Happy New Year! / by Zubin Hensler

Happy New Year, and thank you for a memorable 2014!

2014 was our most exciting year yet, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We released our first album, had more opportunities to share our music than ever before, and made many new friends throughout the year.

The year started off with a bang with the release of our debut album: Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz. We played down the entire album for a sold-out roomful of friends and family at Cornelia Street Cafe, and were overwhelmed with the love and energy from the crowd.

Album art by David Foarde

Summer was full of adventures and new experiences. We kicked it off with a thrill ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, followed by a performance at Music in the Mountains (which Andy nearly missed after being stranded overnight in the Denver airport). After a seamless journey back to Seattle, our hometown crowd welcomed us back with a wild show at the Seattle Art Museum on a bill with Human Feel, presented by John Gilbreath and Earshot Jazz. On July 1st, we celebrated our first ever Canada Day with fireworks and a concert at the Vancouver Jazz Festival.

In August, we all piled into the Clausen Family Van for our first ever west coast tour. We played thirteen concerts over the course of seventeen days on a journey that took us all the way down to Los Angeles and back. Some highlights included the waterballoon toss at the PDX Farm Fiesta, a drive down Highway 1 through the incomparably stunning Big Sur, a music video shoot in the mountains above Santa Barbara, and a seemingly endless library of CDs to listen to in the van (the tour favorite was Judee Sill). Each and every show was unique and memorable, and we received such a warm outpouring of support from all of the new friends we made along the way. We want to give a special thank you to all of our generous hosts who housed us throughout the tour.

The positive response to Wish the Children Would Come On Home was beyond our wildest dreams. The album received critical acclaim from NPR’s Fresh Air, JazzTimes, and many other publications and radio shows. Most recently, we were thrilled to have been included in many “Best of 2014” critics’ lists, including NPR’s Francis Davis’s Top Ten and “2014’s Best Debut Album”Kevin Whitehead's "25 Best Jazz Albums of 2014 for Wondering Sound" and Revive Music’s “Top Songs of 2014”

Please join us as we ring in the New Year with a show in Seattle on January 3rd at theRoyal Room. We’ll be playing two sets, starting at 6pm. We’re excited to play some of our favorite songs from the past year as well as premiere many new works of 2015. Get your tickets here: http://www.strangertickets.com/events/21273763/the-westerlies. See you at the Royal Room!

Much Love and Happy New Year,

The Westerlies