Food & Culture

New Jazz Album Inspired by Richard Hugo’s Poems

The jazz composer pays tribute to the Northwest poet

By Seattle Mag August 31, 2015


This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Wayne Horvitz turns 60 this month, and he’s celebrating the way any jazz musician worth his salt would—by playing an epic ton of gigs.

The venerated composer, pianist and local jazz booster released a new album in July, called Some Places Are Forever Afternoon. The 12 cleanly modern compositions for septet alternately lilt like a waltzing couple, slink around corners like a cat or barge in like a drunk. Each of the pieces was inspired by a poem by Richard Hugo, the White Center–born writer known for his tightly evocative sense of place. Horvitz first learned of Hugo by way of the Hugo House literary center, where this month (9/18, 7 p.m.) he’ll perform tracks from the album. After a Northwest tour, he returns to play the Earshot Jazz Festival (10/10). Next, Horvitz heads to Benaroya Hall, where he’ll perform a different composition, also inspired by Hugo, but arranged for orchestra—specifically, the Seattle Symphony, which will perform the world premiere piece Those Who Remain with guitarist Bill Frisell (10/29).

Horvitz says he relates to Hugo’s “sense of the land, the small towns, the post-industrialized landscape of semirural and urban America,” but most of all, he loves the language. “There are lines I can read over and over again,” he says, “and they come more alive each time.” Times, prices and venues vary.


Join The Must List

Seattle's best events delivered to your inbox

Follow Us




In September 2017, I founded Dan’s Tunes, a small publication focused on showcasing Seattle’s local music scene. Throughout the past five years, I have spent countless hours talking with musicians, artists, and other industry folks about the state of the current music climate in Seattle. When we’re on the record, everyone always has nice things…

Min Jin Lee on taking 28 years to write a novel

Min Jin Lee on taking 28 years to write a novel

Insights on life and writing from the bestselling author of Pachinko

Min Jin Lee is a little freaked out about her next novel — a “stupidly” ambitious project about what education means to Korean people across the globe. “I want to stop,” she told me on a call, laughing a bit at her own obsessive nature. As with her previous two books — Pachinko and Free…

Your Favorite Authors Might Very Well be in Seattle this Weekend—Here’s How to Catch Them

Your Favorite Authors Might Very Well be in Seattle this Weekend—Here’s How to Catch Them

The nation’s largest literary conference will be hosted March 8-11, and includes hundreds of offsite events around town.

Book lovers, rejoice: there’s a good chance one of your favorite writers will be out and about Seattle in the next week. You may even be able to catch them giving a free talk at one of your local bars or cafés. From March 8-11, more than 8,000 authors, poets, educators, and editors will descend…

New auditorium, better BMX track and a greener Seattle

New auditorium, better BMX track and a greener Seattle

Casket Case Bellevue company’s product featured in Taylor Swift video Social media absolutely lost it after a casket manufactured by Bellevue-based Titan Casket was featured in American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s recent “Anti-Hero” music video. Tweets and Instagram posts from Swift’s fans about the casket have generated tens of thousands of likes and retweets, resulting in…