Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

6/3/2015 - Lance Buller and the Roadstars with Bernie Jacobs @ 12:15 p.m.

6/9/2015 - Justin Kauflin Quartet @ 12:15 p.m.

6/17/2015 - School of Jazz: Meadowdale High School with mentor Michael Van Bebber @ 12:15 p.m.

6/19/2015 - The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ 12:15 p.m.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

19-year-old saxophonist/singer, Grace Kelly is immensely gifted.  She’s also a lot of fun to hang around with.  Right before this studio session, interviewer Kevin Kniestedt asked her if she had already chosen the songs she would be performing that day. 

She said she might not know what songs she’d be doing until she did them, which prompted someone behind to say (in jest), "Well, that’s just unimaginably inappropriate."

Grace turned around, unleashed one of her disarmingly charming smiles and replied, “That’s me!”  Right then and there knew we were in for a good time. 

Justin Steyer / KPLU

John Scofield is one of the most innovative and genre-bending guitarists in jazz.  Over the years, his great talent and eclectic tastes have garnered him a huge international following; a following which includes a lot of people who didn’t know they liked jazz until they heard Scofield. 

On a recent swing through Seattle, Scofield, along his pianist Michael Eckroth, stopped by our studios for a duet performance, hosted by Abe Beeson. 

Justin Steyer / KPLU

When Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and Wayne Henderson (trombone) moved from Houston to LA to being their collective recording career, they called their band The Jazz Crusaders.  Their focus was acoustic be-bop tinged with R&B and soul music.  In 1971, they dropped the word ‘Jazz’ from their name, began delving into jazz-funk and became world-famous as The Crusaders

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Brazilian-born, New York-based pianist/vocalist, Eliane Elias, has covered a lot of musical territory in her recording career.  Some of her CD’s have been straight-ahead be-bop. Others have focused on Brazilian music. She has also very successfully transformed familiar pop tunes into fresh-sounding jazz. 

In this interview, KPLU’s Nick Francis asks Eliane how she balances all these approaches to music.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

In this studio session, we welcomed Donald Harrison (alto saxophone, congas) and Glen David Andrews (trombone), both of whom were born in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood, cut their musical teeth on the music of Treme, and can be seen in the HBO television series, Treme

Currently they’re also part of an ever-changing line-up of New Orleans musicians touring with a show called A Night In Treme which is bringing the music of Treme’s Congo Square to cities all over America - including Seattle's Jazz Alley through Sunday night.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Relive last week’s studio session with vocalist/pianist, Karrin Allyson, who was joined by guitarist Rod Fleeman.

When Julian Lage was 8 years old, his skill as a guitarist was the subject of a documentary film, Jules at Eight. Before he entered his teens, he had already performed with Carlos Santana and jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton.

He made his first jazz recording with Burton at age 15, and at age 22 he released his first CD as a band leader. Now, at the ripe old age of 24, he's just released his second CD, called Gladwell.

To celebrate and promote the new recording, Julian is traveling the country with his quintet, and stopped by the KPLU studios last week to treat us to three delightful pieces of music.

Pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend (and Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee), Allen Toussaint stopped by the KPLU studios on June 1 and took us on a sweet and uplifting trip to New Orleans with his music.

Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious career in music. He has produced, written for, and performed with music giants such as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs and Irma Thomas to name a few.

We were pleased to welcome jazz violin virtuoso, Regina Carter to the KPLU studios on June 1 for a unique performance and interview with Evening Jazz host, Abe Beeson.

Accompanying Carter were Will Holshouser on accordion, and Yacouba Sissoko on the kora, a beautiful and unique African harp. The trio performed two selections from Carter’s latest CD, Reverse Thread: Kanou and N’teri (video below) which explore African music in very fresh, surprising and delightful ways.

Pianist, Taylor Eigsti and vocalist/guitarist, Becca Stevens, stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios on May 16th to brighten an otherwise rainy Monday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest with an performance and interview, hosted by Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson.

Live sessions in the KPLU Performance Studio are always fun.  However, when saxophonist, Joe Lovano, stopped by with his group, Us Five, it was more than fun.  It was also an honor. 

Some jazz singers excel at singing standards. Others excel at scat-singing or vocalese (writing lyrics for instrumental improvisations and singing them). However, Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling can do it all.

He easily proved it in front of a small studio audience of Leadership Circle members on April 15th with along with two long-time musical colleagues; pianist, Laurence Hobgood, and guitarist, John McLean.

The New York Times heralds Kurt Elling as "the standout male vocalist of our time." We can't wait to heard Elling perform live at KPLU on April 15, 12:15 p.m. He'll is in town at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley April 14-17 in support of his new album, The Gate.

Elling talked about his new album with Liane Hansen on NPR's Weekend Sunday Edition.

KPLU was pleased to welcome ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, into our studios on March 29, 2011. Jake played before not only a record number of KPLU Leadership Circle members, but four young ukulele players from Foster High School we recently featured in an installment of Artscape, which explored the rising popularity of the ukulele in local schools.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Having guitarist/vocalist/storyteller, John Pizzarelli, as a guest in the KPLU studios is always great fun. He loves making music, he loves telling stories and he loves entertaining his fans.

When he visited us recently for this performance/interview with Abe Beeson, several members of the KPLU Leadership Circle attended the event, and John Pizzarelli played to this small group the same way he'd play to a full house at Lincoln Center.

Guitarist, singer, radio host and snappy dresser John Pizzarelli joins us for a Studio Session on Thursday, March 3 at 12:15pm.  Here's a clip of his appearance on the PBS  show "Legends of Jazz."

Irma Thomas celebrates her 70th birthday today.  She's been enthralling audiences for 50 years now, just as she delighted us with her Studio Session at KPLU last October.

Robin Lloyd will be playing a selection from that session on today's Blue Plate Special starting at noon.

When pianist Benny Green agreed to come to KPLU’s Seattle studios for a solo piano performance he was on tour with his band doing a tribute to the music of Thelonious Monk so it seemed logical to have his studio session consist of Monk compositions. 

That was the plan, anyway ...

Let us know, because Benny Green will be visiting KPLU for a Studio Session this afternoon at 12:15 PST and we thought it would be fun to ask you to provide us with a question.

Head to our Facebook Page and post your question - If Abe Beeson reads yours during the interview, he'll credit you for it on the air!

Esperanza Spalding walked into the KPLU Seattle studios like some teenaged gunslinger. However, she’d been working full time in music for most of her 25 years, and her chosen weapon was a double-bass that reached just above her impressive afro.

Now a Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist (take that, Justin Bieber!), I’ve recently enjoyed listening back to our meeting a year ago, and specifically our interview.

The Vijay Iyer Trio’s latest release, Historicity, won a number of "Album Of The Year" awards in 2010 and has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy as "Best Jazz Instrumental Album."

Pianist, Vijay Iyer, seems pleased by this recognition but not really fazed by it. In fact, during his trio’s visit to the KPLU performance studios on February 8, they only played one piece of music from Historicity—"Smoke Stack" by one of Iyer’s mentors, Andrew Hill.

This month, we welcome swingin’ piano master Benny Green on February 15, hosted by Abe Beeson. Soon to follow, our old friend, guitarist John Pizzarelli, will perform live on March 3.

 All of these performances will air at 12:20 p.m., and can also be heard right here on kplu.org.

This studio session marks the first visit from pianist, Jacky Terrasson, to the KPLU/Jazz24 studios.  We hope it’s the first of many.

In a stunning three-song set, Jacky left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

Martin Taylor's gypsy gene

Jan 18, 2011

Martin Taylor is widely considered to be one of today’s finest solo jazz guitarists. While still in his early 20’s, he was introduced to the world’s jazz audience as the guitarist with Stephane Grappelli, a gypsy-jazz violinist and co-founder (along with Django Reinhardt) of the Quintette du Hot Club de France. 

This has been an amazing year for KPLU's Studio Sessions. We have had the honor of hosting live in-studio performances from jazz icons Doctor John and The Manhattan Transfer, to rising stars such as Esperanza Spalding and Nikki Yanofsky.

Though it was difficult to narrow these down to a top-five list, here is what I compiled based on attendee & listener response as well as video views and audio plays from across the Web.

Vocalist, Bethany Yarrow, and cellist, Rufus Cappadocia make an incredible amount of music for just two people. Bethany, daughter of Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), first met Rufus at The Knitting Factory in Manhattan. They're reinventing traditional music and transforming it into something that defies genre classification.

Grammy Award-winning "Soul Queen of New Orleans," Irma Thomas brought her rythym section to the performance studio on October 29, 2010 to perform live on KPLU's Blue Plate Special hosted by Nick Morrison.

When The Manhattan Transfer (Tim Hauser, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, Janis Siegal) came into the KPLU/Jazz24 performance studio, they had literally just gotten off an airplane. A little jet-lagged but ready to sing, they kicked of the session with their version of Moten Swing.

Jazz and pop singer, Nikki Yanofsky, is a very cheerful 16 year-old. And why not? As you will hear in this interview with KPLU/Jazz 24 host, Kevin Kniestedt, she says that as soon as she learned to talk, she began to say she wanted to be a singer. It was something she began to pursue right away.

As the son of actor/director/jazz fan, Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood grew up listening to jazz. In this performance-interview hosted by Abe Beeson, Kyle talks about a childhood trip to The Monterey Jazz Festival and how hearing the Count Basie Big Band that day inspired him to become a bass player.

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