Jazz Northwest

Sundays at 2PM

Jazz Northwest focuses on the regional jazz scene from Portland to Vancouver. CDs by the best resident musicians from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver are featured, and the program also includes news about the best places to go for live jazz in the region. In addition, Jim goes "on location" to concerts, clubs and jazz festivals to record performances by resident and visiting artists for playback on Jazz Northwest. These one-of-a-kind recordings are available nowhere else!

Host Jim Wilke is a professional recording engineer and writer in addition to his radio programs which include "Jazz After Hours" on Public Radio International, heard nationwide since 1984.

Jim Wilke

Drummer Adam Kessler and bassist Phil Sparks have been co-leading Thursday Jazz Nights at the Barça Lounge on Capitol Hill in Seattle for over a decade.  Generally, it's the rhythm section and a guest soloist.  

Guitarist and composer Ralph Towner returns to the Pacific Northwest this month as part of a a national tour including Portland and Seattle, Feb. 20 and 21. His new CD "My Foolish Heart" debuts this week on Jazz Northwest. 

Now an international artist, Ralph Towner was born in Chehalis and played piano in Seattle in the 1960s before co-founding the group Oregon and later concentrating on 12-string and classical guitars. He has recorded over two dozen albums for ECM since 1972.  

Jim Levitt

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman, played music of Miles Davis and arrangements by Gil Evans in its November concerts in Seattle and Kirkland. The concert at The Kirkland Performance Center was recorded for radio and we're airing highlights from that performance this week on Jazz Northwest.

Several recent releases by Northwest resident musicians are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Bremerton saxophonist Mark Lewis recorded in New York with a trio of first-call musicians. Adam Kessler and Phil Sparks are the cornerstone of Thursday sessions at Barça Lounge on Capitol Hill with different guest artists each week.

Lisa Hagen Glynn

This week on Jazz Northwest, we're featuring LineUp in concert at the Seattle Art Museum. The quartet was formed in 2015 and debuted at the Ballard Jazz Festival that same year.  

Co-led by pianist and vocalist Dawn Clement and saxophonist Mark Taylor, LineUp has also played at the Earshot Jazz Festival and a monthly series at Tula's in Seattle.  

The 14th Annual PDX Jazz Festival in Portland features Grammy winners, NEA Jazz Masters and many other stars February 16-26. The festival's Artistic Director, Don Lucoff joins Jim Wilke in a preview of the festival on this week's Jazz Northwest on 88.5 knkx and knkx.org at 2 p.m. Pacific on January 15. 

The program includes music by Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Heath Brothers, John Abercrombie, T.S.Monk, Jon Faddis and centennial salutes to the music of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie.

Ziggy Spiz

This week on Jazz Northwest, Portland-based jazz singer Nancy King teams with pianist Steve Christofferson in a JazzVox "home concert."  Nancy King was named to the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2001, the city of Portland named Feb. 22, 2008 as Nancy King Day, and she was recognized as the third Portland Jazz Master in 2013.  

On Christmas Day, Jazz Northwest celebrates with holiday music by many of our great resident artists from Portland to Vancouver B.C.  Included are favorites by Bill Smith, Susan Pascal, Dave Frishberg, Barney McClure, Ernestine Anderson, Jose Gonzales, SRJO, Don Lanphere, Nancy King, Karin Plato and Michael Powers.  

Jazz Northwest is followed by more holiday music by Northwest artists on the Origin Holiday Special hosted by Matt Jorgensen while Ken Wiley takes the holiday off.

Denise Donatelli photo courtesy of artist / Anton Schwartz photo by Bruce Hudson / Arrangement by Earshot Jazz

This week on Jazz Northwest, Los Angeles-based singer Denise Donatelli joins Anton Schwartz in fronting a quintet in an Earshot Festival performance.  The program was recorded on stage at Tula's in Seattle.

Cover drawing by Philip Cheaney

On this week's Jazz Northwest,  Jose "Juicy" Gonzales Trio plays music from a new CD "Linus and Juicy" and also in live concerts.  Also featured is the extended three-movement "Concerto for Jazz Trumpet" composed by Samantha Boshnack featuring Thomas Marriott with the B'shnorkestra.  

Also included on this week's show are holiday favorites by Don Lanphere, Greta Matassa, Michael Powers, Anton Schwartz and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra playing a selection from the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington.

MichaelCraftPhotography.com

Three years ago, The Dave Douglas Quintet and The Westerlies were co-billed on an Earshot Jazz Festival concert and the two groups combined to provide an exciting finale to an already memorable concert.  

Inspired by that event, Dave Douglas composed a series of pieces for his trumpet and The Westerlies for a tour which concluded with a return to Seattle to play at The Earshot Festival 2016.  

The Three Sounds was one of the iconic jazz trios of the '60s and played The Penthouse in Seattle on numerous occasions, documented in a new vinyl release on Record Store Day, November 25. These recordings have not been circulated since the original live broadcasts and debut this Sunday, November 27, on Jazz Northwest  at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 knkx.  

Jim Wilke

Continuing a series of concerts recorded at this year's Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, Jazz Northwest presents highlights from "Night Of The Cookers" featuring trumpet players Brian Lynch and Thomas Marriott recorded in concert at Tula's in Seattle.

One of our favorite themes on Jazz Northwest  is exploring jazz with a Pacific Northwest connection from then 'til now.  This week, we debut two new releases separated by some 50 years.

From the 1960s, The Three Sounds led by pianist Gene Harris are heard at Seattle's legendary Penthouse jazz club, and from 2016, The Westerlies, four brass players from Seattle now New York-based, who seem to have created an entirely new genre of music somewhere between chamber music and jazz with surprises along the way.  

Jim Wilke

One of the most admired and celebrated improvising pianists of his generation; Fred Hersch played a solo concert on the opening weekend of the 2016 Earshot Festival.   Playing the Steinway concert grand at Cornish College, he delighted a full house at Poncho Concert Hall.  Included were several of his own compositions as well as unique arrangements of a few standards.  The concert was recorded for broadcast and an hour of highlights will air on Sunday, November 6 at 2 PM Pacific on Jazz Northwest on 88.5, knkx.  

The Kareem Kandi Band was presented this month by Earshot Jazz as part of the Art of Jazz Series at the Seattle Art Museum, and the current Earshot Jazz Festival.  The deep groove and soulful swing of the trio recalls the organ trios of the '60s in Philadelphia, Detroit and other urban centers, and took the chill off the blustery October night outside SAM's First Avenue windows.  The group consists of Kareem Kandi, tenor sax, Delvon Lamarr, Hammond B3 Organ, and Max Wood on drums. 

Several new and forthcoming releases will be highlighted on Jazz Northwest this Sunday, October 23 on 88.5 knkx. Two are bicoastal sessions, one with Bremerton resident Mark Lewis and a top New York rhythm section, and one with Vancouver BC saxophonist Cory Weeds in a live session at Smoke in New York.  Mark Lewis' CD will be released early next year and the Cory Weeds disc is out now. NY pianist David Hazeltine is in Vancouver to launch Cory Weeds' CD this weekend at Frankies.

Jim Levitt

Highlights from the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra's season opening concert will air on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 knkx on Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m.

Following a tradition established in recent years, the music of the Count Basie Orchestra was featured, this time with a focus on the band's first years in New York and some of its earliest hit recordings c.1937.  It was a big band that played with the loose informality of a small group and featured many outstanding improvising soloists.

This Sunday afternoon on Jazz Northwest, host Jim Wilke samples music by some of the artists playing during the first week of the Earshot Jazz Festival including Fred Hersch, Freddy Cole, and Thomas Marriott.  Also featured is a new release by alto saxophonist Ben Roseth, former Garfield HS standout who now lives in Washington, D.C.  The program also highlights best bets for live jazz in the coming week. 

Jim Levitt

Three pianists in the prime of their careers were featured in one concert at the 2016 Jazz Port Townsend. Gerald Clayton, George Colligan and Taylor Eigsti each took a turn to play two tunes, a ballad and a burner with Harish Raghavan on bass an Matt Wilson on drums round out the trio in each case. The concert was recorded for Jazz Northwest  on 88.5 KNKX and will stream at knkx.org at 2 p.m. Pacific this Sunday, October 2.  

The Oregon Coast Jazz Party takes place next weekend, September 30 through October 2 in Newport Oregon, and a week later the Earshot Jazz Festival begins in Seattle and runs October 7 through November 11.  Some musical highlights from both festivals will be heard on Jazz Northwest this Sunday (9/25) at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 knkx and streaming at knkx.org

Between the small combo and the big band there exists the little big band.  Eight to 10 musicians provide composers and arrangers a palate of instrumental color and voices to explore and combine in non-traditional fashion.  Among notable examples are the Miles Davis Nonet with music by Gil Evans, John Lewis, and Gerry Mulligan. Later examples include The Dave Pell Octet, the Marty Paich Dektet, Gerry Mulligan Tentette, Phil Woods Little Big Band and others. Oliver Groenewald's NewNet is a nine-piece ensemble that continues the tradition here in the Pacific Northwest.  

Jim Levitt

Two outstanding rising jazz stars were featured together in concert at Jazz Port Townsend this summer.  Trumpeter Sean Jones and tenor saxophonist JD Allen already have a wealth of experience and several CDs each. Their concert was recorded for radio and will air on Jazz Northwest, exclusively on 88.5 knkx on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. Pacific.  

Joining them in this quintet are pianist George Colligan, Harish Raghavan on bass and Matt Wilson on drums.  They play jazz standards by Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Tadd Dameron and Benny Golson.  

Jim Levitt

An all-star big band tribute to Woody Herman was one of the features of the Saturday matinee concert at this year's Jazz Port Townsend, presented annually by Centrum on the last weekend of July.  

The concert was recorded for radio and will air on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 on Sunday August 28 at 2 p.m. Pacific.  The band was co-led by two drummers who played in Woody Herman's band at different times. Jeff Hamilton and Joe LaBarbera take turns at the drumset and introducing the music which samples the band's 50-year history.

1990 for Hep Records

We like examining the continuum of jazz  (thank you, John Gilbreath!) on Jazz Northwest.  The students become the rising stars, and the rising stars become the teachers of the next generation and so it goes.  Don Lanphere and Larry Coryell were major figures in Seattle jazz, and Roxy Coss was one of Don's students and played in the Garfield Jazz Band under Clarence Acox. Today, Roxy is active on the New York Jazz Scene.  We'll sample her newest CD and also one by pianist Ariel Pocock who was a product of Newport High School and has also gone on to national prominence.  

Jim Levett

Singers don't often pair up in concert and three together is extremely rare.  Egos and voices might clash, but nothing of the sort happened when Dee Daniels, René Marie and Dena DeRose teamed up for a vocal extravaganza at the 42nd annual Jazz Port Townsend presented by Centrum.  The well planned and executed program featured each of the singers in a solo performance and in duets with the other two, with a finale bringing all three together in the classic blues "Centerpiece".

Jim Levitt

Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend takes place the last weekend of July each year and the Festival's 42nd year included seven groups over three concerts: Friday, Saturday matinee and evening performances.  The relaxed presentations and informality are hallmarks of the festival, this year including singers, composers, small groups and an all-star big band. Performers are internationally renown and also make up the faculty for the Jazz Workshop which precedes the festival.

Jazz Concerts Spanning Over 60 Years Highlighted

Jul 31, 2016
Tim Coleman

This week's Jazz Northwest highlights music from three jazz concerts in Seattle, ranging from 1951 to last fall.  Selections not previously broadcast from concerts last fall by the Art Lande Quartet at Cornish College and The Marc Seales Trio at The Seattle Art Museum open the show, followed by The Cecil Young Quartet featuring Gerald Brasher at the Metropolitan Theatre in Seattle in 1951.  

Jim Wilke

This Sunday, Jazz Northwest will preview The 42nd Annual Jazz Port Townsend presented by Centrum on the last weekend of July. Three mainstage concerts at the 1200 seat McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden will feature seven performances on Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, and there will be three nights of jazz in the clubs Thursday through Saturday in downtown Port Townsend. Jazz Northwest will preview the concerts and some of the artists on this week's show, Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU.  

Pianist Larry Fuller brought his trio to Tula's for the final weekend of last fall's Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle.  The evening was recorded for Jazz Northwest  and the second set will air on Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and stream at kplu.org.   

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