Thurs. February 20, 7 - 10 p.m.

Ellen Rowe Quartet

Featuring Andrew Rathbun

An intelligent composer, clever arranger, sensitive accompanist and lyrical soloist, pianist Ellen Rowe leads her quartet featuring tenor saxophonist Andrew Rathbun.

Note: This is a past event. For upcoming events, click here.

Ellen Rowe -

Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment in Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Ms. Rowe has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S., as well as touring in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and Australia. CDs out under her own name include “Sylvan Way”, “Wishing Well”, “Denali Pass” and “Courage Music.” Her latest project, “Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion”, featuring Ingrid Jensen, Tia Fuller, Marion Hayden and Allison Miller will be released in January 2019. Also active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne, Grieg Academy in Bergen and the Royal Academy of Music in London, in addition to many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country.

When not leading her own trio, quartet or quintet, she is in demand as a sideman, having performed with a wide variety of jazz artists including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton, Ingrid Jensen and Steve Turre. She was also a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio.

Andrew Rathbun -

Saxophonist, composer, bandleader and Toronto native Andrew Rathbun has achieved a rare depth of lyricism, authoritative swing and compositional intelligence in nearly 20 years as a recording artist. His work is rooted in modern jazz but also deeply informed by classical composition — his recordings have included adaptations of Ravel, Mompou and Glück, among others. He has written big band commissions for the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, the Metropole Orkest and other ensembles, and performed and composed commercial music for roughly 10 years as well.

Another of Rathbun’s inspirations is poetry: his recordings Jade and True Stories set to music the verse of Cathy Song and Margaret Atwood, respectively (both albums featured acclaimed Brazillian vocalist Luciana Souza). His 2002 release Sculptures featured trumpet legend and Toronto native Kenny Wheeler in a set that “cloak[s] subtle avant-garde proclivities in soft light and open air” (JazzTimes).

Rathbun has also tackled political subjects with his large-ensemble work “Power Politics Suite” and his 2007 quintet session Affairs of State. His other recordings of note are Renderings (duo with pianist George Colligan), Days Before and After (co-led with drummer Owen Howard), Shadow Forms (featuring George Garzone), Where We Are Now (featuring Billy Hart), The Idea of North and Numbers & Letters.

Rathbun earned a Masters in Performance from Boston’s New England Conservatory, where he studied with George Garzone, Jimmy Giuffre and George Russell. He became a fixture on the New York jazz scene during his years in Brooklyn, helping to shape the sound of the music in the new millennium as he earned a Doctorate in Jazz Arts from Manhattan School of Music. He is currently Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he lives with his family. He continues to perform in New York and internationally.

Club Event – Make a Reservation

With the goal of providing amazing hospitality with minimal rules, the Blue LLama Jazz Club doesn't have a mandatory cover charge when featuring local and regional artists. However, our mission is to bring the best talent to our community and you will see an optional cover line on the check. While it's not required, you're welcome to add the suggested amount per person to help us continue our mission of presenting amazing music five days a week on the Blue LLama stage.
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