Henry Butler Visits The Hang

Last Thursday, November 11th we had a very special visit from New Orleans blues/jazz/soul pianist Henry Butler. An eight-time W.C. Handy “Best Blues Instrumentalist – Piano” award nominee, Henry Butler knows no limitations. Although blinded by glaucoma since birth, Butler is also a world class photographer with his work displayed at exhibitions throughout the United States.

It was a real treat to invite this incredibly talented pianist on stage to tear up Josh’s Rhodes – and tear it up he did (musically speaking of course) 😉

Jeremy and Evan accompanied him through a couple of really swinging and grooving tunes.  If you were there that evening you know that LUCID was totally hoping! Henry played the last 2 tunes of the night and you wouldn’t have thought it was the peak time of the night with all the cats yelling and carrying on. It was one of those very special Hang moments. For those of you who weren’t able to make it we have a special treat for you because we recorded the songs he played and we’re featuring them here on our blog.

Enjoy these live recordings of Henry Butler at The Hang at LUCID and we’ll see you on Thursday for more special moments like this!

[audio:http://www.theteachingmusic.com/music/thehang/11.11.10/solar-with-special-guest-henry-butler.mp3] [audio:http://www.theteachingmusic.com/music/thehang/11.11.10/blues-with-special-guest-henry-butler.mp3]

Sample from our New CD – Live at the Triple Door

Hey everyone – we excited to announce that our brand new CD’s of ‘The Teaching – Live at the Triple Door’ arrived today in the mail – don’t they look shiny!?

We’re so excited to release this CD at our 2010 Earshot Festival performance at the Triple Door on Wednesday, Oct. 27th at 7pm (read more about the event here: http://theteachingmusic.com/the-teaching-at-2010-earshot-jazz-festival). You can get your copy of the brand spanking new Live CD at our performance! This is our 2nd physical CD release and we know you’re going to love it!

Here’s a sample for those of you who just can’t wait:

The Meditation (track 1):

Join us Oct. 27th at the Triple Door  for a truly magical evening!

The Teaching’s trip back to beautiful Savannah

Immediately after Jeremy and I exited the plane we felt that exciting rush of heat rush over us. We quickly changed from heavy jackets into our shorts and flip-flops…ahh it felt good to be back in Savannah! Evan had flown from Bloomington, IN the day before while he was mid-tour with vocalist Meklit Hadero who was touring the mid-west at the time. Jeremy and I were happy to connect up with Evan and be able to return to Savannah in support of our friend and artist Matt Hebermehl. Matt was gearing up for the biggest art show of his life at the Jepson Center for the Arts in downtown Savannah. His exibit, Birds in Flight, is still showing at the center until March 23rd, 2011, so if you know someone in the area we highly recommend checking it out. More info on Matt’s exhibit can be found by visiting http://www.hebermehl.com/2010/09/28/birds-in-flight-sept-23-2010-march-23-2011/

Matt, by the way, did the artwork for our group and four debut CD The Teaching. You’ll be able to see more of Matt’s handy work on the release of our upcoming live CD ‘The Teaching Live at the Triple D due to be released Oct. 27th at our Earshot Jazz Festival performance at Triple Door (details above).

Matt’s show was a huge success and The Teaching also had the chance to perform at 2 old venues we hit last year and add a new one to the list. The Teaching’s best night in town was undoubtedly the night at the Hang Fire on Oct. 23rd (which coincidentally was the same night as The Hang – which we host every Thursday in Seattle…special thanks to Gravity for holding down at LUCID that evening). The crowd was going wild and dancing to nearly every cut we dropped that evening. Keep your eyes and ears open for a PodCast on our website of that live performance in the next few weeks.

All-in-all the trip was a huge success. More connections, great new friends, an even bigger response from the Savannah listeners, extra heaping helpings of southern hospitality, and we even got to take a class at Bikram Yoga Savannah (90+ degree weather outside and Bikram Yoga…are we crazy?!?). We survived it all and came back home with a resolve to try and go back every 6 months or at least every year. Thank you Savannah! We’ll keep coolin’ like a cuh’ here in Seattle until next time!

Here are a few nice moments captured fromthe trip:

Josh leaning back at the Savannah Airport Jeremy next to bird for Matt's Birds in Flight exhibit Evan and Jeremy relaxing in the park
Jeremy getting a ride at the Jepson Center Matt's artwork on table at T-Rex Mex Savannah home
Beautiful Forsyth Park in Savannah Scoop! Jeremy with Matt's wall artwork

The Teaching at 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

Friends, family and fans of The Teaching! We’re so, so excited to announce our Triple Door show as part of the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival this coming Wednesday, October 27th at 7:00pm. Please see the event details by clicking on the link below and share this post and poster with anyone and everyone you know. We want to show Earshot and Triple Door  we can fill the venue with our incredible, loving and supportive fans for this special performance. We’d love for you to be in attendance and welcome any of you who wish to spread the word on the street! Let’s GET ‘EM CATS!


The Hang at LUCID on August 12th, 2010

Wow, wow, WOW! What an incredible night we had last Thursday, August 12th!  I can’t remember the last time we had people sitting on the ground because there weren’t enough seats in the club.  If you attended last week’s hang at LUCID in the University District you know exactly what I’m talking about regarding the excitement and energy flowing in the room that night.  Here’s the audio from the night for you to click, play and transport yourself back to the beauty of last Thursday:

Unsheathed Sword

The Meditation

Mother Divine

Being Joyful

And….the one I know you’re all waiting for…

EPIC Blues!

Special thanks to the cold cats that showed up and jammed with us! And thanks to the rest of you for making The Hang such a memorable gathering each week – we simply love to create this atmosphere with you each and every Thursday!

Jacob (Stickbo) Stickney (tenor sax)
Nathan (It’s Better With) Vetter (trombone)
Ron (Gilky) Gilchrist (trombone)
Eli (Get ‘Em) Clark (trombone)
Thomas Marriott (trumpet)
(Burning) Bernie Jacobs (flute and vocals)
Jessie Sawyers (tap dance)

Meet Spekulation

We recently caught up with East Coast transplant / now Seattle based MC/Rapper Spekulation to ask him a few questions about how he got introduced to The  Teaching’s music, his experiences attending The Hang, as well as the story behind his recent sampling of our song ‘Beautiful Brooklyn‘ on his digitally released album ‘Hack Job – The Instrumental Mixtape‘ (released on May 19th, 2010).

Feel free to click on the player below to listen to the song while reading the interview:

Q. What was your first impression of The Teaching back when you happened upon The Hang at Lo-Fi?

Actually, the first time I heard The Teaching was at your first gig at The Musiquarium, which I tend to think of as a faux-swanky lounge downtown filled with young professionals and expensive cocktails.  So, technically my first impression of The Teaching was “damn, these guys are way too nice for this place” and “that dude with the long hair rides that snare like he’s on a Biggie Smalls record”.  A couple months later I made it down to The Hang at Lo-Fi for the first time.  The whole experience was pretty overwhelming, and I’ve been to The Hang so many times since, that I don’t really recall my exact impressions, but I do remember feelings.

I go a little crazy when I hear music that I need to sample, it quickly becomes all I can think about.  So, my first time at The Hang I remember a constant feeling of panic and anxiety hearing the music changed from movement to movement, and all these samples kind of floated into the ether, never to be heard again.  Honestly, it was traumatic, and a lot of my motivation in making music in the last few years has probably come from trying to deal with it in some positive way.  But now that I say that out loud, this whole thing sounds a little crazy.

Q. You’ve mentioned once how The Teaching’s music & what was occurring at The Hang reminded you of what was going on when The Roots and similar bands were coming up on the East Coast. What do you think are the main strengths or elements that differentiate the Seattle Scene to what was going on where you were coming up through music on the East Coast?

I think the main strength that differentiates the two is the fact that the scene here is still going on.  I mean, The Roots obviously still play and collaborate with the artists they grew up playing with, but at this point it doesn’t seem like that’s where their power comes from.  It’s just sort of a novelty.  And maybe that will happen here eventually (if history is at all trustworthy, it most definitely will), but it hasn’t happened yet, and that’s something we should not take for granted.

Creatively, I don’t think there are many differences… Both communities are made up of young musicians trying to find their own sound within the context of building its own musical movement.  In The Roots case, it was the neo-soul tradition… In Seattle’s case, who knows?  I don’t think we’ve really figured that out yet.

Q. What was your inspiration for sampling our music and many others in the New Seattle Music scene?

Purely selfish…on several levels, really.  Any song I’ve ever sampled has been because I needed to hear it with my ears the way I was hearing it in my mind.  I’ve made a bunch of songs from sampling that never see the light of day, just to get it out of my head and make myself a little more sane.  So, because I was spending so much time listening to New Seattle music, it was inevitable that I was going to re-imagine some of what I was hearing.

On another level, I just wanted to prove it could be done.  I think it’s a widely held misconception that HipHop music seeks to do anything differently than jazz or other types of folk music, in borrowing or sampling from artists and peers.  One of my goals is probably to put that misconception to rest.  I get a kick out of making people uncomfortable, especially when their discomfort is a bit absurd.  So its endless fun for me to take music that people already love, flip it, and then throw it back in their faces with the question “do you still love it?”  The answer may be no, but then I get to ask why that is, given that it’s fundamentally the same music, and the approach is basically the same as that of any other folk tradition.  Demanding that people answer that question has always been a large part of what I do.

And on a very direct level, I wanted to work with all of the New Seattle artists, but that’s a hard sell when you’re “that rapper who hangs out in the back of the club and doesn’t say much.”  So sampling became my way of showing the artists what I thought was possible.  And I think it worked.  My latest record, The Depression Era EP, has very few samples on it, but a bunch of original music and performances by artists that I met through sampling for my first record.

So, in short, selfishness was my motivation.

Q. How did get the idea to remix The Teaching’s new song Beautiful Brooklyn with well known artists Jay Z & Lil’ Wayne?

I’ve always really liked the catchy melody of The Teaching’s original track, how it kinda gives you that feeling of walking across the bridge from Manhattan, seeing the dark brown bricks of Brooklyn get closer.  But every time I hear it I can’t stop the voice in my head shouting, “Maaaaaan, that ain’t Brooklyn!”  Like the song needed a pair of Timberlands, some blunt smoke, and a Yankees fitted to really be the Brooklyn that I know.

The funny thing is, I had similar feelings about the Jay/Wayne song too, because I always thought the beat lacked any sort of Brooklyn vibe.  It’s got this really over the top 808 drum loop, which has become a hallmark of HipHop production down South… and absolutely no melody or instrumentation whatsoever.

So, in that sense it was a no-brainer.  But I think it paid off for me in that I got showcase two groups of great artists that, on the surface, might seem to juxtapose one another.  I think it’s safe to say that The Teaching’s core group of fans might be hesitant to listen to the newest Jay-Z & Lil Wayne single.  Just like I feel confident in saying that Jay and Weezy’s main audience would probably be unsure about picking up a record by The Teaching.  Admittedly, this is probably not the best business model on my part, but I think it’s worth it because the people that do overcome the apprehension have that much more music to appreciate in their lives.  And that’s dope.

Q. Where do see The Teaching’s music playing a role in future samplings on your records or collaborations in the future?

My approach to this whole thing has been, I’m gonna keep bothering artists and stealing their music until they tell me to go away.  So, from my perspective, I’m just waiting on The Teaching to put out another album.  And if you could keep it in 4/4 time, it’d really make my thievery a lot easier.

Q. How would you describe The Teaching’s sound to someone who’s never heard us before?

You know, it means such different things to me every time I experience it.  So I probably wouldn’t try to describe it, I would only insist that they experience it.  Especially people like me, that grew up listening to HipHop records, because when I look around the room at The Hang, the people that are most visibly excited are the kids with the backpacks and crooked caps.  Because to HipHop kids, The Teaching’s music is immediately accessible, in a way that a lot of other jazz music isn’t.  The particular ways you transition between movements, the use of silence to build anticipation, are techniques that we can see as almost “turntablistic.”  But, bottom line, I don’t want to get too into descriptions because Lord knows you’ll disprove me in just a couple bars.

Q. Share with The Teaching’s fans how your music may appeal to them or broaden their musical palette so to speak.

When I watch The Teaching perform, it’s always fun to hear the songs evolve and progress, as new ideas, melodies and rhythms are introduced.  I don’t feel like what I’m doing, at least in terms of the process, is very different from that.  I just tend to linger in those moments for a little longer.  And I think your fans probably appreciate that facet of your performances, so I suspect they would at least find my projects to be interesting.

But I think a good test would be to go buy a record by The Teaching and listen to it.  If at any time you find your head nodding uncontrollably to the beat, then I think it’s fair to say that you would enjoy my music.


More info about Spekulation, his up-coming shows, music, videos and much more can be found on his website at http://spekulationmusic.com

The Teaching Nominated for Inside Out Jazz Awards!

Dear Friends and Fans of The Teaching,

It’s my sincere pleasure to inform you that The Teaching was nominated in 3 categories for the Inside Out Jazz Awards put on by LUCID Jazz Lounge here in Seattle, WA. We are so pleased to be nominated and a part of this amazing new awards show. We will be presenting a special Hang performance at the end of the awards show in the lobby of Benaroya Hall this coming Monday, May 31st. Tickets are still available through LUCID or Benaroya Hall.

We also warmly welcome your vote of support for us in the following categories. You can vote up until May 31st:

Band of the Year
Most Dynamic Concert of the Year (LUCID 1 Year Anniversary Show)
Composition of The Year (Beautiful Brooklyn by Josh Rawlings)

Also Evan & Josh are nominated in the other following categories if you’d like to support their other works and projects:

Evan – Outstanding Instrumentalist of the Year
Josh & Evan – Straight Ahead Album of the Year (Unreal Reality – Industrial Revelation)

SHOW 8:00pm – 10:30pm
THE HANG 10:30pm – 12:00am

Price range $15-$35
Lucid 5241 University Ave. Seattle,WA
In person or through Benaroya Box Office

THE OFFICAL PRE AND POST PARTY will be hosted by the TripleDoor Musicquarium Lounge! Featuring Vocalist Alisha Roney. Before the show take advantage of Happy Hour from 4-6PM. After the show a food Happy Hour commences at 9 and goes until Midnight.http://www.thetripledoor.net/Calendar/Events/Musicquarium/Inside-Out-Jazz-Awards-Pre-and-Post-Party.aspx?date=2010-05-31

LOG ONTO http://www.lucidseattle.com/ to vote for your favorite Seattle Jazz Musician and for ticket information THROUGH MAY 31st!

100% of the proceeds from the evening will be going towards rebuilding in Haiti.http://www.strengththroughunity.org/

Inside Out Jazz Awards at Benaroya Hall

On Monday, May 31st, Lucid Jazz Lounge will present the first “Inside/Out Jazz Awards” at Benaroya Hall’s Mark Tapper Auditorium.

The I/O Awards night will consist of honoring musicians for being influential in the jazz community with hand-scultpted bronze awards. Award categories will range from, for example, the more common ‘Outstanding Instrumentals’, ‘Outstanding Album’, etc., and others will be more unique and personalized.

The event will also include numerous performances from Seattle musicians and performing artists. Such performances as a reprise of Evan Flory-Barnes’ Earshot Award winning “Acknowledgment of a Celebration”, a Miles Davis Tribute, LUCID Live Records’ first recording group the Reservoir Cats, Seattle jazz legends and upcoming artists alike. This eclectic, energetic night gaurantees a sold out night.

A very special ‘Hang’ jam will be hosted by The Teaching in the lobby of Benaroya after the Awards Show. The Teaching has become LUCID’s house band every Thursday night for the past year bringing the community together for The Hang. The Teaching also happens to be the rhythm section of The Reservoir Cats featured on stage that evening.


Tickets can also be purchased from the Benaroya Hall Box Office in person or online: http://www.seattlesymphony.org/

100% of this year’s show proceeds will be used toward the rebuilding work in Haiti supporting http://www.strengththroughunity.org/

The Formula of Influences

Here’s a really wonderful video formula of influences our bassist Evan Flory-Barnes sent to Jeremy and I yesterday and I’ve got to say – it’s spot on…what do you think?  We are all heavily influenced by these movers and shakers in the progression of music.  It’s a beautiful way to hear the continuum, the diversity, the shear beauty of music blossoming before your very ears. This is what we hope to effortlessly communicate in our group. Enjoy!
Bill Evans Trio – Interview & performance of Emily

Medeski, Martin & Wood – Think

Robert Glasper – Enoch’s (Inaugural) Meditation

Oscar Peterson Trio – Night Train

A Tribe Called Quest – Separate/Together

Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci

The Teaching

FLOW Recap

On Sunday, April 4th The Teaching took part in a sell-out performance of FLOW: An Evening of Music, Dance, and Visual Art at the Triple Door in Seattle, WA. For all of you who made it out that evening – Thank you so much! The night was a complete success on all parts. We had the pleasure of working with tap dancers Jessie Sawyers, Mark Mendonca, Travis Knights and theVAM Performance modern dance troop. The entire production was a thrill to be a part of and we learned a lot from working with the dancers. Seattle has an incredible artistic community and on Wednesday, April 7th we got to jam with many more talented local dancers and musicians at the Theatre Off Jackson. Special thanks to Jessie Sawyers for her tireless work in producing the entire FLOW series and bring real ‘flow’ in a fun and collaborative experience.

Enjoy the video clip below of us playing ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ by Average White Band with 22 tap dancers! (special guests Jason Parker on Trumpet & George Bullock on Guitar):

And here’s another video of us playing ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by the Beatles with Jessie, Mark & Travis:

And another video of us playing Evan’s tunes ‘Apex of A Beautiful Day’ with the tap dancers: