Woody Allen’s jazz tour makes stop in Seattle

  • By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:55pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Woody Allen often says he is so bad at playing the clarinet, that he has to practice every day.

He’d never make it as a musician, he says. Good thing he has a day job.

Yes, the iconic New Yorker and filmmarker also is a jazz man.

Although he insists that he’s no professional, he’s well regarded for using his celebrity to expose audiences to his love of early jazz.

“Woody’s a player in the classic, or ‘jass’ style of clarinet, influenced and no doubt inspired by Sidney Bechet and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band,” said John Ford, the host of a jazz program at KAOS Olympia Community Radio. “He truly loves the music, as demonstrated by its use in most of his films. And as a player, which he clearly loves as well, he ain’t too shabby at all.”

For the first time, Woody Allen and His New Orleans Jazz Band are touring the United States and will play six cities, including one night at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.

It’s an amazing opportunity to be in the same room with Allen, and to hear him select choices from the band’s 1,500-song repertoire.

Don’t expect a stand-up comedy routine mixed with a few songs. This is serious musicmaking.

For about 40 years, Allen has been playing weekly in Manhattan. Since 1990, his band has filled the Monday night slot at Cafe Carlyle, the famed room where Bobbie Short used to play (and featured in Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters”).

Allen, in fact, is so passionate about his clarinet playing that he missed accepting an Academy Award for “Annie Hall” to play with his band.

The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, the Paramount Threatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle. Tickets are $45.75 to $85.75 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.

In his latest release, “Chano y Dizzy!,” Latin-jazz great Poncho Sanchez pays tribute to two jazz titans, Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie.

For the project, Sanchez, a congo master, was joined by trumpeter Terrence Blachard to produce a wonderful album.

Although Blanchard isn’t touring with Sanchez, his Latin Jazz Band always is a big hit.

Band members include Joey De Leon on timbales, Rene Camacho on bass, Ron Blake blowing the trumpet, saxophonist Robert Hardt, Francisco Torres on the trombone, Jose Rodriguez on bongos and Andy Langham tickling the keys.

They’re known for salsa, straight-ahead jazz and, of course, the best of Latin music.

Set times vary and two special New Year’s Eve concerts are planned.

Tickets are $26.50 for shows Wednesday through Friday. New Year’s Eve tickets cost $52.50 to $155.50. Find out more or buy tickets at www.jazzalley.com or 206-441-9729.

Described as a cross between the Manhattan Transfer and Monty Python, Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin, and J.S. Bach and Jimi Hendrix, the Bobs returns to Seattle with what is expected to be a fun night of music and laughs.

They make more noise with the human voice than any computer or synthesizer ever could.

The Bobs “After Christmas Holiday Show” should feature a blend of holiday music, old songs, new songs and plenty of surprises.

Richard Bob, Dan Bob and Matthew Bob are pleased to introduce the newest Bob, Angie Doctor, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers.

Catch the Bobs and all their humor at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the door and $10 for kids. Buy tickets at www.jazzalley.com or 206-838-4333.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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