Jim Wilke

Jazz Northwest Host

Jim has been a fixture on Seattle radio since 1961. He was the originator and host of Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International from 1984-2014.  He has produced Jazz Northwest for KPLU since 1988.  This weekly program focuses on the regional jazz scene and frequently includes performances Jim records on location for Jazz Northwest.  

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

Pianist Larry Fuller brought his trio to Tula's for the final weekend of last fall's Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle.  The evening was recorded for Jazz Northwest  and the second set will air on Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and stream at kplu.org.   

Jazz Northwest samples the regional jazz scene every Sunday afternoon.  This week's show also takes note of the increasing variety and quality of the Brazilian music scene in Seattle, including recent releases by Eduardo Mendonça and Michel Navedo. Also featured on this program are new and old CDs by Larry Coryell, Chuck Deardorf, Ariel Pocock and others as well as best bets for live jazz in the coming week.

Jim Levitt

Brazil's Bossa Nova music swept the US and much of the world in the 1960s.  Singers, small groups and big bands embraced the subtle and lyrical songs of A.C.Jobim, Luiz Bonfa and other Brazilian composers who blended samba rhythms and West Coast cool jazz.  Stan Getz and many other American jazz artists embraced the music, often recording with Brazilian musicians for added authenticity and their records were heard often on radio around the world.  Quincy Jones had a popular album titled Big Band Bossa Nova in 1962 which provided the inspiration for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra's la

John Abbot

Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Renton - great jazz is available around the Pacific Northwest this first weekend of summer.  Sunday, June 26, Jazz Northwest will preview some of music available in the coming week, including Vancouver and Victoria International Jazz Festivals, as well as in clubs in Seattle and Renton. 

Seattle artists Jay Thomas, Thomas Marriott and The Full Circle Jazz Ensemble (playing in Renton Sunday night) are among the highlights, along with visiting artists playing at Vancouver and Victoria festivals.

Jim Levitt

 

 

 

The Ballard Jazz Walk is a very popular part of the annual Ballard Jazz Festival.  This year, 22 bands played in 10 venues around Old Ballard.  

 

LineUp, led by pianist Dawn Clement and saxophonist Mark Taylor had a special guest in trombonist Julian Priester, who played with Max Roach, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and many others before a long teaching career at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.  

 

There's an easy interplay between New York and Seattle musicians and several recent releases illustrate this. Trumpet players Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott reunited for a second CD together, and Jay Thomas and Gary Smulyan have a new release (on a Japanese label!).

Jim Levitt

Spanish pianist Marina Albero brought a new quartet and two sets of new music to the Ballard Jazz Walk in May as part of the 14th annual Ballard Jazz Festival.

The SRO performance was recorded for broadcast and will air on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU, and streaming at kplu.org.

Joining Marina Albero at the piano are Ben Thomas, vibes, Chuck Deardorf, bass and Mark Ivester at the drums.   Marina Albero also plays hammered dulcimer on one selection.

May be hard to believe, but there are three jazz festivals in the Seattle/Bellevue area this week and next.  This weekend, the Couth Buzzard Jazz Festival on Greenwood is a mini survey of the history of jazz with a feature on Charles Mingus' music Sunday night.  Etienne Charles and Shemekia Copland headline the Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival next week, and the IMP fest at the UW features Bill Frisell, Reid Anderson, Bill McHenry and Cuong Vu next week.  

Jim Wilke

The Michael Brockman Quartet played the May concert in the Art of Jazz series at The Seattle Art Museum. With Michael on tenor sax, Randy Halberstadt at the piano, Phil Sparks, bass and D'vonne Lewis at the drums, the quartet played two sets featuring music by Billy Strayhorn and others with originals by Michael Brockman.  

The concert was recorded for broadcast and will air on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at KPLU.  

Jim Levitt

One of the world's most widely-known and respected jazz arrangers, Bill Holman conducted the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in three concerts of his music in Edmonds, Seattle and Kirkland last month. The final concert was recorded for broadcast and highlights will air on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.   

Jazz Northwest For May 1

May 1, 2016

Jazz Northwest celebrates May Day with a bouquet of Northwest favorites old and new.  This week's show includes a 1990 duet by Larry Coryell and Marc Seales playing "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" as well as new releases by trumpet players Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott, and Jazz Port Townsend favorite Matt Wilson's "Big Happy Family."

The great Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez played a solo concert in the "Art of Jazz" series presented by The Seattle Art Museum and Earshot Jazz.  The concert was recorded for radio and will air on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org on Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. Pacific.  

Born in Cadíz and now residing in the Seattle area, Chano Domínguez grew up playing guitar in the flamenco tradition.  After discovering jazz and the piano, he began finding ways to combine traditional flamenco styles with jazz improvisation.  

Daniel Sheehan

Pianist Larry Fuller brought his trio to Tula's for the final weekend of last fall's Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle.  The evening was recorded for Jazz Northwest  and will air on Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and stream online at KPLU.   

Jazz Northwest previews some of the live jazz performances coming up and samples new releases by resident artists. Pianist Chano Domínguez; born in Cadiz, Spain and now living in our area; blends his Flamenco tradition with his love of jazz. He'll play a solo concert in the Art of Jazz Series at The Seattle Art Museum Thursday at 5:30 - and there's no charge for admission.  

The Tiptons have been playing as a saxophone quartet for over 25 years.  Originally known as The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet, the quartet was named for saxophonist and pianist Billy Tipton who lived life as a man but after his death was found to be a woman.  

Each year since 1990, Earshot Jazz has polled jazz fans in the Seattle area to recognize major accomplishments and contributors to the jazz scene. This Sunday, Jazz Northwest samples some of the nominees for the 2015 awards in each category.   

Categories include Recording of the Year, Instrumentalist of the Year, Emerging Artist, Acoustic Ensemble, Alternative Group, Vocalist, Concert of the Year, and The Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.  The awards will be presented on March 15 at The Royal Room, with an opening set by Eugenie Jones at 7 PM.  

Jim Levitt

International trumpet star and educator Terell Stafford played a three-concert series in February as special guest with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The concerts took place in Edmonds, Seattle and Kirkland and the final performance was recorded for Jazz Northwest to air Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at KPLU.  Music by Duke Ellington, Michael Brecker and Chick Corea are among the highlights included in this concert broadcast. 

Truman Buffett

This Sunday on Jazz Northwest on KPLU we'll showcase a wide variety of jazz talent from around Puget Sound to Vancouver and Victoria BC.  Included are two new releases with a New York connection - Thomas Marriott with Ray Vega, and tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss (formerly of Seattle, now in New York), plus a new CD from Victoria BC singer Miranda Sage.

We'll hear two different ten-piece bands who will play music by veteran arrangers Bob Hammer and Milt Kleeb in separate upcoming engagements.  We also highlight a couple of the bands playing the Tacoma Jazz Walk next Saturday (3/5).

Jim Levitt

 

 

Tim Coleman

 

 

Jazz Northwest, Sunday, February 7 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU, simultaneous streaming at kplu.org .  

 

The quartet of musical friends reassembled on the stage of Poncho Theatre at Cornish on Capitol Hill and played mostly compositions by pianist Art Lande and guitarist Dave Peterson.  

 

The 13th Annual PDX Jazz Festival takes place in Portland, OR, February 18-28 with a special focus on the music and associations of John Coltrane, who would have been 90 years old in 2016.  

Clarence Acox is a professional drummer, a widely-heralded teacher who leads the award-winning Garfield Jazz Ensemble, and serves as co-director of The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.  He was also the drummer for the 27-year run of a jazz quartet at The New Orleans Creole Restaurant.  Legendary trumpet and tenor saxophonist Floyd Standifer led the group until he died in 2007.  Clarence Acox renamed it The Legacy Quartet in honor of Floyd with various horn players rotating in his place. He continued the tradition until the restaurant closed in 2013.  

Jazz Northwest features music and musicians not only from the Seattle-Tacoma area, but also from Portland Oregon to Victoria and Vancouver BC.  This week's show (Sunday, 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org) includes Vancouver BC saxophonist Cory Woeeds from the 100th release of the Cellar Live label.  Cory started the label in 2001 and it has been the source of much good music from BC.

This Sunday on Jazz Northwest, Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez and his ensemble will be heard in part 2 of a concert broadcast on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org at 2 PM Pacific.  The pianist and composer led his ensemble playing to a capacity audience at Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle as part of the 2015 Earshot Festival. 

Jim Wilke

Internationally renown Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez was born in Cadiz and grew up playing guitar, learning the tradition of flamenco music and dance from his father.  Later, switching to piano and discovering jazz, he was deeply influenced by jazz pianists Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans.  Quite naturally, he soon found ways to combine his Spanish heritage and his new love for jazz.  

 

It's the time for year-end reviews and Top Ten lists.  On this week's Jazz Northwest, host Jim Wilke sorts through his stack of CDs by regional jazz artists and plays some tunes from the ones he most enjoyed last year.  It's not a count-down and there isn't quite time for ten but these are among those he says he likes to go back and hear again.  

Michael Craft Photography

Pianist-composer and Professor of Piano at the University of Washington, Marc Seales brought his trio to The Seattle Art Museum for the December Art of Jazz concert.  Joining Marc Seales were Jeff Johnson, bass, and Steve Korn, drums. Highlights from the concert will air on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, December 20 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU, and streaming at kplu.org.  

Daniel Sheehan

A new Seattle jazz group co-led by Mark Taylor and Dawn Clement made its debut at Tula's during this year's Earshot Jazz Festival.  Both co-leaders are also composer, creating new music and adapting previous compositons for this group. Bassist Phil Sparks and drummer Byron Vannoy complete the group. 

All four musicians are prominent as leaders, soloists and sidemen in Seattle and beyond, and they were joined in this performance by guest trumpet player Russ Johnson who's active on the Chicago jazz scene.  

Jim Levitt

Saxophonist Roxy Coss was a guest soloist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in a November concert and she teamed with her former mentor Mark Taylor for a beautiful duet on Billy Strayhorn's A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.  Most of the concert aired on last week's Jazz Northwest,  but this performance was held over for this week's show.  Roxy Coss played in the Garfield High School Band under Clarence Acox, and studied with Mark Taylor and Don Lanphere while still in Seattle.

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