Studio Sessions

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.

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