The innovative trombonist/composer has played with a hall-of-fame litany of jazz greats.
The innovative trombonist/composer has played with a hall-of-fame litany of jazz greats since the early '50s. Dave Segal

In any other civilized nation that genuinely values its citizens' welfare, Dr. Julian Priester would not need another benefit concert—the last one was in 2014— to help pay for daunting medical bills. But this is America, where a legendary jazz trombonist and retired music professor (Cornish College, 1979-2011) in his 82nd year periodically needs to rely on the generosity of friends and strangers to afford necessities like healthcare. Because decades of world-class cultural achievement that unjustly has occurred on the margins of public consciousness don't count for squat in this great nation, where Republicans tirelessly scheme—even as I type—to weaken our already inadequate, callous system.

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Thankfully, the Royal Room is hosting a fundraising show on Wednesday December 13 to help Priester. The venerable avant-gardist's own group, Priester's Cue, is joined by Bandalabra Trio (saxophonist Skerik, with Industrial Revelation bassist Evan Flory-Barnes and drummer and D'Vonne Lewis).

Best known for his tenure with Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi ensemble and for his classic 1974 fusion album for ECM, Love, Love (discussed in detail in this 2015 Stranger blog post), Priester also has played with a hall of fame's worth of bandleaders, including John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters. He is also the only human to have recorded for Sun Ra and Sunn O))). Priester is a global treasure who merits our unstinting support.

UPDATE: If you can't attend the performance, you can also donate to the cause here.

More info and press release below. You can purchase tickets here.

The Royal Room
Helping Hand: A night of fundraising for Jazz legend
Dr. Julian Priester

Wednesday December 13, 2017
7:30pm | Doors at 6:30pm
7:30 Bandalabra Trio
9:00 Priester's Cue
Tickets: $20 adv/$25 dos/ $10 students (door only w ID)

Join us for a night of live music along with a chance to honor & help jazz legend, Dr. Julian Priester. The musicians are donating their time, energy and talent. All proceeds will go towards helping Priester with his mounting medical bills.

Priester’s Cue is the primary vehicle for compositions and performances featuring trombonist and jazz legend Dr. Julian Priester. Comprised of four of the Northwest’s most dynamic Jazz instrumentalists – Dawn Clement (piano), Geoff Harper (bass), and Byron Vannoy (drums) – Priester’s Cue is reshaping the sound of Jazz and setting a new standard for music in the 21st century.

Bandalabra Trio includes Skerik (sax), Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), and D'Vonne Lewis (drums).

Julian Priester grew up in Chicago, where he played with many established artists including Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Sonny Stitt. He joined the renowned Sun Ra Arkestra while still in his teens, and in 1956 toured with Lionel Hampton and Dinah Washington. In New York, he worked in Max Roach’s band, and became a first-call trombone player for session work with many jazz greats, among them John Coltrane (including on the Africa/Brass Sessions), Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, and Abbey Lincoln. Starting in the late 1960s, he toured with Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock, and later played with Sun Ra again, as well as Dave Holland, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and Lester Bowie’s New York Organ Ensemble.

In 1979, Dr. Priester settled in Seattle and joined the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts. He enjoyed teaching, skillfully shaping & enriching the jazz community in Seattle through his employment there until 2011.