Don’t miss the Kuuskmann-Taylor Project!

Published on Thu, Feb 9, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Don’t miss the
Kuuskmann-Taylor Project!

By Jack Kintner

“We want you to wear jeans and bring the kids,” said bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, a noted soloist in venues around the world as well as a popular and entertaining performer here in Blaine, his hometown.
Kuuskmann and New York bass trombonist David Taylor will perform on the stage of Blaine school district’s performing arts center (PAC) next weekend as the Taylor-Kuuskmann Project in what looks to be a lively and perhaps unpredictable concert.

The performance, sponsored by the Pacific Arts Association, is scheduled for Saturday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. and lasts “about an hour and 40 minutes, with one break,” said Kuuskmann. Admission is $20, $25 with reserved seats, and $10 for seniors and students.
Taylor and Kuuskmann are bringing a variety of pieces to the concert that were either written for them or arranged by them to be played with their unusual combination of instruments.

For example, the contemporary Austrian composer Franz Hackl, who grew up in the Tyrolean Alps building brass instruments with his father, has written a piece for the duo that involves “a lot of improvising over the top of a cd of the soundtrack Hackl wrote for us,” said Kuuskmann.

Other works for the concert have been written by Daniel Schnyder, who taught at last summer’s Blaine Jazz Festival, and New York composer Randall Woolf, whose composition sounds a lot like a blues piece. “Gradual Doses” by Gene Pritsker was written in three connected movements, two of which will be played for the first time in public.

The piece includes the sound of throat singers from Tuva, a remote village in Siberia, a kind of primitive vocalization that focuses the sound deep in the chest.

Taylor, 61, is a Grammy Award-winning bass trombonist who is well-known for his exuberant, edgy performances. He’s performed over his long career with just about every well-known jazz musician there is, a list that includes Barbara Streisand, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Aretha Franklin.

Taylor has won the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Most Valuable Player Award for five consecutive years, and has been awarded the NARAS Most Valuable Player Virtuoso Award, an honor accorded no other bass trombonist.

Bob Boule, president of the Pacific Arts Association, said that the brochures are out now for the new season and can also be seen at “It’s not too early to register for the summer jazz festival next July,” Boule said. The annual summer experience runs from July 9 – 15.

Tickets for this and all PAA events are available online at, or Blaine at Pacific Building Center, Smugglers’ Inn, Semiahmoo Resort gift shop, Steamers and the Visitors Center, and in Bellingham at Village Books in Fairhaven.
For credit card orders, phone 332-6484. More information is available at 332-1749.