Earshot: Sonder + KO Electric

Jazz: The Second Century brings the progression of jazz into creative motion on the concert stage, presenting Seattle artists selected by a peer panel, performing original work in a concert setting. The series is a continuation of the very first programming initiative of the Earshot Jazz organization, and embodies one of our core values. It offers a current, subtle, perhaps refreshing, un-sentimental look at our city’s engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form.

Seattle native Chris McCarthy (piano) has compiled a rock-solid trio for his project Sonder, featuring Greg Feingold (bass), and Thomas Campbell (drums). While the musicians are no strangers to the Seattle jazz scene, the Sonder project stretches their talents into new territory as they re-imagine rock and pop songs from an expanded Great American Songbook. Sonder, which debuted in Seattle last December, performs covers of songs from the 21st century that they assert “are malleable enough to be effective vehicles for improvisation,” from indie-rock band Deerhoof to punk band Birthing Hips. Their aim is to expand the jazz art form’s reach to a broader audience while breaking down the limiting barriers of the genre, both real and perceived.

Saxophonist Kate Olson came to Seattle in 2010 and has since made a name for herself in the improvised music scene. She is a regular collaborator with Syrinx Effect, Seattle Rock Orchestra, the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, and Electric Circus, among others. For the 2018 2nd Century Series, Olson presents her group, KO Electric. Joining her for this project is Tarik Abouzied, who is most well-known as a drummer, working with McTuff and his own project, Happy Orchestra. For KO Electric, he switches it up by appearing on electric bass, delivering funky grooves that are sure to stoke smiles. Fellow Royal Room Collective collaborator Ryan Burns joins on keyboards, while Ruby Dunphy of Thunderpussy brings her energetic and powerful drumming to the mix.

Watch video of sets by KO Electric and Sonder, thanks to elhotrod32.