Bump Kitchen

By weeklyvolcano on June 1, 2006

Bumpkitchen It's still alive. The throbbing, lurching, jazz-fueled experiment that is Jazzbones on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue has made it through another year.
And the best part about a birthday party is, of course, the music.
This is year six for proprietor Jason McKinnon and staff, who McKinnon perennially credits with the joint's success. Whoever did it, bless them all. Jazzbones has been a center of gravity for some of the best acts ever to grace the South Sound.
It begins tonight with Bump Kitchen.
Northwest funk, R&B, and blues amalgam Bump Kitchen have managed to make a name for themselves in recent years thanks to constant touring and some searing groove-craft. In the spotlight right now is keyboardist Mark Bittler, who was nominated for Keyboard Player of the Year by the Washington Blues Society, but the Bump Kitchen staff is packed with master sound chefs. 
On the skins and vocals is Everett James, a native of Harlem who picked up sticks in his youth and never put them down. As head chef of Bump Kitchen, Everett pounds with grace and ferocity. His stick skills earned him honors as Drummer of the Millennium by the Tacoma Blues Society. On guitar and vocals is Jho Blenis, known far and wide for his guitar wizardry, songwriting and stage presence. Another award winner, Blenis was named Bluesman of the Year 10 years ago.
Lead vocalist Tony Harper, who helps out with percussion in the Kitchen, grew up on grooves, playing bass and keys.
Keyboard Player of the Year Mark Bittler claims to have been playing since he could walk. His lexicon includes jazz, pop and blues, but he admits his real love is funk. On bass and vocals, Joe Bevens is an axe convert and says bass grooves are what make him feel alive. June 1, 9 p.m. , all ages, until 11 p.m., $5, Jazzbones. â€" Paul Scrag