Alexey Nikolaev solos in the 2015 Jazz Walk. This year’s he’s back, with two Student Supergroups: the Max Cannella Trio and the George Fremont Trio. File Photo

Back to the jazz: North Bend Jazz Walk returns Saturday with new space, new performers and old favorites

For its sixth annual North Bend Jazz Walk coming up this Saturday, event organizer Jazz Clubs NW is planning its combination of traditional favorites, such as the Danny Kolke Trio, Paul Green, Kelly Eisenhour and the high school showcase, combined with hot new performers like Johnaye Kendrick and the Greg Ruby Group, plus, this year, a new footprint, both at the headquarters for live jazz year-round in North Bend, at Piccola Cellars and for the overall event.

Gregory Malcolm, the Jazz Clubs NW Executive Director, is looking forward to introducing Kendrick to North Bend. “She was very popular at the Tacoma Jazz Walk, and this is her first time here,” he said.

But he’s most excited about a venue, basically, his organization’s venue.

“We have built essentially a stellar performance area in Piccola Cellars,” said Jazz Clubs NW Executive Directory Gregory Malcolm, “so if you haven’t been there in the past month, you will be amazed.”

Piccola Cellars, located in the old North Bend fire hall on W Second Street, became the home for Jazz Clubs NW a year ago, when Boxley’s Place closed last April. The non-profit Jazz Clubs NW, dedicated to bringing live music into the city, had been focused on performances in Boxley’s (now Brickyard Brewing) but moved its performance schedule to the fire hall, where, through a partnership with the winery and the city, the organization began working on creating a live music venue.

Piccola Cellars will host Pete Christlieb and Bill Ramsay with the Danny Kolke Trio at 6 p.m., and a jam session for pros and amateurs alike, to close out the night.

It will also be one of the few venues that isn’t directly on North Bend Way this year.

The event’s footprint was tightened up intentionally Malcolm said, “to make it a more intimate dynamic… There’s hardly any venue that you can’t at least see from another venue.”

Eliminating some of the outlying venues will give Jazz Walkers shorter distances to walk, plus, Malcolm said, some of the businesses who volunteered to not participate in the Jazz Walk were looking forward to actually attending the event this year. Other businesses opted out in favor of being a host site for the Blues Walk in September.

Officially, the Jazz Walk starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, but one of the main events of the night actually gets going a little earlier. It’s the high school big band performances, starting at 5 p.m. at the North Bend Theatre. Four area high schools’ jazz bands will be featured, starting at 5 p.m. with Mount Si High School’s Jazz I and II bands. At 6:15 p.m., Newport High School takes the stage, then Bellevue at 7:30 p.m. and Mercer Island at 8:45 p.m.

For details on each band, visit the Mount Si Bands, Newport Bands, Bellevue Bands and Mercer Island Bands Web pages.

The evening continues with shows at 6 p.m. at the Sno Valley Moose Lodge, Pioneer Coffee, Piccola Cellars, Georgia’s Bakery and Valley Center Stage; at 7 p.m. at Wildflower Wine Shop, Birches Habitat, Umpqua Bank, Twede’s Cafe, Chang Thai and Chaplin’s; and at 9 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, Pioneer Coffee, Il Paesano, Piccola Cellars, Valley Center Stage and Brickyard Brewing.

Tickets are $25 in advance at http://www.northbendjazzwalk.com, or $30 at the door. One ticket allows you access to all venues. Pick up tickets and merchandise at Umpqua Bank.

The Greg Ruby Group plays in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Quintet du Hot Club de France. Courtesy Photo

Songstress Kelly Eisenhour performs 9 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Coffee. File Photo

Johnaye Kendrick debuts in North Bend Saturday after a successful showing at the Tacoma Jazz Walk. She performs with Chris Symer, 7 p.m. at Wildflower Wine Shop. Courtesy Photo

Bill Ramsay plays in the 2015 Jazz Walk. He takes the stage 6 p.m. Saturday at Piccola Cellars, with Pete Christlieb and the Danny Kolke Trio. File Photo

Janette West takes the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday at Twede’s Cafe. File Photo

Singer Aria Prame returns to the Jazz Walk this year, and to Georgia’s Bakery, 6 p.m. Saturday. File Photo

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