Jazz and Blues

News about jazz, blues, Studio Sessions, and music samplings from jazz artists in the northwest and around the world.

KPLU presented its annual holiday concert on December 10 with special guest, saxophonist Anton Schwartz, who performed with the Pacific Lutheran University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner.  Anton's quartet — including Dr. Deacon-Joyner on piano, bassist Clipper Anderson and drummer Mark Ivester — also played a few festive tunes.  The KPLU Christmas Jam was hosted by Kevin Kniestedt and broadcast live from the Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center on the campus of PLU.

The KPLU performance studio recently had the pleasure to host yet another top-teir jazz group made of high-school  students participating in the Seattle Jazz Ed Program.  It’s the Boxwell-Feldman Quintet. 

Owen Boxwell (guitar) and Ben Feldman (bass) are Garfield High students who have been playing music together since they were in middle school and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. 

DAVE CHRISTENSEN / OPB

Pink Martini's Joy To The World" A Holiday Spectacular will air on KPLU, Saturday December 19 at 11 a.m., in place of Car Talk, and will rebroadcast on December 24, at 2 p.m.

The internationally acclaimed "little orchestra" Pink Martini decks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from around the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, here is a multi-denominational, multicultural jubilee that overflows with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Joy To The World: A Holiday Spectacular will air on NPR stations throughout the holiday season.

Buddy Guy — 2014 Born to Play Guitar RCA  

You don’t have to read a book to learn the story of Buddy Guy’s life; it’s all here on this album. Back in 2008, Buddy Guy started collaborating with Nashville songwriter and producer Tom Hambridge, and four albums later that partnership is still flourishing, with a unique combination of Nashville songwriting sensibility and Buddy’s hard-core electric blues. At age 79, Buddy hasn’t exactly mellowed with age—he’s still a wild genius guitarist; his voice remains inviting and he tells his stories with utmost believability. He’s certainly on the short list of all-time greatest blues players, and this is my favorite blues release of the year.

Michael Jackson

Drummer Matt Wilson delights in being a little different.  His enthusiasm for the quirky is infectious, as I found out in our phone conversation last week.

Brenda Goldstein-Young / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Adam Zacharia from Meadowdale High School is the Student DJ for the month of December. Adam's hour aired from 8-9 p.m. on December 3.

To get to know him better we asked Adam to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

MATT ROBERTS / GETTY IMAGES

Over the course of a career that lasted some sixty years, pianist, producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint's music and sound became a hugely influential force for artists working in many different genres.

Toussaint died on Monday night in Madrid, at the age of 77.

Brenda Goldstein-Young / KPLU

KPLU School of Jazz recently hit the road for our second studio session featuring a regional high school jazz band program (our first being the Point Grey Secondary School studio session in June at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival).

 

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU’s School of Jazz.

Which instrument do you play and why?

Augusta Sagnelli

Clarinetist Anat Cohen's transcendent appearances with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra last February are still resonating.

"I loved the trip to Seattle, loved meeting all the people there, the SRJO and other musicians. It was great time, and a wonderful hang," she said. "Everybody there is so nice.”

Her latest CD, "Luminosa" features a number of beautiful Brazilian melodies.  Anat first encountered the varied styles of Brazilian music when she was a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

edreedsings.com

Singer Ed Reed and saxophonist Anton Schwartz met almost 10 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Ed was 78 years old at the time, and was just beginning to get recognized as a jazz singer.

Partly due to his love of jazz, Ed has survived drug addiction and multiple prison terms.  Four CDs later, he’s been on the Downbeat Critic’s Poll list of “Rising Stars” for six years, topping that list in 2014. 

el diario archive

Born and raised in Cadiz, Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez recently moved his family to Seattle, adding a flamenco touch to our outstanding musical scene. 

"I have played in so many places around the world and in the USA, and for me, Seattle is one of the most wonderful cities.  We are very happy to be here," he says.

"I grew up in a poor family in the south of Spain, in Andalusia.  It was hard, because I didn't have an instrument, and I cried every year for a flamenco guitar. 

Dorothy Darr

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd is a mystic, a nature lover and a sound-seeker.  He seems to inhabit an enchanted space, and considers himself in service to the music, which he must share. 

"It changes the molecules," he explains. "People seem to brighten up, and I brighten up, and we all get blessed." 

He also has an uncanny ability to look backward and forward at the same time, which makes for some interesting conversations.

CANAL+

Edmar Castañeda plays the arpa llanera, a traditional folkloric instrument from Columbia and Venezuela. Classical harps have 46 or 47 strings, but the smaller llanera has only 32. That makes it lighter, swifter and somehow more versatile...at least it sounds like it in the hands of this master from Bogotá.

You may consider jazz to be a world apart from the rock, pop or hip-hop you love (or hate). However, you might be surprised to learn about jazz's influences on many genres through its rich history, from the newest performing artists of today, to legendary musicians that shaped the sounds we love so much.

http://www.marcusprintup.net/

Marcus Printup, a trumpeter with the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, will perform live on KPLU with local high school jazz students on October 15 at 12:15 p.m., and will be featured in a series of live jazz performances  in the Northwest from October 13-17.  All of these activities are made possible by JazzClubsNW.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Colby Jackson from Bellarmine Prepartory School is the Student DJ for the month of October. Colby's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on October 8th.

BRENDA GOLDSTEIN-YOUNG

It's School of Jazz, Canadian-style!  Tune in today at 12:15 p.m. for our first-ever international School of Jazz studio session which Abe Beeson hosted on June 26, 2015, and was recorded at The Farm Studios in Vancouver, B.C.

When Stephen Colbert takes over the Late Show tonight on CBS, he'll have a new partner in crime on stage: pianist Jon Batiste.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.  

Hayden Kajercline from Mt. Si High School is the Student DJ for the month of September.  Hayden's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 3rd.

To get to know him better we asked Hayden to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Stadium High School's Jacob Shaffer is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of August. Jacob's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August 6th. To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Jacob to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Trumpet player and composer Dave Douglas is always searching for a new musical experience, and bringing audiences along with him.

Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson spoke to Mr Douglas at the recent TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and learned how Dave had to travel to Spain to get the jazz bug, his formative years playing with Horace Silver and later with John Zorn. He also spoke about how important the audience is to the jazz experience, and his successful recording company Greenleaf Music.


Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.  

Joel Steinke from Edmonds Woodway High School is the Student DJ for the month of July.  Joel's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 2.

To get to know him better we asked Joel to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Autumn De Wilde

KPLU Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson was honored to introduce the amazing "little orchestra" from Portland, OR, Pink Martini to a joyous crowd at the Orpheum Theatre for this year's TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

He learned to play sax alongside John Coltrane, worked with Dizzy Gillespie's band, grew up with talented brothers Percy (bass) and Albert (drums), he's written more than a hundred songs, and at 88 years old, can't wait to release his new album with singer Roberta Gambarini.

The legendary Jimmy Heath sat down to talk with me at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and we started by talking about the musical house in which he was raised.

antoniosanchez.net

Drummer Antonio Sanchez has been getting a lot of press lately, including a cover story in the July issue of Downbeat magazine.  His award-winning, propulsive drum-solo score for the film “Birdman, Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” and the controversy of it being disqualified from the Oscar Awards had the unexpected virtue of introducing Antonio to audiences beyond jazz enthusiasts.

Brenda Goldstein-Young / KPLU

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is celebrating its 30th year from June 18th through July 1st.  Abe Beeson was there June 26-28 to promote KPLU’s jazz streaming service, Jazz24.org.

Over the weekend at the Jazz24 booth in David Lam Park, we met so many wonderful people – existing listeners and new friends.  Abe taped interviews with the legendary jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and trumpeter Dave Douglas.  He also introduced Pink Martini in front of 2,800 enthusiastic fans of the band at the Orpheum Theatre. 

Friday morning: School of Jazz studio session

Abe recorded a studio session at The Farm Studios with the award-winning Point Grey Secondary School jazz band and their mentor, clarinetist James Danderfer, under the direction of Brent Taylor.  You can read about it and see photos here.

Friday night highlights

We (KPLU Promotions Director and the wonderful Judie Dahl, Marketing Director for the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society) caught the Bria Skonberg Quintet's set at Performance Works on lovely Granville Island. 

Brenda Goldstein-Young

It's School of Jazz, Canadian-style!  KPLU and Jazz24 host Abe Beeson recorded a studio session this morning at The Farm Studios in Vancouver, B.C. with the award-winning Point Grey Secondary School jazz band and their mentor, clarinetist James Danderfer, under the direction of Brent Taylor. 

I don’t get up to Vancouver, B.C. nearly enough. It’s a massive, international city with gorgeous scenery and lots to do, and I even have friends there. So wouldn’t you know, it took a jazz festival to get me back across our northern border.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Issaquah High School's Danny Quaranta is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of June.  Danny's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 4th.  To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Danny to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

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