Abe Beeson

Evening Jazz Host

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and he's been hosting Evening Jazz since 1998.

His most memorable KNKX radio moments include introducing Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson and other greats; attending the San Sebastian Jazz Festival in Spain with a group of KNKX jazz fans; and locking himself out of the station on a particularly cold winter night.

Ways to Connect

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On the first snowy day in the Puget Sound region, a group formed in sunny California warmed up our airwaves with a studio session filled with joy and beauty.

The New West Guitar Group formed about ten years ago by students at the USC jazz program. With Will Brahm joining founding members John Storie and Perry Smith on guitars, they added their college friend, singer Sara Gazarek for their concert at the Kirkland Performance Center.  

Dave King of The Bad Plus
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

They may be the longest running jazz trio in history without a line-up change, but after 17 years The Bad Plus will see a new face behind the piano in the New Year. On their final trip to Seattle together, they stopped by our studios to celebrate the extended first chapter of their influential mix of jazz, classical and rock music.

Tito Rios Viche in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A confident septet of teenagers from the jazz band at the Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences took over the KNKX studios with their mentor, Steve Treseler featured on sax.

Treseler has a new tribute to trumpeter Kenny Wheeler ready for release in the New Year, but he had to keep his wits about him with this group.

Jared Hall
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Trumpet player, composer and jazz educator Jared Hall grew up in Spokane, Wash. His jazz studies took him to Whitworth University in his hometown, then to Indiana and Florida. But Hall has recently returned to the northwest, adding another potent voice on trumpet to the growing Seattle jazz scene.

Wayne Horvitz performing the "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" at The Royal Room in Columbia City.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Composer, pianist and bandleader Wayne Horvitz's original score to the 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, will be performed to a screening of the film live at The Royal Room in Seattle's Columbia City this Halloween night. Thursday afternoon, we were there for a preview.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Celebrating the release of their long-awaited debut album Baba, drummer Tarik Abouzied's Happy Orchestra turned our listeners' frowns upside down with an energetic set live in the KNKX studios.

Tamir Hendelman live in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Bursting with joyful energy as soon as he walked into the KNKX Seattle studios, pianist Tamir Hendelman had all of us excited in no time. By the end of his three-song performance, our studio audience were left grateful for this chance to see a perennial sideman take the lead

Hendelman grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, but moved to California at 12 where he developed his reputation as a young talent to watch. Despite temptations to work in the film and television industry that surrounded him, Hendelman focused on jazz. 

Ian Hughes of Freudian Slurp
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Following on their debut album, Edible Complex, Seattle's modern jazz outfit Freudian Slurp have just released their latest, called Get It? Their sense of humor confirmed, the question was "do they have the music to back up their irreverence?" Yes, they do.

Formed by the Hughes Brothers, Dylan on electric bass and Ian on guitar, with drummer Kyle Kirkpatrick nearly a decade ago, Freudian Slurp have been evolving into a dramatic, cinematic powerhouse on their new album.

Barrett Martin in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Drummer, bandleader and songwriter is just the beginning of a proper description of Barrett Martin. He's also the author of a new memoir exploring his musical travels around the world, with a soundtrack of course.

Dedicated world traveler is another description. He's been writing a travel blog for the Huffington Post for the past four years. Barrett also runs a record label and publishing company, currently plays drums in the all-star rock group Walking Papers, and is preparing to release more music from his rock-jazz fusion outfit in the new year.

Nick Blacka of Gogo Penguin.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When Chris Illingworth sits down at the piano, Nick Blacka picks up his upright bass, and Rob Turner adjusts his snare drum, the Manchester trio GoGo Penguin looks like a jazz trio. But they'll tell you that calling their music "jazz" isn't quite accurate.

Taking musical inspiration from a long history of popular electronic music back home in England, GoGo Penguin are simply playing the music that moves them.

Polyrhythmics
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In Polyrhythmics' musical blender you'll find soul, jazz, r&b, psychedelia, funk, afrobeat and echoes of traditional music from around the world. But after ten years together, they point to the Seattle music community as the driving force of their success.

Seattle JazzEd
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Twenty-eight teenagers filled several rooms at KNKX's Seattle studios to perform in 4 groups as a sort of graduation from the Seattle JazzED Summer Advanced Institute. On paper, it looked like disaster... but the kids made it work.

Cole Schuster in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Establishing a monthly residency at Tula's jazz club in Seattle on the 2nd Thursday of each month, we put the trio disORGANized to the test with a live studio session on a Monday afternoon. They passed with flying colors.

Navy Jazz Band Northwest in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seafair's big Fleet Week celebrations include plenty of sailors at work and at ease around Puget Sound, and a special visit to the KNKX studios from the Navy Band's Brass Band, an almost entirely new group from their visit last year, with a fresh, funky sound.

Clad in their sparkling clean dress whites, we heard two trombones, two saxophones, and trumpet with drums - and a warning to our Leadership Circle studio audience: this is going to be loud.

Alex Chadsey along with Farko Dosumoy and Jeff Busch make up duende libre.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Blending the rhythms of Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America into a groovy gumbo, Seattle's Duende Libre landed in the KNKX studios to celebrate with an exclusive performance of three songs from their new self-titled album live on 88.5.

The trio are well-traveled, keys player Alex Chadsey has spent time playing music in Mexico, drummer Jeff Busch lived in Brazil for a short spell, and bassist Farko Dosumov hails from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan.

Kenny Barron Looks Back

Jun 28, 2017
Pianist Kenny Barron performed an intimate solo set at the 2017 TD Vanvouver International Jazz Festival Sunday evening, June 25, 2017.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

At this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, KNKX jazz host Abe Beeson had an opportunity to speak with the great jazz pianist Kenny Barron. 

Donny McCaslin at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2017
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It was my honor to travel to Vancouver for a second time to work with the folks at Coastal Jazz on the 2017 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. We were given the opportunity to set up a tent near Robson Square where the festival’s free downtown jazz concerts are (find the free jazz on Granville Island for Canada Day July 1 ), and to emcee a few of the hottest shows on a toasty early Summer weekend in one of North America’s most beautiful cities.

Here are Abe Beeson’s fond memories of his trip to the land of jazz lovers and world-class poutine:

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

His band's work supporting David Bowie on his final album, "Blackstar," has moved saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin's Group into the spotlight in the last couple years, and the pride of Santa Cruz, California is ready for it.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The energy in the KNKX studios was evident just days from graduation for three of the Shorecrest High School Jazz Band's Allstar quintet. With their mentor, saxophonist Mark Taylor's guidance, the fellows found the groove and wouldn't let go.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On the afternoon of day three of this year's Ballard Jazz Festival, the 10-clubs-for-one-cover Jazz Walk, KNKX welcomed a trio of Northwest jazz all-stars that reminded us how lucky jazz fans are in this corner of the world.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Raised in the Midwest, one of pianist Larry Fuller's first jobs in jazz was here in Seattle, backing up iconic jazz singer Ernestine Anderson. So his debut performance live on 88.5 felt like a homecoming.

His career has been spent mostly as a sideman, but in the shadows of some of the world's best jazz musicians life can be pretty great. After a few years with Miss Ernestine, Fuller began working with the great California drummer Jeff Hamilton's trio, which led to a dream job in bassist Ray Brown's threesome in the late '90s.

Based in Centralia, flugelhorn player and band leader Dmitri Matheny teamed up as a mentor with the Kelso High School all-star jazz combo in the KNKX studios and told us that smaller towns can provide great opportunities for musicians willing to look for them. These teens from the south end of the state made the most of their opportunity to play live on KNKX.

Growing up in upstate New York, you might expect a young jazz talent to head for the Big Apple, the legendary "jazz center of the world," but trumpeter Samantha Boshnack came to Seattle. She'll tell you it was a great decision.

Sam is a dedicated composer as well as player, and she told us about working with her large ensemble, the B'shnorchestra, that working with those she admires as players and people is what she loves about jazz.

Live in the KNKX studios, it was obvious that her band loves playing her music with her.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When the teenage all-stars of Five Feet Up came to play live on 88.5 recently, we were excited to see three old/young friends: Bell Thompson and Margaux Bouchegnies on trumpet and bass had performed in our studios as half of the 10 O'Clock Quartet. Guitarist Julia Tanner had played live on 88.5 with her bandmates from the Melba Liston All-Star Combo.

Parker Miles Blohm

In his fourth visit to the KNKX Studio Sessions, we finally put saxman Anton Schwartz together with one of our School of Jazz all-star combos.

Lynnwood High School was the beneficiary of Anton's mentoring, and his advice to the teenage musicians sounded just as applicable to life: "You gotta be where you are, not where you want to be. By perfecting where you are, you'll get to where you want to go."

"Vinyl Record Player" by Nan Palmero is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Record Store Day is April 22. And it happens to be the 10th anniversary of the day that celebrates independent stores across the country, as well as all the music fans and artists that keep them thriving.

Our very own Abe Beeson is a bit of a vinyl junkie and sat down with 88.5's Kirsten Kendrick talk about his ever-growing collection, and what he’s looking forward to on Record Store Day.

Interview highlights

Parker Miles Blohm

On her debut album as a leader, trombone player, composer and producer Naomi Moon Siegel utilizes the talents of 13 of her musical friends, but live in the KNKX studios, she treated us to an intimate version with her trombone and sparse electric keys alongside guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme's delicate and ethereal playing. The result was a distillation, a close-up, of the beautiful music on "Shoebox View."

Michael Goude

Jazz fans talk often about the need to introduce the music to younger fans. Live in the KNKX studios, drummer Sammy Miller and his band of 20-somethings are getting their attention by having fun.

Their just-released debut "The Mixtape" is a solid document, but the real fun is in seeing this group in action live.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Goodness knows how he finds the time - Robert Glasper has released three albums over the past couple of years, toured the world with his band, produced records for others, and still made it out to mentor a select group of young Northwest musicians for the 16th annual More Music @ the Moore concert, March 25.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It was a little early for guitarist Jimmy James, and he told his band mates he was feeling cranky. But having just come off a pair of road trip Northwest tours, it was all in the family with Delvon Lamarr and drummer David McGraw (co-founder with James of the hot Seattle soul group The True Loves) pushing their friend's buttons until everyone was laughing.

This good-time feeling filled our studios as the DLO3 gave us three cool groovers soaked in the '60s and '70s traditions of funky organ, guitar and drum trios of Jimmy Smith, Big John Patton, Jack McDuff and others.

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