Kevin Kniestedt

Producer, Sound Effect

Kevin began his career at KPLU in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KPLU Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KPLU he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KPLU. Kevin is currently one of the producers for KPLU’s weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has interviewed several world class musicians, produced local features, and helped make the KPLU Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KPLU radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in Seattle, where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

The Open University / Flickr

What would it be like to be trapped in your own body? Locked-in syndrome is a condition where a patient is fully aware and conscious, but almost completely paralyzed. They can’t speak or communicate.  For many, it's a nightmare.

"This is worse than solitary confinement, because in solitary confinement you can at least move and exercise, move your body about. So, in some sense, it is like living hell," says neuroscientist Christof Koch.

Nick Morrison

We all get a free pass for the things we did in the 1970s, right? Well, we certainly think so.

In the 1970s, KPLU's Nick Morrison had a stint as a manager of a downtown Seattle strip club. And as it turns out, it was actually a lot like any other workplace.

Despite having no previous experience in management or adult theater, Nick quickly learned things many of us learn when put in charge of a group of employees. He had to make schedules, make sure people showed up to work on time, and hear the excuses from his employees when they didn't show up.

Former Seattle writer Charles D’Ambrosio reads from his recently released essay collection, "Loitering." In the piece D’Ambrosio is assigned an to write about modular "Fleetwood" homes and he explores the textures, smells and emotions of being inside a freshly manufactured prefab home. 

But D'Ambriosio gets caught up in how generic all of the "newness" is, and how detached it is from memory and nostalgia. Here he reads an excerpt from his essay, "American Newness," for KPLU's Sound Effect. 

KPLU’s Dick Stein and Nick Morrison are always talking about movies, and are widely considered the movie experts around the station. Recently, they both ended up revisiting a David Mamet movie that was filmed in Seattle back in the '80s. So we thought, instead of them just sharing their review with each other, why not share it with everyone? They agreed, and produced the first, and perhaps only installment of what they call "We Like To Watch."

Jaymi Britten

It's usually right about this time every year that Pacific Northwest residents have seen enough of the rain and start daydreaming about trips to the tropics. But Amanda Frazier, who was born and raised in Hawaii and still lives there, wrote a song expressing her envy of the wet climate here.

Parker Miles Blohm

Anton Schwartz abandoned his doctoral thesis on artificial intelligence in order to pursue a career in music.

Schwartz made the decision to leave academia after suffering from chronic fatigue.

This might seem like a drastic career change to most of us, but Schwartz doesn't look at it that way. The way he looks at it, he just consistently followed his passions. 

Brandon Wade / AP

The Seattle Seahawks have reached the mid-season point with a record of 4-4. Many fans have expressed a lot of concern over what they have seen on the field so far, especially coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

But sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt that the second half of the season should look significantly better.

tibbygirl via Creative Commons

At one of Seattle's most historic hotels, one of the city’s most historic ghosts stories remains very persistent.

As the story goes, Hotel Sorrento is the place where the late socialite (and pot brownie creator) Alice B. Toklas has chosen to walk the halls for eternity.

But why the Hotel Sorrento? Toklas spent the bulk of her adult life with Gertrude Stein in Paris, and never actually stepped a living foot in the hotel.

Wikimedia Commons

It seems like every big city has its own tale of underground tunnels. And the stories of what they were used for are often very similar to each other. For many west coast port cities, the stories often involve drinking establishments with secret traps doors. Bar owners would get a patron good and intoxicated, drop that patron through a trap door and into a basement, which led to a secret tunnel to the port. By the time the poor soul came to, he found himself shanghaied on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

CBS Television

In the decade leading up to World War II, “The Original Amateur Hour” was one of the most, if not the most popular radio programs in the country, showcasing unknown talent in a competition. The host and creator of the show was a man named Edward Bowes, known to his listening audience as Major Bowes. How did it all start? Well, he built it from the ground up - literally.

AP Images

The Seattle Seahawks saw a remarkable turnout for their first pre-season game – a contest that doesn’t count – with a sellout crowd and over fifty percent of all televisions in the market tuned in.

Art Thiel, KPLU sports commentator, said it's the storybook elements this team has that keeps fans from being able to turn away.

Courtesy of Terrill Lee Lankford.

How exactly does a man in his 70s — a man who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison and constantly battling a drug addiction — become friends with a 14-year-old girl?

They find a common bond. And in the case of Frank Morgan and Grace Kelly, that bond was music. 

Forbes Magazine recently named Seattle as the "Most Miserable Sports City in America." As KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt prepares to leave Seattle and move across the country, he asked Sports Commentator Art Thiel if it really is that bad of a sports town, and what he might be missing after he leaves.

The Jazz Journalists Association has named Seattle's own Julian Priester as one of 25 Jazz Heroes—an honor bestowed on those who have had a significant impact on their jazz community.

Jazz Heroes are activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities. The Jazz Hero awards, for which community members nominate candidates, are presented in conjunction with the  Jazz Journalists Association’s annual Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism.

Paul DeMaria / New York Daily News via Getty Images

Folk and rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Richie Havens reportedly passed away Monday at the age of 72.

Havens was perhaps best known for his three-hour opening set at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

esc861 / Flickr

This list, which took the better part of four years, was inspired by those who said that jazz was limited to a certain style or type of performer. The idea behind this list was not to create a “best” albums list, but rather a extensive list of albums that covered as much of jazz history as possible.

Even after posting 1,000 albums, this list is really only a sample of the history of this great art form.

Hopefully you will find some great music you have never heard before and add to your collection.

Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks made two big moves this week, trading for high-profile wide receiver Percy Harvin and signing defensive end Cliff Avril. These moves show that the Seahawks are serious about winning a Super Bowl this upcoming season, says sports commentator Art Thiel. 


Dave Martin / AP Photo

A dramatic comeback was not enough for the Seahawks Sunday. They lost to the Falcons 30-28 in the NFC Divisional playoff game in Atlanta. Find out what one longtime Seattle sports fan has to say about it.

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, responsible for the recording of the seminal album Time Out which still ranks as one of the best selling albums of all-time, and the first jazz musician to have a single sell 1 millions albums, died this morning of heart failure. He was 91.

In 1951, he formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and made a regular habit of touring and and performing at college campuses, bringing his musical approach to a younger audience. In 1954, Brubeck became only the second musician at that time to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.

The career that Brubeck sustained had an enormous impact on musicians and fans.

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These days getting the word out is probably easier and quicker than it has ever been, and for whatever reason jazz musicians seem to struggle to understand this.

So I have decided to offer up these five easy tips on how jazz musicians can better promote themselves and their music with very minimal time and effort using “modern” technology.

Read the story on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes writer and KPLU jazz and news host Kevin Kniestedt lists the 10 jazz releases (and some honorable mentions) that he feels rose to the top in 2012.

Read more on Groove Notes.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

There has been a lot of excitement so far in the early rounds of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and much of that has been provided by former Seattle Mariner players. As sports commentator Art Thiel explains to KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt, the sight of players leaving Seattle to flourish on other teams has become far too common for fans over the years. To hear the discussion, click the "Listen" button above.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

In this studio session, hosted by Kevin Kniestedt, we’re pleased to introduce you to a woman who we believe is one of the finest up-and-coming international jazz talents to come along in years, Halie Loren. 

Nima Fatemi / Flickr

I literally had someone say that to me the other day. My head almost exploded.

So if I am not familiar with a band that you happen to know or like, that means I have NO musical knowledge, whatsoever?

What is worse is that this is not the first time I have heard this from someone.

Read more on Groove Notes.

I know. I know. It is widely assumed and believed that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. But for me (and a handful of musicians that I spoke to), music – in some cases even just a few bars of a song -  can draw upon some of the most powerful memories in a persons life.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

If we were to make a list of all the recording and composing credits of the members of The Cookers, it would go on for many pages. 

This is an amazing collection of jazz musicians—Billy Hart (drums), Cecil McBee (bass), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), David Weiss (trumpet), Billy Harper (sax) and George Cables (piano). 

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The Seattle Mariners reach the halfway point of their season this weekend, and find themselves in last place. As KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains, the Mariners had low expectations at the beginning of the season, and have yet to live up to them.

The 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year player draft got underway today, and the Seattle Mariners were afforded the luxury of the 3rd overall pick as a result of their poor finish last season.

With that pick, the Mariners chose catcher Mike Zunino, a junior from the University of Florida. The 21 year old was ranked as the top catcher in the draft, and has been touted as a strong, athletic catcher with excellent power as a hitter. In 62 games with Florida this season, Zunino had a batting average of .312, hitting 18 home runs and 60 runs batted in.

The house bassist for Saturday Night Live and credited on hundreds of studio and live recordings across a wide variety of genres, James Genus is one of the most in-demand bassists on the scene.

In this interview, Genus discuss being required to learn upright bass in college, his experiences with Horace Silver and Roy Haynes, what he credits for his versatility, his thoughts on the late Michael Brecker, and what it is like to be part of a television show band.

Read the interview on Groove Notes.

Sally Sheldon

Halie Loren talks with Groove Notes about her most recent release, “Heart First” – which rose to number one on the iTunes Canada Jazz chart – her path to becoming a jazz singer, her success in other countries and what it takes to convincingly sing a song that she didn’t write.

Read the story on Groove Notes.

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