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

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.   

Johnny Mandel playing at Jazz Port Townsend
Jim Levitt

Johnny Mandel has enjoyed a seven-decade musical career that began in the 40s as a trombonist and arranger in big bands of Woody Herman, Count Basie and others.  He went on to greater fame as a film composer after settling in LA in the 50s, where he penned scores for “I Want To Live,” “The Sandpiper,” “The Americanization of Emily,” “Mash” and many others including popular songs “Close Enough for Love” and “A Time for Love”.  

 

The first in a series of concert broadcasts from Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend features "Dynamic Duos" on KPLU's Jazz Northwest on Sunday, August 5 at 1 PM PDT.   The three duos selected by Artistic Director John Clayton for this unique concert are trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Jiggs Whigham, guitarists Graham Dechter and Bruce Forman and drummers (drummists?) Jeff Hamilton and Matt Wilson.  

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll feature some songs for Summer including the Summer movement from Phil Dwyer's Changing Seasons suite for orchestra.  Pete Christlieb and Linda Small are visiting after Jazz Port Townsend and playing some great Bill Holman charts.  Something new from Pearl Django and other music from Portland to Vancouver BC as well as suggestions for live jazz around Seattle in the coming week.

 

Eduardo Mendonça and Show Brazil dancers at Olympic Sculpture Park.

 

 Exuberant Brazilian music and dance made for a perfect summer concert at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park earlier this month when Earshot Jazz presented Eduardo Mendonça and Show Brazil for this Month's Art of Jazz concert.  Seven musicians and three dancers, plus audience participation provided additional reasons to celebrate summer in Seattle at the park on Elliot Bay.

 

 It's not often the bass player steps from the back of the band to front his own group but there are notable exceptions.... Charles Mingus, Ray Brown, and Ron Carter among others come to mind.  There are three with strong Seattle connections on Jazz Northwest this Sunday: Chuck Deardorf, the late Chuck Metcalf and Clipper Anderson.   We'll also hear an outstanding young alto saxophonist from Portland, Hailey Niswanger who recently graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She's playing two gigs in the area next week.

Nearly two dozen high school jazz musicians performed in three groups at the new Bake's Place in Bellevue on the closing night of this year's Bellevue Jazz Festival.  The three groups were comprised of young musicians selected from ten area high schools and were mentored by professional jazz musicians.  Highlights from their concert will air on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, July 8 at 1 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU and stream at kplu.org

A variety of Northwest jazz groups are featured on this edition of Jazz Northwest.   Trio to big band, Jelly Roll Morton to brand new compositions,  from musicians who live and work from Portland to Vancouver BC.  July 1 is Canada Day and the last day of the Vancouver and Victoria Jazz Festivals.  We'll hear a modern day interpretation of a Jelly Roll Morton tune recorded where he played in Vancouver BC.  Former resident Diane Schuur is back at Jazz Alley this week, and Pearl Django's eleventh CD features several new compositions.

Paul Tolliver

The popular Seattle vocalist Reggie Goings sings bebop, blues, ballads and a bossa-nova in concert on Jazz Northwest Sunday, June 24 at 1 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU.  The concert was presented by Earshot Jazz and recorded at the Seattle Art Museum earlier this month. The vocalist has roots in Texas and has become a fixture on the Seattle Jazz scene since he arrived in 1986.  He has been featured in The Jazz Offering at Tula's on the first Sunday afternoon of each month for 13 years.  His musical partner for many of those years was the late saxophonist Hadley Caliman.

Daniel Sheehan

Human Spirit with guest Orrin Evans, piano, Thomas Marriott, trumpet, Mark Taylor, alto sax, Phil Sparks, bass, and Matt Jorgensen, drums played the annual Ballard Jazz Walk in April and the performance was recorded for Jazz Northwest.  On this program, the group is heard in a complete set from Conor Byrne in Ballard playing selections from their new CD "Dialogue" recently issued by Origin Records.  The program airs Sunday June 17 at 1 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU and is streamed at kplu.org

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