Jazz

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Regina Carter has been pushing the limits of what jazz violin can be. Last time Ms. Carter was in the KPLU studios, she had just released her album, Reverse ThreadKanou and N’teri, which explored African music in a fresh new way. 

On this visit to Seattle, with guitarist Marvin Sewell and bassist Jesse Murphy, she had just released her new album Southern Comfort, which features traditional folk tunes of the American South. This studio session features three tracks from the album: Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy, I'm Going Home, and Miner's Child. 

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kplu-studio-sessions-video/id657517777

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Over the past several years, solo jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, has basically become one of the gang here at KPLU. 

He’s such good company and such a brilliant guitarist that we invite him into our studios for a session almost every time he comes to town. 

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. 

Justin Steyer / KPLU

As a part of the Fall Fund Drive KPLU welcomed in The David Sanborn trio into the Seattle studios for an electrifying live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson. Accompanying Sanborn were organ master Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Gene Lake. 


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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

When he began his recording career, and for some time thereafter, saxophonist, Anton Schwartz made his home in San Francisco.

Now, though, he splits his time between San Francisco and Seattle so we invited our new neighbor to the KPLU performance studio to play some music and talk about his new CD, Flash Mob.

  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. 

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and New Orleans native Terence Blanchard and his sextet stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios for a performance and interview hosted by jazz host, Mary McCann. 

Watch the group perform the title track off his latest album, Magnetic. 

Stevesworldofphotos / Flickr

What was the first recorded rock and roll song?

Before we can answer that question, we have to go back and figure out the ingredients of rock and roll. We can identify three most important ingredients: gospel, jump and blues. 

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Cecile McLorin Salvant is one of the best young jazz singers to appear on the scene in years.  She’s the prefect combination of what many think a great singer should be.  She creates her own songs, allowing us to see the world through her eyes and she also combs American music history looking for semi-obscure gems to polish and present to a new audience. 

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. 

Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist/vocalist, Grace Kelly has just released her 8th CD, and she is only 21 years old. Those two facts kind of say it all. Grace is a prodigiously talented musician. 

She’s also delightful company, which is why we were so happy to receive a return visit from Grace for a KPLU Studio Session. 

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

Jonathan Pugh grew up in Wenatchee and his first musical memories include standing by his Dad as he led the band at his Summer youth circus. Later, he connected with Don Lanphere in Wenatchee and studied with him during his teen years.

It was mutual inspiration as Jonathan become a regular member of the Don Lanphere Quintet, touring and recording eight albums with the sax legend during his resurgent career.


Justin Steyer / KPLU

Recently, guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli visited Seattle to play a series of shows with Northwest gypsy jazz band, Pearl Django. On a cold January day, they all came into the KPLU studios to play… and things warmed up fast.

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.  

10 Artists You Should Have Known In 2013

Dec 26, 2013
Courtesy of the artist

It's usually easy to keep up with your favorite artists. You can follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and check them out when they come to your town.

Falling in love with unfamiliar bands? That's not quite as simple. There are so many aspiring musicians out there, you can't possibly listen to all of them.

But a few lucky people get to listen to random new artists for a living, including public radio hosts. So we asked NPR stations around the country to highlight their favorite musical discoveries of the year. The results ranged from a Pulitzer Prize winner to stars of the Kansas City BBQ circuit.

Read on for more about the 10 artists you should have known in 2013.

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The 17th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, our much-anticipated holiday concert, featured jazz vocalist Cheryl Jewell and her trio on December 5 live from the Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus. 

Cheryl performed Christmas selections with the University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner.  

Watch a replay of the entire concert, or listen above.  The concert will also be rebroadcast at 2 p.m. on Christmas Day.

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. 

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