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

Thad Jones played trumpet with the Basie Band and he brought the jazz orchestra into the modern age with his unique compositions and arrangements for the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra at The Village Vanguard.  The current incarnation of that orchestra still plays every Monday night at the hallowed New York club as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra 47 years after it began.   The music of Thad Jones still feels current and is played by jazz orchestras around the world, including The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra which featured Thad Jones' music in two sold out concerts last weekend. 

Latin jazz is one of the features on this week's Jazz Northwest, 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU.  Recent CD releases from veteran Seattle percussionists Johnny Conga and Lary Barilleau are included as well as a new solo CD by Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto at the Fazioli Piano Salon in NYC.

Jim Wilke

Flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny was in Seattle for a Valentine's Day concert at The Seattle Art Museum. The concert was recorded for Jazz Northwest and this week's episode will showcase some of the highlights.

Esperanza Spalding grew up in Portland, and one her mentors was trumpet player and educator Thara Memory.  The two were reunited on stage at the 55th Grammy Awards as they were awarded a Grammy for their co- arrangement of "City Of Roses" named for their hometown, Portland, OR.  The song is one of the originals on Esperanza Spalding's latest CD, "Radio Music Society" which also won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.  The song is one of the features on this week's Jazz Northwest.

Hör∂ur Sveinsson

A double bill featuring a piano trio from Iceland, and a six trombone band is featured on Jazz Northwest this week.  The groups were recorded on separate occasions playing at Tula's in Seattle. 

Seattle musician Jay Thomas frequently performs in Japan and has become friends with numerous musicians there with whom he has performed and recorded.   A new release by this "East West Alliance" presents Jay in Japan with his friends and the CD is sampled on this week's Jazz NW.  There's also music by Vern Sielert’s Dektet, Kelley Johnson, Douce Ambiance (a string trio), some Latin jazz with Lary Barilleau and much more, including recommendations for live jazz in the coming week.

This week on Jazz Northwest we’ll sample some new releases, including Seattle percussionist Lary Barileau & The Latin Jazz Collective, Vancouver bassist Brandy Disterheft with former Seattle flutist Anne Drummond, Jay Thomas  and the Cats, and the Seattle/Tokyo connection; The East West Alliance.   Jim Wilke is host for Jazz Northwest, checking out the regional jazz scene each Sunday afternoon at 2 PM Pacific.

Seattle's busiest singer, Greta Matassa sings all over town from jazz clubs to concert halls, tours internationally, has recorded eight CDs and appeared as guest on many more, and makes time to teach and do clinics and workshops.  

Musicians from Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are regulary featured on Jazz Northwest, and this week, all three cities are represented.  Esperanza Spalding grew up in Portland and has become an international star. We'll feature her in a song in tribute to her home town, "City of Roses". The arrangement for the song has been nominated for a Grammy this year, and so has the CD, "Radio Music Society."  Nancy King, Mary Kadderly and Eric Skye from Portland will also be featured.

Jim Wilke

Guitarist Mundell Lowe played with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Billie Holiday among others, was a long-time staff musician at NBC and CBS in New York before moving West to write and play for movies, TV and recording studios. The 90 year old guitarist was in Seattle last Fall to play in a two-guitar quartet with Mike Magnelli during the Earshot Festival.

This week's Jazz Northwest features some of Jim Wilke's  favorite jazz CDs from the past year by Northwest musicians. 

Jim Wilke

Earshot award winner and NW Jazz Hall of Fame bassist and composer Jeff Johnson leads his quartet in an Art of Jazz Concert from the Seattle Art Museum on Jazz Northwest  on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org.   The concert, recorded earlier this month, features the same quartet heard on the new Origin CD "Suitcase": Jeff Johnson on bass, Hans Teuber, woodwinds, Steve Moore, piano and Eric Eagle, drums.  The concert consists of original music by Johnson and one piece by Hans Teuber.

Daniel Sheehan

Pianist Sumi Tonooka was born in Philadelphia and is well-established as a pianist, composer and teacher in New York, but her roots are in the Seattle area. Her mother grew up on Bainbridge Island where she lived until at age 16, she and other Japanese-Americans were shipped to the Internment Camps of World War II.  Sumi Tonooka planned a visit last Summer to connect with her mother's early life on Bainbridge, and growing out of that visit she became a Seattle resident last Summer.

Jim Wilke shares some of his favorite CDs for the holidays by Northwest jazz musicians who’ve appeared often on the program.... Don Lanphere, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Ernestine Anderson, Dave Peck, Greta Matassa, Barney McClure and others.

New York jazz pianist and organist George Colligan is presently on the faculty at Portland State University in Portland.  He's recorded over 20 CDs on his own and appeared as sideman on many more in addition to concerts with many of today's top jazz headliners. He brought Portland guitarist Dan Balmer with him for an Earshot Festival engagement at Tula's this Fall, and Seattle drummer John Bishop rounded out this new variation on the classic organ trio. The trio played several of George Colligan's original compositions in each set.

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