Guitarist Dan Balmer, with special guests organist George Mitchell, bassist Andrea Niemiec, and drummer Mel Brown, will showcase a special For Portland Only performance, "Far Wes - A Tribute to Wes Montgomery", in honor of the late jazz guitar innovator, who was known for his smooth, thumb-picked sound and cited by the likes of Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, and Jimi Hendrix as an influence.
"To me, Wes was the ultimate jazz guitarist. He never sounded like he was playing licks, but instead, was presenting the pure melodies that were flowing through him," says Balmer. "When you watch him play, he, like all truly great artists, made it look effortless, as if he is simply channeling pure truth from a higher place." The trio will be performing tunes including "Four on Six", "West Coast Blues", "Goin Out of my Head", "When a Man Loves a Woman", "Airegin", "Road Song", and "Once I Loved."
As a staple of the Northwest music scene who has held down a weekly Monday gig at Jimmy Mak's, Balmer is considered one of the area's seminal musicians and composers. The Los Angeles Times called him, "the model of what a contemporary guitarist should be." In 2009, Balmer was inducted into The Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame-only one of five musicians to be included in both prestigious organizations. Over his career, the guitarist has appeared on more than 80 albums, including eight under his own name, which have received critical acclaim and airplay worldwide. He was featured as a special guest with the Jazz Passengers at the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival.
From 2005 through 2009, Balmer toured and recorded with multi Grammy® Award-winning singer/pianist Diane Schuur. In addition to Schuur, he has played with Mel Brown (appearing in the drummer's quartet and B3 organ trio every Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, at Jimmy Mak's), David Friesen, Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff Hamilton, Pat Martino, and Airto among others. Balmer's playing is also well known and respected from his longtime partnership with pianist Tom Grant, and his collaborative group Go By Train alongside keyboardist Clay Giberson which released its latest album, Transmission, in 2011.