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.

  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.

Jazz Northwest samples the wide variety of jazz available in the Pacific Northwest each week. This week we have a sneak preview of the forthcoming CD by the young Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana who will play a single gig on the West Coast next week.

It's at Jimmy Mak's in Portland presented by PDX Jazz. She was the winner of the Thelonious Monk Competition last year.

Jazz Serendipity

Jun 8, 2014

Serendipity is defined as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

It's also a word that can apply to a lot of good jazz experiences... the unexpected combination of musicians, a scrap of improvisation that inspires a new development in the music or even an unusual location to hear jazz. 

This episode of Jazz Northwest includes several unusual encounters between musicians, audiences and spaces, most of them from live performances with Steve Kaldestad, Jay Thomas, Danny Kolke, Pete Christlieb, Jacqueline Tabor, Mike Allen, Hugh Fraser and others, plus a 1984 UW Studio Jazz Band that includes some of today's top Seattle players.

Miles Davis is still one of the most influential figures in jazz, even after more than twenty years since his death (1991). On what would have been his 88th birthday on May 26, a section of 77th Street in New York City where he lived and composed some of his most memorable music was renamed Miles Davis Way.

  This week on Jazz Northwest, we'll preview the featured artists at The Bellevue Jazz Festival, including The East-West Trumpet Summit with Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott, Carlos Cascante y su Tumbao, Poncho Sanchez, and Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers. 

The festival also include many free performances in downtown Bellevue Wednesday through Sunday. 

McTuff on Jazz Northwest

May 18, 2014

The organ trio (Hammond B3 organ, guitar and drums) is one of the jazz institutions. From the late 50s through the 60s, organ trios were one of the most popular styles of jazz, particularly in hotbeds like Detroit and Philadelphia.

The Seattle band McTuff was formed in 2008 as a tribute to organ greats Jimmy Smith and Captain Jack McDuff, but they've added their own take on the classics and play a lot of original music, too. 


Some of the most popular music of the 1930s was played by the big bands of the Swing Era. Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb, Lionel Hampton, Glenn Miller and other bands toured across the country playing for dancers in ballrooms like the Savoy in Harlem, the Rendevous in Balboa, the Trianon in Seattle, the Spanish Castle in Tacoma and Evergreen Ballroom near Tacoma. 

On this episode, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman is featured in highlights from a concert devoted to “The Art Of The Jitterbug."

Robyn Kolke

This week on Jazz Northwest, new releases by The Danny Kolke Trio + Pete Christlieb "Live at Boxley's" and Nelda Swiggett's Stringtet, with her trio + two musicians from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Plus a sampling of music in the week to come with Bill Watrous, Fred Hersch and The Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble 1 and news of the best bets for live jazz.

Jim Levitt

Former Seattle resident Kendra Shank now lives in New York, and John Stowell resides in Portland when he's not touring. They first performed together in Portland over twenty years ago but when they re-discovered how much they liked making music together, it resulted in a new CD "New York Conversations."

The duo is currently on a West Coast tour with 13 dates which began in Seattle with a concert at The Seattle Art Museum.

David Belove

Jazz artists from around the US will join resident musicians April 16-19 for the 12th annual Ballard Jazz Festival, and Jazz Northwest samples some of the music to be heard over the four-day event.   Festival artists featured this week on Jazz Northwest include Corey Christiansen, Jay Thomas, George Colligan, Thomas Marriott, Mimi Fox, and Sonny Fortune.

Vibist Susan Pascal is a versatile musician who leads her ensembles in a variety of music. On previous appearances on Jazz Northwest she has played the music of The Modern Jazz Quartet at Seattle Art Museum and led a Standards Quintet at Tula's. 

Recently she brought her "Soul Sauce" Quintet to Tula's to play the music of the Latin jazz vibist Cal Tjader. 


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.

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