The Jazz Freek

Mike Murphy fills in for Dr. Mike who was supposed to be filling in for the Jazz Geek, because Dr. Mike is doing Weekend Start tonight at 1am, so we didn’t want to squeeze him dry.  Take five, Dr Mike,  Your Old Pal will take it from here.  Mike will welcome Project Trio, high-octane chamber musicians with a “beat-box” flute player into the studio in anticipation of their performance tonight at the Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College.  We’ll also feature a tribute to the late Dave Brubeck, and some music for the Yuletide Season.

PROJECT Trio is taking chamber music to a whole new level. Greg Pattillo, flute, Eric Stephenson, cello, and Peter Seymour, bass, are pushing the boundaries of chamber music with a high-octane mix of classical, jazz, hip-hop, and rock.  The Trio performs to enthusiastic audiences of all ages in concert halls, clubs, and classrooms around the world.  Acclaim for the Trio and its members runs the gamut from Downbeat Magazine, which praises PROJECT Trio as   “packed with musicianship, joy, and surprise” to the New York Times, calling beatboxing flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does.”  The Wall Street Journal hails the group’s “wide appeal, subversive humor and first-rate playing.”


The Trio, now in its sixth year, was forged out of a collective love of performing high energy, top quality music to diverse audiences.  They are drawing new audiences to classical music and reinvigorating existing fans of chamber music through their innovative performances, recordings, and their YouTube channel, which has over 71 million views and 78,000 subscribers, making PROJECT Trio one of the most watched instrumental ensembles on the Internet. The Trio, which performs over 70 concerts a year, plays to fans of all ages in venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, where they made their debut in 2010.   In addition to their extensive performing schedule, the Trio is dedicated to arts education, inspiring a whole new generation of concert going music lovers.


Highlights of the Trio’s 2012-13 season include concerts with the Charlotte Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Walla Walla Symphony, the Britt Festival, and the opening concerts of the Chicago Sinfonietta. The Trio will perform and lead masterclasses in schools, universities, festivals and other venues throughout the US, including New York, New Hampshire, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. PROJECT Trio was selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with American Voices, as one of the ensembles for their 2012-2013 season of American Music Abroad. Chosen for their musical excellence and educational capability, they will tour throughout the former Soviet Union to present original American music through public concerts, master classes, workshops, jam sessions with local musicians and media outreach.  Other international engagements include a second tour of Germany in addition to a performance with the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic this fall.


In 2012, the Trio gave their first concert as Family Concert Artists in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as part of a three-year residency. Other performances last season included the Saint Louis Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, and tours to France, Germany, Austria and Canada.  The Trio has also toured Australia and Hong Kong.


Project Trio’s discography includes three recordings and a recently released DVD, PROJECT Trio: Live In Concert, and a fourth CD slated for release in Fall, 2012, all on the Trio’s own record label, Harmonyville Records.  Their catalog-spanning Random Roads Collection was released by Tummy Touch Records on May 8, 2012, and immediately rose to No. 2 and 15 on Billboard’s Canadian and US classical music charts and, in a rare feat, simultaneously debuted at No. 17 on the trade magazine’s jazz charts. Each of PROJECT Trio’s recordings soared to the top of the iTunes charts upon their release. Their disc Project Trio was acclaimed by Jazz Review as “a glorious celebration of the music of our time.”  This disc builds on the sound that is at the foundation of the group’s success, with heavy hitting originals such as Dr. Nick and Fast and reinterpretations of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns and Roses and Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk.  Their debut CD, Winter in June showcases the versatility of PROJECT Trio with 12 original compositions from classical to jazz, and hip-hop to experimental acoustic sounds. Their follow up disc Brooklyn collects well known staples from their live show, with covers and originals and even complete overhauls from the likes of Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, Theolonius Monk, JS Bach and Tchaikovsky, along with their own Brooklyn Suite, a collection of tone poems from the world they are surrounded by in the city of Brooklyn.


After meeting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, they quickly realized that there was no repertoire written for the unique combination of bass, flute and cello.  This forced the members to compose and arrange their own music, which they publish on their Harmonyville label.  Original compositions by the trio are influenced by the sounds of jazz, hip-hop beatbox and rock. Their music can be heard in Nike and Smart Car commercials.  Last year, the National Flute Association commissioned Pattillo to write “Three Beats for Beatbox Flute.” Greg Pattillo recently demonstrated his beatbox style for Jay Leno and performed with the Tonight Show orchestra.

Dedicated to engaging today’s younger audiences, PROJECT Trio has performed and led workshops for over 100,000 students on three continents, including over 35 states in the US. PROJECT Trio is instantly recognizable to students of all ages as a result of their YouTube following and appearances on popular TV shows on Nickelodeon and MTV.  Their educational programs are adapted to meet the National Standards for Music Education, with specialized curricula for age groups from elementary students through college.  They held their first summer camp at the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan this summer.


Based in Brooklyn, New York, Pattillo, Stephenson, and Seymour founded PROJECT Trio in Boulder, Colorado in the summer of 2005.   The group initially came up with the idea to do one week “projects” in different cities around the US, with each project including education/community outreach events and concerts of classical works and their own music.   The Trio got its big break in 2006 when Greg Pattillo’s Beatbox Flute video went viral on YouTube, receiving millions of views in its first week. Reaching out to audiences of all ages through the Internet, live performances, and recordings, PROJECT Trio has since become one of the worlds most championed and exciting instrumental ensembles.


For more information on PROJECT Trio, visit

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