Ken Peplowski with Tom Wakeling
Randy Porter and Todd Strait
May 30th at 7pm
All events will be held at the Lodge at Otter Crest unless otherwise noted
For venue information:click here
Bio taken from Ken’s website: www.kenpeplowski.com
By the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz, playing in the school “stage” bands, and also by jamming with many of the local jazz musicians. “By the time I hit high school, I was teaching at the local music store, playing in our family band, and playing jazz gigs around town while still getting up early every day for school.”
After a year of college, Ken joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. In 1980, Ken moved to New York City, and was soon playing in a variety of settings, from Dixieland to avant-garde jazz.
“Everything’s a learning experience in jazz music – there’s always an element of the unpredictable.” In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone. Peplowski wound up signing with Concord Records, under the tutelage of Carl Jefferson, the founder and president, and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader.
“What’s in the future? “Who knows? I love all kinds of music, and I’d like to find more opportunities to bridge the gaps between different musical styles – I consider myself an interpreter of material – if something interests me, I try to put my own spin on it, without thinking or worrying about playing in any particular style. Basically, I like a challenge, I’m a sucker for a good melody, and I love playing for audiences, big or small.” And he has certainly achieved these goals, be it in small clubs, the Hollywood Bowl, headlining in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals´ clubs, or at home in NYC doing everything from playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies, to taking on the role of music director for interactive French and Italian cookbooks.
The litany of musicians Ken has collaborated with includes Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna,Hank Jones,Dave Frishberg,Rosemary Clooney,Tom Harrell, James Moody,Cedar Walton,Houston Person, Steve Allen, Woody Allen, & Erich Kunzel.
Bio taken from Tom’s website
For over 40 years, Tom Wakeling has put his bass to work in concert halls, jazz nightclubs, recording studios, and at music festivals throughout North America and Europe.
Tom’s bass versatility has supported a wide range of artists including Arturo Sandoval, Lee Konitz, Mel Torme, James Moody, Herb Ellis, Mose Allison, Charlie Rouse, Houston Person, Ernie Watts, Charles McPherson, Carl Fontana, Herb Geller, Della Reese, Red Skelton, Rich Little, Mickey Rooney, the Fifth Dimension, and many others in jazz and pop music alike.
Tom’s work in “show biz” includes playing in the orchestras of national touring shows such as “Cats”, “A Chorus Line”, the Joffrey Ballet, “Grease”, and “Damn Yankees” (with Jerry Lewis).
An experienced and dynamic educator, Tom has served as a guest artist at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Stanford University Jazz Workshop, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, University of Nevada, Washburn University, University of British Columbia, Centrum/Pt. Townsend Jazz Workshop, Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive, and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, among others.
Wakeling recently retired from a longstanding tenure as Chair of the Music Department at Clackamas Community College in Portland, Oregon. The college is known for its excellent Music and Music Technology programs.
Bio taken from Randy’s website – www.randyporter.com
Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. Lynn Darroch of The Oregonian states, “Porter has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility…”
Randy Porter has performed with many jazz greats, including Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, and Benny Golson. He has also performed with the Charles McPherson Quartet throughout the US and in France, Italy, Greece, and China. The Charles McPherson Quartet has re-created the music from the classic recording Charlie Parker with Strings, performing with many orchestras nationwide. Porter has also toured with Diane Schuur and Bobby Caldwell, conducting the Jazz Orchestra for their “Sing in Swing” tour.
Randy Porter has toured Europe with bassist David Friesen and has performed on several recordings with Friesen. Friesen’s 2001 Trio CD, Name of a Woman, received 4 stars from Downbeat in June of 2002 and featured Porter as pianist and composer. Porter has also recorded, performed, and toured worldwide with singer Gino Vannelli; Porter’s pianistic contributions can be heard on Vannelli’s CD’s, Yonder Tree, Slow Love and Canto.
Musical highlights include performing at Kimball’s with Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center with Diane Schuur, Seattle’s Jazz Alley with New York Voices, Yoshi’s in San Francisco with Karrin Allyson and Rebecca Kilgore, The House of Blues in Chicago and BB King’s Blues Club in NYC with Gino Vannelli, the Monterey Jazz Festival with Madeline Eastman, the Chicago and Detroit Jazz Festivals with Charles McPherson.
Porter’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on his own recordings: Thirsty Soul, with John Wiitala on bass and Reinhardt Melz and Todd Strait on drums; Brio, also featuring John Wiitala and Reinhardt Melz; Modern Reflections with Nancy King on vocals, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Mel Brown on drums; and Eight Little Feet with Bob Magnusson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. Samples of Porter’s writing and playing can be found on Apple’s iLife jingles. Porter also composed the music for the 2009 documentary, Deep Green.
Porter has been a performer and educator at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival for many years where he has coached many young jazz musicians. He has also worked several years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West with singer Madeline Eastman. Porter teaches master classes and adjudicates student combos and bands at highschool and college jazz festivals. Currently, Porter teaches jazz piano at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Todd was raised in Topeka, KS, and became involved in music in elementary school playing trumpet and drums. Eventually braces pushed the trumpet out of the picture and it’s been drums ever since.
Todd began gigging locally while still in 7th grade, mainly with his father’s group. During his last year of high school he became involved in the 1979 “Louie Bellson/Slingerland National Drum Contest” where he eventually finished in second place at the Las Vegas finals. The scholarships gained from this experience enabled Todd to pursue his dream of moving to the NYC area and studing with Ed Soph in 1980.
Upon relocating to the east coast Todd free-lanced in and around NYC and the Tri-State area, then joined Marian McPartland’s trio in 1982 playing in New York City clubs and traveling occasionally with her across the country. In 1984 he also began playing with guitarists Tal Farlow and Barney Kessel. In ’86 he joined Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd for a 3 month cross-country stint before returning to NYC.
1990 found Todd relocated to Kansas City where a string of important connections were born. Besides gigging in KC and St. Louis with local favorites and visiting “stars”, Todd toured nationally and internationally with Kevin Mahogany from 1995 until 2000, with Karrin Allyson 1995 until 2009, and with Eldar from 1999 until 2008 (See the discography page for related recordings, 3 of which were Grammy Nominees).
In 2002 Todd relocated again, this time to Portland, OR. A typical year of travel consisted of between 200-250 days on the road (between tours with either Eldar or Karrin) so Todd was not around Portland much those first 7 and a half years. But in mid 2009 he finally decided to change gears and stay put for awhile.
Now he is enjoying being away from airplanes and playing with local greats such as PDXV, Greg Goebel’s Trio, Warren Rand, Dan Balmer, and Randy Porter, among many other wonderful musicians in Portland and Seattle. Todd is also building a student base here in Portland. Besides serving as adjunct drumset instructor for UMKC in Kansas City,MO, from 1990-2002, Todd has been a faculty member for several summer jazz camps across the country over the last 20 years and is looking forward to his 10th consecutive year at the KU Jazz Camp in Lawrence, Kansas, this summer. Last year he joined the staff of YMA (Young Musicians and Artists) which holds two week sessions on the campus of Willamette University in Salem, OR. He will continue to serve as one of several adjunct drumset instructors at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, OR, during the school year as he has since 2003.