Jazz and Blues

Jazz Northwest
12:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

McTuff on Jazz Northwest

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. 

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How I Came To Jazz
5:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

How Overton Berry Learned The Most Important Thing In Music — And In Life

Editor’s Note: Every jazz musician seems to have a defining moment that led to a lifelong love of the music. KPLU jazz reporter Jason Parker will explore these moments in a three-part series titled How I Came To Jazz.

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Legendary jazz pianist Overton Berry’s “defining moment” story has to do with a brief encounter with a stranger more than 50 years ago. It taught him the a lesson about the most important thing in music — and in life.

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How I Came To Jazz
5:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

'The One Moment Where I Felt Like Jazz Really Made Me A Person'

Monique Khim performs on stage.
Courtesy Monique Khim

Editor’s Note: Every jazz musician seems to have a defining moment that led to a lifelong love of the music. KPLU jazz reporter Jason Parker will explore these moments in a three-part series titled How I Came To Jazz. 

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“I grew up with Cambodian music…Cambodian karaoke,” said Monique Khim, with a giggle that belies her years.

Monique, a senior at Lynnwood High School, traded her karaoke mic for an alto saxophone years ago. Her love of jazz and saxophone runs deep, and she credits her dad’s fondness for the karaoke machine for her passion for music: “He’s the one that actually spurred on my love for music.”

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How I Came To Jazz
5:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

A Magical Moment That Seemed Like A Dream

Jason Parker, left, performs for students at Addison Elementary School in Palo Alto, California.

Editor’s Note: Every jazz musician seems to have a defining moment that led to a lifelong love of the music. Some of these moments took place at home, some at school, some with peers. KPLU Jazz reporter Jason Parker will explore these moments in a three-part series titled How I Came To Jazz. Part 1 is Parker’s own story, as told to KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick.

My story of how I came to jazz has two parts. It begins in the spring of my second-grade year, when every student at my elementary school was asked to choose an instrument to play. I fell in love with the sound of the cello from all the classical music that my dad put on nightly in our house during dinner. The depth and warmth of the instrument spoke to me, and I announced this to my music teacher. She, however, had other ideas for me. She said I was too small to play the cello and that I’d have to start on the violin.

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Jazz and Blues
5:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

It's KPLU School Of Jazz Week!

KPLU School of Jazz-Volume 10 (physical CD) is available for purchase here - or order a digital copy below.

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Jazz Northwest
12:00 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Jazz Northwest for May 11, 2014

Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

The Art of The Jitterbug Concert By The SRJO

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."

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Jazz Day
4:09 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

3 Ways To Celebrate International Jazz Day

Today is International Jazz Day. UNESCO created this celebratory day in 2011 to promote “the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.” 

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Jazz Appreciation Month
11:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Song Of The Day: One (Or Five) More From Miles

smithsonianjazz.org

We started our Jazz Appreciation Month Song Of The Day posts with a tune from Miles Davis, but this was before I was including bonus tracks, so I thought I'd end with Miles as well. I doubt anyone will argue that Miles is one of the major figures in jazz and deserves the spotlight. 

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Jazz Appreciation Month
3:32 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Song Of The Day: Horace Silver's 'Song For My Father'

smithsonianjazz.org

Horace Silver is another one of the true originals in jazz. All jazz musicians strive to have a unique, identifiable sound, and Horace achieved that early on in his career. His percussive, hard-driving style is recognizable within a few notes and his compositions are some of the most well crafted and beloved in jazz history. Few can match the number of compositions that have become standards, including "The Preacher," "Senor Blues," "Sister Sadie," and his most famous tune, "Song For My Father."

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Jazz Appreciation Month
8:34 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Song Of The Day: Sam Rivers' 'Beatrice'

smithsonianjazz.org

Sam Rivers is another of those musicians who's profile is huge among musicians and almost non-existent among non-musicians. His contributions to jazz as a player, composer and host of jazz "loft" shows cannot be overstated. He was an early adopter of free jazz and combined very outside playing with compositions with structure in new ways in the '60s and '70s.

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Jazz Northwest: New Releases And Live Jazz Previews

Danny Kolke, Pete Christlieb & Jon Hamar at Boxley's.
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.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
8:02 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Song Of The Day: Jimmy Giuffre 3 — Jazz On A (Almost) Summer's Day

smithsonianjazz.org

It's a gorgeous sun-filled day here in Seattle, and I can feel summer coming! The weather put me in mind of one of the greatest jazz documentaries of all time, "Jazz On A Summer's Day." Bert Stern documented the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in a film that has incredible cinematography, amazing music, and no dialog of any kind!

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Jazz Appreciation Month
10:11 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Song Of The Day: Blue Mitchell's 'I'll Close My Eyes'

smithsonianjazz.org

In the liner notes to the album "Blues' Moods," where you'll find today's song, trumpeter Blue Mitchell is referred to as the "middleweight champion of the trumpet." This was actually stolen from a line someone used about the tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, but I think it suits both men well. The gist of the comment is that while neither of these players were necessarily innovative or boundary-pushing, they could each play the heck out of their respective instruments!

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Jazz Appreciation Month
3:10 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Song Of The Day: Ingrid Jensen's 'At Sea'

smithsonianjazz.org

Ingrid Jensen, one of my favorite trumpet players, has one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument today. I've described her approach to the horn as "vocal," and she's said she's just trying to sing her ideas through the instrument. This is not a new concept, but when I listen to her playing, I hear it in action.

Her technical command of trumpet is matched by her creative and emotional depth in ways that are thrilling to hear. Her compositions and improvisations take this listener on a journey, and any record with Ingrid on it is going to have moments of brilliance for sure.

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