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.

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.

This week on Jazz NW we'll remember some of the influence the late Cedar Walton had on Seattle musicians.  He played Seattle jazz clubs like Parnell's and Jazz Alley, did workshops at Cornish College and arranged and played on Jay Thomas' first album.   We'll hear a young Jay Thomas playing with the seasoned Cedar Walton Trio in 1984, and Cedar Walton's tune "Bolivia" played in concert by Chris Amemiya & Jazz Coalescence issued this year.

Jim Levitt

Anat Cohen has been winning both critics and readers national jazz polls for several years and she tours continually, playing major jazz festivals and clubs around the world.  The last week of July found her in Port Townsend, WA where she was teaching and performing at Centrum's annual jazz workshop and festival at Fort Worden State Park.  Her performance with Dawn Clement, piano, Chuck Deardorf, bass and Jeff Hamilton, drums was recorded for Jazz Northwest and aired on Sunday, August 18 at 2 PM (PDT) on 88.5 KPLU and simultaneously  stream at kplu.org.

"This isn't just midsummer's madness, 

a passing glow, a moment's gladness, 

This is love, I knew it from the night we met. "

Those are Mack Gordon's lyrics for Harry Warren's song, "This Is Always".   It's one of the songs included on Jay Clayton's new CD of Harry Warren songs, "Harry Who?" and it aired on Jazz Northwest this Sunday, August 11 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org.

Jim Levitt

A concert by the Clayton Brothers quintet and special guest Stefon Harris is the first of a seven concert series from Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend which aired on Jazz Northwest, Sunday August 4 at 2 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU.

Co-led by brothers John Clayton (bass) and Jeff Clayton (alto sax and flute), the group also includes John's son Gerald on piano, Terell Stafford on trumpet, and Obed Calvaire, drums.  John Clayton is also Artistic Director of Jazz Port Townsend and the Jazz Camp which leads up to the weekend festival, now in its 40th year.  Special guest on this concert is the vibraphonist Stefon Harris, who is one of the brightest stars on the insrument.  He has seven CDs as a leader and has been a popular sideman in many situations including the Clayton Brothers.

Every Sunday afternoon at 2 we check out the local jazz scene with the latest CDs by resident musicians and on alternate weeks, location recordings that are available nowhere else!   This week, there's music from CDs by Jay Thomas, Chris Amemiya, Jovino Santos Neto, Larry Barilleau, Clipper Anderson and others.  We'll also remember Floyd Standifer and Don Lanphere.

Vibes master Joe Locke re-visted Seattle recently to play at Tula's with musical friends Thomas Marriott (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jeff Johnson (bass)and John Bishop (drums).   Highlights from that appearance will air on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, July 21 at 2 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU.  The music includes mostly standards with one stellar original, "Verrazano Moon" by Joe Locke.

Jim Levitt

The longest-running Jazz Festival in the Pacific Northwest is Jazz Port Townsend on the last weekend of July each year.  On Sunday, July 21 at 2 PM (PDT) on Jazz Northwest we’ll sample some of the world-class artists who’ll be at Jazz Port Townsend this year to teach workshops during the week and perform in concerts and intimate clubs on the weekend. Included in this preview are The Clayton Brothers, Steffon Harris (pictured), Anat Cohen, René Marie, Cyrille Aimée & Diego Figueiredo, and Anthony Wilson.

Jim Levitt

Highlights from a concert by the Seattle Repertory Jazz  Orchestra featuring the Great American Songbook aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, July 7 at 2 PM PDT.  The concert features Stephanie Porter and Primo Kim as guest vocalists with the SRJO, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman. This is the fifth program in a series featuring great popular songs by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and others.

Tom Concordia

The Pacific Northwest has continued to produce an unbroken stream of excellent musicians since the days of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson.  This week on Jazz Northwest, we'll introduce you to Bria Skonberg, a trumpet player and singer from Chilliwack, BC who's now active in New York.  She'll return to the Pacific Northwest to teach and perform at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend at the end of July.

Pianist and composer Eric Verlinde leads a quartet in an Art of Jazz concert on the next Jazz Northwest on Sunday, June 23 at 2 PM.  The concert highlights come from a monthly series presented by Earshot Jazz at The Seattle Art Museum.   Joining Eric Verlinde in this concert are Thomas Marriott, trumpet and flugelhorn, Dean Schmidt, electric bass and Jeff Busch on drums.

Bert Wilson was an inspiration, mentor, and brilliant saxophonist who passed on June 6 in Olympia at age 73.  Some of his large output of music was featured on Jazz Northwest on Sunday June 16 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org. Although not widely known to the jazz public, he was sought out by saxophonists who regarded him as a guru of improvisation, extended techniques and the history of the instrument.