Abe Beeson

Evening Jazz Host

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KPLU, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and he's been hosting Evening Jazz since 1998.

His most memorable KPLU radio moments include introducing Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson and other greats; attending the San Sebastian Jazz Festival in Spain with a group of KPLU jazz fans; and locking himself out of the station on a particularly cold winter night.

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Studio Sessions
4:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Welcoming Home Sara Gazarek

Sara Gazarek performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance

We were very excited to welcome back singer/songwriter, Sara Gazarek, a graduate from the Roosevelt High School jazz program who has since made a home in the L.A. jazz scene. 

Sara stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios for this interview and performance while in town at Jazz Alley with Band members Josh Nelson (piano), Hamilton Price (bass), Zach Harmon (drums) and Larry Koonse (guitar).

Studio Sessions
1:43 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood

Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance

Though this was not guitarist John Scofield's first stop into the KPLU Seattle studios this time he was joined John Medeski (piano), Billy Martin (drums), and Chris Wood (bass). As you will hear in this session, the group mixes jazz, funk and modern soul to create what host Abe Beeson called a groovy sound of their own. 

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Studio Sessions
2:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Justin Kauflin: A Pianist And His Mentor

Pianist, Justin Kauflin, in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Aaron Hushagen KPLU

Listen to the full interview & performance

Justin Kauflin is a 23-year-old jazz pianist who is also one of the subjects of a new documentary film called Keep On Keepin’ On.

The other subject of the film is Justin’s musical and spiritual mentor, jazz trumpet legend, Clark Terry. Kauflin has been a musician since childhood. He’s also been blind since age 11. The film deals with Justin’s apprenticeship and friendship with the 93-year-old Terry.

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Studio Sessions
11:14 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Ernie Watts With The Marc Seales Trio

Ernie Watts performing with The Marc Seales Trio live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance.

Most KPLU listeners are familiar with tenor saxophonist, Ernie Watts, though his excellent work with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West. 

However, as we learn in this performance/interview with jazz host Abe Beeson, Mr. Watts has had a multifaceted career, working with everyone from Buddy Rich to The Rolling Stones.

Ernie is joined in this performance by Seattle pianist, Marc Seales, bassist Dave Captain and drummer Gary Hobbs.

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Studio Sessions
10:06 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The East-West Trumpet Summit Live Studio Session

New York native, Ray Vega, and Seattle's own Thomas Marriott perform in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance

Trumpeters Ray Vega (East Coast) and Thomas Marriott (West Coast) have joined forces once again for the newest edition of their East-West Trumpet Summit with pianist George Colligan, bassist Phil Sparks and drummer Matt Jorgensen.

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Studio Sessions
1:54 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The Bellevue High School Jazz Combo With Trombonist David Marriott

The Bellevue High School Jazz Combo performing live with David Marriott in the KPLU studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance

We wrapped up KPLU's School of Jazz week with a special treat for our audience: a live in-studio performance from the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo, accompanied by trombonist David Marriott and led by director Edd George. 

The combo includes:

  • Trumpet: Alex Clark
  • Alto Sax: Griffin Hale
  • Tenor Sax: Winston Zhang
  • Baritone Sax: Jungwoo Lee
  • Bass: Jake Escobar
  • Piano: Melvin Soestrisno
  • Drums: Sean Mahoney

The KPLU School of Jazz, Volume 10 CD is now available.

For more information about the School of Jazz program, and to purchase your copy of this years CD, please visit SchoolofJazz.org.

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Studio Sessions
12:51 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Jazz Violinist Regina Carter: Bringing 'Southern Comfort' To KPLU

Regina Carter performing live in the KPLU studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Regina Carter has been pushing the limits of what jazz violin can be. Last time Ms. Carter was in the KPLU studios, she had just released her album, Reverse ThreadKanou and N’teri, which explored African music in a fresh new way. 

On this visit to Seattle, with guitarist Marvin Sewell and bassist Jesse Murphy, she had just released her new album Southern Comfort, which features traditional folk tunes of the American South. This studio session features three tracks from the album: Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy, I'm Going Home, and Miner's Child. 

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kplu-studio-sessions-video/id657517777

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Studio Sessions
2:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Martin Taylor Strikes Again

Guitarist, Martin Taylor, performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Over the past several years, solo jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, has basically become one of the gang here at KPLU. 

He’s such good company and such a brilliant guitarist that we invite him into our studios for a session almost every time he comes to town. 

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Studio Sessions
2:13 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Relive Our Live Studio Session With The David Sanborn Trio

Left to right: Joey DeFrancesco, Gene Lake and David Sanborn performing live in the KPLU studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

As a part of the Fall Fund Drive KPLU welcomed in The David Sanborn trio into the Seattle studios for an electrifying live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson. Accompanying Sanborn were organ master Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Gene Lake. 

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Studio Sessions
4:55 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Anton Schwartz Quintet Featuring Dominick Farinacci & Eric Reed

Anton Schwartz performing live in the KPLU Seattle studio on March 11, 2014.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview & performance

When he began his recording career, and for some time thereafter, saxophonist, Anton Schwartz made his home in San Francisco.

Now, though, he splits his time between San Francisco and Seattle so we invited our new neighbor to the KPLU performance studio to play some music and talk about his new CD, Flash Mob.

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Studio Sessions
2:31 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Creation And Resurrection (Of Songs)

Cécile McLorin Salvant performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on February 19, 2014.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview and performance

Cecile McLorin Salvant is one of the best young jazz singers to appear on the scene in years.  She’s the prefect combination of what many think a great singer should be.  She creates her own songs, allowing us to see the world through her eyes and she also combs American music history looking for semi-obscure gems to polish and present to a new audience. 

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Studio Sessions
11:24 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Grace Kelly With The Marc Seales Trio

Courtesy of the artist

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Saxophonist/vocalist, Grace Kelly has just released her 8th CD, and she is only 21 years old. Those two facts kind of say it all. Grace is a prodigiously talented musician. 

She’s also delightful company, which is why we were so happy to receive a return visit from Grace for a KPLU Studio Session. 

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Studio Sessions
2:13 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Bucky Pizzarelli With Pearl Django

Bucky Pizzarelli (right) with Pearl Django's Michael Gray in the KPLU studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

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Recently, guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli visited Seattle to play a series of shows with Northwest gypsy jazz band, Pearl Django. On a cold January day, they all came into the KPLU studios to play… and things warmed up fast.

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Studio Sessions
1:40 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Rachelle Ferrell: Singing Her Way To A Higher Plane

Rachelle Ferrell performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the full interview & performance

To say that the voice of singer Rachelle Ferrel  is supple would be to understate its magnificence. Ms. Ferrel’s voice has a 6-octave range which conveys deep and surprising levels of emotion.

As you can imagine, KPLU was very proud to host her and her pianist, Mo Pleasure, in an intimate studio session.

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