The Whale

Saturday, July 23rd 4:00pm at Crashbox (2022)

The Whale began in the late 90’s in Austin, TX, as a saxophone/drums duo rooted in experimental jazz with a punk rock aesthetic. Performances soon evolved into a rotating cast of guest musicians ranging from upright bass players to guitarists and saxophonists.

The original idea behind the music was to remove set lists or prepared tunes and play completely improvised music. Since, their music has taken on a more composed approach, as heard on the 2018 debut Sweetheart and upcoming 2022 release Sweetheart 2. Past members and guests of The Whale include Craig Johnson, Adam Jones (Bill Callahan), Andrew Bergmann, Justin Carney, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Farad Ibrahimovic, Dylan Ilseng, and Daniel Durham.

The Whale are avant-garde practitioners who bring a love of all things modern jazz to their live sets of both poignant, composed pieces and roaring improvisations. The duo performed at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2018 and 2019 and have been mainstays at the Jazz for the Masses dayparty at the annual SXSW Music Festival since 2011. A resident of San Antonio, TX for over 25 years and originally from McAllen TX, saxophonist and Chef Eddie Vasquez seasons his original and highly energetic playing with the sound of many brilliant artists who came before him, like Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley, and John Zorn. Vasquez also shares a love for punk rock and heavy metal.

Drummer Kory Cook moved to San Antonio, TX in 2010 from Austin, TX via Portland, OR. For over a decade, Cook held down the drum throne in S.A.’s own Sons of Hercules, and he brings that rock-n-roll attitude to the heartfelt, sonic wash of The Whale. Cook has performed with artists ranging from Eugene Chadbourne, Todd Snider, Roky Erickson, and Okkervil River to New Orleans’ own Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Cook is currently Music Director and Chief Announcer at Jazz 91.7 FM KRTU in San Antonio, TX.

Kory met Eddie at a local jam where the saxophonist blew a blistering solo that came to a screeching halt when the bandleader pushed Vasquez out the door for blowing out too many notes. That’s when Cook knew he wanted to make music with Vasquez.