Bruce Hudson

The 19th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz--Thursday, December 10, 2015 from noon to 1 p.m. at a new venue on the Pacific Lutheran University campus: the Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center in Eastvold Hall. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

It’s not every day that you come across a jazz trio consisting of a saxophonist, a bassist and a vocalist.  But that’s what we have with Anton Schwartz (sax), Chuck Deardorf (bass) and Inga Swearingen (vocals).  When this interesting configuration of musicians came to KPLU for a live studio session, we knew we were going to hear something new.  And indeed we did.

Parker Miles Blohm

Tenor saxophonist, Kareem Kandi, has been a lynchpin of northwest jazz for 20 years, and when it comes to be-bop, he’s the real deal.  His classic tone (think Dexter Gordon and Pete Christlieb) and straight-ahead approach lays the music on the line.  Kareem plays with different groups in different instrumental configurations but when he came in for his first KPLU studio session, it was just Kareem on tenor sax, DeVonne Lewis on drums and Delvon Lamarr tearin’ it up on the Hammond B-3 organ.  Want a be-bop smack-down?  Here it is.

In 2003, Seattle jazz singer, Stephanie Porter released her debut CD, Mood Swings.  The CD presented Stephanie’s unmistakable voice, singing a selection of excellent songs from The Great American Songbook (like, Cheek To Cheek, Get Out Of Town and Misty). Her second CD, How Deep Is The Ocean, released in 2010, showed the world that she had grown tremendously as a singer and, here again, the songs on the disc were wonderfully-done standards.

The first in a series of radio shows from the 41st Jazz Port Townsend airs Sunday, August 16 at 2 PM Pacific.  An all-star sextet drawn from the faculty of the Jazz Workshop opens the festival on the first of three nights of "Jazz In The Clubs" in several small venues in downtown Port Townsend.  After a week of sharing their knowledge with students, they’re ready to swing with their peers. In this group, we’ll hear musicians from New York and LA, Seattle and Portland... Terell Stafford on trumpet, Steve Wilson on alto, Eric Reed is the pianist, Dan Balmer on guitar, Chuck Deardorf is on bass, Matt Wilson is at the drums.  They play both standards and jazz classics, but in some non-standard arrangements.  

Aaron Hushagen

A couple of years ago jazz/blues singer Catherine Russell made a stop at KPLU for a live studio session that was amazing.  So when she made time to drop in again recently, we were thrilled.

When it comes to singing, it seems there’s nothing she can’t do, but one of the things we love most about her is her ability to breathe new, vibrant life into old, sometimes almost forgotten songs.  In this session she takes songs from the past and plops them right into the 21st century, reminding us that great music never dies.

Seattle Mariners

Join the fun as KPLU celebrates the great American past time at Safeco Field when the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers on Sunday, August 9 at 1:10 p.m.  We're offering specially-priced tickets for KPLU listeners--$10 off regularly priced seats--in the exclusive Terrace Club on the second level. 

The event is a benefit for KPLU.  Evening Jazz host (and sports fan) Abe Beeson will be hanging out in the Terrace Club Lounge before the game.  Stop by and say hi, and enter to win cool prizes from KPLU and the Mariners.  Get your tickets now!

Stephen Voss / NPR

KPLU/Jazz24 General Manager Joey Cohn announced the hiring of Matt Martinez as Director of Content.   Martinez leaves NPR after 15 years as producer and creator of some of the organization’s most successful programs and initiatives.  He’ll join KPLU/Jazz24 on August 3. 

Cohn said, “Matt's experience creating exceptional and unique programming, and his respected leadership skills will bring great value to us moving forward.”

Most recently as Senior Producer for NPR Programming, Martinez led a team of producers responsible for developing new show and podcast pilots, supporting live events, and assisting stations in their fundraising efforts.  He played essential roles in the launch of Invisibilia, the planning of Hidden Brain, and developing the creative for the NPR’s Spark project. 

Brenda Goldstein-Young / KPLU

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is celebrating its 30th year from June 18th through July 1st.  Abe Beeson was there June 26-28 to promote KPLU’s jazz streaming service,

Over the weekend at the Jazz24 booth in David Lam Park, we met so many wonderful people – existing listeners and new friends.  Abe taped interviews with the legendary jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and trumpeter Dave Douglas.  He also introduced Pink Martini in front of 2,800 enthusiastic fans of the band at the Orpheum Theatre. 

Friday morning: School of Jazz studio session

Abe recorded a studio session at The Farm Studios with the award-winning Point Grey Secondary School jazz band and their mentor, clarinetist James Danderfer, under the direction of Brent Taylor.  You can read about it and see photos here.

Friday night highlights

We (KPLU Promotions Director and the wonderful Judie Dahl, Marketing Director for the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society) caught the Bria Skonberg Quintet's set at Performance Works on lovely Granville Island. 

Brenda Goldstein-Young

It's School of Jazz, Canadian-style!  KPLU and Jazz24 host Abe Beeson recorded a studio session this morning at The Farm Studios in Vancouver, B.C. with the award-winning Point Grey Secondary School jazz band and their mentor, clarinetist James Danderfer, under the direction of Brent Taylor. 

I don’t get up to Vancouver, B.C. nearly enough. It’s a massive, international city with gorgeous scenery and lots to do, and I even have friends there. So wouldn’t you know, it took a jazz festival to get me back across our northern border.

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.  

If you're a fan of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!", the oddly informative news quiz from NPR, you won't want to miss their live show at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale to the public at


On January 10, 2014 there will be a public meeting with the Audit and Compliance Committee of the PLU Board of Regents to review the FY12 KPLU Audit. The meeting will be at a place to be detrermined on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University.

If you are interested in attending either in person or by phone, please contact the General Manager's office at KPLU by calling 253-535-8732 or for more information.

KPLU's Summer Jazz Brunch Cruise is Sunday, August 25.   Join us for a relaxing, two-and-a-half hour cruise on Elliott Bay aboard the Royal Argosy. 

Enjoy a scrumptious all-you-can-eat brunch, spectacular views, and great music from this year's special guest artist--one of the finest up-and-coming international jazz talents and freshest voices to come along in years--Halie Loren--performing with her quartet.

KPLU's Jazz Brunch Cruises are a summertime favorite for Northwest residents and out-of-town guests. 

This year's cruise will be emceed by KPLU jazz host Kevin Kniestedt.  The boat leaves Seattle's Pier 56 at 10:30 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m.  Tickets are $65.

Get detailed information and purchase your tickets HERE.

Thanks to the LaConner Chamber of Commerce for their support.

After winning the 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the Best Audio News Series category for its election series, “If it’s legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life,” the KPLU News team is proud to add the prestigious 2013 National Edward R. Murrow Award to its list of accolades for the series. 

The National Edward R. Murrow Awards will be presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA) on Columbus Day in New York.

KPLU's Community Advisory/Advocacy Board will be meeting on Thursday, January 17th at 2PM Pacific Time.

If you are interested in observing or listening to the meeting via conference call, please contact the office of the General Manager @ 253-535-8732 for more information.

KPLU's long-time signal to West Seattle at 88.1 FM may encounter interference due to a new radio station broadcasting on that same frequency beginning Monday, December 19.

Because of terrain and distance, it's possible that some KPLU listeners in West Seattle will still be able to hear the station, but others may experience some signal disruption.

At the present time, KPLU is unable to do anything about the interference. However, the station has a license application in to the FCC to move its West Seattle signal to a new frequency.

Tired of all that quantum foam leakage coming from your regular grocery tote?  Say goodbye to yesterday’s tired tote-tech … and hello to the new, improved KPLU “Turbo” Tote Bag!

For a gift of only $60 during our Fall Fund Drive, you too can own this modern marvel of space-age technology.

Web Wednesday exclusive: Make your pledge today, and in addition to receiving the "Turbo" Tote, your gift will count towards our goal of planting trees in a public radio forest (through the National Forest Foundation) in Spring 2012!

KPLU's Community Advisory/Advocacy Board will be meeting Thursday, June 2nd at 2:00pm Pacific Time via a teleconference call.

If you are interested in observing or listening to the meeting, please contact the office of the General Manager at 253-535-8732, or send an email to for more information.

KPLU News has garnered four 2011 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for excellence in electronic journalism, competing against other large market radio stations in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.


As 2010 winds to a close, the KPLU News reporting team has been looking back at the stories they covered this year, and have chosen some favorites. 

The reports they selected aren't necessarily the 'biggest' news stories of the year, or necessarily on the reporter's beat. They are the ones that for each were memorable because of they exemplify the art, beauty and impact of the aural medium, the joy of radio storytelling.

Fox News

On a rare day when the President of the United States is in town, the talk of KPLU's  newsroom was not on Obama's visit, but Juan Williams' firing by NPR.  Williams told Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly on Monday "I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country.

Courtesy Koster and Larsen campaigns.

Ten years ago, Democrat Rick Larsen and Republican John Koster battled for an open seat in Washington's Second Congressional District. Larsen won that election and since then he's represented the district that runs from about the King- Snohomish County line to the Canadian border. This year, Koster - a Snohomish County Councilmemeber - is back for another shot at the seat.