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Steve Griggs - Projects

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Panama Hotel Jazz

The 103 year old Panama Hotel in Seattle's International District carries the memories of hope, hatred, and humility experienced by Japanese Americans before, during, and after WWII. Come hear a free concert of jazz inspired by and created for this building's rich history.

The musical program includes a rendition of "Alley Cat Strut," the imaginary song by Oscar Holden in Jamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

This performance made possible by a generous grant from 4Culture Historic Site Specific.

Read the blog about the history behind this project.


  1. Panama Hotel
  2. Poem
  3. Nihonmachi
  4. Alley Cat Strut
  5. Desert
  6. Kimi Ga Yo
  7. Loyalty
  8. Family
  9. Affirmation
  10. Densho
  11. Mending


Jay Thomas - trumpet
Jay's discography includes 12 recordings as a leader and 44 as a sideman, performing on trumpet, saxophone, and flute. His latest recording is Neo Boogaloo. Jay frequently performs in Japan.

Steve Griggs - saxophone
Steve recorded two CDs in Seattle with Elvin Jones and is featured on the soundtrack the Bungie/Microsoft video game Halo 3: ODST. Steve won a Longfellow Chorus Award of Distinction in the 2010 Longfellow Chorus International Composers Competition.

Susan Pascal - vibraphone
Susan performs throughout the United States and Canada, and recently completed her third tour to Singapore. She has played for motion picture soundtracks including The Blind Side, Office Space, and Eulogy, and recently collaborated in performances with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Milo Petersen - guitar
Milo shared the stage with Eartha Kitt, Mose Allison, and Ernestine Anderson. He performs and teaches drums as well as guitar.

Phil Sparks - bass
Phil is a faculty member of the UW Jazz Studies program, named Northwest Instrumentalist of the year in 1996 by Earshot Jazz, inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009, and was featured in a cover story in the May 2009 Earshot Jazz Magazine.