Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

9/4/2015 - Terence Blanchard @ 12:15 p.m.

9/11/2015 - Anton Schwartz Trio @ 12:15 p.m.

9/17/2015 - Susan Pascal Quartet @ 12:15 p.m.

9/24/2015 - Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto @ 12:15 p.m.

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.

Mac ‘Dr. John’ Rebennack has been at the heart of New Orleans funk and R&B since the 1950’s so when he paid a visit to the KPLU/Jazz24 studio for a solo piano/vocal performance, we were sure we’d get a good dose of The Crescent City. We certainly did.

When Lee came into the KPLU/Jazz24 studios on an unseasonably cool August afternoon, he arrived with a rhythm section hot enough to raise Seattle’s temperature a few degrees: drummer, Will Kennedy and bassist, Melvin Davis. Together, they laid down three delightful tracks; Water’s Edge, L.P.—For Les Paul, and Freddie Hubbard’s composition, Povo (watch the video below).

When blues singer, Shemekia Copeland performs live, it's almost guaranteed to be an electrifying experience. In this session, recorded in KPLU's Seattle studios, we get a rare opportunity to hear Shemekia's voice in an intimate performance context. Instead of bringing her whole band, Shemekia arrived with just her guitar player, Arthur Neilson.

Here’s a rare treat; a solo performance from 6-time Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist, Gary Burton. In his 50-year (and counting) recording career, Burton has recorded with many different group configurations and has done a number of duo recordings with artists including bassist, Steve Swallow, guitarist, Ralph Towner and most famously, pianist, Chick Corea, but we rarely get to hear him all by himself.

Jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, is one of our favorite guests in the KPLU/Jazz24 studios. Not only is he widely acclaimed as perhaps the finest solo, acoustic jazz guitarist alive, he’s always great company. Whenever his touring schedule brings him to Seattle, we make sure he pays us a visit.

Grammy-winning Trumpeter Roy Hargrove performed live at KPLU's Seattle studios on December 2, hosted by Abe Beeson. Hargrove was accompanied in the studio by pianist Jonathan Batiste, bassist Ameen Saleem, saxophonist Justin Robinson, and drummer Montez Coleman as they performed three songs: Low Life, For Tamisha, and Soulful.

Speaking with KPLU jazz host, Kevin Kniestedt, Eldar talked about his family’s move from Kyrgyzstan to Kansas City as a child, and how much he learned from that city’s veteran jazz musicians. Eldar also showcased his improvisational and compositional skills with three solo piano pieces, I Should Care, Insensitive and his own Vanilla Sky/Exposition.

In 1965, Chicago jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis had a hit record—‘The In Crowd’ (by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, featuring drummer Redd Holt and bassist, Eldee Young). Since that time, Lewis has recorded over 80 albums. He has also hosted the popular Legends Of Jazz radio and television series’. Now, at age 74, Ramsey Lewis is reveling in his relatively new career as a composer.

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