Local musician dishes out jazz-free music

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paul Kemmish
By Cindy Tien

Bassist, conductor, and composer, Paul Kemmish brings a mixture of sax-jazz to the stage in a collaborated Big Band called PK and What Army?

Simply stated, PK and What Army consists of Paul Kemmish, and whomever he collaborates at the time. Initially founded in 2001 for Kemmish to promote his collaborations and compositions with other Seattle artists, PK decided to widen and open his idea to include 25-30 other band members. Rehearsals are rare, as much of the music is given to structure itself as it proceeds.

Paul Kemmish
Paul Kemmish grew up in Shoreline attending Shorewood High School, class of ’88. He still keeps in touch with his first band mates, and has reconnected with old classmates through his Facebook fan page. Kemmish plays in a band with Shorewood alumni Byron Vannoy (drums, MetriLodic), and for years with a band called Dasrut, with another alumni drummer, Davis Martin.

Rockin Teenage Combo was Kemmel’s first popular band in Seattle, which celebrated its 15-year anniversary in August.

Besides playing with PK and What Army? Kemmish also has been working on a solo upright bass concept. His own musical talents and playing is based on the elements of "gestures, glances, and asides." Kemmish’s music explores a mixture of intensity levels, volume, and dynamic control, in which the magic of his music can be felt through the audience and on stage.

“You don’t need eyes to make music, sometimes we make better musical decisions when we’re not burdened with out visual cues, then you make decisions based on what you see, not on what you hear” PK stated. 

PK and What Army? is influenced by Mingus, Coltrane, Sun Ra, William, and Peter Brotzman to name a few. Performing sporadically around Seattle, experience some of PK and What Army’s finest in free jazz with their upcoming gigs, listed below. This past year Kemmish finished a two-year world tour with Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam.

Current collaborations:

  • Kemmish joined Harmonica Poket, a children’s group in which he performs with them on doublebass. You can find him in all three of their CDs, and their next performance on February 25, 2012.
  • Eric MetriLodic is a forward-thinking and all-improvised groove that features Barber on the sax, synth, and iPad. Byron Vannoy on drums, and Kemmish on electric bass. Several videos from recent shows can be found on YouTube.
  • Figeater is a time-based performance ensemble led by Beth Fleenor. Vocals and woodwinds by Fleenor, Jeff Huston on guitor, Tom Zgonc on drums, and Kemmish on doublebass.

Upcoming shows include:

  • THU 12/22 w/Jessica Lurie at Shadowland 4458 California Ave SW 8pm 21 and over 
  • THU 12/15 w/Eric Barber's MetriLodic at The Mars Bar 609 Eastlake Ave E 9pm 21 and over
  • SAT 12/24 w/Beth Fleenor at Alhambra 1st and Pine 1-5pm All-ages
  • SAT 12/24 w/Samantha Boshnak at The Seamonster 2202 NE 45th St 10pm 21 and over 
  • SUN 12/25 X-mas Jam w/Olli Klomp and others at The Shipwreck 4210 SW Admiral Wy 8pm 21 and over
  • THU 1/12 PK and What Army? at The Seamonster 2202 NE 45th St 8pm 21 and over 


Susan Will December 14, 2011 at 11:44 PM  

Headline is confusing. Jazz-free music, as in music without Jazz? Or is it free Jazz music? Guessing it's the second. (I was actually intrigued to find out what it was when I thought it was the first!) Those dang hyphens just don't work well as dashes in some instances.

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