Mt. Bachelor Riverhouse Jazz isn't merely bringing incredible artists to the Central Oregon music scene, they're packing some of the finest jazz artists on the planet into the series. As part of the seven-month-long series, January sees the arrival of the Tierney Sutton Band, yet another groundbreaking jazz ensemble.
With a dozen albums, Tierney Sutton has been making jazz music for over 20 years.
A musical career wasn't Sutton's initial focus, though. "I really wasn't thinking it would be my career until I discovered jazz in my late teens," says Sutton. "I was going to school and got a degree in Russian language and literature. I always loved music, but I didn't write music and I wasn't interested in doing cover songs, Broadway or classical. When I found jazz, it was something that was creative and my own, but it wasn't necessarily compositional like singer/songwriters and all of that."
Never one to be boxed in, Sutton found following her own muse to be the thing that drove her into the arms of jazz music. When asked what pulled her in, she replied instantly: "The improvisational aspect. There wasn't one version of a song or one arrangement that you got stuck trying to copy. Also, the complexity of the harmony, the richness. There was a depth and a sadness to it that I really like."
For the new record, "The Sting Variations," the Tierney Sutton Band has received its seventh consecutive Grammy nomination, this time in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. The album is by far their most complex yet, with some astounding interpretations of Sting classics. Even after so many nominations, Sutton is still honored by the recognition. "It's a really nice thing to think that your peers think about you," says Sutton. "It's always a great honor and a great thing, but it's not nearly as satisfying as making the music. When we got nominated for the first one (and even the second one to now) my prevailing thought was always 'Well, maybe I'll get to do another record now.'"
Tierney Sutton Band
Friday, Jan. 13 & Saturday, Jan. 14, 6:30pm
Currents at the Riverhouse, 3075 N Hwy 97, Bend