Justin Steyer

Director of Digital Strategy

Justin facilitates management of Pacific Public Media’s digital department,  while implementing new and improved systems and platforms. Additionally, he is responsible for creative user interaction and involvement, as he actively works to improve service to the audience and support for our new media activities.

Before joining the KPLU staff in 2009, Steyer worked as a Web Producer for The Seattle Times; prior to that, he was responsible for photography, video and online content at The Bellingham Herald and worked in the capacity as editor and photographer at other Western Washington publications. In 2007, Steyer was awarded the Mark of Excellence by the Society of Professional Journalists in the area of sports photography.

Ways To Connect

Over the past few weeks, we’ve asked you to vote for your favorite jazz songs so that KPLU (along with our 24-hour jazz stream - Jazz24.org) can create a webstream of the 100 quintessential jazz songs of all time. 

Well, the response has been overwhelming! Thousands of votes have come in and we’re now tabulating the results and gathering the songs.

This studio session marks the first visit from pianist, Jacky Terrasson, to the KPLU/Jazz24 studios.  We hope it’s the first of many.

In a stunning three-song set, Jacky left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

Courtesy Sony/BMB Masterworks

He's made his list, and checked it twice. KPLU All Blues host John Kessler has his 2010 top 10 blues albums list, and he's ready to share it with you.  What albums are on your list? Which from John's list would you not include?  Let's hear what you have to say!

Gail Pettis and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner perform at the KPLU Christmas Jam
Justin Steyer / KPLU

The 14th-Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, our much-anticipated annual free holiday concert and live broadcast, was held on the Pacific Lutheran University campus on December 9, 2010.

This year we featured acclaimed jazz vocalist Gail Pettis, as well as the PLU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Robert Miller. They performed classic holiday favorites from "This Christmas" to "Baby It's Cold Outside," and closed the program with an audience sing-along of "White Christmas."

Wikimedia.org

Nominations for the Grammy Awards were announced last night. KPLU host, and jazz blogger Kevin Kniestedt has compiled a list of nominations in jazz categories, as well as some other categories in which jazz artists are included.

World AIDS Day
Wikimedia.org

KPLU's Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson has a great post today about why the Gates Foundation's director of HIV and tuberculosis programs feels this year's World AIDS day is different than it's dozens of predecessors. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation has decided to keep the I-5 express lanes open in the southbound direction through Tuesday afternoon.

In certain snow and ice conditions WSDOT leaves these lanes open during normally scheduled closures to prevent ice and snow accumulation. Drivers headed in the northbound direction through downtown Seattle should plan accordingly. 

Updated traffic conditions are available on the WSDOT website

Vocalist, Bethany Yarrow, and cellist, Rufus Cappadocia make an incredible amount of music for just two people. Bethany, daughter of Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), first met Rufus at The Knitting Factory in Manhattan. They're reinventing traditional music and transforming it into something that defies genre classification.

Grammy Award-winning "Soul Queen of New Orleans," Irma Thomas brought her rythym section to the performance studio on October 29, 2010 to perform live on KPLU's Blue Plate Special hosted by Nick Morrison.

When The Manhattan Transfer (Tim Hauser, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, Janis Siegal) came into the KPLU/Jazz24 performance studio, they had literally just gotten off an airplane. A little jet-lagged but ready to sing, they kicked of the session with their version of Moten Swing.

Jazz and pop singer, Nikki Yanofsky, is a very cheerful 16 year-old. And why not? As you will hear in this interview with KPLU/Jazz 24 host, Kevin Kniestedt, she says that as soon as she learned to talk, she began to say she wanted to be a singer. It was something she began to pursue right away.

As the son of actor/director/jazz fan, Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood grew up listening to jazz. In this performance-interview hosted by Abe Beeson, Kyle talks about a childhood trip to The Monterey Jazz Festival and how hearing the Count Basie Big Band that day inspired him to become a bass player.

Mac ‘Dr. John’ Rebennack has been at the heart of New Orleans funk and R&B since the 1950’s so when he paid a visit to the KPLU/Jazz24 studio for a solo piano/vocal performance, we were sure we’d get a good dose of The Crescent City. We certainly did.

When Lee came into the KPLU/Jazz24 studios on an unseasonably cool August afternoon, he arrived with a rhythm section hot enough to raise Seattle’s temperature a few degrees: drummer, Will Kennedy and bassist, Melvin Davis. Together, they laid down three delightful tracks; Water’s Edge, L.P.—For Les Paul, and Freddie Hubbard’s composition, Povo (watch the video below).

When blues singer, Shemekia Copeland performs live, it's almost guaranteed to be an electrifying experience. In this session, recorded in KPLU's Seattle studios, we get a rare opportunity to hear Shemekia's voice in an intimate performance context. Instead of bringing her whole band, Shemekia arrived with just her guitar player, Arthur Neilson.

Here’s a rare treat; a solo performance from 6-time Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist, Gary Burton. In his 50-year (and counting) recording career, Burton has recorded with many different group configurations and has done a number of duo recordings with artists including bassist, Steve Swallow, guitarist, Ralph Towner and most famously, pianist, Chick Corea, but we rarely get to hear him all by himself.

Jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, is one of our favorite guests in the KPLU/Jazz24 studios. Not only is he widely acclaimed as perhaps the finest solo, acoustic jazz guitarist alive, he’s always great company. Whenever his touring schedule brings him to Seattle, we make sure he pays us a visit.

Grammy-winning Trumpeter Roy Hargrove performed live at KPLU's Seattle studios on December 2, hosted by Abe Beeson. Hargrove was accompanied in the studio by pianist Jonathan Batiste, bassist Ameen Saleem, saxophonist Justin Robinson, and drummer Montez Coleman as they performed three songs: Low Life, For Tamisha, and Soulful.

Speaking with KPLU jazz host, Kevin Kniestedt, Eldar talked about his family’s move from Kyrgyzstan to Kansas City as a child, and how much he learned from that city’s veteran jazz musicians. Eldar also showcased his improvisational and compositional skills with three solo piano pieces, I Should Care, Insensitive and his own Vanilla Sky/Exposition.

In 1965, Chicago jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis had a hit record—‘The In Crowd’ (by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, featuring drummer Redd Holt and bassist, Eldee Young). Since that time, Lewis has recorded over 80 albums. He has also hosted the popular Legends Of Jazz radio and television series’. Now, at age 74, Ramsey Lewis is reveling in his relatively new career as a composer.

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