The Cascade Jazz Trio provides a creative blend of standard, modern and original jazz, served up with energy and elegance. From swing and latin classics to more progressive works by Monk and Coltrane, the trio always looks to create new environments for group improvisation. Keyboards and reeds, acoustic and electric bass, and a variety of drums and percussion effects give the group a wide range of sounds and textures, making it both interesting and fun to listen to.
About the Cascade Jazz Trio
The trio has performed since 2001 in the Seattle area, in a wide variety of venues, from festivals to clubs to private events. Their premier CD release, “Valley Breezes”, contains all-original jazz including the Snoqualmie Suite, a jazz interpretation of the sounds and moods of the Snoqualmie Valley. The members bring extensive experience in many different musical genres to bear, including jazz and popular music, Indian and African cultural genres, and European classical traditions.
John Chmaj - keyboards, flute, saxophone, vocals, percussion
John Chmaj (pronounced “Shmay”) has been performing professionally for the past 25 years, including the past 9 in the Seattle area. John received his B.M. in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music, and his M.M. at the New England Conservatory, where he has been on the faculty of graduate and undergraduate theory. He has lectured and performed in both Europe and America, and has over 200 original musical compositions to his credit. He plays a variety of instruments and composes regularly for the group. He and his family of 4 children reside in Sammamish, Washington.
Court Crawford - acoustic and electric bass
Court Crawford has been playing professionally since 1984 throughout the Northwest and the San Francisco Bay Area, including stints with Barbara Donald and Unity, Jeffery Morgan, Heliotroupe, Angelsong, and the Mud Bay Jugglers. He has composed several film scores and played in dozens of pit orchestras for Broadway shows. In 1986 he co-founded and played with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra. He has studied music with Glenn Moore, Chuck Metcalf, Milt Hinton, Rick Laird, and Bert Wilson. He lives in Bellevue, Washington.
Brian Gmerek - drums, percussion
Brian's musical experience ranges from big band jazz to Top 40 to Christian rock, quaint acoustic settings to university stadiums – and now, jazz in the trio form. Brian’s use of electronic ‘virtual drums’ allows him to include percussion elements from a variety of musical genres, from timpani to tabla to timbales. When not performing with the CJT, Brian is a Doctor of Pharmacy, multi-business owner, father to two fabulously wonderful girls and the perfect spouse to a beautiful and most-understanding wife. Brian and his family reside in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in North Bend, Washington.