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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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:56 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Catherine Russell: Keeping the family tradition alive

Catherine Russell performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Vocalist, Catherine Russell was raised in a musical family.  Her father, Luis, was Louis Armstrong’s band-leader and her mother, Carline Ray, was a member of the International Sweethearts Of Rhythm.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
8:00 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Curtis Stigers: Creating new jazz standards from contemporary

Curtis Stigers performing live in the KPLU Seattle Studios on September 11, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Curtis Stigers is a singer, songwriter, saxophonist who loves the great Tin Pan Alley songs of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, but finds a greater creative challenge in doing jazz versions of songs by more contemporary songwriters. 

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KPLU Studio Sessions
2:07 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Cyrus Chestnut: Solo piano with ‘The Nutman’

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on August 28, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut came onto the jazz scene slowly. From the mid-1980’s to mid-1990’s, he apprenticed as pianist for Jon Hendricks, Better Carter, Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis. Since then he has toured the world numerous times and recorded 15 albums as a leader.

KPLU Studio Sessions
3:49 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Live in the KPLU Studios: A rare solo performance by Ramsey Lewis

In his visit to the KPLU studios this afternoon, we heard Ramsey in a very rare solo piano setting, playing songs that are dear to his heart.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Just in case you haven’t noticed, pianist Ramsey Lewis is having a great career. 

He’s won Grammy awards, hosted successful television and radio jazz programs and even had cross-over hit records on the pop music charts (quite by accident, he assures us).  He’s been playing professionally since about 1950 and has released more than 80 albums so far. 

KPLU Studio Sessions
12:46 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

All-Star Trio: Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea and Stanley Clark

Legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette in the KPLU studios on May 11, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Drummer Jack DeJohnette was 23 years old when he made his first recording with The Charles Lloyd Quartet in 1966.  Since that time he’s been a driving (and we do mean ‘driving’) force in the world of jazz.  This year he’ll be celebrating his birthday (August 9th) all year long with a number of special events, such as his current tour with his old friends, Chick Corea on piano and Stanley Clarke on bass.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
5:00 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

The Tierney Sutton Band: A true group effort

Tierney Sutton performing live in the KPLU studios on May 2, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Singer Tierney Sutton’s band were in deep discussion five minutes before their live in-studio performance on KPLU last Wednesday, trying to decide which three songs to play for our audience. It was just one example of how interconnected each member of this quartet really is.

We learned more about each band member’s extra-musical skills were divided, how they’d go about sharing their surely impending Grammy Award (they've been nominated for five so far), and Tierney told us about walking the fine line as lyrical story teller and vocal improviser.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Christian McBride: The bass boss

Bassist Christian McBride and pianist Peter Martin perform in the KPLU studios on April 5, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

In the first generation of be-bop musicians, Ray Brown was King of the Jazz Bass.  Today, the ‘go-to’ jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we felt quite lucky when he said he had the time to stop into to KPLU studios for a performance with pianist, Peter Martin.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
1:19 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Lynne Arriale: Pianist with that 'something extra'

When pianist Lynne Arriale released her first CD in 1994, KPLU began playing music from it right away.  It was clear to us that Lynne had that "something extra" that separates good musicians from great musicians.

Over the course of her career she’s continued to build on that quality, so we were especially pleased to finally welcome her as a guest artist in our Seattle performance studio.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
2:12 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Benny Golson: The second half-century

Benny Golson perfroms in the KPLU studios on February 29, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Tenor saxophonist/composer, Benny Golson is now in his second half-century as a touring and recording jazz artist.  He began performing almost 60 years ago and recorded his first LP as a bandleader 55 years ago … and if his stop by the KPLU studios last week is any indication, he shows no signs of slowing down now.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:55 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

John Scofield: Exploring ballads (and the nature of 'cool')

Guitarist John Scofield performing in the KPLU Seattle studios on October 28.
Justin Steyer KPLU

John Scofield is one of the most innovative and genre-bending guitarists in jazz.  Over the years, his great talent and eclectic tastes have garnered him a huge international following; a following which includes a lot of people who didn’t know they liked jazz until they heard Scofield. 

On a recent swing through Seattle, Scofield, along his pianist Michael Eckroth, stopped by our studios for a duet performance, hosted by Abe Beeson. 

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Earshot Jazz Festival
11:25 am
Mon October 31, 2011

The Bad Plus ‘rocked!’ at Earshot Jazz as festival continues

The Bad Plus rocked the house during Earshot Jazz Festival.

The Bad Plus aren’t the kind of trio that swings, you’re much more likely to hear after-show comments like “That rocked!” or “Those guys are epic!”

Playing songs mostly from their upcoming as-yet-untitled new album, the trio used all of the acoustic advantages of Seattle’s Town Hall – having no problem filling the room with at-times pounding piano-bass-n-drums, at times so quiet as to have all of us in the audience holding our breath.

Read the full review on Groove Notes.

KPLU Studio Sessions
12:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

The Jazz Crusaders: Putting the 'Jazz' back into the 'Crusaders'

Wayne Henderson, one of the original Jazz Crusaders members, stopped by the KPLU studios with the rest of the band on Thursday for an interview & performance hosted by Abe Beeson.
Justin Steyer KPLU

When Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and Wayne Henderson (trombone) moved from Houston to LA to being their collective recording career, they called their band The Jazz Crusaders.  Their focus was acoustic be-bop tinged with R&B and soul music.  In 1971, they dropped the word ‘Jazz’ from their name, began delving into jazz-funk and became world-famous as The Crusaders

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KPLU Studio Sessions
11:55 am
Fri June 10, 2011

Allen Toussaint live at KPLU

Pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend (and Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee), Allen Toussaint stopped by the KPLU studios on June 1 and took us on a sweet and uplifting trip to New Orleans with his music.

Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious career in music. He has produced, written for, and performed with music giants such as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs and Irma Thomas to name a few.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
10:35 am
Wed June 8, 2011

Regina Carter Trio's live performance in the KPLU studios

We were pleased to welcome jazz violin virtuoso, Regina Carter to the KPLU studios on June 1 for a unique performance and interview with Evening Jazz host, Abe Beeson.

Accompanying Carter were Will Holshouser on accordion, and Yacouba Sissoko on the kora, a beautiful and unique African harp. The trio performed two selections from Carter’s latest CD, Reverse Thread: Kanou and N’teri (video below) which explore African music in very fresh, surprising and delightful ways.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
7:40 am
Thu May 19, 2011

Kindred spirits: Taylor Eigsti & Becca Stevens

Taylor Eigsti (left) and Becca Stevens rehearse "In the Midst" before performing live on KPLU May 16, 2011.

Pianist, Taylor Eigsti and vocalist/guitarist, Becca Stevens, stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios on May 16th to brighten an otherwise rainy Monday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest with an performance and interview, hosted by Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson.

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