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COOS BAY — Oregon Coast Music Festival's Boathouse Concert and artist's reception will feature The Aaron Johnson Trio with Johnson who is a Coos Bay native. Aaron Johnson, currently is a jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist based in New York City.

His trio will perform for one of Oregon Coast Music Association's ticketed performances. This performance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at Oregon Instituted of Marine Biology's Boathouse Auditorium. Seating is limited and tickets are available online at www.oregoncoastmusic.org. This program is sponsored by Blair Holman and Jinny Tabor, and catered by Black Market Gourmet. Tickets are $40-50.

Johnson is one of a new generation of mainstream jazz musicians to embrace older styles of jazz and the great American songbook as well as an adventurous multi-instrumentalist who has freelanced extensively in the commercial and classical music worlds, immersed himself in the avant-garde and lectured on the history of jazz at renowned institutions such Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York University and the College of William and Mary. In addition to leading his own jazz quartet, Aaron can be found performing frequently with musicians such as Slide Hampton, Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Benny Benack III, Ken Peplowski, John Colianni, Jon Erik Kellso, Joe Cohn, Veronica Swift, Art Garfunkel Jr. and is a member of the Slide Hampton Big Band as well as associate principal Clarinet/Bass Clarinet with the Siletz Bay Festival Orchestra on the Oregon Coast.

Aaron was a student of Matt Utal and Connie Crothers. Johnson is also an artist in residence at the Catskill Jazz Factory where he has performed three world premier commissions including a retrospective of West Coast Jazz, a project blending the operatic arias of Puccini with the music of New Orleans jazz legend Sidney Bechet as well as a Jazz at the Philharmonic themed show entitled “Swingin’ the Songbook”. Aaron Johnson will release his debut record in 2019.

Chuck Israels is a composer/arranger/bassist who has worked with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, J.J. Johnson, John Coltrane, and many others. He is best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio from 1961 through 1966 and for his pioneering accomplishments in Jazz Repertory as Director of the National Jazz Ensemble from 1973 to 1981.

Among Chuck's many recordings as a bassist, some outstanding ones include: Coltrane Time, with John Coltrane; My Point of View, with Herbie Hancock; Getz au Go-Go, with Stan Getz; and many recordings with the Bill Evans Trio, including The Town Hall Concert; The Second Trio; Trio '65; Live at the Trident; Time Remembered; and Live at Shelley's Manne Hole.

Recently retired from directing the jazz studies program at Western Washington University, Chuck has moved to Portland, OR to work in its vibrant jazz community and participate in his favorite Northwest city’s cultural life.

Jordan Piper’s mature sound and “melodically-rich soloing” (Zan Stewart, NJ Star Ledger) set him apart as a pianist and composer. He is at home in many styles of music, drawing his repertoire from jazz standards, the American songbook, and his original compositions. As part of the vibrant music scene in the NYC metropolitan area, Jordan has performed recently at the Blue Note NYC with vocalist Nina Vidal, with drummer Winard Harper, as musical director for the 1940’s vocal trio The Manhattan Dolls, and at Feinstein’s with vocalist Rajdulari Barnes. His new original album “Colors,” released in 2011 has been received warmly by audiences and two of his original compositions “After the Fact” and “Snow Sheets” were finalists in the ASCAP young jazz composers competition.

Originally self-taught, he began picking out pop tunes by ear before receiving formal lessons. Jordan was performing in public by age 10 and competed in classical piano competitions throughout his teenage years. In addition to classical studies, Jordan began playing with local jazz groups in his hometown of Bellingham, Washington where he eventually became a protégé of jazz legend, bassist Chuck Israels. Under Israels’ guidance, Jordan decided to move to the NYC metropolitan area after receiving a full scholarship to William Paterson University’s jazz program in 2005.

While at William Paterson Jordan studied with legendary jazz pianists Mulgrew Miller and Harold Mabern, and had the opportunity to share the stage with Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, saxophonist Rich Perry among others. These opportunities and the close proximity of NYC’s jazz scene allowed Jordan to grow immeasurably and he was quickly picking up gigs around New York and New Jersey. He has played at many of Manhattan’s jazz clubs, including Smoke, the Blue Note, etc and has toured the west coast as a leader in support of his first CD “Colors.” 

To deepen his sense of the blues and gospel roots of jazz, he has also had the privilege of being musical director for the Straight and Narrow Gospel Choir, located in Paterson NJ since 2009, playing contemporary and traditional gospel for weekly services and touring around NJ with the choir. He is also familiar with a wide variety of swing, Latin, and ballroom dance music from a stint playing aboard the world-famous ocean liner: The Queen Mary II. He still maintains strong musical ties with Washington State, returning in 2004 for a live radio show in Bellingham featuring “A Prairie Home Companion’s” Garrison Keillor. Jordan also is a dedicated educator and continues to teach private piano students of all ages and abilities.

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