The Endemic Ensemble

Endemic Ensemble

Founded by double bassist Steve Messick in early 2010, the Endemic Ensemble is a modern jazz quintet based in Seattle, Washington with Messick on double bass, Travis Ranney on tenor and soprano saxophones, Matso Limtiaco on baritone saxophone, David Franklin on piano, and Christian Krehbiel on drums. The music, composed by Messick, Franklin, and Limtiaco, is influenced by '60s hard bop, big band, and 19th and 20th century classical music, and is described as having swinging rhythm, great tunes and purposeful playing - always in the service of the song, and usually anchored in the blues (Lucid Culture).

The Endemic Ensemble's debut album, Lunar, made NYC blog Lucid Culture's The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2012, and in 2016, the Endemic Ensemble’s second album, Tangled, is described as being ...packed to the brim with luminous melodies, splendid charts and engaging solos by all hands (Jack Bowers, All About Jazz).

Press Quotes is a wonderful recording full of creative compositions and musicians who work together like a well-oiled machine. (Dee Dee McNeil, Musicalmemoirs's Blog)

What this band best represents (for this listener, anyway) is the POWER that jazz can project, in all it's forms (Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation)

Great writing, great players and great times...what more could you ask for? (Jazz Now! Seattle)

...their original hard bop is groovy and contagious (Dave Rogers, WTJU)

Endemic Ensemble's "LUNAR" manages to respect the hard-bop, big band, and classical, with an updated nod to a melodic, danceable mindset. That's hard in jazz. This band makes it look easy. (Carol Banks Weber, AXS)


Band Members

Steve Messick

Steve Messick
bandleader, composer, double bass

Steve Messick studied with Peter Vinikow at the University of Washington. He performs regularly with Orchestra Seattle, and he has performed with jazz artists Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Obo Addy, and Don Lanphere. Steve has produced three commercial LPs, two EPs, one digital single, and has published thirteen original tunes.

Enter Steve Messick on his double bass, calming the moment with tonal security and his big bass sound. (Dee Dee McNeil, Musicalmemoirs's Blog)

Bassist Steve Messick plays with a full-bodied, woody tone and makes every note count (Lucid Culture).

Sounding somewhat like Scott LaFaro, Messick favors a fuzzy, soft tone and straight-ahead arrangements reminiscent of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers' mid-'60s recordings (Matt Collar, All Music Guide).

Sprightly and tuneful--yet never smooth--Steve Messick's compositions recall an era when jazz routinely fused the artistic explorations of bebop with the catchiness of R&B (

Travis Ranney

Travis Ranney
tenor and soprano saxophones

Travis Ranney is one of Seattle's best jazz improvisers. He performs in Seattle with numerous ensembles, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony, and he has performed with many famous artists including Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Joan Rivers, Pete Christlieb, and Jimmy Heath, to name a few.

Travis Ranney... displays a great command of blues and bebop vocabulary, switching from playing rhythms right in the pocket to a more elastic, rubato feel and even gives us a glimpse of what Coltrane may have sounded like (Evan Dobbins, Jazz Radio 247).

Matso Limtiaco

Matso Limtiaco
composer, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet

Matso Limtiaco has an MA in music theory/composition from Washington State University, and he was the resident composer for Seattle big band, the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, for eighteen years. His arrangements and compositions can be heard on ECJO recordings, "Come Rain or Come Shine" (Pony Boy Records, 2006), and "Alive and Swingin'" (Seeley Music Productions, 1998).

Besides being a superb arranger, Limtiaco is a capable improviser too (Jack Bowers, All About Jazz).

David Franklin

David Franklin
composer, piano

David Franklin, a product of the University of Oregon and University of Washington music programs, studied with Lois Lisez, Victor Steinhardt, and Marc Seales. At the University of Chicago, he was a founding member of the avant-garde Jazz X-Tet, directed by AACM chairman Mwata Bowden. In the early '90s, David toured Japan with vocal jazz group Soundsation, and in the 2000s he performed regularly in Seattle with rock band Three Shades of Gray (3SG).

Christian Krehbiel

Christian Krehbiel

Christian Krehbiel graduated in 2008 with a masters degree in percussion performance from the University of Washington. He studied percussion with Tom Collier, timpani with Mike Crusoe, and jazz improvisation with Marc Seales. Christian performs with the Pan Leggo Steel Drum Band, Million Dollar Nile Bluegrass Band, SMQ Percussion Quartet, and he is the leader of the Good Vibez Jazz Quartet.

Press Kit

Click on the images below for high-res versions.


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Please credit Katie Messick when using the following photos.

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