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

An unusual concert featuring three singers was one of the features of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend in July.  The singers, Johnaye Kendrick, Sachal Vasandani and Dena DeRose performed together in a "singers' jam" to open and close the concert and each did a solo turn on their own. All three were also on the jazz vocal faculty of the Jazz Workshop which precedes the festival concerts the last week of July each Summer.  The concert was recorded and broadcast exclusively on 88.KPLU.

It's the last weekend of Summer and we'll feature some songs for the end of Summer with Jessica Williams and Ralph Towner and Denney Goodhew on Jazz Northwest.  We'll also look ahead and sample some of the great live jazz coming up this Fall including the CD release party for Ann Reynolds' Clave Gringa on Monday night at Tula's.  Former Seattle pianist Larry Fuller has a new CD and he'll be back in Seattle next month for three performances.

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer George Cables was celebrated in a special concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last July, and the concert was recorded for broadcast. A perennial favorite at the festival and the Jazz Workshop each summer, George Cables teaches students, plays trio jazz in the clubs and often appears on the festival mainstage where this concert was recorded.  Three pianists, Geoffrey Keezer, Benny Green and Dawn Clement take solo turns playing compositions by George Cables, and guitarist Anthony Wilson also contributes a piece associated with George Cables.

Diane Schuur and Janis Mann, two former Seattle singers will come home for gigs in Seattle this week and their most recent CDs are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Both launched successful recording and touring careers from Seattle and their most recent CDs are featured on this program.   Janis Mann will sing in the Art of Jazz series at Seattle Art Museum on Thursday September 11, and Diane Schuur will be at Jazz Alley September 11-14.   Don't be surprised if you see either of them at the other's gig, they're longtime friends as well. 

Jim Levitt

One of the most highly regarded composer-arrangers in jazz is Bill Holman, whose career stretches back over six decades and includes music performed by Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan and many others.  He also leads his own L.A. big band which includes many top musicians who vie for the opportunity to play Bill Holman's exciting and complex music.   Winner of three Grammy Awards and 14 nominations, he's arranged for recording sessions by Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and many others. 

New CD releases from Seattle, Portland and Victoria are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Among them is the first new release in nine years from the long standing duo of vibist Tom Collier and bassist Dan Dean, recorded in Seattle and in L.A.

Jim Levitt

Sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen were reunited in concert at Centrum's Jazz port Townsend in July. Their concert at McCurdy Pavilion was recorded for Jazz Northwest. The sisters grew up in Nanaimo, BC and have gone on to successful musical careers. Christine Jensen now lives in Montreal where she composes for and leads her own jazz orchestra. Ingrid is based in New York and leads her own groups and plays with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and other ensembles. Both have recorded numerous CDs and tour internationally.

New jazz releases from musicians in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest. We have a sneak preview of pianist Gordon Lee with the Mel Brown Septet, the Tuesday night band at Jimmy Mak's in Portland. Tom Collier and Dan Dean are a long-standing pair of Seattle musicians who have a new CD titled Slick Buick, and we'll also sample Triology, a very smooth piano-guitar-bass trio from Vancouver BC.

Jim Levitt

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon & Friends' Jazz Port Townsend concert aired on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 KPLU. The popular and critically acclaimed brass player (he plays several brass instruments) was recently named top trombonist by the DownBeat Critics Poll for the third year in a row and top trombonist by the Jazz Journalists Association. 

Daniel Sheehan

Pianist Bill Anschell is a Seattle native, though he's lived and toured around the US and internationally. Returning to Seattle to live, he quickly established himself as one of the key players through his own trio, accompanying singers and his regular appearance with Floyd Standifer at The New Orleans during the trumpet player's last years.

Lesley Bohm

Jazz Northwest offers a preview of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend. Jazz Port Townsend is Washington State's longest running jazz festival, and regularly presents internationally-renown, poll-winning jazz artists on the last weekend of July each Summer. Among the artists who'll be heard on the radio preview and at the festival are NEA Jazz Master Bill Holman who will directed the Festival All Star Big Band in his compositions and arrangements.  Others include sisters Christine and Ingrid Jensen who first attended the festival as students in the jazz workshop, trombone master Wycliffe Gordon, pianist George Cables who will be the subject of a piano tribute, Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, the Benny Green Trio, a singer's showcase with Sachal Vasandani, Dena DeRose and Johnaye Kendrick, and more. 

This week, Jazz Northwest samples some of the rich variety of jazz coming up this month.  Flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny was a protege of the late Art Farmer and plays a horn that belonged to his mentor.  Sarah Gazarek was featured with the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band not so many years ago and is back in town with a featured spot at Jazz Alley,  Jim Cutler's Jazz Orchestra plays Sunday nights at Tula's and has a new CD.

Highlights from the final concert of the season by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest

  There are jazz festivals at each end of the Salish Sea this week, from The American Classic Jazz Festival in Lacey to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. 

There's also jazz in the Seattle area ranging from the ambitious Alchemy Project premiering original music by Sumi Tonooka, Erica Lindsay, Salim Washington, David Arend and Samantha Boshnack with Max Wood and Willem De Koch, playing at The Royal Room Sunday. 

This show comes from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, where we recorded Chris Amemiya's Jazz Coalescence at the 14th Annual Jazz at the Labs, a benefit for the FridayHarbor Labs K-12 Science Outreach Program.  Although well-known as a trombonist in the jazz community, Dr.Amemiya is by day a research biologist at the Benaroya Research Institute and a full professor in the Biology Department at The University of Washington.

The Friday Harbor Labs are on a 484 acre biological preserve on the North side of Friday Harbor and well located for research on many aspects of marine biology and oceanography. It’s a fascinating place to visit, and very friendly to visiting jazz musicians and fans.  This concert by Jazz Coalescence features some of Seattle’s best: Chris Amemiya on trombone, Jay Thomas on trumpet and saxes, John Hansen at the piano, Jon Hamar on bass and Steve Korn on drums. Kelley Johnson will also be heard in a few songs.

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