Arts and Entertainment

Jazz saxophonist Mark Lewis performs at next First Sundays Concert

Mark Lewis will perform with a quartet at the next First Sundays Concert on Bainbridge Island. - Photo courtesy of Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis will perform with a quartet at the next First Sundays Concert on Bainbridge Island.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Mark Lewis

Virtuoso jazz saxophonist and composer Mark Lewis performs with a quartet at the next First Sundays Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at Waterfront Park Community Center.

Lewis, Bremerton’s renowned resident jazz saxophonist, will be performing a few of his more than 1,600 compositions at the concert.

He will be playing with regional jazz notables Bill Anschell on piano, Steve Luceno on bass and Brad Boal on drums.

“This is why I play music, to play in a quartet. That’s where I feel the most comfortable. Most of my music is written for a quartet,” Lewis said.

KPLU’s “Jazz Northwest” radio host Jim Wilke calls Lewis “a Northwest treasure” and “a catalyst who makes things happen on stage.”

Ted Gioia, jazz critic and author of “The History of Jazz,” noted “You listen to the guys with the primo recording contracts, on the very top labels, and in my opinion they’re not in Mark’s league.”

Rotterdam bassist James Long adds, “Time after I have been witness to his ability to touch and move the listener in a way that is seldom seen.”

Lewis has recorded and produced more than 20 albums on various labels.

Rotterdam, Holland was his home base for many years. He toured and played in better clubs throughout Europe, and taught jazz theory and improvised music classes in several music conservatories. Lewis lived and performed for several years in San Francisco and Victoria, B.C. as well.

His CD "In The Spirit," recorded at Music Annex in Menlo Park, Calif., made the Top 40 on Billboard Magazine's Jazz Albums chart.

Anschell, a Seattle native, returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after spending 25 years studying, composing, and performing across the country and around the world.

Anschell has played and/or recorded with a host of jazz greats including Richard Davis, Ron Carter, Benny Golsen and Russell Malone. In 2005, 2010 and 2011 Bill received Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards as the “Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year,” and his solo piano CD "Figments" was named 2011's "Northwest Jazz Recording of the Year."

Since 2003, Anschell’s original compositions have received widespread cable and network exposure, appearing on programs including NBC’s “The West Wing” and HBO’s acclaimed series “The Wire.”

Luceno is a highly respected Northwest acoustic bassist for a number of regional artists, and has produced CDs of his own original jazz compositions. His playing experience includes many trips to Mexico with the Jerry Michelsen Trio and working with a variety of artists in the Northwest, including Obrador, Kelley Johnson, Bert Wilson, Jack Perciful, John Stowell, Slim Galliard, Sonny Simmons, Mose Allison, Ocho Pies and Hadley Calliman.

Boal studied percussion at the University of North Texas and privately with numerous master drummers including Jeff Hamilton and Mark Ivester. He has performed, recorded or toured with The Count Basie Big Band, Benny Green, Sam Rivers, and many others.

Boal has also worked on staff or as a clinician at several music workshops and colleges throughout the country, including Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops, Day Jams Rock Music Camps and Cornish College of the Arts.

The concert is part of the First Sundays Concerts series; tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for youth at www.brownpapertickets.com.

For more information, visit www.firstsundaysconcerts.org.

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