Kevin Kniestedt

Producer, Sound Effect

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin is currently one of the producers for KNKX’s weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has interviewed several world class musicians, produced local features, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KNKX radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in Seattle, where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

Ways to Connect

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

This story originally aired on March 18, 2017. 

More than 23,000 people lost their lives following the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. In response, the United States Geological Survey and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance created the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, to help prevent other volcanic eruptions from becoming disasters.

Bookstore by Jordy Templeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 bit.ly/2lMHyhJ

This show originally aired on February 18, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you stories of TMI, as in too much information. 

The Jeopardy Champ

Seattle resident Ken Jennings won 74 times in a row on the popular trivia show "Jeopardy!" and is the the second highest earner in game show history with a total of more than $3.1 million. He explains how he keeps all that information in his brain.

The Home of The Cloud

Credit Allie Ferguson

This segment originally aired February 18, 2017. 

Ken Jennings says knowing a lot of random facts can really come in handy when it comes to bringing people together — connecting with total strangers. He says having random knowledge about someone’s job or alma mater is a little bit like knowing about a person before you even get to meet them.

Jennings says that the trick to being able to consume and retain so much knowledge is largely due to a wide interest in everything, because people are more likely to retain things that they are interested in.

This story originally aired on December 3, 2017.

Lynette McMillan had a small, quiet family, relatively speaking. She and her husband were raising three kids on a ranch in Soap Lake, Wash. They took a trip to a friend's place, a couple that had taken in foster kids and giving them a better life than what they had previously. This was the inspiration for the McMillans to become foster parents themselves. 

Courtesy of Mike Long.

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Seattle writer Michael Long was a terrible student in grade school. It wasn't that he couldn't do well; it was just that he had no interest in it. Instead of studying or paying attention in class, he would often be caught doodling or staring off into space.

(courtesy Nancy Leson)

This story originally aired on June 18, 2016.

Nancy Leson, half of knkx's  Food for Thought duo, has been in the food industry for a long time. But some of her earliest memories of food come from bars -- not as an employee, but as a patron — a six-year-old patron. 

Leson grew up in Philadelphia, in a time and place where children were allowed to belly up to bars and eat Slim Jims and pickled eggs, or order a Coke with loads of  Maraschino cherries. 

The reason Leson wound up in those bars was that that was where she would find her mother. 

Courtesy Arrington De Dionyso

Editor's note: The audio version of this story contains language some readers may find inappropriate.

Sometimes the things that keep us up seem to come out of nowhere. Something we might never have given a second thought to all of a sudden, for reasons we can’t quite understand, become front and center in our life.

That’s what happened to Arrington De Dionyso. He’s a painter and musician from Olympia.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seattle Mariners are a little over a week away from wrapping up the first half of the season, and the M’s have taken their fans on a roller coaster ride so far. Countless injuries and stretches of winning streaks followed by losing streaks have toyed with the emotions of their loyal supporters.

Credit Alex Gao

Marcus Haney has caught several big named musicians on camera, including the likes of Coldplay and Elton John.

In 2014, he was asked to produce a music video for the British band Bear's Den. He came up with the idea of coming to Seattle to film his younger brother, Turner Haney, and Turner's friends, who all attended Seattle Pacific University, capturing youth on the brink of adulthood. 

Kevin Kniestedt / KNKX

Affordable housing is certainly a big issue these days, especially if you are living in the greater Seattle area. But it is also a major issue on some of our islands.

On San Juan Island, an overwhelming shortage of affordable housing is threatening the community and economy. But a non-profit in Friday Harbor is come up with a way to help that problem: by picking up old houses that are no long wanted in Victoria, British Columbia, putting them on a boat, and giving them a second life in Friday.

“McNeil Island and neighbors” by worldislandinfo.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2tseyeM

Note: Some of the content in this story might be upsetting to some listeners. 

McNeil Island in South Puget Sound is where the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators is located. There are about 250 permanent residents at the Special Commitment Center -that’s what they’re called — and there are only a few ways you can leave the facility: you die, you’re deemed to have successfully completed treatment, or you can challenge your commitment with a trial.

Credit Jennifer Wing

Kitsap Forest Theater is a natural outdoor amphitheater just outside of Bremerton, Wash. It's been run by the Mountaineers for 93 years, and sits on a 640-acre forest preserve.

100 years ago it was all rhododendrons. That was the initial attraction to the area. Some of the people who are Mountaineers began to come and stay every year and they began to do shows, performances and concerts, and eventually that developed into an annual theatrical production.

Allie Ferguson / KNKX

B.J. Listman is one of the elevator operators at the Space Needle. The Space Needle and the Smith Tower, according to B.J, are the only places left in Seattle where there are actually elevator operators. This iconic Seattle landmark has enchanted B.J. since he was a child.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

There’s been a lot of talk this week about the possibility that former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick may likely end up as the backup quarterback for the Seahawks. Kaepernick got a lot of attention last year for kneeling during the national anthem at football games, and was an arch rival to the Seahawks during his time in San Francisco.

KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel says that for starters, nothing has actually happened yet. The Seahawks have admitted that they have expressed interest in Kaepernick, but some things have to happen before he becomes a Seahawk.

Courtesy Marvin Charles

Marvin Charles is the co-founder of a Seattle organization called DADS —Divine Alternative for Dads Services. Marvin and his wife, Jeanett, help men from all walks of life get back on their feet, find work and ultimately, reconnect with their kids.

Now, you might think that Marvin must be one of these parents who know all — a go-to person whose advice is golden and who comes from a loving home himself.

This is how Marvin’s life started. But then things got really complicated.

Courtesy Lane Czaplinski

Lane Czaplinski has been the artistic director at On The Boards, a Seattle-based contemporary performing arts organization since 2002. He has basically been working in the arts since he graduated college. But in his senior year of college, a series of unusual circumstances led to him climbing the ranks of one of the most historic and decorated college basketball programs in the country.

Courtesy of Laurie Cullen

One of the hardest things a person might have to find peace with is the diagnosis of a life changing disease like Alzheimer’s. For sisters Tamara Cullen Evans and Laurie Cullen, their diagnoses for Alzheimer’s came much earlier than it does for most people.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

Ben Union basically grew up in a church, and for him there was little question as to what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a preacher.

But in religion, just like in politics, or relationships, challenging or even traumatic experiences can make you change your feelings about a path you were once entirely certain about.

This was the case for Ben Union. He didn’t become a preacher, but instead, a professional musician in Tacoma.

From left: Hanna Brooks Olsen, Sarah Anne Lloyd, Alex Hudson
Seattlish

The blog "Seattlish" is closing up shop. For four years, the website covered politics in Washington state, with a special emphasis on Seattle city government.

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

As the years go by, it can be harder and harder to find singers and bands that still perform the original charts from the '30s and '40s, which include Ella Fitzgerald's first big hit with the Chick Webb Orchestra, the 1938 recording of “A Tisket, A Tasket.”

In Tacoma, you can find the Swing Reunion Orchestra doing just that. The Swing Reunion Orchestra performs free concerts at the McKinley VFW in Tacoma the last Mondays of the month, and first and foremost, they want their music to sound authentic.

Simone Alicea / knkx

For our show this week, we wanted to talk to someone who hears lies all the time: Tow truck drivers. That’s what Sound Effect Executive Producer Erin Hennessey suggested. She sent 88.5’s Simone Alicea to a towing company in Bellevue to talk to someone who’s heard it all.

But it turns out Erin wasn’t being totally forthcoming, herself, about the role she had cast for these drivers. She and Simone sat down to compare notes about their impound experiences.

Parker Miles Blohm

If you were to take a look at Grace Kelly’s resume, you might assume she’s in her fifties or sixties. To her credit, she has 10 album releases (including the recently released "Trying To Figure It Out"), several awards, performances with the Boston Pops, a performance for President Obama, and collaborations with dozens of top flight musicians. But she has done all of this by age 24.

Kevin Kniestedt

When Brian McDonald, a screenwriter, teacher and author was living in Seattle in the mid-90s, he says that, while talented, he had seen about 15 years of closed doors as far as his career was concerned.

Knowing that the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson also lived in Seattle, Wilson had dreams of one day meeting him and learning from him.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/AP

So when we get emotional about something, we often have to weigh the risks and rewards of acting on those emotions. If someone upsets us, we need to decide if there is enough of a reward in confronting that person, while potentially facing the risks of upsetting that person as well.

I found myself in one of those situations at small-town bar in the middle of Washington, upset at a very, very famous young man, and wrote this essay.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

There has been a lot of attention paid in recent years to the risks of playing professional football. While head injuries are nothing new to football, the National Football League implemented nine years ago, and has since constantly tweaked a concussion protocol, and has adjusted other rules to assist in player safety.

Allie Ferguson

A lot of bands have a very particular sound that is very identifiably them, and that often makes it easier to be marketed and defined. But Sebastian and the Deep Blue, from one song to the next, can sound like a completely different band. In fact, in their “about” section on their website, this is how they define themselves:

Joel Mabel / Wikipedia Commons

Tilth, a non-profit that oversees community gardens all over Seattle, operates out of a Suite 100 in a historical landmark: The Good Shepherd Center. This enormous building spans the length of a city block and is surrounded by several acres of gardens, a playground and large expanses of green lawns.

Courtesy Ruby Brown

Former 88.5 KNKX Jazz Sunday Side Up host Ruby Brown had known for a long time that her brother Andy had battled mental health issues. But it wasn’t until last summer when he took his own life that she and her family were able to understand the extent of it.

Courtesy Seattle Choruses

Last April, composer, arranger and conductor Paul Caldwell was weeks away from leaving Chicago for a new life and new job as the artistic director for the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. But after leaving his best friend’s place, he became the victim of a terrible hit and run accident.

Caldwell was struck by a car, severely fracturing several bones in his body, including his legs and right arm. His head landed on a bag filled with sheet music, rather than the hard street, saving his life.

Kevin Kniestedt / knkx

There are some things you might only be able to notice if you happen to be an insider. If you have lived in Tacoma for any extended period of time, there is a pretty good chance that you feel a bit territorial about it. It is a city that gets told that it can't measure up to Seattle. It is often associated with a certain aroma, while residents know that the smell doesn't really exist anymore, or at least doesn't compare to how it did decades ago.

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