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John Bishop

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“One can hear many influences in Bishop’s playing, including more than a touch of Elvin, but he is clearly an original voice…” - Percussive Note

As a drummer, educator, record label owner, graphic designer, publisher, and festival presenter, John Bishop has been one of the primary voices in Northwest Jazz for 40 years. He has performed in concerts and clubs with Lee Konitz, Sonny Fortune, Chano Dominguez, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, Jessica Williams, Bobby McFerrin, Herb Ellis, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Julian Priester, Ernestine Anderson, Buddy DeFranco, Carla Bley, Jack Sheldon, Steve Allen, and countless others. He's appeared on more than 100 albums, was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2008, and was named a ”Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2019.

Bishop has recorded and toured internationally as a member of New York pianist Hal Galper's Trio over the past 15 years. Other ongoing projects include: Scenes, a 20 year-old quartet with guitarist John Stowell, saxophonist Rick Mandyck & bassist Jeff Johnson, and the Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters Group, a Belgian/American project, for over a decade.

“Bishop's drumming is unfailingly imaginative and fervid.” - CODA Magazine

For 20 years, he was a member of the piano trio New Stories along with pianist Marc Seales and bassist Doug Miller. They had 4 CDs of their own, 6 with the late be-bop saxophonist Don Lanphere, and a Grammy-nominated RCA recording with Mark Murphy. They were a house trio for 17 years at Bud Shank's Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival; headlined the 1993 JVC Jazz Festival in Vladivostok, Russia; appeared in concerts with Tom Harrell, Sonny Fortune, Charles McPherson, Vincent Herring, Nick Brignola, Conte Condoli, Bobby Shew & Larry Coryell; and regularly appeared around the country by themselves or touring with Mark Murphy or Ernie Watts. “Highway Blues,” from their 1999 recording, “Speakin' Out,” was the sample music track embedded in Windows XP, which sold over 600 million copies.

“The New Stories trio is likewise nothing less than extraordinary. Drummer John Bishop, particularly, is one of the finest on the scene.” - Jazz Review

He's taught drums privately for 40 years and was on the faculty at the University of Washington from 2005-2009. He regularly does drum and jazz workshops throughout the country, including recent events with Hal Galper at the University of North Texas, University of Indiana, Dartmouth, The New School, Purchase Conservatory-NYC, University of Louisville, San Jose State University, Cal Arts, The Jazz School-Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, among others.

In 1997, Bishop started Origin Records (named Jazzweek's 2009 “Label Of The Year”) and OriginArts, a graphic design & CD production company, to help further the exposure of creative artists and their music. In partnership with his ex-drum student, Matt Jorgensen, they have released 750 recordings by 370 artists from around the world. In 2002 they added another jazz label, OA2 Records, a classical imprint, Origin Classical in 2008, and in 2003 began Seattle's annual Ballard Jazz Festival. Bishop has designed 800 CD packages and multiple book covers, banners, posters, and other graphics for clients around the globe.

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