Jazz NW

Sundays at 2PM

Jazz Northwest focuses on the regional jazz scene from Portland to Vancouver. CDs by the best resident musicians from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver are featured, and the program also includes news about the best places to go for live jazz in the region. In addition, Jim goes "on location" to concerts, clubs and jazz festivals to record performances by resident and visiting artists for playback on Jazz Northwest. These one-of-a-kind recordings are available nowhere else!

Host Jim Wilke is a professional recording engineer and writer in addition to his radio programs which include "Jazz After Hours" on Public Radio International, heard nationwide since 1984.

Jim Levitt

Brazilian singer Maucha Adnet and a trio of countrymen charmed the audience in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden during July's Jazz Port Townsend. The concert was recorded for radio and will air August 30 at 2 PM Pacific on Jazz Northwest on 88.5, KPLU and kplu.org.  With Jovino Santos Neto, piano, Nilson Matta, bass and Duduka Da Fonseca, drums, Maucha Adnet presented a program she titled "Bossa Always Nova" to illustrate the continuing appeal of the Brazilian music which gained world-wide popularity in the 60s.   Blending native Brazilian music with American cool jazz, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others became world-renown for their appealing, infectious music.  Maucha Adnet toured widely with Jobim from 1984-1994.  He said Maucha Adnet's rich, dark voice made him "long for the Brazilian forest." 

Maucha Adnet is accompanied by Brazilian-born Jovino Santos Neto who has resided in Seattle since 1992 and teaches at Cornish College,  Nilson Matta and Duduka Da Fonseca are two-thirds of the Brazilian Trio Da Paz which also played  at this year's Jazz Port Townsend.   Their concert will be heard on September 27 on Jazz Northwest.  Guests Romero Lubambo, guitar and Jay Ashby, trombone, make guest appearances with Maucha Adnet in her concert.

The 41st annual Jazz Port Townsend was presented by Centrum on the last weekend of July. Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org.  Programs are archived at jazznw.org.

Something about late Summer encourages reminiscence and as we planned this show, that seemed to emerge as a theme.  Included are a couple of songs from the 60s, "Wichita Lineman" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" in new versions by Marc Seales and Alex Guilbert.   Wayne Horvitz' new CD "Some Places are Forever Afternoon" was inspired by the NW poet Richard Hugo (1923-1982).  Wayne Horvitz visited some of the places and people that inspired Hugo as he composed this music that balances between nostalgia and the future, chamber music and improvisation.

The first in a series of radio shows from the 41st Jazz Port Townsend airs Sunday, August 16 at 2 PM Pacific.  An all-star sextet drawn from the faculty of the Jazz Workshop opens the festival on the first of three nights of "Jazz In The Clubs" in several small venues in downtown Port Townsend.  After a week of sharing their knowledge with students, they’re ready to swing with their peers. In this group, we’ll hear musicians from New York and LA, Seattle and Portland... Terell Stafford on trumpet, Steve Wilson on alto, Eric Reed is the pianist, Dan Balmer on guitar, Chuck Deardorf is on bass, Matt Wilson is at the drums.  They play both standards and jazz classics, but in some non-standard arrangements.  

Jazz and Summertime are natural partners and next Tuesday night fans will be heading to the North City neighborhood of Shoreline for the 9th annual North City Jazz Walk from 7 to 10 PM.  This Sunday, Jazz Northwest previews the Jazz Walk with music by Greta Matassa, Pearl Django and Jacqueline Tabor. These are three of the ten artists and groups appearing on August 11 in ten venues within walking distance of each other around 175th and 15th Avenue NE.  

 

For its season finale, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman, played music by Charles Mingus (1922-1979).  Charles Mingus was one of the most significant American Composers of the Twentieth Century.  

Born in Nogales, New Mexico and raised in Watts,  he rose to prominence in New York during the 1940s Bop Era playing with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others.  As a leader himself from the 50s on, his groups toured around the world playing his original compositions exclusively.

On Jazz Northwest this week, we feature a tune by this all-star group on the 26th anniversary of the above recording. Except for the late Bud Shank, all were teaching and performing again this week at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend.  Jiggs Whigham will also play with a quartet this Sunday evening (7/26) at Tula's in Seattle.

Also on this week's show is a sample from a forthcoming CD by John Pizzarelli, playing and singing a beautiful ballad from the post-Beatles music of Paul McCartney.  The CD "Midnight McCartney" will be released in September. John Pizzarelli is at Jazz Alley through this Sunday. Also, Jay Thomas & the Cantaloupes at SAM, Barney McClure plays organ with the Central Washington Big Band, Mimi Fox and Greta Matassa team up, and new CDs by Michael Waldrop Big Band and Bobby Medina are included on this week's show along with some best bets for live jazz in the coming week.

Jim Levitt

Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz leads a stellar quintet in performance at Tula's in Seattle on Jazz Northwest.   The quintet, featuring special guest pianist Russell Ferrante and Thomas Marriott on trumpet plays music from Anton Schwartz' CD Flash Mob.  Jon Hamar on bass and D'vonne Lewis at the drums complete the ensemble.

Jazz Port Townsend is the oldest and largest jazz festival in the Pacific Northwest... it celebrated its 40th year last year.

For the 2015 edition on the last weekend of July, there will be seven concerts on the main stage at  the 1200 seat McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park, and over a dozen performances in cozy small venues in downtown Port Townsend.

Jim Levitt

The Lucas Pino No Net Nonet played an exciting concert of original music at the 2015 Ballard Jazz Festival, and the concert was recorded for broadcast on KPLU's Jazz Northwest

Lucas Pino is a New York-based tenor saxophonist who has been leading a similar band in monthly concerts at Smoke in New York City for the past three years.  The New York band has a new CD on the Seattle label, Origin Records, and Lucas Pino recently married Roxy Coss, another saxophonist who is a former Seattle resident who attended Garfield High.

Fifty years ago this week, vibist and composer Gary McFarland's career was on the rise and he was playing in Seattle at a Pioneer Square jazz club called The Penthouse.  Jim Wilke was there producing another weekly broadcast from the club which featured international talent during the 60s.

McFarland's music from those broadcasts has been issued for the first time as part of a DVD/CD set which includes a documentary by Kristian St.Clair about Gary McFarland. His quick rise to fame ended suddenly with his death under mysterious circumstances at the age of 38, six years after these Seattle broadcasts.  McFarland's "Train Samba" was a popular hit at the time and is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.

Randy Cole

The Montreal-based trio Trifolia played at the Seattle Art Museum's Art of Jazz series as part of their recent West Coast tour, and highlights from the concert aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, June 21 at 2 PM PDT.  The trio consisting of Marianne Trudel, piano, Etienne Lafrance, bass, and Patrick Graham, percussion, plays original music by the pianist and draws upon elements of jazz, classical and world music.

Steve Sherman

Explore some of the many opportunities for excellent live jazz this weekend and next week on this week's Jazz Northwest, Sunday at 2 on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org.  Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz is playing 3 nights in 3 different locations this weekend, world-renown pianist Fred Hersch plays Tuesday and Wednesday at Jazz Alley, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra plays two concerts of music by Charles Mingus.... and two jazz festivals are opening in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. Music by these artists and more are featured on this week's show.

Jim Levitt

Saxophonist Eric Alexander and guitarist Peter Bernstein were in Seattle for the 2015 Ballard Jazz Festival and were featured in a main stage concert at the Nordic Heritage Museum. The concert was recorded and aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday June 7 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.  

Eric Alexander and Peter Bernstein are joined in this concert by the Seattle rhythm team of Chuck Deardorf on bass and Matt Jorgensen on drums. They play jazz standards by Wes Montgomery, Horace Silver and George Coleman and a surprise YouTube hit by Eric Alexander.

Jazz Northwest for May 31

May 31, 2015

New and recent CDs are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest, leading off with a new live recording of Jay Thomas and The Cantaloupes at the Seattle Art Museum.  

Vancouver-based saxophonist Cory Weeds is heard with a New York organ trio led by Mike LeDonne, and two singers debut new releases, Cherrie Adams with the Forman-Finley Band, and Tony Petrillo, who has a CD release party at Tula's Monday night..  There's more including news of upcoming live jazz gigs in the region.

Jim Wilke

Bulgarian born singer and songwriter Ana Velinova trained in Sophia, L.A. and Boston and has performed in New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria and elsewhere.  

Now a resident of Seattle, she recently sang in the Art of Jazz series at The Seattle Art Museum with an all-star Seattle quartet including Marc Seales, Mark Taylor, Jeff Johnson and D'vonne Lewis.   

Jim Levitt

The Ballard Jazz Festival began 13 years ago with the Ballard Jazz Walk and the Jazz Walk continues to be the most popular element of the festival which this year ran four days with nightly concerts.  

Friday night, 17 bands played in 9 different venues within walking distance of each other in old Ballard and hundreds of fans circulated between the cozy, informal spaces.  The flavor is like fabled jazz streets including 52nd Street in New York, and Central Avenue in L.A.   We recorded four different groups that night and they are be featured on Jazz Northwest.

Jazz Northwest For May 10

May 10, 2015

The Northwest jazz scene continues to amaze and surprise, and Jazz Northwest Sundays at 2 PM on KPLU tracks it with location recordings, new CDs and news about upcoming performances.

Carmen Bradford graciously stepped in as a last minute replacement for an ailing Wycliffe Gordon as featured soloist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra for its April concerts.  With less than a week to prepare a new concert with different music than planned, it was tense but everything just seemed right after the first rehearsal with Carmen Bradford.  

Playing for capacity audiences in Benaroya Hall and Kirkland Performance Center, Miss Bradford and the SRJO drew standing ovations and encores.  The concert at Kirkland Performance Center was recorded for broadcast on KPLU's Jazz Northwest and will air on Sunday, May 3 at 2 PM Pacific and stream at kplu.org.

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll sample some new and recent recordings including a new old one from 1962 being issued for the first time!  Ernestine Anderson was just 34 years old and in the first bloom of her career when she sang at The Penthouse, a Pioneer Square jazz club where Jim Wilke was producing a weekly live and direct broadcast on KING-FM.  The aircheck of the broadcast is the source for this new first time issue on a HighNote CD.

Continuing a series of unique live-on-location recordings for Jazz April, the Jacob Zimmerman Quintet plays music of the 40s in an Art of Jazz concert on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, April 18 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.  

The quintet takes on some challenging music from the transitional period which saw jazz morph from swing to bebop. Composers range from Benny Goodman's guitarist Charlie Christian to Tad Dameron and Charlie Parker.

John Cline

Multi-generational bands are not uncommon in jazz, but a bit more unusual is a Father and Son front line.  Tatum Greenblatt (trumpet) and his father Dan Greenblatt (tenor saxophone) have been playing gigs together since Tatum was in elementary school.  Both are now veterans of both New York and Seattle jazz scenes and still enjoy playing together.  

Tatum is active in New York and Dan lives in Seattle and they've been fronting a quintet several times a year for a reunion at Tula's.  Earlier this month, their gig was recorded for Jazz Northwest and highlights will air on 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, April 12 at 2 PM  PDT and stream at kplu.org.  

John Rogers

April is celebrated as National Jazz Month, and the month begins in Seattle with a flurry of activity including both touring and resident musicians playing in the the first week.  One of the visiting groups featured on Jazz Northwest this Sunday is Ryan Keberle & Catharsis (pictured) which begins a West Coast tour at the Poncho Theatre at Cornish College in Seattle on April 7.  

Some singers you may not have heard before are featured on this Sunday's Jazz Northwest from 88.5 KPLU.

Perhaps most surprising is a seven member a cappella vocal group called Groove For Thought which will perform next Friday at Boxley's in North Bend.  Also on this week's show is a new vocalise release by Paul Green. He is well established as a blues singer and blues harp player, but he's making his CD debut as a jazz singer with his lyrics to jazz instrumental standards. He's also at Boxley's next Saturday.

Two jazz performances which took place only a few blocks apart but separated by 53 years in time are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest on 88.5, KPLU.  

In the first half of this week's show, The Seattle JazzEd New Works Ensemble is directed by Wayne Horvitz in excerpts from an Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum.  

Jim Levitt

The poll-winning, critically acclaimed international clarinet star Anat Cohen played two concerts with The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in February. The concerts, billed as "A World View of Jazz"  were among the highlights of the 20th anniversary season of the SRJO, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman. The sold-out Sunday concert at Kirkland Performance Center was recorded for Jazz Northwest and broadcast on Sunday, March 15.

Jim Levitt

Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014) was born in Toronto but lived in London from the 1950s on, playing trumpet and flugelhorn and composing in a unique style that ranged from soft lyricism to explosive free expression.  His many recordings for ECM and CAM Jazz are widely praised by critics and studied by musicians.  

In a pair of concerts at The Royal Room in Seattle, Steve Treseler and Ingrid Jensen co-led a Tribute to Kenny Wheeler featuring two evenings of his music.  Joining Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and Steve Treseler on tenor sax were Geoffrey Keezer on piano, Martin Wind on bass and Jon Wikan on drums, with vocalist Katie Jacobson.

Jim Levitt

There's lots of current music to listen to and talk about on Jazz Northwest this week.   Ingrid Jensen and Steve Treseler head an all-star Quintet at The Royal Room where they'll record a show for NPR, Dee Daniels is Artistic Director at the DeMiero Jazz Festival in Edmonds next week, Thomas Marriott has a great new video and there's much more.  

There’s lots of good live jazz in the Pacific Northwest right now and into next week, including the Portland Jazz Festival and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. On this week's Jazz Northwest, we’ll hear musicians playing both festivals, update you on the Seattle jazz scene, and sample new CDs from Seattle musicians Marc Seales and Eric Huyllander.

Richard Bell

A photo from the 1984 Bellevue Jazz Festival brought back nice memories and a desire to have a reunion for four Northwest musicians. Jay Thomas, John Stowell, Bruce Phares and John Bishop hadn't played together as a group since the mid-80s but after a single rehearsal they said it was just like it was then, only better!  

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