About Us

EASTSIDE JAZZ CLUB

In April 2002 Cooksie and Lionel Kramer and Leng Tshua had a Brain Wave over lunch. There were no Jazz Clubs on the eastside and it was time somebody did something about it. Sherman Clay in Bellevue was the ideal location and had a beautiful venue – The Steinway Recital Room in the Piano Store – and with a capacity of up to 90 people they decided to go for it creating the Eastside Jazz Club.

That June they kicked off the series with a concert featuring Brian Kent on Saxophone, Hans Brehmer on Piano, Ev. Stern on Bass and Lionel on Drums. 14 years on this regular event has presented great jazz evenings to an always enthusiastic audience. The Kramer’s have created a comfortable “in home” informal feel with time to meet the musicians and enjoy refreshments.

Originally from South Africa, Lionel and Cooksie moved to the Eastside some 25 years ago and quickly involved themselves with the Northwest Jazz Community. Cooksie had been a teacher, organ and accordion in Johannesburg where she established one of the largest music studios in the city. She won the South African Accordion Championships in 1959 and went on to represent South Africa in the “Coupe Mondiale” in New York. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall, and on radio at the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) in England as well as performing in her own Radio and Television Programs in South Africa., and recording for EMI/Columbia Records.

Besides running the Eastside Jazz Club she is presently on the Board of the Northwest Accordion Society and directs and arranges music for her large Accordion Orchestra, and is also an advisor to the Bellevue Downtown Association for their Jazz Festivals. Lionel’s drumming can be heard most days of the week in clubs restaurants in the region in both small jazz combos and Big Bands.

In September 2011 Cooksie and Lionel formed the new CD label Eastside Jazz Recordings and released their first CD “The Sam Pannunzio Trio” “Goin’ Home”.

Also in 2011 the Eastside Jazz Club Moved to the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Bellevue to host its regular concerts there as well as their Annual Extravaganza’s. They stayed there for 4 years and in 2015 presented their 11th Annual Extravaganza at the newly opened Resonance Theater in Bellevue. This was such a success that the Eastside Jazz Club has now entered into a formal partnership with The RESONANCE theater at Soma towers are proud to jointly present our 2016-2017 series concerts.

The First 2016-2017 series concert presented there in September was our Annual Extravaganza number 12 that featured a double Bill with the first set of Trish Hans and Phil 3 voices lush harmonies and great jazz interpretations of popular song followed by The Full Circle Jazz Ensemble – 13 piece groove driven “small” Big Band which featured vocalists Janette West and Bernie Jacobs. This was a superb sold out concert enjoyed by all.

For more information call Cooksie 425 828 9104 or email lionel.kramer@comcast.net

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