THE WESTVIEW PROJECT is a Rochester-based jazz trio with Jeff Lawlis on piano, Tim Larson on acoustic bass and Jim Blease on drums. The band formed in late 2006, bound by a mutual interest in jazz from the classic period of the late 50's to mid-60's. After a few months of rehearsing the band played it's first gig in early 2007. Since then The Westview Project has been playing regularly at Rochester area club and restaurants, for private events and at local festivals. The Westview Project's repertoire draws heavily on standards, bop, post-bop, Latin and 60's boogaloo from composers such as Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, and Horace Silver. The group has also composed and performs a number of original tunes. On the band's new CD release, "Aspire", nine of the tracks are original compositions by band members and friends of the band. Saxophonist Doug Stone is featured on the CD, local bassist Kyle Vock substitutes for Tim Larson. JEFF LAWLIS began studying piano at age eight and jazz piano at age ten. At seventeen, Jeff won the Syracuse Civic Morning Musicals Concerto Competition co-sponsored by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. In the following year he performed the third movement of Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Jeff's father, who played French horn in the Syracuse Symphony, accompanied his son on the same concert. Jeff advanced his jazz technique while performing as the house pianist at Oquaga Lake Resort Hotel in the Catskills, a job that continued for four summers while he was in college. He has played piano with the Cornell and Penn State jazz ensembles, working with luminaries such as Barry Harris, Frank Foster and Dr. Billy Taylor. Jeff has recorded albums with the jazz quintet Safe Sax in State College, PA and the blues band Cryin' Shame in Minneapolis, MN. In addition to his work with The Westview Project, Jeff is a sought after accompanist for singers and instrumentalists. He recently played at the White House accompanying violinist Gabrielle Monachino and has backed up local jazz singer Madeline Forster. His jazz influences include Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Clark, Makoto Ozone, and McCoy Tyner. TIM LARSON started playing electric bass professionally in a Boston blues group in the late 80's. Tim moved to Denver in 1990 playing in a Blues/rock band (released one CD). About this time he picked up his first upright bass motivated by the sound of the instrument. He studied classical and jazz technique in Denver. Tim then moved to Seattle in 1995. In Seattle for three years, Tim played upright bass in a local jazz trio/quartet. One highlight during that time was a week-long jazz camp Tim attended in Port Townsend (Bud Shank's Jazz Centrum) where he played in a combo with trumpeter Bobby Shew. Tim admires bassists Dave Holland, Phil Flanigan, Scott Lafaro, and Ray Brown. JIM BLEASE began playing drums at age eight, spending five years under the instruction of renowned Omaha jazz percussionist, Lewis "Luigi" Waites (whose students include jazz drummer Victor Lewis). He studied two more years with Christopher Stovall. Jim started playing professionally at seventeen in funk/R&B bands and continued gigging in venues from South Dakota to Texas until moving to Rochester in the early 80's. After taking some time off, Jim backed up Rochester-area vocal groups before joining with Jeff and Tim to form The Westview Project. Among the drummers he admires most are Elvin Jones, Jeff Hamilton, Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Jonas Holgersson. DOUG STONE frequently joins the Westview Project on tenor sax. Doug was raised in Peoria, Illinois and began playing the saxophone professionally at age 10. He received his bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University. While at NIU Stone performed with jazz legends Frank Wes, Frank Foster, Benny Golson, Rufus Reid, Ed Thigpen, Larry Ridley and a host of others. Doug also led the university's top combo as well as his own groups, the Jazz Arranging Syndicate and Scantily Clad, featuring his original works. Doug has performed in a variety of musical contexts. He spent several months touring with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson and his band, the Big Bop Nouveau. He has performed in Taiwan, Trinidad, St. Lucia, and throughout the United States with the world-jazz group Panoramic. Doug has been a part of the Chicago jazz scene, working with the Joel Spencer Quartet, the John Burnett Orchestra, the Ed Breazeale Group, and a host of other ensembles. Doug has taught private saxophone, clarinet, and jazz theory and improvisation lessons at numerous middle schools and high schools in the Chicago suburbs. Doug has given clinics on jazz saxophone and improvisation at Northwestern University, University of Illinois Chicago, Illinois State University, University of Missouri Columbia, Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, California. He has directed all-district high school jazz bands, adjudicated at high school jazz events, and composed jazz sight-reading etudes for the Illinois Music Educators Association jazz band auditions. Each summer Stone teaches and performs at the Birch Creek Music Center in Door County, Wisconsin along with notable jazz musicians including Dennis Mackrel, Jeff Campbell, Clay Jenkins, Reggie Thomas and others. Doug Stone is currently pursuing a master's degree in Jazz Performance, Music Education, and obtaining his music education certification at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Doug teaches the saxophone methods classes as well as Jazz Improvisation for Non-Jazz Majors at the Eastman School and teaches lessons, classes, and ensembles for the Eastman Community Music School.