Well-Known Jazzman Moves to Maury, Does a Show for Islanders

Spur-of-the-moment jazz is now possible on Vashon — part of a return to a music-filled new normal.

  • Thursday, June 17, 2021 10:43pm
  • Arts
Bruce Phares — who has been the go-to bassist for legendary jazz artists playing at Jazz Alley, will play a local concert on June 25 with his longtime collaborators John Stowell on guitar, Jay Thomas on sax and trumpet/flugelhorn, John Bishop on drums (Courtesy Photo).

Bruce Phares — who has been the go-to bassist for legendary jazz artists playing at Jazz Alley, will play a local concert on June 25 with his longtime collaborators John Stowell on guitar, Jay Thomas on sax and trumpet/flugelhorn, John Bishop on drums (Courtesy Photo).

If you haven’t met Bruce Phares, who recently moved to Maury Island, introduce yourself after a show coming up on June 25 at Vashon Center for the Arts — after hearing Phares and three other of Seattle’s finest jazz musicians play a show in Phares’ new hometown.

The concert for the Bruce Phares Reunion Quartet will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 25, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

The show will celebrate 40 years of history between the quartet’s members — John Stowell on guitar, Jay Thomas on sax and trumpet/flugelhorn, John Bishop on drums (all three Earshot Jazz Hall of Famers) and Phares, a legend in his own right for his years as a first-call bassist for Jazz Alley star headliners.

Phares is perhaps best known for his four-decade duet relationship with legendary pianist Overton Berry — along with his performances with other renowned jazz greats including Dianne Schuur, Larry Coryell, Roland Hannah, Frank Wess, George Cables, Bruce Forman, Charlie Bird, Ernestine Anderson, and others.

Internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist John Stowell has been featured on scores of recordings in both the US and Europe, beginning with his ground-breaking duet albums with bassist David Friesen.

Origin Jazz Records co-founder John Bishop has recorded and toured as a drummer with dozens of international voices in jazz, including the groundbreaking Hal Galper Trio.

Jazz guitar legend John Stowell is a member of the Bruce Phares Reunion Quartet (Courtesy Photo).

Jazz guitar legend John Stowell is a member of the Bruce Phares Reunion Quartet (Courtesy Photo).

Seattle jazz legend Jay Thomas, educator, mentor, recording artist, and author, is one of the most prolific jazz artists from this region, who has helped forward the artistic careers of countless Northwest musicians.

Tickets to the concert, $15 (ages 18 and younger) and $20 (general) are on sale now at vashoncenterforthearts.org. A $27 ticket will get audience members into a workshop with John Stowell, as well as the show.

Limited seating, masking for audience members and other COVID protocols are still in place at VCA, though one barrier has been lifted: tickets for live performances no longer need to be purchased 24 hours in advance and if still available, can simply be purchased at the box office at the time of the show.

Spur-of-the-moment jazz is now possible on Vashon — part of a return to a music-filled new normal.


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