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

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll sample some new CDs from Jeff Johnson, Johnny Conga and the Endemic Ensemble, and listen to some of the artists who'll be playing in the area and bring you up to date on best bets for live jazz in the coming week.

"Lorraine Feather was born in Manhattan. Her parents named her Billie Jane Lee Lorraine after godmother Billie Holiday, her mother Jane (formerly a big band singer), her mother's ex-roommate Peggy Lee, and the song "Sweet Lorraine." She is the daughter of the late jazz writer Leonard Feather."

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll hear some great resident musicians from Portland to Vancouver, and recordings from the 70s to the present.

Daniel Sheehan

Bassist and composer Evan Flory-Barnes is the Featured Seattle Artist at this year's Earshot Jazz Festival and is playing six concerts at various locations during the festival, each with a different ensemble and distinct music.  

Pianist Sumi Tonooka was born in Philadelphia and has spent most of her career playing, touring and recording while based on the East Coast.  On this week's Jazz Northwest, she talks with Jim Wilke about her development as a musician and how and why she recently moved to Seattle.  

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman is featured on Jazz Northwest. The program highlights a concert of Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance with guests Meschiya Lake, a New Orleans-based singer of traditional jazz,  and narrator Robin Lloyd of KPLU, who describes scenes at the Apollo Ballroom where this music was first heard in the Twenties and Thirties.

Seattle’s biggest jazz event of the year begins this weekend. The wide-ranging Earshot Jazz Festival runs over three weeks and includes over 50 concerts by international and regional musicians who perform in many combinations and locations.

High on any list of all-time classic jazz albums is the 1949-50 Miles Davis album "Birth of The Cool" which grew out of an informal composers/ arrangers workshop with Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis among others.  That album continues to be influential among jazz musicians today, one of them being trombonist Andy Clausen who has studied these recordings and arrangements extensively.  Last summer, he organized a concert of this music which was presented by Earshot Jazz at The Chapel performance space in Seattle. 

With the audience on three sides of the musicians, this performance was truly "up close and personal".  Three world-class musicians, Tamir Hendelman, Martin Wind and Matt Wilson provided an evening of spontaneous musical magic for a capacity audience in a cozy  Port Townsend club, The Upstage.  Recorded during this year's Jazz Port Townsend, the trio plays two standards, a Jobim tune and an original by each member of the group.  Each of the three musicians has toured and recorded widely, but this performance was unique, as Tamir Hendelman tells the audience after the first tune of the set.  

Sunday afternoons we savor some of the many tastes of jazz available to you on Jazz Northwest. This week, Clarence Acox and Jay Thomas from Seattle, Dave Frishberg from Portland, Karin Plato from Vancouver and many more. We'll also tell you about the best places to go for live jazz.

On the next Jazz Northwest from 88.5 KPLU, The Dena DeRose Trio plays a concert recorded at Jazz Port Townsend in July.  With Martin Wind on bass and Matt Wilson on drums, Dena DeRose sings from the piano, swinging hard on up tempo tunes, and deliciously slow on the ballads with fresh takes on some familiar songs. 

Daniel Sheehan / Eyeshotjazz.com

Gaye Anderson was owner and proprietor of the New Orleans Creole Restaurant from 1985 until her death on August 29.  Widely known as a staunch supporter of live music, she presided over thousands of nights of jazz and blues performances at her Pioneer Square restaurant.  Its fame spread all over the country as visitors remarked "I wish we had something like this back home."   The music ranged from traditional New Orleans and Chicago style jazz, through Swing, Bop and modern jazz on weeknights with blues on weekends.

On Jazz Northwest from 88.5 KPLU, the Benny Green Trio with special guest Gary Smulyan on baritone saxophone is heard in concert at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend.  The concert was recorded in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden on July 28, and consists of original music by Benny Green.  

Sunday afternoons we check out the regional jazz scene with CDs and location recordings of jazz you can hear around here from Portland to Vancouver, including the very lively Seattle jazz scene.  This Sunday we’ll hear new CDs by a Seattle trio of Bill Anschell, Brent Jensen & Chris Symer, the Rob Scheps Big Band from Portland,  Vancouver saxophonist Cory Weeds playing in Edmonton, Human Spirit at last Fall’s Earshot Festival and more. 

photo by Jim Wilke

Carlos Cascante and Tumbao played this month’s Seattle Art Museum Art of Jazz concert outdoors at the Olympic Sculpture Park by Elliott Bay.  A large crowd and lots of dancers joined the celebration in the Seattle sunshine.  Highlights from the concert will air on Jazz Northwest on 88.5, KPLU on Sunday, August 19 at 1 PM PDT.   

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