May 24th, 2020
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Italian pianist Francesco Crosara became a part of the Seattle music community three years ago and had been gaining more public recognition here until public performances came to a halt with the pandemic. Fortunately, we have some representative performances on CDs and some recent streaming shows to enjoy. On this week’s Jazz Northwest, we’ll hear him playing a solo rendition of the ballad “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.”
Also on this week’s show, trumpeter Jared Hall plays an original from his debut album and flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny plays a medley of movie themes from his album Jazz Noir. Guitarist Richard Boukas and pianist Jovino Santos Neto team in a Brazilian duo and the Dave Robbins Sextet from Vancouver BC plays a tune from their recent CD, and there’s more…
Saturday, May 16, 2020 Livestream concert: “Live Music in the Living Room”, piano solo performance as part of the Finnriver InCider Series.
From Finnriver Facebook page:
Inspired jazz performance by pianist composer Francesco Crosara as part of the series “Live Music in the Living Room”. During this session, Francesco played original music, jazz standards, eclectic music and improvisations in a relaxed setting. The concert setting featured original artwork and art weavings by Julia Crosara, as well as a cameo appearance from Jaco the parrot.
Francesco Crosara (keyboard), Clipper Anderson (bass), Mark Ivester (drums)
Photo credits: Julia Crosara
Monday, December 9, 2019
Spanish Ballroom, McMenamins Elks Temple
565 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402
Pianist Francesco Crosara will perform in trio format at the Spanish Ballroom at McMenamins Elks Temple on Monday, December 9th, 2019. Crosara will be joined by two of the finest musicians in the Pacific Northwest, Clipper Anderson on bass and Mark Ivester on drums. The trio will present original compositions by Crosara and play a tribute to the art of piano trio music in the tradition of Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Herbie Hancock.
Francesco Crosara is a Seattle area based Italian Jazz pianist, composer and educator, who has played at festivals and venues across the USA, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy. He has performed with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Richie Cole, Bobby Shew, Ira Sullivan, Don Menza, John Heard, Gabe Baltazar, Mayuto Correa, Bruce Forman, Barbara Morrison, Earl Palmer, Mark Lewis, and more.
Crosara produced 6 jazz albums, most notably, “Colors” (through the Chicago-based Southport Records label) featuring the late great Von Freeman, and “Emotions” (through the TCB Montreux Swiss Jazz label) featuring Lilian Terry on vocals, Von Freeman on tenor sax, and a multi-cultural group of international musicians.
“A pianist who originally hails from Italy, Crosara is well-versed in bop lore, and his delicate flow might indicate a debt to Bill Evans.” Down Beat Magazine
“Pianist Francesco Crosara’s eclectic brand of jazz was born from early classical studies in harmony and composition at the Conservatory of Rome, steeped in the tradition of Italian and European romantic musical heritage, and honed by exposure to mainstream jazz and world music. His style is heavily influenced by improvisation and bouncy lyrical expressions drawn from jazz and Latin vocabularies. Crosara’s compositions are considerate of their audience, providing a source of joy, comfort, escape, and healing. Crosara believes jazz is a collective experience and a “living language” that distills a multitude of identities, backgrounds, and personalities.” Earshot Jazz
Known for his improvisational virtuosity, his steady presence in the pocket and his command of multiple styles, bassist Clipper Anderson is one of the most highly regarded musicians on the Northwest jazz scene today. Equally comfortable with straight-ahead, traditional, free jazz or bebop, he plays with genuine reverence for the music and an unassuming mastery that speaks for itself. Clipper has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a composer, performer, studio musician, vocalist and educator. He plays at jazz festivals throughout the United States and Canada and has appeared at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival, the Buddy DeFranco/University of Montana Jazz Festival, the Highland Jazz Festival, the Fairbanks Summer Art Festival, the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Festival and the Drayton Harbor Music Festival, the latter Three of which he currently plays annually. He has shared the bandstand with a long list of jazz luminaries including Michael Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Samuels, Peter Erskine, Bruce Forman, Tamir Hendelman, Bob Mintzer, Lew Soloff, Bucky Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Paquito D’Rivera, Phil Woods and Buddy DeFranco. As a session musician, Clipper has appeared on numerous recordings, including five with Northwest vocal icon Greta Matassa. He has two recordings on Origin Records. Clipper’s 2012 release, “The Road Home,” marked his debut as a solo artist and composer and held the top 20-22 spots on the national jazz radio charts for several months. Clipper’s 2013 release, “Ballad Of The Sad Young Men”, featured his vocal and bass work and was well received by critics and fans alike. Clipper works out of Seattle, WA and is presently on the jazz faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.
Mark Ivester is a versatile drummer and percussionist with extensive experience playing a variety of musical genres from rock to jazz to orchestral music. Mark has performed with numerous jazz artists of international stature including Larry Coryell, Freddie Hubbard, Diane Schuur, Mose Allison, Charlie Byrd and Eartha Kitt. He currently performs and records with the Jovino Santos Neto Quartet, Greta Matassa and Susan Pascal. Ivester has also performed with the Honolulu, Spokane and Walla Walla symphony orchestras. Ivester is a founding member of the professional percussion ensemble Happy Hammers, a group that performs a broad cross-section of percussion music of various ethnic origins including the steel drums from Trinidad, African drumming of the Ewe and Yoruba tribes, Afro-Cuban drumming, Brazilian sambas, and jazz for mallet keyboard instruments. Ivester earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Washington University, and he did undergraduate and graduate work in ethnomusicology at the University of Hawaii that included field study in gamelan music on the island of Java.
Francesco Crosara (piano & Rhodes electric piano), Cliff Colón (tenor & soprano sax), Osama Afifi (bass), Mark Ivester (drums)
Photo credits: Julia Crosara and Joe Grojean
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
The Royal Room
5000 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98118
FrancescoJAZZ Quartet will perform all original music composed and arranged by Francesco Crosara, which reflects the improvisational talents of four of the finest musicians in the Pacific Northwest.
Crosara is a Seattle area based Italian Jazz pianist, composer and educator, who has played at festivals and venues across the USA, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy. He has performed with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Richie Cole, Bobby Shew, Ira Sullivan, Don Menza, John Heard, Gabe Baltazar, Mayuto Correa, Bruce Forman, Barbara Morrison, Earl Palmer, Mark Lewis, and more.
“A pianist who originally hails from Italy, Crosara is well-versed in bop lore, and his delicate flow might indicate a debt to Bill Evans.”
Down Beat Magazine
Velocity is a high energy instrumental fusion jazz band performing original compositions and arrangements. The music is adventurous and always grooving. Velocity draws from a variety of musical styles with the core being funk, latin, and jazz. They combine hard hitting grooves and hook melodies with open improvisation.
Peter Adams / Keyboard
Cliff Colón / Saxophone
Brian Smith / Drums
Rob Hutchinson / Bass
Francesco Crosara (piano), Osama Afifi (bass), Steven Bentley (drums)
Photo credits: Julia Crosara
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club
2214 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
“A pianist who originally hails from Italy, Crosara is well-versed in bop lore, and his delicate flow might indicate a debt to Bill Evans” Down Beat Magazine
Jazz pianist and composer Francesco Crosara will appear at Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle on August 29th to present the music of FrancescoJAZZ. He will be joined by bassist Osama Afifi and drummer Steven Bentley.
FrancescoJAZZ is the brand name of Francesco Crosara’s musical concepts. It was featured in the series Jazz: The Second Century, sponsored by Earshot Jazz in July 2019. The vision of FrancescoJAZZ is to provide a source of joy, comfort, escape and healing through original jazz compositions, improvisation, and jazz standards revisited. The mission of FrancescoJAZZ is to guide the listeners into a musical journey that provokes a variety of emotions, and ultimately, has a positive impact on their lives. Crosara’s original compositions are inspired by a blend of Jazz, Latin, World and Classical music, plus new arrangements of select jazz standards revisited.
Born in Milan, Italy, and residing in the Pacific Northwest since 2017, Francesco Crosara is a Jazz pianist, composer and educator who has played at festivals and venues across the USA, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy. He has performed with Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Richie Cole, Bobby Shew, Ira Sullivan, Don Menza, John Heard, Gabe Baltazar, Mayuto Correa, Bruce Forman, Barbara Morrison, Earl Palmer, Mark Lewis, and more.
Crosara has produced 6 jazz albums recorded internationally over the course of over two decades, featuring guest artists such as Von Freeman and Lilian Terry. His album “Colors” received 4 stars from Downbeat magazine.
Francesco’s mother, Lilian Terry, was one of Europe’s foremost jazz vocalists across four decades. Also a TV/radio personality, and educator in Italy, she recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, and with Tommy Flanagan, and co-founded the Dizzy Gillespie Popular School of Music in Bassano, Italy. Lilian’s memoirs, “Dizzy, Duke, Brother Ray, and Friends”, (2017-University of Illinois Press) received a highly positive review from Downbeat magazine and others.
A master of jazz improvisation, Francesco’s piano style mixes a strong romantic vein from his classical training at the Music Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome with bouncy lyrical expression in the jazz and Latin idioms. He feels equally at ease as a solo pianist and sharing the stage with fellow musicians on both acoustic and electric keyboards. His favorite format is the jazz piano trio for the intimacy that it creates, and the subtle interplay with bass and drums.
Osama Afifi has been a professional Bassist since the early 1980’s. He has recorded and performed live with many artists including John Densmore, Kurt Elling,The Cadillacs, Eric Reed,The 5th Dimension, Yanni, Jeff Lorber, Vanessa Paradis, Mindi Abair, Jeff Kashiwa, Billy Preston, Nenna Freelon, The B Sharp Jazz Quartet and has even appeared on VH1’s show “Storytellers” with The Doors.
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest from Los Angeles he has worked with LaVon Hardison, The Tacoma Symphony, Darelle Holden, Jacqueline Tabor, Judy Collins, Kareem Kandi, Darren Motamedy, David Keys, Hook Me Up, Gail Pettis, Michael Powers, Wally and the Beaves, Michael Benson and many others. His education includes studies at the Dick Grove School of Music. He also studied with Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis.
Steven Bentley has been on the music scene in the Pacific Nortwest for nearly thirty years. A true professional drummer/composer, he has worked steadily in many different styles, from club dates to major shows and countless private functions. He has the reputation for always providing the right sound for a given situation, by listening and blending with a solid groove.
Over the years, Steven has performed nationally and internationally, traveling to Cuba and as far away as Japan. He has been involved with countless recordings and performances with artists such as Jessica Williams, Larry Coryell, Charmaine Neville, Pete Christleib, Bill Ramsey, Pablo Menendez, Rob Scheps, Essiet Essiet, Norbert Stachel, John Stowell, Jeff Johnson, Bert Wilson, Greta Matassa, Jay Thomas, Tracy Knoop, Gail Pettis, Kareem Kandi, Joe Baque, Dennis Hastings, and Oberador.