Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

12/1/2015 - Tierney Sutton @ 12:15 p.m.

12/16/2015 - School of Jazz: Everett High School Combo with mentor Mark Taylor @ 12:15 p.m.

1/7/2016 - Danae Greenfield Trio @ 12:15 p.m.

1/21/2016 - School of Jazz: UW Jazz Festival Combo @ 12:15 p.m.

Parker Miles Blohm

Clarinetist (and sometime saxophonist) Anat Cohen is a one-woman music-blender.  Born and raised in Tel Aviv and now living in New York, Anat lays out a world of influences in almost every song she plays.  Jazz, classical, klezmer, tango, Brazilian — whatever style or genre of music you can think of, you’ll hear at least echoes of it in Ms. Cohen’s music if you listen long enough.  (And by "long enough" we mean, like, an evening’s performance from her and her band.) 

Chances are, you’ve never heard a quartet quite like The Westerlies.  Generally, a jazz quartet is a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) with a lead instrument (say, saxophone).  Not The Westerlies.  No, no.  Here you have two trumpets and two trombones.  With this unique configuration, they present what is best described as chamber jazz—original compositions, unique arrangements and beautiful improvisation.

Parker Miles Blohm

For 15 years, The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra has been a mainstay of the Northwest jazz scene, and ever since KPLU has been doing studio sessions in our Seattle studios, we’ve wanted to have them come in and play live for you.  One problem:  our studio isn’t big enough for the entire orchestra. 

Parker Miles Blohm

Karrin Allyson, a world-renowned jazz singer and a great friend to KPLU, has released a new album of some of her favorite songs from the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein—musicals that include "Oklahoma!", "The King And I" and "The Sound Of Music".    

Parker Miles Blohm

Trumpeter Marcus Printup can really, really play.  He’s also really, really devoted to jazz education and mentorship, which is what brought him to the Northwest.  

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah has a new record out.  It’s called ‘Stretch Music,’ which is a perfect title.  Not only does Christian stretch the idea of ‘jazz’ over all genres of music with this release, he also stretches how a record can be heard.  

‘Stretch Music’ has its own app—which turns the album into the first interactive media player as a record.  This means that the casual listener, or a musician who wants to play along with the songs, can listen to the instruments he or she selects.  

Parker Miles Blohm

Every so often, vocalist Francine Reed invades Seattle for a few months to take the stage at Teatro Zinzanni, 

  a permanent tent show that’s a wild mix of cirque, vaudeville, dinner theatre, glitz and glam.  And Francine fits right in whenever she takes her turn as diva-in-residence.  She was first introduced to an international audience when she joined Lyle Lovett’s Large Band.  During her current stint at Teatro, Francine and Teatro’s house band visited the KPLU

Pianist Jovino Santos Neto was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro but has made Seattle his home for some years now.  Lucky us.   Jovino is one of the most highly regarded Latin Jazz pianists in the world and is a three-time Latin Jazz Grammy nominee.  He teaches at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts and leads groups of various sizes.

Parker Miles Blohm

Out of respect for Susan Pascal, Seattle’s first-call jazz vibraphonist (and a darn nice person), we resisted all temptations to use one of the many plays on the word ‘vibes’ in the title of this introduction.  We figure she’s heard ‘em all.  After all, she’s been a core member of the Seattle jazz community for many years.  In fact, her band for this studio session comes right off the top shelf of regional jazz linchpins—Chuck Deardorf on bass, Mark Ivester on drums and Dave Peterson on guitar.   

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 / KPLU

Trumpeter, composer and multiple Grammy-winner, Terence Blanchard, has got a brand new bag—and a brand new album.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Generally, jazz musicians who devote themselves to avant-garde and free jazz begin by working in ‘straight-ahead’ groups and then begin experiment with music concepts that are more ‘outside’.  Not so with Seattle saxophonist, Jacob Zimmerman.  In this KPLU Studio Session, he tells host, Abe Beeson, that a teacher turned him on to avant garde musicians when Jacob was in 6th grade, so he cut his teeth on adventurous artists like Anthony Braxton. But is his new album ‘Record Ban’ avant-garde?  

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Guitarist Lee Ritenour has been playing with pianist Dave Grusin on and off since he was a teenager in the 70s, Dave plays on much of Lee’s new album A Twist Of Rit, but they haven’t played much in a duet setting.

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.

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.

Michael Goude

The answer to that question, according to the members of the string trio, 3-Cent Stamp is a resounding, “YES.”  This group, based on beautiful Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, initially limited their repertoire to jazz songs that were extrapolated from classical music.  For example, ‘How Insensitive,’ heard in this studio session comes from Chopin.  Soon, though, they expanded their musical palette to include non-classically-based jazz and original compositions. 

In this studio session, hosted by KPLU’s Dick Stein, 3-Cent Stamp’s set begins with an original composition followed by the aforementioned ‘How Insensative.’  Then they wrap it up with a blues by Horace Sliver (Doodlin’) with vocalese lyrics by Jon Hendricks.

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

In this KPLU studio session, the US Army salutes jazz, with the 56th Army Jazz Band from Joint Base Lewis/McCord.  

Hosted by Abe Beeson, this sextet of talented troops gives us two original compositions by members of the band (Ego and Fifteen Day Dream) and a delightfully sneaky rearrangement of Miles Davis’ So What.   Abe and the guys also talk about what a sweet gig it is to serve their country by playing music that they love.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

The Bad Plus is one of the most in-demand trios in jazz.  Joshua Redman is one of the most in-demand saxophonists.  When the trio and the saxophonist joined forces to become The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, the star-power threatened to be blinding, so when they came to KPLU for a live session, we all had sunglasses near at hand.

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The first time we met pianist Justin Kauflin he was in Seattle as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, which was showing a documentary about the friendship between the young Justin and veteran jazz trumpeter Clark Terry.

The movie is called Keep On Keepin’ On and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a lovely story. Mr. Terry has since passed on but Justin is still very much with us (he’s only 29, after all) and growing by leaps and bounds as a musician.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

When trumpeter Lance Buller takes the stage, the audience knows it’s in for a good time.  He’s serious about his music but he’s also serious about making sure his listeners have fun.  Put another way:  he’s a terrific jazz trumpeter but he’s also an entertainer.  

Lance’s latest show is a tribute to his 3 greatest influences.  It’s called The 3 Louis—Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan & Louis Prima.  We invited Lance and The Roadstars into the KPLU performance studio to give us a preview of the new show.  As we expected, good times ensued.  Enjoy!

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.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

McTuff is a Seattle organ trio consisting of Joe Doria (Hammond B-3 organ), Andy Coe (guitar) and Tarik Abouzeid (drums).  

The band breaks through the constraints of genre expectations and reaches a wide range of music lovers.  They can play for an audience of jazz purists who just want to listen to the music or they can play for an audience of people who just want to dance.  And they do that by being exactly who they are:  three inventive musicians who don’t mind bringin’ on the funk.

Michael Goude / KPLU

Since the late 1970's, Seattle pianist Dave Peck has been a bright spot in the regional jazz scene.  

From his early career as an accompanist for visiting jazz artists at Jazz Alley, through a long, productive partnership with saxophonist Bud Shank, to his continuing role as the leader of his own group, Dave's given us a lot of wonderful, adventurous music over the years.  

In this studio session, hosted by Jim Wilke, Dave talks about his career, his approach to performing and why his band never--never--rehearses.  It's a revealing conversation interspersed with 3 of Dave's favorite songs:  If I Were A Bell, Here's That Rainy Day and Stella By Starlight.  The Dave Peck Trio includes Eric Eagle (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass).  


For about a quarter-century Peter Bernstein has been one of the most in-demand guitarists in jazz.  So in-demand in fact, his fans were more likely to hear him on someone else’s CD rather than his own.  

However, even though he’s sought after as a side-man, Peter’s slowly been putting together a fine discography of his own, with 10 CD releases since 1992.  In this studio session with Abe Beeson, there’s no question about who’s leading the band.  

Here’s Peter Bernstein front and center, performing 3 of his favorite pieces in a trio setting that includes Chuck Deardorf on bass and Matt Jorgensen on drums.

Zach Powers

For years, Pacific Lutheran University has had a first-rate jazz education program.  These days it’s overseen by Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, an honored jazz educator, a terrific pianist and a great guy to hang out with.

Michael Goude / KPLU

The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’s Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In.  (So the first thing we knew about the band was that they have a sense of humor.)  

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Pianist and composer Omar Sosa left his home in Cuba in 1993 but carried his Yoruban spiritual beliefs with him.  These beliefs are the underpinning of his approach to jazz, as you’ll hear in this live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson.

Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute).  Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’