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Pee Wee Ellis Plays Seattle’s Key Arena

Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (pictured left) will kick off a six-day engagement at Jazz Alley in Seattle by playing for very, very tall men at a much, much larger venue: the Key Arena. On Nov. 13, Ellis will essay our national anthem for the Phoenix Suns, the hometown Sonics, and a crowd full of basketball-crazed fans before the players take the parquet. Ellis is most famous for playing on many of James Brown’s greatest hits, and while he comes to Seattle primarily as a jazz musician, one might expect him to give up a bit of the funk to incite the hometown crowd. Perhaps he’ll also tell Gary Payton to stop taking those ridiculous threes.

When Ellis takes the stage that evening at Jazz Alley, he will be joined by the group Assembly featuring Fred Wesley. Like Ellis, Wesley has experience in both the funk and jazz idioms, and their shows are almost guaranteed to be booty-shaking events. Wesley and Ellis will also pair up for a workshop at the Experience Music Project while in Seattle (on an as-yet-undetermined date), to teach other musicians how to pair jazz and funk with similar booty-shaking results.

For more information about the concert, visit For more information about Experience Music Project workshops, visit

Originally Published