KPLU School of Jazz

Klem Daniels / KPLU

Drummer Ryan Leppich has graduated Mountlake Terrace HS and is preparing to go off to college.  However, while at MTHS, he formed a jazz quintet consisting of some of his school band mates as well as fine players from other high school jazz programs in the area.  

3 of the 5 are graduating, so we were fortunate to get them into the KPLU performance studio before they went their separate ways.   In this session they take on some pretty complex jazz compositions and they do with an ease that belies their years.  Dig in.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Stadium High School's Jacob Shaffer is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of August. Jacob's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August 6th. To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Jacob to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.  

Joel Steinke from Edmonds Woodway High School is the Student DJ for the month of July.  Joel's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 2.

To get to know him better we asked Joel to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

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. 

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

As we welcomed Lynnwood’s Meadowdale High School Jazz Combo into the KPLU live performance studio, they looked like normal, hard-working music students.  When they started to play, however, it was soon clear to us that we were hearing a band that was a cut above.  

Along with their mentor, trumpeter Michael Van Bebber, the combo nailed each of the 3 songs they performed.  If you have doubts about whether or not high school students can really play jazz, listen to this session.  Your doubts will disappear.  Out thanks to the band for such a fine performance and kudos to the band’s director, Jeff Horenstein.

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.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Issaquah High School's Danny Quaranta is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of June.  Danny's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 4th.  To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Danny to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The Interlake High School Jazz Combo is doing it right.  They’ve got chops, poise and the ability to select and arrange great material.  

Of course, some of that ability to select and arrange might—just might—be aided and abetted by the band’s director, Paul Gillespie, and/or their mentor, jazz trumpeter, Thomas Marriott.  

In this studio session, the band (with Marriott sitting in) performed three songs:  This Is For Albert (by Wayne Shorter), Stoner Hill (by Brian Blade) and Sonny Rollin’s classic, Doxy, here given an inventive treatment by the band.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Bellevue High School's Jake Escobar is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of May.  Jake's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 7th.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Jake to answer a few questions about jazz:

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Everett High School's Jackson Cruz is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Jackson's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 9.  

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Puget Sound Community School's Margaux Bouchegnies is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Margaux's hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5.  

Martha Kang

As part of the KPLU School Of Jazz project, we present regional high school jazz bands in our Studio Sessions.  The bands, under the direction of their faculty band-director perform three songs, as well as getting the chance to talk about what jazz means to them.

Courtesy of Luke Davis

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Black Hills High School’s Luke Davis is KPLU’s guest DJ for the month of February. To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Luke to answer a few questions about jazz:

Justin Steyer

In 2015 the ongoing KPLU School Of Jazz program expanded its opportunities for high school jazz bands by beginning to feature them in our series of live Studio Sessions from our Seattle studios. The first group is this sextet from the Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. David Bentley.  

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Interlake High School's Carlos Eiene is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of January.  Carlos' hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 8.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Carlos to answer a few questions about jazz:

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

North Thurston High junior Eli Moffatt is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of November. To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Eli to answer a few questions about jazz:

Justin Steyer / KPLU

We wrapped up KPLU's School of Jazz week with a special treat for our audience: a live in-studio performance from the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo, accompanied by trombonist David Marriott and led by director Edd George. 

The combo includes:

  • Trumpet: Alex Clark
  • Alto Sax: Griffin Hale
  • Tenor Sax: Winston Zhang
  • Baritone Sax: Jungwoo Lee
  • Bass: Jake Escobar
  • Piano: Melvin Soestrisno
  • Drums: Sean Mahoney

The KPLU School of Jazz, Volume 10 CD is now available.

For more information about the School of Jazz program, and to purchase your copy of this years CD, please visit SchoolofJazz.org.

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

www.theculturemom.com

Three Seattle-area high school jazz bands have been selected from nearly 100 schools across the country to compete in this year’s prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City.

Jazz bands from Garfield and Roosevelt in Seattle as well as Edmonds-Woodway were the only three high schools selected from a region that includes 11 states and several Canadian provinces.