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

Camilo Estrada of The New Triumph
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

"It's not loud, it's more... dynamic" percussionist Ricardo Guity told our studio audience as The New Triumph prepared to launch into their soulful, rhythm-heavy live session. It wasn't loud, but it was passionate and dynamic.

Jim Sisko performs with students from Bothell High School.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

From their perch in the suburbs, just northeast of Seattle, the jazz program at Bothell High School is producing some powerhouse musicians. This all-star ensemble’s performance with mentor Jim Sisko was a bold statement that these teens can keep up with anybody.

The front line horns of Richard Connelley's trombone and Preston Lee's sax have earned valuable experience working with Sisko's big band, and they showed it. Both took daring solos and pushed each song with their enthusiasm.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A Seattle native who's been soaking in the energy of New York City for the past half dozen years, Jessica Lurie has released the first new album from her ensemble in nearly as long ago as her relocation. It was worth the wait.

Long Haul is a diverse collection of all the style that Lurie has shown since her youthful days in legendary Seattle groups The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet and The Living Daylights. At times playful, frantic, mesmerizing, funky, mysterious and downright beautiful, Jessica Lurie is playing and composing as well as she ever has.

Ryan Leppich in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Now in his second year at the University of Northern Colorado's highly regarded jazz program, drummer Ryan Leppich returned home to Puget Sound with a pair of college friends to play a few shows around town. We were lucky enough to host them for an energetic set of clever original songs live in the KNKX studios.

Recent graduate Tom Amend showed off his well-honed piano chops alongside talented bass player Seth Lewis, and they both seemed right at home in the pocket of rhythm provided by Leppich.

Roy Hargrove practicing ‘The Seattle Vibe’ before the start of his live performance in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

He's known as one of the top trumpet players in jazz for the past quarter century, and returned to the KNKX studios with a fantastic new song for the city Roy says has always inspired him.

"The Seattle Vibe" was so new, his quintet hadn't heard it until they arrived in town for their stay at Jazz Alley. There wasn't much time to chat with the band before our live broadcast, Roy was guiding them through the soulful changes and groovy tempo of his latest song.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Entering our studios to meet the early-arriving all-star jazz combo from Lake Stevens High School, our sessions engineer John Kessler tells me, "This might be the best School of Jazz band yet!" Well, all right!

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle's 45th St Brass find plenty of funky fun in the tradition of New Orleans brass bands, but they also take the opportunity to stretch the possibilities of this classic lineup of horns and drums.

Led by the baritone sax of Peter Daniel, forming a tight rhythm section with Nelson Bell on tuba and D'Vonne Lewis (playing on half of the new album) drumming for this performance.

The trombones of Jason Cressey and David Marriott play with and against each other, and trumpeter Shawn Mickelson added a bright sharpness to their sound. 

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.

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.

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