Nick Morrison

Production Manager/ Jazz & Blues Host

Nick began working at KPLU as a program host in the late 1980’s and, with the exception of a relatively brief hiatus, has been with the station ever since. Along with his work as a Midday Jazz host, Nick worked for several years as KPLU’s Music Director. He is now the station’s Production Manager and also serves as a fill-in host on KPLU’s jazz and blues programs.

Among his many memorable KPLU moments, Nick vividly recalls his pleasure and amazement when jazz guitarist, Larry Coryell, visited the studios during his program and performed a solo, acoustic guitar version of George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody In Blue.’ It still stands as one of the most wonderful live music performances he’s ever seen.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
7:13 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Karrin Allyson: Looking for hope in heartbreak

Justin Steyer KPLU

Relive last week’s studio session with vocalist/pianist, Karrin Allyson, who was joined by guitarist Rod Fleeman.

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Blues
12:37 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

5 Texas bluesmen who paved the way for Stevie Ray Vaughan

Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan rehearses with his band Double Trouble for a performance on Saturday Night Live in 1986.
Associated Press

When blues guitarist and vocalist Stevie Ray Vaughan released Texas Flood in 1983, he introduced Texas blues to a much broader audience than it had previously known. His impact was great enough that even today, 21 years after his death, if you ask a music lover to name a Texas blues guitarist, he or she will probably reply, "Stevie Ray Vaughan."

But, like many great musicians, Vaughan was not sui generis. He synthesized his unique style by combining a huge number of influences from Albert King and Johnny "Guitar" Watson to Lonnie Mack and Kenny Burrell. That being the case, here's a list of five Texas bluesmen (out of many) who, in addition to creating their own great legacies, paved the way for Vaughan to create a great legacy of his own.

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Artscape
9:00 am
Sun July 31, 2011

5 ways to sail away on an 'inner' Caribbean jazz cruise

Get your inner sunshine out and take a Caribbean jazz cruise.
Katie Weilbacher Flickr

With the non-summer we've been having and the fact that a lot of people can't afford to get away, allow us to give you a vacation for your mind.

Think beaches. Sunshine. Frozen drinks. Your soundtrack? Five great musicians who hail from the Caribbean.

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First person
3:05 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Say it ain’t so – Rob Perry retires as Jazz Alley manager

Justin Steyer KPLU

I’ve known Jazz Alley manager, Rob Perry, for almost 30 years.  At the end of July, Rob will retire from that job and I will join the many, many Jazz Alley habitués who will miss him.  In fact, though I sort of envy Rob for getting to retire while he’s still good-lookin’, we’re all gonna miss his presence at the club a lot.

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Artscape
9:00 am
Sun June 26, 2011

Five reasons why Memphis should get props for the blues

A blues joint on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn.
Bo Nash Flickr

Memphis, Tenn., is known as the birthplace of rock 'n roll. But KPLU's Nick Morrison says it should also be known for the blues.

Nick gives five examples of how Memphis and its neighbor, West Memphis, Ark., rank right up there with the Mississippi Delta and Chicago when it comes to launching the careers of influential blues artists.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
4:30 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

Julian Lage - From guitar prodigy to guitar master

When Julian Lage was 8 years old, his skill as a guitarist was the subject of a documentary film, Jules at Eight. Before he entered his teens, he had already performed with Carlos Santana and jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton.

He made his first jazz recording with Burton at age 15, and at age 22 he released his first CD as a band leader. Now, at the ripe old age of 24, he's just released his second CD, called Gladwell.

To celebrate and promote the new recording, Julian is traveling the country with his quintet, and stopped by the KPLU studios last week to treat us to three delightful pieces of music.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
11:55 am
Fri June 10, 2011

Allen Toussaint live at KPLU

Pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend (and Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee), Allen Toussaint stopped by the KPLU studios on June 1 and took us on a sweet and uplifting trip to New Orleans with his music.

Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious career in music. He has produced, written for, and performed with music giants such as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs and Irma Thomas to name a few.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
10:35 am
Wed June 8, 2011

Regina Carter Trio's live performance in the KPLU studios

We were pleased to welcome jazz violin virtuoso, Regina Carter to the KPLU studios on June 1 for a unique performance and interview with Evening Jazz host, Abe Beeson.

Accompanying Carter were Will Holshouser on accordion, and Yacouba Sissoko on the kora, a beautiful and unique African harp. The trio performed two selections from Carter’s latest CD, Reverse Thread: Kanou and N’teri (video below) which explore African music in very fresh, surprising and delightful ways.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
7:40 am
Thu May 19, 2011

Kindred spirits: Taylor Eigsti & Becca Stevens

Taylor Eigsti (left) and Becca Stevens rehearse "In the Midst" before performing live on KPLU May 16, 2011.

Pianist, Taylor Eigsti and vocalist/guitarist, Becca Stevens, stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios on May 16th to brighten an otherwise rainy Monday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest with an performance and interview, hosted by Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
10:20 am
Thu April 21, 2011

In the studio with Kurt Elling - The complete jazz singer

Kurt Elling performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on April 15, 2011.

Some jazz singers excel at singing standards. Others excel at scat-singing or vocalese (writing lyrics for instrumental improvisations and singing them). However, Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling can do it all.

He easily proved it in front of a small studio audience of Leadership Circle members on April 15th with along with two long-time musical colleagues; pianist, Laurence Hobgood, and guitarist, John McLean.

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Artscape
4:38 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Humor in jazz: puttin' on the wits

Jazz great Mose Allison, one of the artists in this survey of humorous jazz songs.
AP

April is National Humor Month. So, Nick and I thought we'd explore the funny side of jazz.Here are  five jazz artists known for their wit as well as their jazz chops. 

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KPLU Studio Sessions
7:35 am
Wed March 30, 2011

Jake Shimabukuro: Defying genres to bring the ukulele mainland and mainstream

KPLU was pleased to welcome ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, into our studios on March 29, 2011. Jake played before not only a record number of KPLU Leadership Circle members, but four young ukulele players from Foster High School we recently featured in an installment of Artscape, which explored the rising popularity of the ukulele in local schools.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
3:02 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

John Pizzarelli: Always ‘on’, always John

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Having guitarist/vocalist/storyteller, John Pizzarelli, as a guest in the KPLU studios is always great fun. He loves making music, he loves telling stories and he loves entertaining his fans.

When he visited us recently for this performance/interview with Abe Beeson, several members of the KPLU Leadership Circle attended the event, and John Pizzarelli played to this small group the same way he'd play to a full house at Lincoln Center.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
9:56 am
Wed February 16, 2011

Benny Green — Remembering Monk … and Shearing

Benny Green joined us in the KPLU Seattle studios on February 15, 2011 for an amazing performance & interview, hosted by Abe Beeson.

When pianist Benny Green agreed to come to KPLU’s Seattle studios for a solo piano performance he was on tour with his band doing a tribute to the music of Thelonious Monk so it seemed logical to have his studio session consist of Monk compositions. 

That was the plan, anyway ...

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KPLU Studio Sessions
5:21 am
Fri February 11, 2011

The Vijay Iyer Trio live at KPLU

2011 Grammy nominee, Vijay Iyer stopped by the KPLU studios with his trio on February 8, 2011 for a live in-studio performance.

The Vijay Iyer Trio’s latest release, Historicity, won a number of "Album Of The Year" awards in 2010 and has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy as "Best Jazz Instrumental Album."

Pianist, Vijay Iyer, seems pleased by this recognition but not really fazed by it. In fact, during his trio’s visit to the KPLU performance studios on February 8, they only played one piece of music from Historicity—"Smoke Stack" by one of Iyer’s mentors, Andrew Hill.

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