In no particular order, these are some of my favorite musicians. Some of them are internationally famous, some not, but all worth your while.

Jay Clayton – trailblazing vocalist from the New York loft scene, Jay is an internationally acclaimed performer, teacher, and author.

Meredith d’Ambrosio – an intimate yet swinging vocalist, clever lyricist, and accomplished painter.

Jackie Ryan – a wonderfully personal and expressive vocalist from the Bay area whose last two CDs have hit #1 nationwide. I love working with Jackie!

Greta Matassa – having modeled her craft after Ella, Sarah, Billie, Dinah, and others, this dynamic Northwest vocalist with an encyclopedic repertoire has arrived at her own impressive style.

Gail Pettis – look for a new CD from Gail in 2006. She’s one of the most authentic and beautiful voices in jazz today.

Susan Pascal – certainly one of the premiere vibraphonists in the Pacific Northwest.

Mimi Fox – a dynamic guitarist/composer from the Bay Area, Mimi has blended her rhythm and blues roots with a fresh jazz spontaneity. She’s a riveting performer.

Katy Bourne – a hard-swinging Seattle vocalist who really embodies the joy of singing. If you can listen to her scat without a smile on your face, better check your pulse.

Kendra Shank – from Seattle, Kendra now divides her time between New York and Paris.

Rebecca Parris – I always enjoy working with this Boston-based singer. She’s the real deal. She swings like mad, scats up a storm, sells every lyric, and is a great entertainer.

Jeff Johnson – a bassist with some of the biggest “ears” in the business. Check out his own recordings, as well as his wonderful playing on my recordings  Parallel Tracks and Flash Point.

Randy Porter – one of my all-time favorite pianists, both in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide.

Gary Hobbs – also from Portland, Gary is a total musician. He’d make great music no matter what instrument he happened to play. His new album Of My Times is wonderful, as is his work on Parallel Tracks.

Bill Evans – this is the one pianist whose music I’d take with me to a desert island.

Chick Corea – one of my all-time favorites.

Jessica Williams – an incredible pianist (with the most impressive website I’ve ever seen!)

George Cables – a world-class pianist who annually shares his music and wisdom at Jazz Port Townsend.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba – a heart-stopping Cuban jazz pianist.

Kenny Werner – a uniquely personal musician, this jazz pianist is the author of a great book about performance psychology called Effortless Mastery.

Lynne Arriale – this pianist has one of the most striking senses of touch I’ve ever heard. Her ballads are riveting.

Brad Mehldau – one of the most profound and sophisticated modern-day jazz pianists.

Alan Broadbent – an unsung giant of jazz piano.

Bill Charlap – another gem of a pianist who may be unfamiliar to you.


While I would love it if everyone in the world bought my book, there are many other valuable resources available to the aspiring jazz musician. Here are some of them.

Mitchell Fielder – here you’ll find a great article about college application essays in the modern and digital age – essential reading for today’s college applicants!

Jeff Gardner – a fabulous jazz pianist, Jeff is the author of one of the finest books I’ve found for the advanced player. It’s called Jazz Piano: Creative Concepts and Techniques. Pricey at $70, but worth every penny.

Miles Black – the great Canadian pianist offers free online instruction.

Marc Sabatella – the author of an online jazz book called A Jazz Improvisation Primer.

Darius Brotman – the author of a site called The Jazz Piano Studyletter. You’ll find some interesting articles there on voicings, time, and the improvised line.

Scot Ranney – the creator of a site called that offers free online instruction. – the name says it all!

Sher Music – the publisher of my book, Metaphors for the Musician, Mark Levine’s The Jazz Piano Book and The Jazz Theory Book, and the various Real Books.

Keyboard Magazine – lots of tech-talk about electronic gear, but also some instructional articles.

Drum Lessons Database – a huge collection of online drum lessons for all styles, including Latin and swing. Fabulous site of interest to all musicians, not just drummers.

Jamey Aebersold – the premier source for “minus-one” play-along recordings.

Len Lyons – author of a fascinating book consisting entirely of interviews with great jazz pianists from Teddy Wilson through Cecil Taylor, called (for some odd reason) The Great Jazz Pianists.

Ted Rosenthal – jazz pianist and author of a concise and articulate essay called How Jazz Pianists Practice.

Cornish College of the Arts – a very special school in Seattle where your artistic spirit can blossom. I’ve taught there since 1983!

Jazz Port Townsend – for those of you in the Northwest (or those willing to hop a plane), this is a great opportunity to learn jazz from the masters during the last week in July. – a good source for info about new CD’s and books.

Steven Nachmanovitch – the author of a wonderful little book called Free Play about restoring the concept of play to the making of music and art in general.

Jim Wilke – Seattle’s premier jazz radio deejay, host of NPR’s Jazz After Hours and KPLU’s Jazz Northwest, is a priceless educational resource. Check out his great links page, from which I appropriated the rest of these educational links.

All Music Guide – A truly amazing and most useful site. This is an electronic version of the excellent reference books of the same name and a wonderful cross referenced collection that’ll help you find that tune and the artist who played or sang it.

Jazz Corner – a growing site which includes biographical material and news about more than 50 active musicians who have their home pages here with more being added all the time. Click on “Recording Studio”.

Music Production Schools – a great site for all things jazz: the history, the musicians, the sounds, and a nice reading list.

Bird Lives – one of the most unusual and controversial jazz sites on the web. Check out the weekly “diatribes.”

The Contemporary List of Jazz Links – If you can’t find what you’re looking for anyplace else, go here. There are more than 1300 links to artists, labels, festivals, education, radio, ‘zines and more!

Odd Music – here you can learn about and even listen to exotic music instruments


Jazz venues come and go all the time, but here are a few clubs in the Seattle/Tacoma area that have endured.

Tula’s – home base for the Seattle jazz scene.

The New Orleans Creole Restaurant – authentic jazz in an unpretentious locale.

Jazz Alley – bringing international jazz talent to the Northwest for over three decades.

The Triple Door – this lavish club has a 9-foot Steinway and a music room which is nowhere near the bar. (i.e., you can actually hear the music!). Jazz comprises only a small fraction of the Triple Door’s entertainment program.


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