Racer Sessions


The Racer Sessions is a weekly session for new, experimental music located in Seattle, WA. The purpose is to give musicians of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to interact and inspire each other, while establishing a community-accessible home for our music, which would otherwise only exist in classrooms, basements, outer space etc.

Every Sunday, at Cafe Racer, the curator of the week debuts a piece of new music, which is followed by a free improv session based mostly, partially, or not at all on the music that was presented.

While largely comprised of musicians with jazz training, everyone is encouraged to participate no matter what your musical background is! During the improvising part of the evening, groups are spontaneously formed in the room to the side of the stage. There is no sign up process. If you’d like to play, please make yourself known to said group or to the curator or anyone who looks like they might know what’s going on.

To prepare for each session we recommend everyone reads and considers our weekly blog, where you’ll find insight from the weekly curator on the process of creating her/his piece, as well as recommended listening, approaches and/or meditations to prepare you for the jam session to come. In the weekly blog, you can also find recorded excerpts and discussions from previous weeks as well as a focus or theme for the next session. The weekly blog is to provide some context for people who are coming for the first time, and keep the session a continuous exploration and challenge for everyone involved.


“The atmosphere at Cafe Racer, a coffeehouse and bar in the University District here, skews distinctly postgrunge, with its scuffed floor and mismatched furniture, its thrift-store paintings on boldly colored walls. One Sunday evening this spring the place was packed mainly with teenagers and 20-somethings in T-shirts and sneakers, all listening intently to a band. Everything seemed of a piece except the music: sleek, dynamic large-group jazz, a whirl of dark-hued harmony and billowing rhythm.”Nate Chinen, New York Times.