By Marcy Stamper
You’ll shed any preconceived notions about trumpets and trombones when you hear the four-man ensemble The Westerlies, who draw on influences from jazz to roots music to classical chamber repertoire.
The Westerlies’ musical diversity and flexibility is evidenced by the musicians they collaborate with, from jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, to Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, to dancers from The Juilliard School.
As one reviewer said about the original ensemble, “The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.”
Originally from Seattle, the four were childhood friends whose musical lives have long overlapped, both at competitions and in early collaborations. They came together as a band in New York, where they forged a unique sound and have built an enthusiastic fan base.
They’ve since played around the country, at jazz festivals, museums, and with symphony orchestras.
The Westerlies have recorded two albums — “Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz,” and their recent release, “The Westerlies,” which features original ballads, high-energy tunes, and rhythmically and harmonically playful compositions.
The Westerlies return to the Methow on Sunday (May 28) at 7 p.m. at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for adults, available at www.brownpapertickets.com and at the door.
People can also hear the Westerlies in a more informal setting, when they jam with local musicians at Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar in Twisp right after Sunday’s show.