Jazz Northwest

Jim Levitt

The mercurial Matt Wilson is an incendiary drummer and band leader.  Never predictable, his deep sense of swing and the joy of making music permeates every performance, whether he's sideman or leader.  Jazz Northwest is pleased to present this performance which was at the conclusion of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for 2014.  Joining Matt Wilson in his Arts & Crafts group are regular members Terrell Stafford on trumpet and Martin Wind on bass, plus pianist Dawn Clement and guitarist Anthony Wilson  (no relation). 

Howard A. Gitelson

The Earshot Jazz Festival started last weekend and will continue through November 11 with dozens of performances in various venues around Seattle. Earshot director John Gilbreath joins Jim Wilke on KPLU's Jazz Northwest  to provide some highlights from a dizzying array of world class talent appearing during the Earshot Jazz Festival.  Highlighted on this program are performances by Lew Tabackin, Chad Mccullough, Miguel Zenon, Pharoah Sanders, Davie Liebman and Anton Schwartz. 

Jim Levitt

Pianist Benny Green leads his trio in an exciting concert on Jazz Northwest on Sunday October 12.  David Wong is on bass and Rodney Green is the drummer.  The concert was recorded last July at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for this broadcast. 

This week, Jazz Northwest includes a preview of The 26th Annual Earshot Jazz Festival which begins October 10 and runs through November 11. Dozens of performances will take place in various venues in and around the Seattle area.  

Jim Levitt

An unusual concert featuring three singers was one of the features of Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend in July.  The singers, Johnaye Kendrick, Sachal Vasandani and Dena DeRose performed together in a "singers' jam" to open and close the concert and each did a solo turn on their own. All three were also on the jazz vocal faculty of the Jazz Workshop which precedes the festival concerts the last week of July each Summer.  The concert was recorded and broadcast exclusively on 88.KPLU.

It's the last weekend of Summer and we'll feature some songs for the end of Summer with Jessica Williams and Ralph Towner and Denney Goodhew on Jazz Northwest.  We'll also look ahead and sample some of the great live jazz coming up this Fall including the CD release party for Ann Reynolds' Clave Gringa on Monday night at Tula's.  Former Seattle pianist Larry Fuller has a new CD and he'll be back in Seattle next month for three performances.

Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer George Cables was celebrated in a special concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last July, and the concert was recorded for broadcast. A perennial favorite at the festival and the Jazz Workshop each summer, George Cables teaches students, plays trio jazz in the clubs and often appears on the festival mainstage where this concert was recorded.  Three pianists, Geoffrey Keezer, Benny Green and Dawn Clement take solo turns playing compositions by George Cables, and guitarist Anthony Wilson also contributes a piece associated with George Cables.

Diane Schuur and Janis Mann, two former Seattle singers will come home for gigs in Seattle this week and their most recent CDs are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Both launched successful recording and touring careers from Seattle and their most recent CDs are featured on this program.   Janis Mann will sing in the Art of Jazz series at Seattle Art Museum on Thursday September 11, and Diane Schuur will be at Jazz Alley September 11-14.   Don't be surprised if you see either of them at the other's gig, they're longtime friends as well. 

Jim Levitt

One of the most highly regarded composer-arrangers in jazz is Bill Holman, whose career stretches back over six decades and includes music performed by Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan and many others.  He also leads his own L.A. big band which includes many top musicians who vie for the opportunity to play Bill Holman's exciting and complex music.   Winner of three Grammy Awards and 14 nominations, he's arranged for recording sessions by Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and many others. 

New CD releases from Seattle, Portland and Victoria are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest.  Among them is the first new release in nine years from the long standing duo of vibist Tom Collier and bassist Dan Dean, recorded in Seattle and in L.A.

Jim Levitt

Sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen were reunited in concert at Centrum's Jazz port Townsend in July. Their concert at McCurdy Pavilion was recorded for Jazz Northwest. The sisters grew up in Nanaimo, BC and have gone on to successful musical careers. Christine Jensen now lives in Montreal where she composes for and leads her own jazz orchestra. Ingrid is based in New York and leads her own groups and plays with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and other ensembles. Both have recorded numerous CDs and tour internationally.

New jazz releases from musicians in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC are featured on this week's Jazz Northwest. We have a sneak preview of pianist Gordon Lee with the Mel Brown Septet, the Tuesday night band at Jimmy Mak's in Portland. Tom Collier and Dan Dean are a long-standing pair of Seattle musicians who have a new CD titled Slick Buick, and we'll also sample Triology, a very smooth piano-guitar-bass trio from Vancouver BC.

Jim Levitt

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon & Friends' Jazz Port Townsend concert aired on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 KPLU. The popular and critically acclaimed brass player (he plays several brass instruments) was recently named top trombonist by the DownBeat Critics Poll for the third year in a row and top trombonist by the Jazz Journalists Association. 

Daniel Sheehan

Pianist Bill Anschell is a Seattle native, though he's lived and toured around the US and internationally. Returning to Seattle to live, he quickly established himself as one of the key players through his own trio, accompanying singers and his regular appearance with Floyd Standifer at The New Orleans during the trumpet player's last years.

Highlights from the final concert of the season by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest

  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. 

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.

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. 


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.

Duke Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder (1957) was inspired by and dedicated to the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival. This suite of musical portraits of Shakespearean characters ranks among his finest work. 

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Seattle Shakespeare Company teamed up in February to present the first known performance of Ellington's music combined with related scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

  In 1957, Duke Ellington completed and presented "Such Sweet Thunder" in concert for the first time. Working with Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington composed a suite of musical portraits of characters from Shakespeare's plays; Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Caesar, Cleopatra, Henry V, Iago and others. 

In two unique performances last month, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra was joined by actors from the Seattle Shakespeare Company to perform the Ellington suite with related excerpts from Shakespeare's plays. 

This week on Jazz Northwest, we check out some new releases by The Young Lizards, Scenes, Dee Daniels and others. On the live music scene, The Portland Jazz Festival ends this weekend, but the Frank DeMiero Jazz Festival begins Thursday with Dee Daniels back in the area to sing.

We'll also sample some of the music to be heard at the Highline Classic Jazz Festival next Saturday and include an old record with Ken Wiley playing trombone! (It is an electrical recording)

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