Jim Wilke

Jazz Northwest and Jazz After Hours Host

Jim has been a fixture on Seattle radio since 1961. His Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International has been heard on stations across the US including KPLU since 1983. Jazz Northwest is a weekly program featuring regional musicians and jazz performances Jim records at various locations.

His most memorable KPLU moment was hosting the 20th Anniversary Live at Jazz Alley show, two hours of live music. He is also a recording engineer and writer. Jim has been named one of the top jazz radio producers nationally by JazzTimes and the Jazz Journalists Association. He is in the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame and several musicians have composed songs in his honor.

Ways To Connect

Over 3 decades of jazz from the Pacific Northwest is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest Sunday, January 25 at 2 PMPacific.  An upcoming two trombone tribute to Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana will feature Rodger Fox (NZ) and David Marriott Jr (WA) at the Royal Room.  It seemed like a good excuse to listen again to the spectacular trombonists Rosolino and Fontana as they played at The Bayside in Vancouver BC in 1978.

Jim Wilke

A hard-swinging piano trio led by Danny Kolke will be featured in highlights from this month's Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum airing at 2 PM Sunday, January 18 on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.

The concert broadcast includes standards, spirituals and blues by the trio which includes Danny Kolke, piano, Jon Hamar, bass and Greg Williamson on drums.  The trio plays regularly on Sunday evenings at Boxley's in North Bend and has recorded two CDs live at the club and issued on Pony Boy Records.

Neida Bangerter

Nine recent and forthcoming jazz CDs will be sampled on Jazz Northwest today.  Among them is a name that will be familiar to longtime followers of the Seattle Jazz scene, Gene Argel.

Originally from Tacoma, he played both organ and piano up and down the West Coast before finally settling on the island of Maui where he's lived and worked since 1982.  He still visits Seattle periodically and over the last three years has recorded material for his debut release (!) titled Luminescent.

Stan Froehner

One of the best jazz piano trios in the Pacific Northwest, or anywhere, is featured in performance on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. PST on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.  Pianist Dave Peck, long a mainstay on the Seattle jazz scene, leads his trio with Jeff Johnson, bass and Eric Eagle, drums in a program of American standards recorded during a two-night engagement at Tula's in Seattle.

Top Ten lists abound at this time of year, but why Ten?  There were many great CDs by Northwest Jazz artists in 2014 and we play some of our favorites on Jazz Northwest.  It's not a Top Ten countdown, but we think these are representative of great jazz talent  from Seattle.    

An all-star sextet led by saxophonist and trumpeter Jay Thomas is featured in highlights from an Art of Jazz concert at The Seattle Art Museum on Jazz Northwest.  The group played jazz classics ranging from Miles Davis in the 50s to an original by Jay Thomas.  

Jazz musicians are often an unconventional lot, and when it comes to holiday music you can expect re-harmonizations, different tempos, unexpected rhythms and other surprises as they find new ways to play old music and old ways to play new music.  

This week's Jazz Northwest provides ten explorations of familiar holiday music and some new songs as well. Among the Northwest resident artists featured are Don Lanphere, Greta Matassa, Larry Fuller, Dave Frishberg, the B3 Kings and Karin Plato.

As part of its 20th anniversary season, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra played a concert of music by two of the greatest musicians to come out of Seattle's Jackson Street Era, Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.  

The concert, which was also part of the Earshot Festival, included guest appearances by Delvon Lamarr on Hammond B3 organ, and vocalist Reggie Goings. Highlights aired exclusively on 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, December 7 at 2 PM Pacific and streaming at kplu.org.

This week's Jazz Northwest features several new releases as well as news of upcoming jazz events including a Celebration of Life for the late Buddy Catlett (at Jazz Alley Monday night), and Roosevelt Jazz Band's annual performance of the Ellington-Strayhorn Jazz Nutcracker (next weekend at RHS). 

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer Ann Reynolds brought her Clave Gringa band to The Seattle Art Museum to warm up a cool evening  for this month's Art of Jazz Concert, presented by Earshot.  The concert was recorded for broadcast and highlights aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.

Bruce C. Moore

Buddy Catlett, a much-revered pillar of the Seattle Jazz community died last Wednesday at the age of 81. He was a contemporary of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson and had an international career, touring and recording with Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and many others.  

Jazz Northwest will remember him with several unpublished recordings of the Local 493 Reunion Band. The group included veterans of the Black musicians union Local 493 in the years before it merged with the white musicians union Local 76.   

Andrew Swanson

The Westerlies are a brass quartet, two trumpets and two trombones, played by four friends who grew up in Seattle and who now live in New York City. Zubin Hensler and Riley Mulherkar (trumpets), and Andy Claussen and Willem de Koch (trombones) returned to their hometown to play a concert at the end of their summer tour in connection with their debut recording, "Wish The Children Would Come On Home" (Songlines).  The CD features music by Wayne Horvitz arranged for the Westerlies. Their concert included music from the CD as well as original compositions by members of the quartet.

The Earshot Jazz Festival continues through November 11 in Seattle including a great variety of resident and touring artists in various locations.  

Jim Levitt

The mercurial Matt Wilson is an incendiary drummer and band leader.  Never predictable, his deep sense of swing and the joy of making music permeates every performance, whether he's sideman or leader.  Jazz Northwest is pleased to present this performance which was at the conclusion of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for 2014.  Joining Matt Wilson in his Arts & Crafts group are regular members Terrell Stafford on trumpet and Martin Wind on bass, plus pianist Dawn Clement and guitarist Anthony Wilson  (no relation). 

Howard A. Gitelson

The Earshot Jazz Festival started last weekend and will continue through November 11 with dozens of performances in various venues around Seattle. Earshot director John Gilbreath joins Jim Wilke on KPLU's Jazz Northwest  to provide some highlights from a dizzying array of world class talent appearing during the Earshot Jazz Festival.  Highlighted on this program are performances by Lew Tabackin, Chad Mccullough, Miguel Zenon, Pharoah Sanders, Davie Liebman and Anton Schwartz. 

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