frequently performs as a member of the Seattle-based duo Onomatopoeia. He has premiered dozens of works for saxophone, and is currently involved in commissioning the first ever original repertoire for flute, saxophone, and horn. Soren graduated from the University of Oregon (B.M.) and Bowling Green State University (M.M.), and also completed study in music education at Western Washington University. His teachers include Idit Shner, Fred Winkler, and John Sampen.
Born and raised in Seattle, Gary “Jubil” Hammon is one of a number of musicians from the area that have enjoyed a long and successful career in the performing arts. Gary began his study of the saxophone while a junior at Garfield High School. With diligent practice, he advanced rapidly on the instrument, and soon began playing in bands around the thriving Seattle music scene. With some encouragement from Jim Wilke, he applied for further musical study at the renowned New England Conservatory of Music. Awarded a scholarship, he began attending in 1969, the first year black students were accepted. While there he benefitted greatly while studying with Kenny Dorham, Mary Lou Williams, Carmen McRae and others. He also helped inaugurate the jazz studies program at the Conservatory in 1972, as part of Gunther Schuller’s ensemble. Impressing the likes of Isaac Stern and Arthur Fiedler, the program has been a success ever since.
Gary went on to establish himself on the jazz scene in Boston and New York, frequently filling in for Harold Vick before leading his own bands, becoming a regular at Wally’s in Boston and Manny’s Car Wash in New York. This led to working and touring with blues greats Albert King and Albert Collins, a long stint with Big Jim Patton’s band, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and further jazz work with Barbara Donald and Grant Green.
Still active as an educator, Hammon has been teaching saxophone and sharing his love of music for over four decades. As well as having tutored dozens of award-winning musicians, Gary has also worked closely with Ballard High School’s program in recent years, helping them become one of the region’s top programs and regular attendees of the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition held annually in New York City.
Recognition of Mr. Hammon’s legacy of connecting the jazz tradition with the current generation was recently showcased at the 2018 Earshot Jazz Festival. Leading the band “Last of the Tribe,” at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
Sidney Hauser is a musician and artist from Whidbey Island. In June of 2016 she graduated from UW with a minor in music performance and a BA in fine arts. She is very musically involved in Seattle and plays in bands such as SWOJO, folk band High Turnover and her own band Schuff. She has been very fortunate to study under the tutelage of incredible musicians such as Neil Welch, Mark Taylor, Michael Brockman and Steve Treseler. She works as a teacher’s assistant and aftercare lead for Pacific Crest Montessori, a caregiver on the weekends and a freelance illustrator for a book educating children about Alzheimer’s. You can visit her website at sidneyhauserart.com.
Steve Treseler is a Seattle-based saxophonist, composer, teaching artist, and author who performs and leads creative music workshops across the U.S. DownBeat calls his music “beautifully crafted ensemble pieces—whether free, through-composed, or somewhere in between.” Steve’s voice as an improviser and composer blends distinct, yet confluent elements: straight-ahead jazz, Impressionism, minimalism, drones, alternative rock, American folk, electronic effects, and the avant-garde.
Treseler grew up in the midst of Seattleʼs grunge scene before moving to Boston to pursue his studies on scholarship at New England Conservatory, where he studied with jazz legends Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, and Steve Lacy, He holds a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Improvised Music from the University of Washington where he worked with avant-garde trumpeter Cuong Vu
Creative music education is an integral part of Steve’s ongoing work. He is the founder of the Game Symphony Workshop, offering group improvisation workshops for ensembles. Steve teaches at Seattle Pacific University and designed an improvisation course that is part of the school’s core music curriculum.
Archive: Previous Guest Artists
Amy Denio is a Seattle-based multi-instrumental composer of soundtracks for modern dance, film and theater, as well as a songwriter and music improviser. Often called an unclassifiable avant-garde jazz musician, she is also deeply inspired by world music. She is probably best known as a vocalist, accordionist and saxophone-player. Among her current musical involvements are The Tiptons Sax Quartet (formerly The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet) and Die Resonanz Stanonczi, a radical folk group based in Salzburg, Austria.
Tobi Stone plays Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute professionally and has maintained a private lesson studio for 16 years. She recorded, composed and toured internationally with The Tiptons Sax Quartet, 2002-2007, and nationally with the jazz group, Reptet, 2003-2007. Tobi has a Bachelor’s Degree from UW for Saxophone Performance, Emphasis in Jazz Studies and currently performs with The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, B'shnorkestra, The Jefferson Rose Band and Clave Gringa.
Praised by the Tacoma News Tribune for his “effortless lyricism” as well as his “smooth tone and fluid virtuosity,” Erik Steighner has performed with ensembles including the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Federal Way Symphony, the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Steighner has served on the faculty of Texas State University and is currently a lecturer at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., where his course load has included Saxophone, Chamber Music, Introduction to Music, Ear Training, and Music Theory. He is also on faculty at Tacoma Community College and the University of Puget Sound Community Music Department, and is founder and conductor of the South Sound Saxophone Ensemble.