Jazz and Blues

News about jazz, blues, Studio Sessions, and music samplings from jazz artists in the northwest and around the world.

Win Tickets To The Benny Green Trio

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The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcomes the debut of jazz pianist Justin Kauflin for two nights touring in support of his new release DEDICATION (1/2015). Band members are Justin Kauflin (piano), Billy Williams (drums), Chris Smith (upright bass), and Sean Lango (guitar).

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Bellevue High School's Jake Escobar is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of May.  Jake' hour will aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 7th.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Jake to answer a few questions about jazz:

http://palmierimusic.com/

Here's our periodic listing of Latin Jazz, Brazilian and Cuban music coming to Seattle, get out and enjoy!

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Everett High School's Jackson Cruz is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Jackson's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 9.  

Daniel Sheehan / danielsheehan.com

On April first, the Jazz Journalists Association announced its list of 2015 Jazz Heroes: advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities.

The 'Jazz Hero' awards, made annually on the basis of nominations from community members, are presented in conjunction with the JJA's annual Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism and with the month-long celebration of JazzApril.

Randy Cole

Initiated last year by Kent Devereaux, the former Music Department Chair of Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Jazz Experience is a youth jazz festival that presents two full days of workshops and performances this Friday and Saturday at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center.  It's  collaboration between Cornish, Earshot Jazz, Seattle JazzEd and Seattle Center.

Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, Director of Jazz Studies at Pacific Lutheran University is on the steering committee for the festival.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Puget Sound Community School's Margaux Bouchegnies is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Margaux's hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5.  

Alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson is an innovator.

He teamed up with trumpeter Clifford Brown and pianist Horace Silver to develop hard bop in the early '50s, featured brilliantly on drummer Art Blakey’s classic live album “A Night At Birdland.”

In the 6'0s, he helped create soul jazz with a number of hit records using a Hammond organ backing, including his biggest hit, “Alligator Boogaloo.”

Now at age 88, Donaldson brought the house down at this year’s Portland Jazz Festival, and took the time to talk with me about his long and successful career.

Remembering Clark Terry

Feb 21, 2015
clarkterry.com

One of the best things about my work is that I get to meet, talk with and even hang out with some of the greatest musicians of all time. I've found that the artists who leave indelible impressions are the ones for whom the playing of music is a practice of spirituality.

I've been fortunate enough to have made that spiritual connection with some of the giants who took the time to share a bit of their world with me and who live in my heart. And then there's Clark Terry.

Courtesy of Luke Davis

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Black Hills High School’s Luke Davis is KPLU’s guest DJ for the month of February. To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Luke to answer a few questions about jazz:

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Celebrated jazz saxophonist Zane Musa died Monday in Florida, at the young age of 36, according to news reports.

The circumstances surrounding Musa's death were not known, but trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, in a tweet, said Musa had been involved in a "terrible accident":

melissaaldana.com

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio will be making their first appearance in Seattle tonight at Jazz Alley.

The 26-year-old Chilean saxophonist was the first female and the first South American to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition in 2013.

Suzette Niess / www.suzetteniessphotography.com/

“The Jazz Education Network is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences.”

It’s a clear and concise mission statement, and the power behind it is a group of incredibly dedicated and hard-working people. My discussions with JEN founders and board members at the 6th annual conference in San Diego earlier this month had this theme: There’s still so much to be done, and we’re totally up for it.

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Interlake High School's Carlos Eiene is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of January.  Carlos' hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 8.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Carlos to answer a few questions about jazz:

The 18th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features jazz vocalist Gail Pettis and her trio--Thursday, December 11, 2014 from noon to 1 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus.  

Courtesy of Kaelyn Stanton

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Lynnwood High's Kaelyn Nicole Stanton is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of December. To get to know her better, we asked 16-year-old Kaelyn to answer a few questions about jazz:

The 18th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features jazz vocalist Gail Pettis and her trio--Thursday, December 11, 2014 from noon to 1 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus.  

miguelzenon.com

Saxophonist Miguel Zenón has taken on some interesting projects in his career. He's a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective, a Kennedy Center jazz ambassador and the recipient of both a Guggenheim and a MacArthur fellowship.

He's also the founder of Caravana Cultural, a program designed to bring free-of-charge jazz concerts and educational presentations to rural areas of Puerto Rico. It involves both the best of New York's jazz players and young Puerto Rican musicians. 

Zenón's latest recording "Identities Are Changeable" (11/4/2014 Miel Music) is inspired by the idea of national identity as viewed or experienced by the Puerto Rican community in the United States, specifically in New York City.

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

North Thurston High junior Eli Moffatt is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of November. To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Eli to answer a few questions about jazz:

Courtesy of Terrill Lee Lankford.

How exactly does a man in his 70s — a man who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison and constantly battling a drug addiction — become friends with a 14-year-old girl?

They find a common bond. And in the case of Frank Morgan and Grace Kelly, that bond was music. 

Eddy Westveer

"The Sound of Redemption:  The Frank Morgan Story" will be showing on Saturday, Oct. 25 at NW Film Forum in Seattle as part of the Earshot Jazz Film Festival. Frank Morgan was a prodigy, a young West Coast saxophonist who was hailed as "the next Charlie Parker." Morgan's life and career were stalled for 30 years because of heroin use, felonies and prison sentences.

edreedsings.com

"The Sound of Redemption:  The Frank Morgan Story" will be showing on Saturday, October 25 at NW Film Forum in Seattle as part of the Earshot Jazz Film Festival. Frank Morgan was a talented West Coast saxophonist whose life and career were stalled for 30 years because of heroin use and prison sentences.

Singer Ed Reed is one of many subjects interviewed in the film. He was a friend of Morgan's, and he has a similar story.

B. Leyva

Guitarist Pablo Menéndez takes fusion to the next level.  His band Mezcla (meaning "mixture") blends jazz, blues, rock and several styles of Cuban and African music into one raucous, joyous expression of life.

Joybox Express

Boogie-woogie and blues pianist Mark Braun (a.k.a. Mr. B) has fond memories of touring in the Pacific Northwest. KPLU has played his recordings for more than 20 years. I've followed Mr. B for some time, because there's not much I like better than his style of piano playing, the music that came up from New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.

What I didn't know about him until recently is that he's also a dedicated amateur athlete, an avid bicyclist and an advocate for getting kids active in the arts and athletics.

The Rhythm That's A Way Of Living

Jun 26, 2014
Martin Cohen

Compared to American rock and roll, Afro-Cuban music sounds complicated to the point of intimidation. Sure the rhythms make you want to move, but if you stop to think about what's going on, your feet won't know what to do. And that's just the point — some rhythms are better felt than counted off. NPR's Frannie Kelley learned how easy they can be to play, once you abandon a central tenet of rock: the one.

Pianist Horace Silver, whose potent and catchy combination of blues, funk and Latin sounds shifted the jazz landscape in the 1950s and '60s, died Wednesday morning at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. He died of natural causes, according to his son, Gregory Silver. He was 85.

As a bandleader, Horace Silver mentored some of the hottest musicians of his era. As a composer, he devised numerous jazz standards still played today.

This post was updated at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Pianist and composer Horace Silver, who created a rhythmic jazz known as "hard bop" that combined R&B and gospel to go along with his eclectic style of piano playing, has died at age 85, his son confirms.

Justin Kauflin is a young twentysomething pianist who, at age 11, lost his eyesight.

Jazz legend Clark Terry — the revolutionary flugelhornist who played with Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and mentored Quincy Jones and Miles Davis — shares something with Kauflin. Diabetes claimed his eyesight.

But that’s not the only reason the two musicians, who are separated by nearly 70 years, became close friends. The story of the bond between teacher and mentee is told in the new documentary “Keep On Keepin’ On,” which is being shown at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. The film also celebrates Terry, who, even from his hospital bed, coaches Kauflin as he sets out to forge his own jazz career.

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