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Symphony Series: All That Jazz

  • Cordiner Hall 46 South Park Street Walla Walla, WA, 99362 United States (map)

Symphony Series: All That Jazz

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7pm
Cordiner Hall

Clairdee, jazz vocalist
Ken Peplowski, clarinet
Greg Goebel, piano
Dave Captein, bass
Gary Hobbs, drums

An evening of Jazz and the American popular song, including "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" by George Gershwin, selections from "Sophisticated Ladies" by Duke Ellington, a medley of Benny Goodman songs, and more!

*Program is subject to change.


  • Our guest artists have performed nationally and internationally, and with other popular jazz artists including Mel Tormé, Etta James, Wynton Marsalis, and NEA Lifetime Achievement awardee Dick Hyman.
  • Clairdee is a teaching artist with the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music program.
  • Clarinetist Ken Peplowski is sometimes compared to Benny Goodman in tone and virtuosity.


“In the tradition of all great vocalists, Clairdee infuses her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself.” —Nancy Wilson

“In crowd pleasing form — a whole lot of interpretive brilliance.” —JazzTimes

“Among the most skilled, appealing singers. Fine songs, beautiful voice, great moves.” —San Francisco Examiner

Clairdee's silky, soulful style and scene-stealing charisma refreshes the American Songbook with state of the art arrangements that are equally smart and entertaining. In addition to leading her world-class touring band, Clairdee performs with symphony pops orchestras and big bands. Her lustrous voice has been featured in concerts with acclaimed instrumentalists including 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Boz Scaggs, Cyrus Chestnut, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, and her mentor, the late Billy Higgins. With her impressive ability to sing a variety of musical genres, Clairdee has opened for artists as diverse as David Sanborn, the Count Basie Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, and the late great Etta James.

With three highly praised albums to her credit, Clairdee’s newest recording, A Love Letter to Lena Horne, is currently in production and scheduled for release in early 2018 in support of her concerts celebrating the legendary singer, actress and activist.

At home and on the road, Clairdee is an inspiring and devoted educator sharing the joy of music with audiences, aspiring vocalists and children alike. A former vocal jazz instructor at UC Berkeley's Jazz Department and Diablo Valley College, she is a teaching artist with San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music children's program and an Advisory Committee member and active mentor in the Bay Area-based nonprofit Jazz in the Neighborhood mentoring program.

"My mission is to engage, uplift and build community through music,” Clairdee says, “by creating narrative that inspires beyond the stage.

Learn more about Clairdee at

Greg Goebel

From straight ahead jazz, funk and pop, to the avant-garde, Greg Goebel is considered one of the Northwest's first call pianists.  Praised by critics for "manifesting his ideas with the immediacy and sureness of a master craftsman" (Jazz Times) and as "a force that is stretching known boundaries and moving the music into new territory" (Larry Koonse), pianist Greg Goebel shows himself as firmly rooted in tradition while simultaneously proving to be a unique voice among a new generation.

Greg Goebel was born in Oregon and began playing piano and composing music from an early age. 

“Greg has personally done more to elevate the performance level of our students than any other person, graduate or undergraduate, who has attended the University of Oregon in at least the last fifteen years,” said the school upon his graduation. 

Greg then moved to Portland, OR where he quickly became one of the most in demand pianists in the area.

Goebel has recorded and toured extensively in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Japan.

Currently recording and touring with pop singer Gino Vannelli, his contributions can be heard on the CD, The Best and Beyond as well as the DVD, Live in L.A.

A longtime member of David Friesen's Circle 3 Trio, his most recent work can be heard on Friesen’s 2016 CD, Triple Exposure.

In 2013, Greg’s first album as a leader, Rainy City, was released to critical acclaim.

“Goebel deserves all the praise hereabouts. He’s a burner!" (George Fendell/JSO)

"Greg Goebel is one of about half a dozen pianists that are redefining the instrument, the literature and the useful purpose of the piano and doing it with the skills of a master."

5 Stars! (Brent Black/@CriticalJazz)

In addition to keeping a busy schedule in Portland, Goebel has had the pleasure of performing with notable musicians such as John Handy, Dick Oatts, Terrell Stafford, Larry Koonse, Houston Person, Byron Stripling, Pete Christlieb, Antonio Hart, Ben Wendel, Allison Miller and many others.

When not touring, Greg enjoys performing locally with a wide variety of artists and teaching motivated students of all experience levels.

Gary Hobbs

Drummer Gary Hobbs is a native of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Vancouver, WA. He has played professionally for over 4 decades and appears on over 60 recordings. Gary played with The Stan Kenton Orchestra from 1975 through 1977. Through the years Gary has played with Randy Brecker, Bud Shank, George Cables, Ken Peplowski, Pete Christlieb, Greta Matassa, Anita O'Day, Dan Siegel, Glen Moore, The New York Voices, Eddie Harris and many more. Randy Brecker, Bill Mays, Kurt Elling, Dave Frishberg, David Freisen, Bobby Shew, Bobby Watson, Bob Florence, Carl Saunders, The Woody Herman Orchestra,Terry Gibbs, Jaquie Naylor, Jim Widner Big Band, Stan Kenton Alumni Big Band and Tom Grant are just a few of the artists that Gary has recently performed with.

Carnagie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Tivoli Garden, Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap are among the venues Gary has played along with scores of festivals and clubs all over the world. Gary is very active in Jazz Education teaching at The University Of Oregon and traveling all over the US doing clinics, concerts and jazz camps with the help of Crescent Cymbal Company and Yamaha Drum Company.

Earlier Event: November 5
Special Event: Jazz It Up
Later Event: December 1
Symphony Series: Handel's Messiah