Kevin Kniestedt

Weekend Edition Saturday and Jazz on the Grooveyard Host

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 he has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KPLU. Kevin is also the author of KPLU’s Groove Notes jazz blog, has interviewed several world class jazz artists, produced local news 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 downtown Tacoma where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

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Jazz & Blues
6:29 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis releases 80th album

Ramsey Lewis photographed during a studio session at KPLU in 2009.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Three-time Grammy winner Ramsey Lewis, who rose to prominence in the early 1970′s, released his 80th album, Ramsey, Taking Another Look today with his Electric Band.

“The idea of the electric quintet came up and having played mostly in an acoustic trio arrangement for twelve-fifteen years, I decided to get together with the guys to see how it felt," Lewis said.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
11:30 am
Wed September 14, 2011

Miles Davis Experience production coming to Washington

Promotional photo for the Miles Davis Experience.

Perhaps the most prolific time in the career of Miles Davis was from 1949 to 1959, and to pay tribute to these historic years in jazz and Davis’ career, CAMI Music has joined forces with Miles Davis Properties and Blue Note Records for an innovative music and historical production, The Miles Davis Experience: 1949-1959.

The tour will feature three shows in Washington State.

Read more on Groove Notes.

KPLU Studio Sessions
3:47 pm
Fri September 2, 2011

A Tour of Treme with Donald Harrison and Glen David Andrews

Glen David Andrews (left) and Donald Harrison stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios for an interview and performance on September 1.
Justin Steyer KPLU

In this studio session, we welcomed Donald Harrison (alto saxophone, congas) and Glen David Andrews (trombone), both of whom were born in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood, cut their musical teeth on the music of Treme, and can be seen in the HBO television series, Treme

Currently they’re also part of an ever-changing line-up of New Orleans musicians touring with a show called A Night In Treme which is bringing the music of Treme’s Congo Square to cities all over America - including Seattle's Jazz Alley through Sunday night.

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Groove Notes
12:00 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

An interview with saxophonist Anton Schwartz

Roy Manzanares antonjazz.com

I had the opportunity this week to speak by phone with tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz.

Anton recently moved to the Seattle area. I had the chance to ask him about what brought him to the Puget Sound, and how he has networked himself into the local jazz scene so far.

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Groove Notes
10:21 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton coming to a theater near you

Music superstars Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis got together last April for a concert at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. The concert featured songs hand-picked by Eric Clapton, then arranged by Marsalis, and included highlights such as a guest appearance by Taj Mahal.

While the concert will be released on September 13th on a CD/DVD combo pack (Warner Brothers, CLICK HERE TO BUY), there is an even better opportunity to hear this show for those of us who weren’t able to make the cross country trip to see the show live.

Read more
Groove Notes
12:56 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

First look at lineup for Earshot Jazz Festival

The Earshot Jazz Festival gets kicked off in Seattle on October 14th and runs through November 6th. While the full schedule does not get released until September, the early bookings feature a wonderful variety of top tier musicians.

Read more.

Groove Notes
12:10 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Film to capture influence, mastery of jazz legend Clark Terry

Clark Terry receiving the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2010 Grammys.
Rick Diamond WireImage.com

With students such as Quincy Jones and Miles Davis and a playing career that includes Duke Ellington and Count Basie, one would expect jazz great Clark Terry to have some pearls of wisdom and a few great stories to share.

And now that influence and inspiration will be brought to the screen in a documentary called “Keep on Keepin’ On.”

Read more.

GROOVENOTES
11:06 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Plenty of celebration on the 85th birthday of Miles Davis

Life Magazine

Miles Davis would have been 85 years old today, and the birth of the legendary trumpeter is being celebrated in several ways and places around the country today.

LIFE.com just posted never-before-seen photos of Miles from 1958.

Read more:

GROOVENOTES
10:30 am
Tue May 24, 2011

Album Review: Pinnacle by Freddie Hubbard

The end of 2008 was a tough time for me as it related to jazz, primarily because the jazz world lost Freddie Hubbard due to complications from a heart attack right before 2009.

As a trumpet player myself, Hubbard was my biggest influence, but he also struck me as a “survivor”. Both Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan were lost before their time, and Freddie tore through the 70′s with mind-blowing recordings (both live and studio) when jazz needed a trumpeter to be mind-blowing.

Read more:

GROOVENOTES
10:21 am
Tue May 10, 2011

A Love Letter to New Orleans - An interview with Irvin Mayfield

I spoke by phone today with New Orleans trumpeter and educator Irvin Mayfield about his beautiful new book, “A Love Letter To New Orleans”.

Mr. Mayfield talks about the beauty of being influenced by the film "Mo Better Blues", musical and cultural similarities between NOLA and places like Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, and the beauty of New Orleans and the people of the city.

Click below to listen to the interview, and find a link at the bottom of the page to purchase the book.

Groove Notes Jazz Blog
12:40 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

The Jazz 100: Some final thoughts

I want to wrap up this little series on the Jazz 100 with my own personal thoughts on the list and some of the comments and questions left by listeners/readers.

There were some thoughts that kept popping up in readers posts. One was “Why didn’t (insert song here) show up on the list?”. Another is “My list would look completely different from this one.” A third was “There is no way that Take Five” should be number 1.”

Let me start by saying that my own personal list would also look a bit different from this one. I’ve seen emails and posts from casual listeners to the very jazz educated saying the exact same thing.

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Jazz 100 Analysis
12:22 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

Jazz 100: Thoughts by jazz hosts Abe Beeson and Robin Lloyd

So now you’ve seen the Jazz 100 list selected by our listeners, and you’ve got some introductory analysis on by Kirsten Kendrick and myself.

I felt that it was appropriate for the next step to be getting some thoughts from a fresh pair of eyes…and who better than two of the best in the business, KPLU’s Midday Jazz host Robin Lloyd and Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson?

See their thoughts on the Groove Notes blog

The Jazz 100 Q&A
8:30 pm
Mon February 14, 2011

Listeners pick top 100 jazz recordings of all time

Listen to the Q&A here:

What is the greatest jazz recording ever? That's the questions we asked listeners of KPLU and our jazz stream Jazz 24. From that, we came up with our list of the Top 100 Quintessential Jazz Songs of All Time.

KPLU music and news host Kevin Kniestedt tabulated the nearly 3,000 votes.  One thousand five hundred songs were nominated over a period of several weeks.

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Groove Notes
10:04 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Christmas jazz on KPLU

If you are looking for some jazz in holiday style to get your hands on, you might want to consider these Christmas jazz albums I've listed on Groove Notes. Some might be more of a challenge to track down than others.

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Groove Notes
10:44 am
Fri December 10, 2010

‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ to be released in March

Seven years in the making, ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will be released by Smithsonian Folkways on March 29th, 2011.

The six-CD box set traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innovators and exemplary exponents: Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Coltrane and many more. The set opens with Scott Joplin’s 1899 “Maple Leaf Rag” and spans the entire century, closing with Tomasz Stańko’s 2003 “Suspended Night Variation VIII.”

Read more

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