Jazz

KPLU Studio Sessions
12:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Christian McBride: The bass boss

Bassist Christian McBride and pianist Peter Martin perform in the KPLU studios on April 5, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

In the first generation of be-bop musicians, Ray Brown was King of the Jazz Bass.  Today, the ‘go-to’ jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we felt quite lucky when he said he had the time to stop into to KPLU studios for a performance with pianist, Peter Martin.

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Groove Notes
5:18 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

One of Louis Armstrong's final performances (favorite recipes) out this month

Louis Armstrong

Originally, a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club in 1972, one of the last recordings of Louis Armstrong will be available widely for the first time via Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on April 24th as part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of the 11th annual Jazz Appreciation Month.

Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,” which makes for an apt title for the recording especially since his favorite recipes ― everything from Louisiana Caviar to the Sazerac ― are included in the liner notes, as they were in the original pressing.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Spring Pledge Drive
12:00 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Thank you for supporting the KPLU Spring Pledge Drive!

As another successful pledge drive ends this season we hope you will continue to enjoy the commercial-free programming on KPLU, especially knowing you did your part to make it happen.

If you missed the pledge drive and would like to support KPLU, you can still be counted through April 9th!

We would also like to thank the various businesses who supported our volunteers and staff during the Spring Pledge Drive

Jazz & Blues
11:44 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Dick Hyman: A living, breathing encyclopedia of jazz

Dick Hyman
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Dick Hyman was born March 8, 1927, in New York City. Classically trained, Hyman was drawn to jazz at an early age. Today, he's a living, breathing, swinging encyclopedia of jazz piano history, from ragtime and stride to bebop and beyond.

To hear my conversation with KPLU's Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick, click on the listen button above.

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Groove Notes
1:59 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

How Marilyn Monroe changed Ella Fitzgerald's life

Jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is recognized by millions around the world. But few know about her career-defining friendship with Marilyn Monroe, to whom Fitzgerald said she “owe a real debt.”

While touring in the ’50s under the management of Norman Granz, Fitzgerald, like many African-American musicians at the time, faced significant adversity as a result of her race, especially in the Jim Crow states. Granz was a huge proponent of civil rights, and insisted that all of his musicians be treated equally at hotels and venues, regardless of race.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
1:19 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Lynne Arriale: Pianist with that 'something extra'

When pianist Lynne Arriale released her first CD in 1994, KPLU began playing music from it right away.  It was clear to us that Lynne had that "something extra" that separates good musicians from great musicians.

Over the course of her career she’s continued to build on that quality, so we were especially pleased to finally welcome her as a guest artist in our Seattle performance studio.

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Groove Notes
4:18 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

'Saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast' Skerik releses new project

“I very much believe in a collaborative environment, and trying to get a real band where everyone has an equal say in writing the music, arranging the music and shaping the music. That’s always been a real priority for me.” – Skerik

Skerik’s most recent project released this week – Skerik’s Bandalabra: Live at the Royal Room – includes working with Seattle musicians Andy Coe (electric guitar), Evan Flory-Barnes (upright bass), and Donne Lewis (drums).

Skerik explains that it is a change of pace from the rock bands since a lot of the music is created in the moment.

Read more on Groove Notes.

KPLU Studio Sessions
2:12 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Benny Golson: The second half-century

Benny Golson perfroms in the KPLU studios on February 29, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Tenor saxophonist/composer, Benny Golson is now in his second half-century as a touring and recording jazz artist.  He began performing almost 60 years ago and recorded his first LP as a bandleader 55 years ago … and if his stop by the KPLU studios last week is any indication, he shows no signs of slowing down now.

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Jazz & Blues
2:24 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

3 Washington schools among finalists for Essentially Ellington Competition

Competitors at the Essentially Ellington event.

Jazz at Lincoln Center announced this morning the 15 finalist bands and one winning community band for its prestigious 17th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Among the finalists were three bands from Washington State.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
9:36 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Jazz Grammy winners announced

Chick Corea won Best Improvised Jazz Solo for ‘500 Miles High’ from ‘Forever (Corea, Clarke and White).’ Above, Corea plays in the KPLU studio in December in a rare live studio session.
Justin Steyer KPLU

The Grammy Awards were given out in the jazz categories during the pre-telecast ceremonies on Sunday. Check out the winners and the results of our reader poll.

Read more on Groove Notes.

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Groove Notes
2:50 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Latin jazz musicians to protest outside of the Grammy Awards

Oscar Hernandez, right, two-time Grammy winner for Latin Jazz Album, joins musicians and others demonstrating outside a meeting of the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in May.
The Associated Press

When the Grammy Awards revealed last year that they were reducing the number of award categories from 109 down to 78, it didn’t take long for those affected to show their displeasure. And, the passion hasn't died down. This year, members of the Latin jazz community will be protesting the awards ceremony.

Read more on Groove Notes.

A Blog Supreme
3:02 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

NPR: A list of things which are more 'jazz' than bad jazz music

Pickup basketball, for one.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:12 pm

For non-playing participants, jam sessions can be difficult musical experiences. As "hangs," or social gatherings, they aren't so bad — sometimes you learn a lot by talking to the musicians there. But the quality of the music itself often varies. It only takes a mediocre performance to sour the mood, and a poor showing can turn you off altogether, especially if you've paid money to see it.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:30 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Arturo Sandoval: Happy, with a heart full of music

Trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on January 13.
Justin Steyer KPLU

"If you’ve got music in your heart, you’re gonna be a happy person, no matter what."

That’s what trumpeter Arturo Sandoval told KPLU's Jazz on the Grooveyard host Kevin Kniestedt, as he recalls growing up in rural Cuba and having a trumpet teacher tell him (at age 10) that he had no talent and should not pursue music. 

Obviously, Sandoval, who is now known as one of the world’s foremost jazz trumpeters, didn’t listen to the teacher and it’s a pure delight to hear him tell the story in this latest installment of KPLU's Studio Sessions. 

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Groove Notes
2:14 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Jazz film review: 'Treme Life,' a love letter to New Orleans

James Demaria, photographer, filmmaker and soul searcher, became friends with trumpeter Kermit Ruffins about 5 years ago. They decided to try to make a film about Kermit’s musical upbringing in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood.

The result, "Treme Life," turned into a love letter to New Orleans.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
9:30 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Remembering Etta James: Songs on YouTube

Singer Etta James performs at the Vine St. Bar & Grill in Hollywood on April 6, 1987.
Alison Wise AP Photo

The "Matriarch of the Blues" has died. Music legend Etta James died at Riverside Community Hospital in California from complications of leukemia. She was 73. In tribute, here are five songs from James.

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