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The Seattle-based jazz ensemble Reptet formed in 1999 with a statement of purpose: "To compose, interpret and improvise music that inspires growth through freedom and discipline." Drummer John Ewing had been playing in different bands with varying styles before he started to look for musicians willing to play jazz and improvised music exclusively. Through open jam sessions he eventually found a stable group of performers with future Reptet pianist Stefan Nelson joining the group in late 1999. Audience response was enthusiastic and the group started getting offers for gigs from numerous local jazz venues. Saxophonist Tobi Stone joined in the summer of 2000, and with bassist Evan Flory-Barnes joining in 2001, Reptet had its most stable lineup. Monktail Creative Music Concern issued the group's self-titled debut CD in 2003.