Friends of Brubeck to return to OTA

SEQUIM — Tickets are available now for performances by the jazz ensemble Friends of Brubeck this Saturday and Sunday.

The shows will be at the Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., on the main stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Reserved seating tickets are $20 each.

They are available online at olympictheatrearts.org/OTA/, at the theater box office, or at the door, if available.

The box office is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The phone number is 360-683-7326.

Performing will be pianist and bandleader Linda Dowdell with Craig Buhler on reeds, Ted Enderle on bass and Terry Smith on drums. Joining them again, this year from New York City, will be vocalist Elinore O’Connell.

O’Connell is again bringing her Broadway voice (“Les Miserables,” “Ragtime”) to Sequim not only to perform, but also to teach North Olympic Peninsula youth in OTA’s Musical Theatre Intensive for Teens.

Dowdell, a pianist, arranger and bandleader, has an affinity for Dave Brubeck’s blend of classical and improvisational jazz elements, she has said. She has performed with the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma and Elaine Stritch.

She is also known as the composer/lyricist of the hit family musical “Strictly No Elephants,” produced at OTA last September, as well as the original holiday musical “Spirit of the Yule,” which will return to Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend this December for its third season.

Saxophonist Buhler counts Paul Desmond, Brubeck’s long-time musical partner, as one of his influences. Buhler has spent decades trying to “get inside Desmond’s head” while incorporating Desmond’s subtle sound and melodic dexterity into his own distinctive lines.

Ace bassist Enderle and Smith on drums complete the quartet.

The performance will include Brubeck classics (“Take Five,” “Blue Rondo à la Turk”) along with Dowdell arrangements “that yield playful Brubeckian results,” the news release said.

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