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

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.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The all-star combo from Juanita High School's jazz band made their studio session on 88.5 with young trumpeter and educator Jared Hall featured on trumpet, and proved they're ready to take their place among the promising teen jazz ensembles around the Northwest.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

From the moment he peeped into the orchestra pit at the Pacific Northwest Ballet's annual "Nutcracker" performance, Eric Verlinde has been driven with the desire to play music. These days, he's doing just that — and lots of it.

Boasting one of the busiest gigs calendars in town, you'll find Eric working Sunday nights at El Gaucho with singer Josephine Howell, Monday nights on the same stage playing solo, and every Tuesday night he leads one of the city's favorite jam sessions at the Owl & Thistle pub downtown.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Phil Sparks/Adam Kessler band has been playing live jazz at the Barca Lounge on Capitol Hill for more than 10 years now, and just released "Live at Barca, Vol 1" to celebrate.

The album features live recordings from Kessler and bassist Phil Sparks, along with lots of their friends who join them on this long running regular Thursday-night gig.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Tim Kennedy is one of the shining stars of the current Northwest jazz scene, and jazz is just the beginning. You’ll find him playing classic rock in the group Hot Rod, electric keys in the modern jazz trio Gravity, doing solo gigs as pianist, guitarist and/or singer, and often embracing electronic dance music as his alter ego Richie Aldente.

Singer Nancy Erickson recently received her masters in music education, but live in the knkx studios, she was anything but a reserved academic. She told us about singing in her early days, taking time off to raise a family, and a return to form inspired by audiences in a Woodinville club that led her back to a life in jazz. Thanks, Woodinville!

Starting her session with her own tune, "New Years Eve" - a song written for her parents' anniversary transformed into jazzy pop magic - then into Duke Ellington's beautiful and challenging "Prelude to a Kiss".

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

The KNKX studios got a Danish treat when we welcomed singer Sinne Eeg and her pianist friend Jacob Christoffersen. Traveling through the Seattle area for a third time for a series of intimate house concerts, Sinne told us she enjoys an intimate concert setting, and shared a funny story about primitive conditions at a remote Chinese jazz club she worked early in her career.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Glacier Peak High School Jazz Band director Tad Morris has raised some talented musicians under his care, with a largely senior class combo well-equipped with skills and a deep understanding of the importance of jazz.

Asked what this music means to them, bassist Alex Sturlaugson talked about how jazz transcends race, religion and politics and connects us on a deep level. Then there was the music.

Michael Goude

No wonder they do a lot of wedding gigs - Sundae + Mr. Goessl (the stage act name for singer Kate Voss and her guitarist/songwriter husband Jason Goessl) have a natural romantic chemistry that comes through in the throw-back songs of a time long past. In fact, we learned in our interview that it was their considerable musical talent that first attracted them to each other.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

KNKX welcomed a second performance of the trio Tyrant Lizard, just as the band released their self-titled debut album, and the new release from the group's guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, "I Sang To You and the Moon."

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

One of the leading flugelhorn players in jazz dropped into the knkx studios to celebrate his recent album "Jazz Noir," and to play three cool tunes with his now-Northwest neighbors.

Tacoma's top jazz man, Kareem Kandi, returned to the knkx studios this fall armed with the enviable rhythm section of Delvon Lamarr on Hammond organ and D'Vonne Lewis and some new music from his new album, "Hourglass."

One of the busiest musicians in the area, Kareem talked about helping to organize the Tacoma Jazz Association, the inspiration he draws from the jazz community, and his newest role, as a father of a new baby.

They're not the first all-female jazz band to perform in the knkx studios, but after hearing the teens from Seattle JazzEd, it's about time it stops feeling like a special occasion.

Featuring their mentor Susan Pascal on vibes, the ladies thrilled our packed studio audience with jazz, soul, and a song by the modern jazz outfit Snarky Puppy, and made us forget about girls vs. boys.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Blowing down from Minneapolis, The Bad Plus have been world-wide icons of modern jazz since the beginning of the century. A unique blend of Ethan Iverson's aggressive acoustic piano with classical echoes, Reid Anderson's rock solid yet fluid bass, and Dave King's play-every-inch-of-the-kit drumming, the trio has all the energy of a young rock band, but with the collaborative improvisation of a long-running jazz band.

The Grammy award he received for his “Black Radio” album in 2012 was in the Best R&B Album category, but there’s a lot of jazz improvisation happening in the music of Robert Glasper.

The fusion of rock ’n’ roll with jazz has existed since the birth of rock – I would even argue folks like Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and especially Louis Jordan, helped invent it. As jazz moves through a new century, and early rock stars and fans move into their 70s, there’s still plenty of choice territory for the two styles to intertwine.

You've heard him live in the knkx studios with fellow Tacoman Kareem Kandi, and now he's in the spotlight - Hammond organ master Delvon Lamarr's debut with his organ trio, the DLO3, is out now, and it's just the thing to steam up a cold winter in the Northwest.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

More than a quarter century after they emerged from Eugene as a horn-powered, hard-rocking dance band, and over two decades since they ruled as kings of the swing revival with their smash hit "Zoot Suit Riot", the Cherry Poppin' Daddies continue to explore the possibilities of taking the roots of classic American swing and giving it a fresh energy.

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