Jim Knapp Orchestra

Jim Knapp Orchestra

Jim Knapp Orchestra

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Doors: 7pm

Tickets: $20 advance, $25 doors

Advance tickets can only be purchased online-we do not sell advance tickets at the venue. Refunds are not available within 48 hours of the event. Tickets do not guarantee seating during shows at the Royal Room. 

We are now accepting reservations for diners! After purchasing tickets, please visit the Reservations page to book a table. Table reservations require advance tickets, and are only for guests who plan to dine at the Royal Room.  We do not take reservations over the phone.

Seating for non-diners is first come, first served. Please arrive early to guarantee a seat!

The Royal Room is All Ages until 10pm.

Dylan Hayes and Jay Thomas will be leading the legendary Jim Knapp Orchestra on January 14th at The Royal Room. They are more than excited to get the band reunited after a long hiatus due to the pandemic.

Jim Knapp was an iconic Seattle composer and arranger, band leader, jazz theorist, and teacher to countless musicians throughout Seattle. He started one of the first college jazz programs at Cornish College of the Arts in 1971. In 1995, the Jim Knapp Orchestra was founded and won the Earshot “Best Acoustic Jazz Group” award that same year. Their CD, Things For Now, received the Earshot “Jazz Record Of The Year” award in 1999.

In the past, the Jim Knapp Orchestra has collaborated with Lee Konitz, Jay Clayton, Jay Thomas, Jon Wikan, and Ingred Jensen to name a few of the many accomplished musicians.

Big band composer, Maria Schneider, said it best when she stated that “Knapp’s music is among the best of orchestral jazz being written these days,” and my main goal is to help the world recognize Jim Knapp for the genius he is, whether it be for his theory book that so many jazz musicians swear by, or for his incredibly moving arrangements and compositions. Another well known big band composer, Jim McNeely, went to college with Jim Knapp, and said that he “was writing some gorgeous music for big band, both original compositions and arrangements of standards.” McNeely stated that he was “so intimidated by Knapp that he didn’t write a [single] note until [Knapp] got his degree and left for Seattle.”

Because of some serious medical issues at the end of Jim’s life, he passed the baton to Dylan Hayes and Jay Thomas in order to continue the legacy of the Jim Knapp Orchestra.


Jay Thomas is a versatile multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, saxophones, and flute). A professional musician for over 55 years, Jay has given clinics and performed in clubs and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, China, and Japan. In Japan, Jay has been a member of one of the top big jazz bands for over 25 years and joins them once or twice a year playing concerts, recording, and teaching clinics. Jay is also a founding member of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and has been with them for 25 years. Jay is now on the staff of three national jazz camps, Centrum being the most prestigious. He is the leader/co-leader of numerous small groups.

Jay is on over 100 CDs, including 21 as leader or co-leader. Jay has also recorded with many heavy-weight players, most notably Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Ray Brown, and Elvin Jones. (For the full list, please go to the Discography page).

Jay‘s distinctive sound is on many commercials and a few film scores. Reviews and articles on Jay have appeared in many jazz magazines and newspapers, including the L.A. Times, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Jazz Times, Jazz Player, Jazz Now, Japan Swing Journal, and International Jazz Journal.

Early awards include “Jazz Artist Deserving Wider Recognition” in Downbeat, a one-year scholarship to Berklee School of Music, and Earshot Musician of the Year in ’96 and ’98. Jay was Earshot Jazz Festival’s “Artist in Residence” for 2019 and one of 20 U.S. musicians given the Jazz Journalists Association’s “2020 Jazz Heroes” Award.

Jay‘s musical voice is a very personal and recognizable sound, characterized by warmth, lyricism, and rhythmic authority without losing touch with the blues. Hear him when you can, you will not be disappointed.


Dylan Hayes is a top called jazz pianist based in the Seattle area. He is the leader of the DX-Tet, Dylan Hayes Electric Band and co-leader of The Jim Knapp Orchestra and Meridian Odyssey. Dylan’s debut record “Songs For Rooms And People” was released on Blujazz Productions on March, 2020 and was one of the top ten jazz albums of 2020 in The Seattle Times. Another Seattle based band that Dylan co-leads called “Meridian Odyssey” released a record titled “Second Wave” under Origin Records and was listed as one of the top fifteen best albums of 2021 in The Seattle Times. Meridian Odyssey’s sophomore release titled “Earthshine” was also listed as one of the top 20 albums of 2022 in The Seattle Times.

Dylan Hayes and Jay Thomas have taken over the big band book of renowned composer Jim Knapp. Dylan has studied big band arranging with Jim Knapp, who is one of his biggest influences in terms of writing and arranging for big band. Dylan has been commissioned to do arrangements of Julian Priester’s music for the Fellowship ‘Ceptet, Thomas Marriott’s music for for The Carolina Philharmonic, Darrell Grant’s music for the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, and has arranged the music of Tina Turner and Chaka Khan for a series of tribute concerts for The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

To register for this event please visit the following URL: https://www.strangertickets.com/events/148617992/jim-knapp-orchestra →


Date And Time

Sunday, March 3, 2024 @ 08:00 PM


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