Robin Lloyd

Midday Jazz Host

Robin Lloyd was born and raised in the Detroit area. She performed radio plays in junior high and high school, took various radio apprenticeships in high school and college, and has held a number of different positions at community and public radio stations in Michigan and Western Washington, including Jazz and Blues Host, Producer, Production Manager, Station Operations Manager and Program Director. Robin is married to drummer Michael Slivka; together they manage a household full of dogs, cats and percussion.

Her most memorable KNKX moment: dancing with the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians on stage at Jazz Alley on my birthday.

Ways to Connect

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

For her third appearance in the KNKX studios, Anat Cohen brought along Trio Brasileiro, the group that presents the very popular spring choro workshops at Centrum in Port Townsend. 

Brazilian choro music is a cousin of jazz, mixing European melodic and harmonic traditions with African rhythms and sensibilities.  The word choro means “cry” or “lament,” but much of the music sounds bright and peppy.  There’s a very subtle touch of sadness and longing, which Brazilians call “saudade.”

Lionel DECOSTER / CC BY SA 3.0

Trombonist Steve Turre grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where, he says, he "absorbed daily doses of mariachi, blues and jazz."  

iamthebluesmovie.com

Canadian filmmaker Daniel Cross spent three years traveling through Mississippi and Louisiana to search out the elders and originators, in order to compose his love song to the American blues.  

You can almost smell the crawfish boil and feel the muggy heat of the Deep South through the screen.  And of course, the blues is everywhere.

Daniel Shen / CC BY-SA 2.0

Us Latin jazz fans love our rhythms. They are the special sauce in the music that moves us.  Here's one of the rhythm makers who goes well beyond time-keeping, and transports us to different worlds: Airto Moreira.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In 2013, Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars performed at KCTS9 television for our first “remote” Studio Session.  This time, KNKX took over the Moore Theatre in Seattle for the afternoon with this multi-faceted and most talented band. 

The Afro-Cuban All-Stars include Juan de Marcos’ accomplished daughters Gliceria (vibes and keyboards) and Laura (clarinets), as well as his wife and band manager Gliceria on percussion. 

Abramorama

This well-constructed documentary is informative and entertaining.  Rarely-seen photos and home movies plus interviews with family members round out the picture of the iconic saxophonist who was always searching and pushing forward.  

Musicians Benny Golson, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner and others are all eloquently emotional in remembering their friend John.  Denzel Washington gives convincing reads of Coltrane's words from interviews from 1957-1967.  Of course, the music is sublime.

Havana Theatre
“club español” by Pablo Trincado is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2qnc53Q

Jazz Appreciation Month wraps up once again with International Jazz Day on April 30, and the annual All-Star Global Concert.   This year's host city for the concert is Havana, Cuba.

Bruno of Hollywood / courtesy of Smithsonian Jazz

On Tuesday April 25, we will celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday all day on KNKX. 

Ella is, without a doubt, one of the most important and influential jazz singers of all time, and her centennial is a perfect time to review her life and contributions to jazz.

The pioneering Cuban jazz band Irakere nurtured some of Cuba's leading musicians who went on to gain international fame.

Mary Osborne, photograph by Paul Smith; Betty Carter, photograph by Bob Barrett; and Toshiko Akiyoshi, photograph by Bob Barrett / University of North Texas Press

Music educator and author Carolyn Glenn Brewer tells the story of the birth and untimely demise of the Kansas City Women's Jazz Festival.  It was a unique undertaking, especially in the late 1970s, when jazz was at a low point nationwide. Musical tastes were changing, even in a city that was proud of its jazz history.  

In Kansas City, you still had to be in top form to survive a jam session, even though you might not be able to make a living playing jazz. Could a jazz festival that focused on women instrumentalists, bandleaders and composers kindle enough interest to thrive?

Mack Avenue Records

There's a new wave of young Cuban jazz pianists who are pushing boundaries while still honoring the traditions of Cuban music and the modern masters like Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.  

Meet Harold López-Nussa, your guide for "El Viaje," the journey.

KCTS9

Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars return to Seattle on the night of Wednesday April 12 for a show at the Moore Theater.  We're delighted that they've also agreed to perform for a live studio session that afternoon, broadcast live at 12:15 p.m. on KNKX.

Juan de Marcos is marking 20 years since the amazing success of the Buena Vista Social Club recordings and the resulting world tour that made stars of "los viejos," the elder musicians who paved the way for modern Cuban music.

Herbert Behrens / Anefo / CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

The story of trumpeter Lee Morgan's death in 1972 pops up every few years to be hashed over and nit-picked by jazz enthusiasts, critics and journalists.  I've read the articles, the essays, and even the transcripts of the taped interview of Helen Morgan, the "lady who shot Lee Morgan."  

None of the above prepared me for the emotional depths of the story told in the film "I Called Him Morgan."

Photo/Daniel Sheehan/eyeshotjazz.com / http://www.danielsheehan.com/

The Jazz Journalists Association's annual Jazz Hero Award recipients were announced this morning.  Jazz Heroes are the advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities.  

courtesy of the artist

Second cousin to the Latin jazz we play on Jazz Caliente is the blend of jazz, Latin, soul and funk that grew up in the streets of New York in the 1960s.  Called Latin soul or boogaloo, it's rhythmic, fun and immensely danceable.

Bex Wade

Peruvian music is a blend of Andean, West African and Spanish influences.  Add some American jazz to the mix, and you've got something unique.  You can hear it on Saturday Jazz Caliente, courtesy of innovative musicians like guitarist Richie Zellon and trumpeter Gabriel Alegria.

Pixabay / CC0 public domain

This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll hear the sweet sounds of violins.  The violin came to Latin jazz through a style of music called "charanga," as did the flute.  And just like the flute, the violin's history in Cuba has deep roots.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We were delighted to welcome pianist Jovino Santos Neto back to our studios for a live Jazz Caliente studio session, this time with his Quarteto:  Chuck Deardorff on bass, Jeff Busch on drums and percussion, and Ben Thomas on vibes and bandoneon (aka “squeezebox”). 

This collection of outstanding musicians and respected music educators gave us a glimpse of beautiful Brazil, and we discussed, among other things, the diversity of musical styles in that country.

Bebeto Matthews / AP Photo

Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin died March 8; he was 64.  I remember very well the first time I heard him play on his album "The Hawk."

drummercafe.com

I was disheartened to see a recent Facebook post about master percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo.  It said he was having medical problems which have prevented him from performing for the last couple of years.  The future of Latin jazz without contributions from Mañenguito (Hidalgo's nickname) would be unthinkable.

SFJAZZ

Saxophonist Miguel Zenón brings his quartet back to Seattle on March 1, for a performance at PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College for the Arts.  Their most recent recording, "Típico," focuses on the quartet itself, celebrating the magic that happens when a band creates together for more than 15 years.  We'll hear some of that magic this week on Saturday Jazz Caliente.

americansabor.org

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear the theme song of the orchestra known as Machito and his Afro-Cubans.  The piece is called "Tanga," composed by trumpeter and arranger Mario Bauzá.  This "Tanga" had nothing to do with skimpy underwear; the song title was derived from an African word for marijuana.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Grammy Awards show will be televised this Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m. PST.  This week on Jazz Caliente, we're featuring music from all five Grammy nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album, and believe me, I'd be hard-pressed to pick a "winner" this year.  They're all outstanding recordings.

Geraldine Wyckoff

The Cultural Exchange Pavilion at this year's Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans will feature musicians from Cuba, like revered jazz pianist Chucho Valdes (the "Duke Ellington of Cuba") and timba stars Los Van Van.  The "heritage" part of this annual festival is all about acknowledging the many international influences present in New Orleans culture, food and music. 

Most jazz fans are familiar with Brazilian samba and bossa nova, since those musical styles have mixed with jazz beautifully for decades.  But Brazil is a large diverse country with many other regional rhythms and musical styles that also blend nicely with jazz.  

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

On this week's Saturday Jazz Caliente we'll hear some of maestro Eddie Palmieri's original music for the documentary "Doin' It in the Park," a film by Bobbito Garcia about the pick-up basketball game culture in NYC's parks.

sonando.org

Get to know two of the local Latin jazz groups featured this week on Saturday Jazz Caliente: Sonando and the vintage Brazilian jazz outfit called Choroloco.

"El flautista cubano Orlando Valle 'Maraca'" by Maracavalle is Licensed under CC BY 3.0 bit.ly/2hYevpM

The flute may not be as prominent in jazz as trumpet or saxophone, but a well-played flute solo can really punch up a Latin jazz tune.

The flute came to Latin jazz through a number of paths.  Here are examples of the two main contributors:

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Inspired by Seattle’s places and historical events, the Steve Griggs Ensemble plays music with a message. Griggs, a saxophonist, composer and writer addresses social injustice with music and words, telling the story of the International District’s Panama Hotel, where Japanese-Americans left their possessions when they were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II.   

Mark Peterson/Corbis

In Tito Puente's musical career that spanned six decades, he earned the nickname "El Rey" (The King), three times:  King of the Timbales,  Mambo King and King of Latin Jazz.  

Pages