Jazz Vespers

Sunday, December 4th found Hobbit & Hare in a beautiful old Baptist church, playing the monthly Seattle Jazz Vespers show. This concert series has been running for 15 years now and has “come up on my radar” a number of times. I just never thought I’d be booked for it.

Hobbit & Hare – photo by Greagoir Pavlos

Yet here’s Sketch and I, happily playing for a truly awesome audience of about 65 or so. They were very attentive and appreciative, even applauding for some of my solos. That was enough to make me all verklempt, I assure you! I don’t know about Sketch, but I sure felt validated!

The concert was in three parts. The first part was each of the three acts doing a short (about 12 minute) set. Then there was a 20 minute break featuring a brief, non-denominational, inspirational message and an offering to help support the concert series. Lastly all three acts came back out and each played an additional 18 minute set. H&H closed each music portion.

A special bonus for us was our friend Greg took the above picture and it’s the absolute best live performance pic of Hobbit & Hare ever. (I snapped the other two pictures in this post with my phone and would like to apologize.)

Dan & Jim – photo by Howlin’ Hobbit

Dan and Jim opened the show. I met Dan Schindler a few years ago at a SUPA meet up and he showed up last year busking at Pike Place Market, where he hooked up with Jim Nason. Dan has an immense repertoire of old jazz and novelty music and he not only sings them beautifully but also has a great stage presence. This goes a long way when busking as well as on more “official” stages. He’s helped me out several times with arrangements for the older tunes.

I’ve known Jim for decades, starting with the Victory Music open mikes in Ruston, WA. For five or so years we played together in the Emerald City Jug Band. Jim was the concert coordinator for this special buskers edition of Seattle Jazz Vespers. In addition to being amazing on the bucket bass and guitar, Jim writes excellent songs. In 2015 he took home his third Grand Tumbleweed Trophy from the songwriting contest at the annual Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland, WA. That’s 30% of the trophies in their history!

Pretty Shady String Band – photo by Howlin’ Hobbit

The Pretty Shady String Band took the middle position. Annie Ford has been busking at Pike Place Market for about a decade and Greg Paul for around half that time (if my fuzzy memory is behaving).

Annie has several projects going and plays fiddle, washtub bass, and guitar. Her other projects include the Nu Klezmer ArmyCast Iron Maidens, and her own Annie Ford Band.

Greg plays banjo, guitar, and some washboard as well. Both sing and Pretty Shady shows that off with some great harmonies.

And at the end of the evening we all got paid. Cash. In an amount that said they respected musicians and wanted to actually support live music, not just talk like they did.

Heavenly! Just like a dream come true.

3 thoughts on “Jazz Vespers”

  1. And the acoustics of the sanctuary. Didn’t we all tell each other how good we each sounded? And we’re tentatively booked for next December!

    1. I listened to your music in Seattle a few years ago. Outside starbucks. It was hauntingly beautiful and some of those melodies are still in my head.

      Where can i listen to some of your recordings?

      Thank You!!

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