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.

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!  

Jazz Northwest samples the ever-changing jazz scene from Portland to Vancouver BC, with the latest jazz CDs and news about where to hear live music around the region.  This week's show includes new releases from Portland bassist David Friesen, Seattle singer Reggie Goings and news about upcoming performances by Gregg Williamson's Big Bad Groove Society,  Eugenie Jones, the Dave Peck Trio, and Collier and Dean with samples of each.

Maria Joyner-Wulf led several ensembles drawn from a pool of ten musicians for her concert in the Black Box Cabaret Jazz series at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia.  All the music in this concert was from original compositions by Maria Joyner-Wulf or saxophonist Cynthia Mulllis, who was also one of the principal soloists.

Over 3 decades of jazz from the Pacific Northwest is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest Sunday, January 25 at 2 PMPacific.  An upcoming two trombone tribute to Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana will feature Rodger Fox (NZ) and David Marriott Jr (WA) at the Royal Room.  It seemed like a good excuse to listen again to the spectacular trombonists Rosolino and Fontana as they played at The Bayside in Vancouver BC in 1978.

Jim Wilke

A hard-swinging piano trio led by Danny Kolke will be featured in highlights from this month's Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum airing at 2 PM Sunday, January 18 on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.

The concert broadcast includes standards, spirituals and blues by the trio which includes Danny Kolke, piano, Jon Hamar, bass and Greg Williamson on drums.  The trio plays regularly on Sunday evenings at Boxley's in North Bend and has recorded two CDs live at the club and issued on Pony Boy Records.

Neida Bangerter

Nine recent and forthcoming jazz CDs will be sampled on Jazz Northwest today.  Among them is a name that will be familiar to longtime followers of the Seattle Jazz scene, Gene Argel.

Originally from Tacoma, he played both organ and piano up and down the West Coast before finally settling on the island of Maui where he's lived and worked since 1982.  He still visits Seattle periodically and over the last three years has recorded material for his debut release (!) titled Luminescent.

Stan Froehner

One of the best jazz piano trios in the Pacific Northwest, or anywhere, is featured in performance on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. PST on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.  Pianist Dave Peck, long a mainstay on the Seattle jazz scene, leads his trio with Jeff Johnson, bass and Eric Eagle, drums in a program of American standards recorded during a two-night engagement at Tula's in Seattle.

Top Ten lists abound at this time of year, but why Ten?  There were many great CDs by Northwest Jazz artists in 2014 and we play some of our favorites on Jazz Northwest.  It's not a Top Ten countdown, but we think these are representative of great jazz talent  from Seattle.    

An all-star sextet led by saxophonist and trumpeter Jay Thomas is featured in highlights from an Art of Jazz concert at The Seattle Art Museum on Jazz Northwest.  The group played jazz classics ranging from Miles Davis in the 50s to an original by Jay Thomas.  

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