Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paul Tillotson Trio to jazz up festival

Trio makes debut at Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree

Express Staff Writer

Paul Tillotson, of the Paul Tillotson Trio, is the life of the party. Photo by Willy Cook

Paul Tillotson and his band the Paul Tillotson Trio are one of Sun Valley Resort's most beloved performers. The trio has spent many winters entertaining the apres-ski crowd at the Sun Valley Resort Duchin Room. When not in Sun Valley, Tillotson, a Boise native, lives in New York City where he plays jazz clubs throughout Manhattan.

This summer Tillotson stayed mostly in Sun Valley with his newborn Charlotte Rose. He played a variety of venues including Jazz in the Park at Rotary Park, Sego and Cosi restaurants in Ketchum and a show with the Paul Tillotson Love Trio at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

After much anticipation, the Paul Tillotson Trio, Tillotson, Josh Kelly and Jeff Rew will finally make their Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree debut this week, playing a variety of venues in Sun Valley.

"For 13 years people have asked me about being at the jazz festival," Tillotson said. "It's important to spread the music to a younger crowd.

"There are so many choices for entertainment. Listening to music can take a lot of effort for many people. Jazz takes effort."

Tillotson said his trio with Rew and Kelly is "homegrown." He has recorded seven CDs, which include recording with his trio, solo and with the Paul Tillotson Love Trio, which includes musicians James Wormworth and Mike Merritt.

Tillotson said learning jazz is similar to learning a language in that one needs to listen to phrases repeatedly. He has spent countless hours listening to jazz music.

"The great jazz musicians never wasted any notes," he said. "They demand people's attention. It's what I strive to do. It's beautiful, and it turns me on."

He said that jazz music from the 1920s and '40s is great music, and it gets down into his bones.

Tillotson said he caught the tail end of the New York City old masters jazz scene, which he said he was very fortunate to know. There are few jazz clubs left, but the music does continue at venues such as the Blue Note. He said he was also very fortunate to take part in the 95th birthday party of the late Frank Manning, a Lindy hop master, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. He played with his trio in front of 2,000 Lindy hop dancers.

"I paid my dues in the New York City jazz music scene," Tillotson said. "When I call my friends to come to Sun Valley, they come."

Tillotson has started his own scholarship program, the Paul Tillotson Music Scholarship, at Borah High School in Boise, his alma mater, where he gives a music student $1,000.

"I play a concert at Borah High School every year for the scholarship," he said. "We didn't have an auditorium when I attended. It's an opportunity to interact."

Expect fun times with the Paul Tillotson Trio at this week's jazz festival as well as at upcoming gigs this winter in Sun Valley.

"I want to say thanks to everyone who supports what we do," Tillotson said.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

Paul Tillotson Trio schedule

 Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 5 p.m. at the Sun Valley Lodge Sun Room and 7 p.m. at the Sun Valley Indoor Ice Rink.

 Thursday, Oct. 14, at 12:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Inn Continental Room and 5 p.m. at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge.

 Friday, Oct. 15, 12:30 p.m. Paul Tillotson at Sun Valley Lodge Dining Room for "Pianorama" and 6:30 p.m. at River Run Lodge.

Saturday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. at Sun Valley Lodge Sun Room, 2 p.m. at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge and 5 p.m. at the Sun Valley Lodge Duchin Room.

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