Live Studio Sessions

Live Studio Sessions from KNKX feature some of the best jazz and blues musicians performing in the KNKX studios in downtown Seattle, WA. Featuring artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Gregory Porter, Christian McBride and more!

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

When The James Hunter 6 invaded the KNKX studios, we surrendered without a fight.  We surrendered to their high spirits, their musicianship and their great R&B grooves.

British singer/guitarist, James Hunter became known to American blues lovers in 2006 with his release, “People Gonna Talk.”  People certainly did talk and word quickly got around that James and his band were the real deal, playing wall-to-wall soul music and putting on great shows. 

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

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.

“You gotta have a groove.”  That’s where everything starts with the music of saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair and her accomplices, the Boneshakers, led by guitarist/vocalist Randy Jacobs.  Give these players a good groove and they’re gone. 

And after all their years of performing, they know a good’un when they hear it.  The Boneshakers go all the way back to the 1980s when Jacobs and vocalist, Sweet Pea Atkinson formed the nucleus for the band, Was/Not Was. 

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.

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

For at least a decade, gypsy jazz group, Pearl Django, has performed at Seattle’s Jazz Alley on the first days (well — evenings) of the new year.  For the past few years, the groups’ guest has been Seattle vocalist, Gail Pettis. 

Also for the past few years, 88.5 has had these folks in for a ‘first of the new year’ live studio session.  Is this the beginning of knkx New Year's tradition?  We hope so. 

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."

We were delighted to have the effervescent Adriana Giordano bring her EntreMundos Quarteto into the knkx studios for a live Jazz Caliente.  This popular Brazilian-flavored band has fans all over the Northwest, and they’re celebrating the release of their long-awaited CD, “Brasilidade.”  Enjoy!

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.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

An inventive and effusive pianist and composer, Marina Albero moved to Seattle from Barcelona only two years ago.  It didn’t take long for her to connect with the very best regional musicians to help her showcase her amazing mix of Spanish, Afro-Cuban and world-jazz music.  Be mesmerized by this special live Jazz Caliente studio session!

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Though she began her jazz career after her kids were grown, Denise Donatelli has quickly become a singing sensation. Now a four-time Grammy nominee, she's augmented her jazz with work in commercials and television in Los Angeles - even earning a starring vocal role on a parody of the James Bond theme from "You Only Live Twice" on "The Simpsons." Check out the hilarious episode "YOLO" to hear Denise's best Nancy Sinatra impression.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In welcoming Jake Shimabukuro to his second studio session here at 88.5, host Abe Beeson told listeners that he thinks of Jake as ‘the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.’  The comparison is apt in that both Jimi and Jake took their respective instruments to a new level. 

Michael Goude

Twin brothers Peter (tenor sax and clarinet) and Will (alto sax, clarinet and flute) Anderson brought their trio (with guitarist Alex Wintz) to the knkx studios for a thrilling afternoon of swinging standards. Though they compose their own music, the Andersons have a deep love of jazz standards, noting that "you can't write something good unless you've heard something good," but what our studio audience heard was better described as outstanding.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

San Diego-based pianist Danny Green says he's been an obsessive music fan, spending intense periods focusing on styles as diverse as Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club, his favorite Brazilian and classical composers, and a youth listening to Nirvana and playing in a ska band. It all comes together, however subtly, in every song he writes.

Joined in our studios by his long-running trio, Justin Grinnell on bass and Julien Cantelm drumming, plus saxophonist Anton Schwartz, Danny focused on songs from his often sunny-sounding new album, "Altered Narratives."

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Catherine Russell doesn't care where or when a song gets made; if it's got a lyric with a good story, she is all in. 

Russell has a knack for finding great old tunes to sing. This session featured a couple of selection from the Billie Holiday songbook ("Swing! Brother, Swing", "You're My Thrill") and a very risqué blues song from the 1920s ("You've Got the Right Key, but the Wrong Keyhole"). 

Charming and at ease, with a swinging backup band, Ms. Russell takes the past and brings it to life, here and now.  

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle drummer, D’Vonne Lewis is probably the most frequently heard musicians on the knkx Studio Sessions.  He’s involved in a number of groups and projects, but we were lucky enough to get his Limited Edition band in for a performance.  Along with D’Vonne, you’ll hear Eric Verlinde (piano), Andy Coe (guitar), Farko Dusomov (bass), Cliff Colon (sax), and Jacques Willis (vibes).

Michael Goude

A product of Mountlake Terrace High School and Central Washington University's strong jazz programs, Marina Christopher has developed into a multi-talentend, highly in-demand artist on the Seattle jazz scene.

She's worked with singers Eugenie Jones, Jacqueline Tabor and Billy Brandt. She leads a soul group called Marina and the Dreamboats. You'll find her playing bass and singing at Sea-Tac Airport now and again, and she brought in five terrific musicians with her to celebrate her latest album, "Must Love Cats."

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Mark O'Connor is a flexible master of the violin, or fiddle - depending on the music, earning awards playing classical, jazz, and bluegrass. It's this last style that dominates on his latest album, "Coming Home," which finds Mark joined by his musical family: wife Maggie on violin and vocals, son Forrest on mandolin and vocals, and Forrest's wife Kate Lee also playing violin and on vocals.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

The 56th Army Band's jazz group visited our studios for a second time, but with the constant turnover in the military, only bass player Sgt. Nicholas Cressotti remained from the first group. This 5 Man Trio, a name further noting their ever-shifting personnel, brought a fresh look and a fresh sound with them. They talked about the Army's recent emphasis on performance for their musicians, and with Spc. Jessica Hall's magnetic vocal presence pushed to the fore, the 5 Man Trio were here to entertain.

Chicago native saxophonist Chico Freeman has spent the last decade being a citizen of the world.  Now back in New York City as his home base, he's taken to the road to promote his latest recording, "Spoken Into Existence."  We were delighted to welcome Freeman to Seattle, along with bassist Kenny Davis, Luke Carlos O'Reilly at the piano and Michael Baker on drums. 

Legendary drummer Elvin Jones was a good friend and mentor to Freeman, and the first tune played on this session, "Elvin" is a tribute to Mr. Jones and a showcase for drummer Michael Baker. 

We popped up some popcorn for Tony Foster's Project Paradiso - the pianist's tribute to the film music of Ennio Morricone ("Once Upon a Time in America", "Cinema Paradiso" etc.) and Henry Mancini ("Pink Panther", "The Party", etc.). Along with three songs from the new release, we heard from Tony how film scores inspire him and provide rich territory for jazz improvisation.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Portlanders of Trio Subtonic made a second appearance in our studios armed with material from their new album "Fiction," their first for the ultra-hip Ropeadope record label. It features a pair of cool contemporary covers of songs by Elliott Smith and Sia, and live in our studios the band played the Black Keys' "Little Black Submarines", but it's their original songs that really shine.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Back in 1999, and out of nowhere, the KNKX (then ‘KPLU’) music department received a CD called "About Time" by a mandolin player named Don Stiernberg.  Frankly, it didn’t look all that promising but, of course, we gave it a listen.  To our collective surprise, it was delightful and we began playing it on the air, much to the delight of our listeners.  That was the first (and almost the last) time we heard from the guy.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Singer Duffy Bishop has been active (often overactive!) for years on the Northwest blues and R&B scene.  Several years ago, she expanded her audience when she began doing cabaret shows at venues including Seattle’s Tiatro Zinzani. 

In this studio session, Duffy and her ace band play three smokin’ tunes.  She also talks to KPLU (KNKX?) All Blues host, John Kessler, about her cabaret work.

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