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)

The Panama Hotel is more than a century old and it still operates today in what was known as Japan Town, between China Town and the historic Jackson Street district in Seattle. 

Jamie Ford's novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet captures the World War II era when the hotel became a focal point for the Japanese community, when Japanese Americans were being forcibly removed from coastal areas and sent to inland internment camps.

Phil Sparks is one of the Seattle area's most popular jazz bass players, and every Friday afternoon he leads a hand-picked jazz trio for an informal session at The Latona Pub during Happy Hour from 5 p.m.to 7 p.m. 

Most of Seattle's top players have played here with Phil Sparks, and the personnel changes from week to week. It's crowded, it's noisy, but it IS happy and the nearest listeners are drawn in to the energetic but acoustic music. 


The Emerald City Jazz Orchestra At Tula's

Feb 2, 2014

This week on Jazz Northwest features highlights from an Emerald City Jazz Orchestra celebration of the Woody Herman Centennial at Tula's in December as well as excerpts from Steve Griggs' Panama Hotel Jazz suite which will receive a full performance at The Seattle Art Museum on February 13. 

Norman Durkee died January 12 after a rich and productive life that produced all kinds of music in many different settings. 


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'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).

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.  

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.

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