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Ellis Street Jazz is Kenney Polson on Alto Saxophone, Lee Zipin on Keys, Larry Hull on Bass, and Larry Bicknese on Drums.
Ellis Street Jazz plays a mix of great tunes including ballads, Latin, and upbeat songs. See us at local clubs, wineries and events around Portland, Oregon.
Kenney Polson, sax, has steadily developed as an accomplished saxophonist/composer since the age of 13. His fluent musical styles include jazz, Latin, classical, new age, rhythm & blues, funk, and gospel. He attended Fresno City College, Fresno, California and earned an Associate of Arts Degree (Music). He studied at California State University- Fresno earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Music Education). Kenney has earned a Masters of Music Degree (Jazz composition/Arranging) at the internationally acclaimed Fine Arts School at Howard University in Washington, DC.
It was in Los Angeles, California where Kenney began his professional career. As a saxophonist, Polson performed on shows with James Brown, Little Richard, Bettye Swan, Z.Z. Hill, Joe Williams, D.J. Rodgers, Gil Scott-Heron, Fred Wesley, Lee Garrett, and a host of others. Kenney has been on tour in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Colombia, Brazil, and over a dozen Caribbean Islands. Kenney has also performed on national television (CBS) with internationally known jazz artists Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Heath, Phil Woods, David Sanborn, and Wynton Marsalis.
Mr. Polson has been involved as an educator during his musical career and has been sought as a clinician and also as an adjudicator for concert band and jazz band competitions. He has taught both public and private school in Fresno, California; Bogota, Colombia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has given clinics, performances, and lectures on jazz in Beijing, China and he is presently teaching at Cleveland High and Hosford Middle School.
Kenney has recorded with some of Brazil's most famous jazz musicians, many of which are represented on his soon to be released compact disc, "Paradise," which contains several of his smooth jazz compositions and arrangements. Some of these recorded selections have been heard on a network of public radio stations in central and southern California as well. Mr. Polson's music has also been heard on radio stations in the San Francisico bay area, Boise, Idaho and in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lee Zipin, keys, has been playing jazz since middle school, with his debut on tenor sax and Paul Desmond's Take Five. Lee's focused exclusively on piano for the last 20 years and played in various venues in the Bay Area before relocating (again) to Portland.
Larry Hull, bass, is a veteran of the Portland music scene and has played long stints with various rock bands before committing to jazz full time. He can also be seen playing bass with Jelly Bean Jazz and filling in with various trios and quartets. Larry got his love of jazz from his father who played tenor sax throughout the war as part of the Navy Band and later toured extensively with other big bands. Take Five and The Girl From Ipanema were two of the tunes that played constantly in the family home.
Larry Bicknese began playing drums in Jr. High studying with the legendary Hank Houst in Boise, Idaho. While in High School and college he played nearly every weekend with various groups. At the U of O he studied percussion with Ron Falter and is still a member of the Oregon Alumni Band . Hi-lights of this time included performing for President Nixon, backing up Jo Anne Castle ( of the Lawrence Welk Show) in a concert in Baker, Oregon and performing with the Eugene Jazz Workshop at various functions and on the college radio station.
After college Larry moved to Portland to study Jazz drumming with Mel Brown and began a decade as a full time musician. Musically, he played everything from Disco to Country Rock and spent several years on the road. Afterwards he spent 23 years managing an electronics store. Now he is back playing music again with a variety of talented musicians. Also, he is studying drumming with Dave Averre of the Tall Jazz group. Performing with The Portland Jazz Connection is particularly enjoyable because it combines music that is not only fun to listen to but is great for those dancers out there.
Suzy, his wonderful wife of 30 years, has been very supportive but probably is glad Larry no longer wants to go on the road …….