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 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!  

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.  

Jazz musicians are often an unconventional lot, and when it comes to holiday music you can expect re-harmonizations, different tempos, unexpected rhythms and other surprises as they find new ways to play old music and old ways to play new music.  

This week's Jazz Northwest provides ten explorations of familiar holiday music and some new songs as well. Among the Northwest resident artists featured are Don Lanphere, Greta Matassa, Larry Fuller, Dave Frishberg, the B3 Kings and Karin Plato.

    

As part of its 20th anniversary season, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra played a concert of music by two of the greatest musicians to come out of Seattle's Jackson Street Era, Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.  

The concert, which was also part of the Earshot Festival, included guest appearances by Delvon Lamarr on Hammond B3 organ, and vocalist Reggie Goings. Highlights aired exclusively on 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, December 7 at 2 PM Pacific and streaming at kplu.org.

This week's Jazz Northwest features several new releases as well as news of upcoming jazz events including a Celebration of Life for the late Buddy Catlett (at Jazz Alley Monday night), and Roosevelt Jazz Band's annual performance of the Ellington-Strayhorn Jazz Nutcracker (next weekend at RHS). 

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer Ann Reynolds brought her Clave Gringa band to The Seattle Art Museum to warm up a cool evening  for this month's Art of Jazz Concert, presented by Earshot.  The concert was recorded for broadcast and highlights aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.

Bruce C. Moore

Buddy Catlett, a much-revered pillar of the Seattle Jazz community died last Wednesday at the age of 81. He was a contemporary of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson and had an international career, touring and recording with Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and many others.  

Jazz Northwest will remember him with several unpublished recordings of the Local 493 Reunion Band. The group included veterans of the Black musicians union Local 493 in the years before it merged with the white musicians union Local 76.   

Andrew Swanson

The Westerlies are a brass quartet, two trumpets and two trombones, played by four friends who grew up in Seattle and who now live in New York City. Zubin Hensler and Riley Mulherkar (trumpets), and Andy Claussen and Willem de Koch (trombones) returned to their hometown to play a concert at the end of their summer tour in connection with their debut recording, "Wish The Children Would Come On Home" (Songlines).  The CD features music by Wayne Horvitz arranged for the Westerlies. Their concert included music from the CD as well as original compositions by members of the quartet.

The Earshot Jazz Festival continues through November 11 in Seattle including a great variety of resident and touring artists in various locations.  

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