Pianist Emmet Cohen has a passion for music, and still in his late 20s, he’s only begun to share that passion with audiences and fellow musicians. That love shone brightly in the KNKX studios as Cohen led his trio through a brief set of songs previewing his Earshot Jazz Festival concert that night.
We talked about how a love of music naturally becomes a desire to share that magical feeling it gives you. As a music fan, the mixtape is a time-tested way of letting someone know who you are and how you feel from a collection of songs. Performing on stage is, of course, on another level entirely.
Both of his longtime musical teammates were given ample time to exhibit their skills. Bassist Yasushi Nakamura worked with Cohen on his album with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, while childhood friend Evan Sherman was part of Cohen’s trio with bass great Ron Carter.
Both of these are part of Cohen’s “Masters Legacy Series,” his opportunity to play and learn with these alumni of bands led by Miles Davis and hundreds of others since the 1950s. It’s that direct connection to the history of jazz that Cohen loves.
Sharing music with top musicians is the traditional method of learning the craft of improvisation. For the elder statesmen, a chance to refresh musical memories and to share their passion with the generation who keeps their legacies alive.
Emmet Cohen has learned lifetimes worth of wisdom from artists including Benny Golson, Houston Person, Tootie and Jimmy Heath and many more. We’re lucky his generous spirit brings him to Seattle to share his wisdom and his passion with jazz fans.