Jazz in the City | Michael Powers


Sunday, February 17, 2019
2:00 – 4:00 pm

Frye Auditorium

Pre-registration for this program has ended. Standby tickets may be available the day of the program on a space-available basis.

Standby vouchers will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis starting 1 hour prior to program and redeemed on a space-available basis 10 minutes prior to the program.

Michael Powers was born in New York City in 1960, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. His musical career began as therapy, when at the age of 15 he took up strumming the guitar to strengthen his wrist after a skateboard accident. Following his graduation from Berkeley High School when he was 15-and-a-half, he moved to Seattle and frequented local jam sessions, keeping his fingers on the guitar strings and his mind on making music to reach a wider audience.

As Michael’s musicianship progressed, his interests broadened to include music theory. He enrolled at Seattle’s prestigious Cornish College of the Arts where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition and Performance in 1982. While at Cornish, Powers studied under composers Gil Evans and Sam Rivers, bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Art Lande, and trombonist Julian Priester. His style was also influenced by a diverse group of musicians which includes Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Charlie Parker, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, Miles Davis, and Kevin Eubanks.

Michael has performed with, recorded with, or shared billings with pianist Herbie Hancock; classic Jazz saxophonist Eddie “Clean Head” Vinson; B3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith; Ronnie Cuber; Gil Scott Heron; Keiko Matsui; Nancy Wilson; Les McCann; Najee; Tommy Davidson; Dr. Cornel West; Ray Charles; Afro-pop star King Sunny Ade; Grammy award-winning vocalist Diane Schuur; Gladys Knight and the Pips and Atlantic Starr; contemporary Jazz artists Ronny Jordan, Tom Grant, and David Benoit; Ernie Watts; the Yellowjackets; and the duo Tuck & Patti.

Jazz in the City at the Frye Art Museum is a free, bi-monthly performance series produced in partnership with Ariel Media, with a purpose to celebrate the art form of jazz music and its long-standing influence and vibrancy in the city of Seattle. The Frye's First Hill location is adjacent to Seattle’s historic Jackson Street Jazz District: a combination of The Central District and the current International District, which comprised the historic China Town, Japan Town and Filipino Town. The Jackson Street Jazz District nurtured such renowned artists as Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Ernestine Anderson, and Jimi Hendrix.

This musical program is supported by The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation and the Frye Foundation.


Tickets to this program are free of charge, and our seating capacity is limited. Free tickets, limit 2 per person, may be reserved in advance, up to two days before the program. The reserved tickets may be picked up on the day of the program at the desk in the foyer outside the auditorium. There is no late seating, so please arrive at least 15 minutes early. All unclaimed tickets (regardless of reservations) will be released to standby 10 minutes before the program!

Frye Members receive advance notice of programs and performances—become a member today and get the benefit of early registration!


On the day of the program, pre-registered and standby tickets will be available at the desk in the foyer outside the auditorium.

  • Tickets for Members may be picked up beginning one hour before the program.
  • Pre-registered tickets for nonmembers may be picked up beginning 30 minutes before the program.
  • All unclaimed tickets (regardless of reservations) will be released to standby 10 minutes before the program.