KPLU

News articles from KPLU

Arthur Mola / InvisionAP

This week on Sound Effect, it's earworms. We share some recent stories that we just can't get out of our head.

Homeless Internet Helpers

Back it 2012, pianist Cyrus Chestnut came to KPLU and treated us to a live, solo piano studio session and a delightfully lively conversation.  Recently, he did it again, only differently.  Different songs and different stories with the same result as his earlier visit—a good time was had by all. 

You’ll love all the songs and we think you’ll particularly like the story about the 9-year-old Cyrus begging his mom to buy him a Thelonious Monk album at Woolworth’s and then taking it to school for show and tell.

mf821-03188616a / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, you are what you eat. We bring stories of food, and how it intersects with identity.

We Eat War

Jazz pianist, composer and political activist Abdullah Ibrahim is a true citizen of the world.  He was born and raised in South Africa and has since lived in many countries, spreading the messages of music and freedom wherever he is. 

In this rare and wonderful live studio session, Abdullah treats us to solo piano performances of three of his many compositions as well as a wide-ranging and open-hearted conversation with KPLU/Jazz24 host, Mary McCann.

Courtesy of Harley Lever

This week on Sound Effect, we have stories of how neighborhoods in the Puget Sound region coexist with homelessness and indigence.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Cory Weeds is a key member of the Vancouver B.C. jazz scene. The longtime owner of the Cellar jazz club is now focused on live jazz all around the city, including the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (June 24 through July 3).

He's also one of Vancouver's top sax players. His latest album, "This Happy Madness," features the trio of all-star drummer Jeff Hamilton, and shows Cory at the top of his game.

Parker Miles Blohm

The first Ballard Jazz Festival took place in 2003.  The most recent Ballard Jazz Festival (the fourteenth annual) took place this past May.  In the intervening years the festival has grown, continued to get better and better and is now internationally known.

New Soul From Janiva Magness

Jun 1, 2016

Few singers can match the sheer emotional power of Janiva Magness's voice. Over a 30-year career she has gradually found her own songwriting voice as well. 

“The voice is something that allows us to communicate past the limitations of the left brain,” Magness says. “It’s the primary instrument, the first instrument … and more than that, too. The voice has the power to link all the parts of ourselves—the brain, the heart, and even the spirit and the soul. That’s why the ability to sing is a gift, and I love nothing more than sharing it.”

Michal Lebl

This week on Sound Effect we share stories of body language and the different ways we express ourselves with, and about, our bodies.

The Nude Model

KPLU's Community advisory council will hold their quarterly meeting on Monday, May 23 @ 2 - 3:30pm at the Seattle office. If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office @ (253) 535-8732 for more information.

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

This week Sound Effect takes a look at some interesting people and "that other thing they do."

Paul Allen Band

We begin by talking to KPLU All Blues host John Kessler about covering the release of Paul Allen's blues/rock album. Yes, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner also plays the guitar, and we hear how he lined up some musical all-stars for his recording project.

Cemetery Tree-nabber

Jayel Aheram / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect we present stories of war and peace.

Ground Zero

KPLU’s Saturday morning news and culture magazine, Sound Effect presents an evening of storytelling organized around the theme, “A Friend in Need”—May 18, 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle.  The event will feature onstage interviews, a photo presentation and live music. It’s a benefit for the Save KPLU campaign as the station races to raise enough money to stay alive and independent.

Credit Ken Wilcox via Flickr

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of rivalries.

Rivalries In Sports

KPLU reporters have garnered four 2016 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA), demonstrating the excellence that Murrow made a standard for the electronic news profession.  KPLU is in the Large Market Category, Region 1 which includes Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

Alex Adkins / Flickr

This week Sound Effect is revisiting stories about leaving home.

Leaving The Church

Velocity — South Sound Sound

Apr 13, 2016

In the Puget Sound area, many may see Seattle as the hub of the regional jazz community, but Tacoma, just about 30 miles down I-5 has an extremely happening scene, as well. 

Take the band, Velocity—these guys get up on their back legs and howl. Their music is jazz rooted in funk and fusion and they can definitely throw down some killer grooves.  And they’re always challenging themselves.

Shannon Dininny / AP Photo

Editor's note: This segment originally aired April 28, 2010.

Spring has finally arrived here in the Pacific Northwest and the signs are everywhere — flowers are blooming, birds are singing and lawnmowers are buzzing.

But for Dick Stein, it’s the arrival of Yakima asparagus at the local grocery store that proves to be the surest sign that winter is behind us.

Seattle pianist Ann Reynolds has been in a passionate relationship with Cuban music since her first visit to that country in 2000.  She fell in love with the music and people of that island and has returned there many times to study, compose and perform. 

Here at home she leads a band called Clave Gringa as a vehicle for her Cuban-flavored compositions.  When Clave Gringa came in for their first (of many, we hope) studio sessions, they performed three of Ann’s songs from their latest release, "Para Cuba Con Amor."  And, yes, you definitely feel the love.

Since the early 1990s, Seattle jazz lovers have had (and continue to have) the highly rewarding opportunity to see and hear the development of a great talent — pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett.  When she recorded with her first band, Room To Move, her lyrical improvisatory and composition skills were already on display. 

used with permission of Jason Padgett / struckbygenius.com

This week on "Sound Effect," we listen back to stories of survivors.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

When trumpeter Terell Stafford was nearing the completion of his classical trumpet studies in college, he was also developing an interest in jazz.  Since jazz was frowned upon by his classical mentors, Terell had to meet covertly with the school’s jazz studies professor, pianist Kenny Barron.  Barron agreed to help Stafford, but only if they could keep it a secret from the classical professor.  So Terell began going to jam sessions.  

One night — well, no, we’ll stop here.  Terell tells the story much better in this performance/interview with KPLU’s Abe Beeson.  

The a cappella group, Take 6, really needs no introduction.  They’re loved by fans all over the planet and are the most award-winning vocal group in history — awards that just happen to include 10 Grammys. 

And, as if having these guys in the KPLU performance studio wasn’t enough of a treat, Take 6 did a song they’d never done live.  It was their first live performance of what would become their most recent single, "When Angels Cry," and will also be released on their next album, coming out sometime this year.

Singers:

Carol Guzy / Washington Post

This week on "Sound Effect," we bring you stories of crossing the divide.

First, a look at the divide between secular and Christian artists in Seattle's alternative music scene. Music writer Kathleen Tarrant explains how mega-church Mars Hill blurred that divide by opening a popular all-ages venue in Seattle. But she says the crossover culture didn't last for long.

Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs / National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons

We get all tangled up in family dynamics on this edition “Sound Effect,” with stories of “Family Business.”

We begin in Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach, Washington, where Dave Marsh is the third generation to run this roadside attraction. His grandfather founded the store, which now contains taxidermy, vintage carny memorabilia, a (purportedly) real human tapeworm in a jar and, of course, Jake the Alligator Man.

At the end of January, 2016, the University of Washington presented its 1st Annual Jazz Festival for High School Jazz Ensembles and Combos.  To help draw attention to this first festival a jazz quartet called The Intension came to KPLU for a live studio session.  The members of the band are all U-W seniors in the Jazz Studies Program and they did more than draw attention to the event.  They set the bar for excellence—for that festival and all the U-W festivals that will follow.  Prepare to be amazed.

Ian Mengadoht - alto

This quartet is made up of female high-school jazz students from all over the region.  They met through their work with Seattle Jazz Ed, a non-profit provider of year-round jazz classes and activities for young jazz musicians, no matter where the go to school or what their financial circumstances are. 

The 10:00 Quartet is just one example of the great benefit Seattle Jazz Ed provides when it comes to helping young players expand their social/musical networks creatively cross-pollinate with like-minded collaborators. 

ShenandoahNPS via Creative Commons / Flickr

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. For this episode, the "Sound Effect" staff brings us stories of helping hands.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

All the members of this U.S. Navy Sextet agree that serving their country by playing jazz is a pretty sweet gig. 

Heck, yes!  Unlike most young jazz musicians, they have steady work, decent pay, job security and great benefits.  And do they ever have fun.

Other military jazz bands that we’ve hosted seem to gravitate to music from the golden age of jazz—the ‘modern jazz’ of the late 50s through mid-60s—guided by the greats: artists like Miles, Coltrane and Bill Evans. 

Parker Miles Blohm

 

KPLU "School of Jazz" hit the road for our second studio session featuring a regional high school jazz band program (our first being the Point Grey Secondary School studio session in June at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival).

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