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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.

Presented in collaboration with


  • 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

Ken Peplowski

“Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist.”  -Russell Davies, BBC2 August 2013

Ken Peplowski has recorded approximately 50 CDs as a soloist, and close to 400 as a sideman. Some of the artists he has performed/recorded with include Charlie Byrd, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, Hank Jones, Peggy Lee, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, Benny Goodman, and Madonna. He travels at least half of every year, playing clubs, concert halls, colleges, and pops concerts. He has headlined the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club amongst many other venues. Ken’s CDs on the Capri label, “Noir Blue”, “In Search Of”, and “Maybe September” were released to great critical acclaim and massive airplay. He has recorded music as diverse as Italian and French folk songs, avant-garde jazz, pop, and classical music; he recorded the Darius Milhaud Clarinet Concerto with an orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was a featured soloist (playing Mozart) in 2015 at the Siletz Bay Music Festival in Oregon, where he will be premiering a new concerto in 2016, written for him by Dick Hyman. Ken was the musical director of the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM) for eight years, and is a longtime performer/consultant to The Jazz Cruise, where he was elected into the Jazz Cruise Hall Of Fame in 2013.

In 2014, Ken was the recipient of the Sarasota Jazz Festival’s “Satchmo” award, given to him for his “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz”; in March, Ken was also the guest of honor at a “Highlights In Jazz” concert in NYC saluting him for “his matchless musical achievements”. He was also the 2015 recipient of HotHouse Magazine’s “Fans’ Decision Jazz Award” on clarinet.

Ken Peplowski is a Buffet-Crampon artist, and plays the R-13 clarinet with a Portnoy mouthpiece and Van Doren German-cut reeds. He also plays a Yamaha tenor sax and a Berg Larsen mouthpiece. He resides in New York City with his wife, dog, and whatever children happen to be passing through.

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.

Dave Captein

Dave Captein is an accomplished performer on both string bass and bass guitar, having worked as a professional musician for over 40 years in the Pacific Northwest. A Portland native, he studied with Alice Leyden (Portland Opera Orchestra), Herman Jobelmann (Principal, Oregon Symphony), Ring Warner, James Harnett (Principal, Seattle Symphony) and Chuck Deardorf (Seattle Jazz Bassist). He has attended master classes of greats like Ray Brown, Edgar Meyer, John Clayton, Christian McBride and Dave Holland. A music graduate of Western Washington University and the University of Washington, where he was awarded a composition scholarship, Dave has performed in a broad range of situations, from symphonic performances to studio and club work, as well as many jazz concerts and festivals around the country and in Europe.

He has worked with many well-known jazz artists. He freelances in the Portland area, and is a very active member of the music community there, frequently appearing in the city's many clubs and concert venues, as well as recording studios. He is a favorite choice for the region's many bandleaders and always in demand for his solid sound, time and feel, as well as his soloing abilities. He has played on numerous local artists' CD's, as well as nationally distributed releases by Tom Grant and Jessica Williams. He was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall Of Fame in 2015. He has also been a long time instructor, having taught at the University of Oregon for 10 years, he now teaches privately from his home in S.E. Portland and at Lewis and Clark College.

He has appeared with many "greats" such as Mose Allison, Richie Cole, Tal Farlow, Art Lande, Red Holloway, Ernestine Anderson, Jack Sheldon, Nu Shooz, Marlena Shaw, Frankie Avalon, Jeff Clayton, Paul McCandless, Larry Coryell, Andy Narell, Jerry Hahn, Dave Frishberg, Randy Brecker, Steve Million, Ron Miles, Rick Braun, Kenny Drew Jr., Jessica Williams (appearing on 10 of her CD's), Joey De Francesco, Eric Alexander, Pete Christlieb, Gary Smulyan, Ron Eschete, Bud Shank, Ingrid Jensen, Jackie Naylor, Bobby Shew, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Steve Allen and Paul Smith, Bill Mays, Jeff Lorber, Benny Green, Lewis Nash, Terrell Stafford, Mike Wofford, Jeff Hamilton, Donny McCaslin and local luminaries such as Ron Steen, Mel Brown, Dan Balmer, Gary Hobbs and Rebecca Kilgore.

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