THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra trims down to 10 for Earshot Jazz's Art of Jazz series at SAM. Baritone saxophonist Bill Ramsay steps to the fore in this tribute to one of the avatars of cool jazz, the great saxophonist, arranger, and composer Gerry Mulligan. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St, 547-6763, 5:30 pm, free with $7 museum admission.
Art openings are the worst place to encounter art, however Dave Knott's VERAStrung retrospective is a likely exception. Knott intends his stringboards, metal strings stretched across various hunks and slabs of wood, to be plucked by anyone. Listen for murmuring crowd ambiance infused with gloriously cacophonous twanging. Through Mon Oct 3. VERA Project, 1916 Fourth Ave, 956-8372, 7 pm, free.
WOODEN OCTOPUS SKULL EXPERIMENTAL MUSICK PFESTIVAL
Lurking behind every micro-, mini-, and major festival of experimental music that has transpired in Seattle since the 1970s is the question, Will anyone show up? With a solid lineup—every night boasts at least one sure-fire act—I sure hope so. Through Sun Sept 11. Various venues, 545-2800, various times, $8–$12.
LEHN & SCHMICKLER
Back in 2001, German improviser Thomas Lehn, touring with the all-star trio Konk Pack, wowed the crowd at Sit 'N' Spin with splats and splinters generated by his VCS3, a classic analog synth. Lehn teams up with Marcus Schmickler, another acclaimed electronicist. Recommended. Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave at E Union St, 322-1533, 8 pm, $5–$15 sliding-scale donation.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10
There is no better place than Opening Night to observe the quiet class-consciousness of classical music at play. The well dressed eye the better dressed; upper-tier ticket holders sift through the intermission crowds into unoccupied or abandoned orchestra-floor seats; and the scenesters twitch, re-read the program notes, and check their watches wondering where all the greatness is. It's usually there, but somewhat hard to find on this program of potboilers (the 1812 Overture, Borodin's Polovstian Dances, etc.) that features a beloved but bygone star (Van Cliburn playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1). Tickets for the 5:30 pm gala start at $375; $5,000 gets you a dinner with Maestro Schwarz. Benaroya Hall, Third Ave and Union St, 215-4747, 7 pm, $35–$85.
A product of the jazz program at Roosevelt High School, the 23-year-old Gazarek more than held her own in heavy company (Diane Schuur, Oleta Adams, and Karrin Allyson) at the recent Concord Jazz Festival. Her discreet bravado, agile voice, and sassy phrasing mark her as one to watch. Also Sun Sept 11 at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, $20.50.
Ex-Stinkhorn saxophonist Michael Monhart and guitarist Brian Heaney front a quartet named after the classic Coltrane LP. Expect hard-blowing, fierce free jazz. Mr. Spots Chai House, 5463 Leary Way, 297-2424, 8 pm, free.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13
NEW BOP BRIGADE
This post-bop quintet livens up one of Seattle's most atmospheric jazz clubs. Patti Summers Cabaret, First Ave and Pike St, 621-8555, 8 pm, free.