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.


Luzia Grob dos Santos

Jovino Santos Neto is a Brazilian musical ambassador who enjoys sharing his music with others as much as he enjoys playing it. The native of Rio has been a Seattle resident since 1993, but his roots run deep and he often returns to his native country to soak up more native culture and folklore.

He then reworks it into his own original compositions which are the basis of his live performances, often with the Quinteto which played this month's Art of Jazz concert at The Seattle Art Museum. Highlights from the concert are featured in this week's episode.

Duke Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder (1957) was inspired by and dedicated to the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival. This suite of musical portraits of Shakespearean characters ranks among his finest work. 

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Seattle Shakespeare Company teamed up in February to present the first known performance of Ellington's music combined with related scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

  In 1957, Duke Ellington completed and presented "Such Sweet Thunder" in concert for the first time. Working with Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington composed a suite of musical portraits of characters from Shakespeare's plays; Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Caesar, Cleopatra, Henry V, Iago and others. 

In two unique performances last month, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra was joined by actors from the Seattle Shakespeare Company to perform the Ellington suite with related excerpts from Shakespeare's plays. 

This week on Jazz Northwest, we check out some new releases by The Young Lizards, Scenes, Dee Daniels and others. On the live music scene, The Portland Jazz Festival ends this weekend, but the Frank DeMiero Jazz Festival begins Thursday with Dee Daniels back in the area to sing.

We'll also sample some of the music to be heard at the Highline Classic Jazz Festival next Saturday and include an old record with Ken Wiley playing trombone! (It is an electrical recording)

The Panama Hotel is more than a century old and it still operates today in what was known as Japan Town, between China Town and the historic Jackson Street district in Seattle. 

Jamie Ford's novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet captures the World War II era when the hotel became a focal point for the Japanese community, when Japanese Americans were being forcibly removed from coastal areas and sent to inland internment camps.

Phil Sparks is one of the Seattle area's most popular jazz bass players, and every Friday afternoon he leads a hand-picked jazz trio for an informal session at The Latona Pub during Happy Hour from 5 p.m.to 7 p.m. 

Most of Seattle's top players have played here with Phil Sparks, and the personnel changes from week to week. It's crowded, it's noisy, but it IS happy and the nearest listeners are drawn in to the energetic but acoustic music. 


The Emerald City Jazz Orchestra At Tula's

Feb 2, 2014

This week on Jazz Northwest features highlights from an Emerald City Jazz Orchestra celebration of the Woody Herman Centennial at Tula's in December as well as excerpts from Steve Griggs' Panama Hotel Jazz suite which will receive a full performance at The Seattle Art Museum on February 13. 

Norman Durkee died January 12 after a rich and productive life that produced all kinds of music in many different settings. 

Jonathan Pugh grew up in Wenatchee and his first musical memories include standing by his Dad as he led the band at his Summer youth circus. Later, he connected with Don Lanphere in Wenatchee and studied with him during his teen years.

It was mutual inspiration as Jonathan become a regular member of the Don Lanphere Quintet, touring and recording eight albums with the sax legend during his resurgent career.


This week on Jazz Northwest, Jim Wilke picks some of his favorite CDs issued in 2013 by Northwest jazz artists.

Not necessarily an exhaustive nor exclusive list, this hour does provide some examples of the high level of jazz recordings produced in the Pacific Northwest.   

The complete list will be posted at jazzafterhours.org/bestcds.html which includes national and international releases as well.  

Alex Crick

    

Seattle jazz icon pianist Overton Berry leads his trio in an "Art of Jazz" concert in this week's episode.

Overton Berry is a member of the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame and his career goes back for six decades not only in Seattle and the West Coast, but beyond to Hong Kong, Viet Nam, and elsewhere.

Northwest jazz artists have produced a great selection of holiday music, and you can hear a full hour of it this Sunday at 2 PM Pacific on Jazz Northwest from 88.5, KPLU.

Leading off the program is the by-now classic 1989 album "Year 'Round Christmas" by the late Don Lanphere, the same band that played the very first Christmas Jam live from KPLU.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet was one of the primary groups moving jazz from the dance hall to the concert hall in the 50s. The cooler, more intellectual style of music found great success on college campuses and music departments (which previously discouraged it) started adding jazz to the curriculum.

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman recently presented a concert of big-band arrangements of music by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond and highlights from that concert can be heard in this episode of Jazz Northwest. 

This week on Jazz Northwest we're starting the holiday season by revisiting some of our favorites: the Roosevelt Jazz Band's "Jazz Nutcracker," Don Lanphere's "Year 'Round Christmas" and Hans Teuber and Dave Peterson play "Silver Bells." We'll sample Jim Knapp's new string orchestra "Scrape" plus Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Thomas Marriott and more.

Steve Korn

 

 Pianist Bill Anschell was born in Seattle and began his career here, but he's ranged far and wide since then. He's been a jazz coordinator for the Southern Arts Federation, produced radio programs, been musical director and pianist for Nnenna Freelon with whom he toured and recorded, and he's toured widely in South America.

One of those tours was last year in Peru with his Seattle trio, Chris Symer on bass and Jeff "Bongo" Busch on drums and percussion. This trio was featured in this month's Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum, presented by Earshot and recorded for Jazz Northwest. It was a particularly apt choice for the series as it compliments the current exhibition at SAM, "Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon" which continues through January 5.

Dorothy Darr

Jazz NW is quite site-specific this Sunday. In addition to several resident groups, Charles Lloyd plays "Desolation Sound" and Loraine Feather sings "I Hope I Never Leave This Place." We’’ll hear a woodsy new CD by former resident Aaron Parks, visit a jazz club in Vancouver, and preview some upcoming performances including traditional holiday jazz concerts on Jazz Northwest, Sunday afternoon at 2 on 88.5 KPLU.

This week's show ranges from Portland (John Stowell, Rebecca Kilgore) to Vancouver and Victoria (The Nightcrawlers, Kelby MacNayr Quintet). We'll also hear from the young (Ariel Pocock) and the … not so young (Overton Berry, Chuck Stentz & Joe Baque). We even have two Bills on the bill (Bill Anschel and Bill Frisell).

Jim Levitt

Guitarist Anthony Wilson leads his nonet on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, November 3 at 2 PM (PDT) on 88.5 KPLU. The concert was recorded at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last summer. Truly an all-star aggregation, the group includes Terell Stafford, trumpet, Jiggs Whigham, trombone, Jeff Clayton, alto sax & flute, Anat Cohen, tenor sax and clarinet, Gary Smulyan, baritone sax, Gerald Clayton, piano, Joe Sanders, bass and Matt Wilson, drums. All were on the faculty for the Jazz Port Townsend Jazz Workshop which took place the week leading up to the festival.

Ben Huggler

Jazz Northwest previews and samples upcoming events every Sunday afternoon at 2 on 88.5 KPLU. This Sunday (10/27) will include CDs by Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini, the Jim Knapp Orchestra, Darcy James Argue and others appearing in Seattle concerts, as well as some new releases by resident Northwest musicians.

Tacoma-based saxophonist Kareem Kandi brought his band to the Art Of Jazz Series at The Seattle Art Museum this month and played a hard-swinging concert enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience that filled Brotman Forum at SAM.  Saxophonist Kreem Kandi was joined by B3 organist Delvon Lamarr and drummer Adam Kessler in a classic organ trio performance that included standards and originals.  

Tribute to Bill Ramsey

Oct 13, 2013
Daniel Sheehan

Saxophonist Bill Ramsay is a Northwest treasure who's been both leader and sideman in dozens of bands, not only in this region but also internationally. He recently played concerts in Brazil with former Count Basie Band members. He's played with many of the best known bands ever - Basie, Ellington, Goodman, Les Brown, Quincy Jones, Grover Mitchell, Maynard Ferguson and others. He was a regular at Red Kelly's in both Tumwater and Tacoma, is co-leader of the Ramsay-Kleeb Band, a founding member of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and in the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.

John Gilbreath is guest on Jazz Northwest preview of the 25th Earshot Jazz Festival

 John Gilbreath, Executive Director of Earshot Jazz, talks with Jim Wilke about the current Earshot Jazz Festival on this episode of Jazz Northwest.

Jim Levitt

Bria Skonberg plays trumpet and sings as she leads an all-star sextet in concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 at 2 p.m. PDT.  

Born in Chilliwack, British Columbia, she studied at Capilano University in North Vancouver before moving to New York. She has been endorsed by veteran musicians and is active on the New York scene as well as an international touring star while still in her 20s.

The 15th Earshot Jazz Festival begins October 1 with more than 50 concerts in various venues around Seattle.  On today's show we'll sample some of the music at this year's festival including Keith Jarrett, Vinicius Cantuaria, Dave Douglas, Darcy James Argue.  We'll also highlight live jazz for the coming week.

Jim Levitt

Two excellent jazz singers, René Marie and Sachal Vasandani team up in concert on this Jazz Northwest broadcast from Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend, held the last weekend of July each summer.  The concert aired on Sunday, September 15 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU.  It was recorded before a large audience in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden during the Festival.  The two singers, obviously enjoying each other, trade songs and join in some duets.   They were accompanied by an all-star rhythm section of George Cables (piano), Chuck Deardorf (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums).

Jazz Northwest this week will feature several new CDs by Northwest jazz artists, including former Seattle flutist and pianist Anne Drummond who has an active career in New York.   Several artists appearing at this Sunday's Pony Boy Jazz Picnic have new or recent CDs on this show including The Greg Williamson Quartet, and Jay Thomas' neo Boogaloo band, the Cantaloupes.  

Jim Levitt

The Centrum All-Star Big Band directed by Clarence Acox played a Salute to Quincy Jones at Jazz Port Townsend last July, and Jazz Northwest was there to record the concert.  The full-length concert broadcast aired on Sunday, September 1 at 2 pm (PDT) as part of a series of live concert recordings from this year's festival.

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