Robin Lloyd | KNKX

Robin Lloyd

Midday Jazz Host

Robin Lloyd was born and raised in the Detroit area. She performed radio plays in junior high and high school, took various radio apprenticeships in high school and college, and has held a number of different positions at community and public radio stations in Michigan and Western Washington, including Jazz and Blues Host, Producer, Production Manager, Station Operations Manager and Program Director. Robin is married to drummer Michael Slivka; together they manage a household full of dogs, cats and percussion.

Her most memorable KNKX moment: dancing with the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians on stage at Jazz Alley on my birthday.

Ways to Connect

Pianist Harold Lopez Nussa on the street in Havana
Eduardo Rawdriguez / Mack Avenue Media

Un Dia Cualquiera (Just Another Day) is the name of Harold López-Nussa's latest trio album.  He says,  "The idea was to put the music and the trio together in a studio and just play, the way we three do every day, any day - like a concert in the living room of your house." 

Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto
Daniel Sheehan / eyeshotjazz.com

Watch this space for information about upcoming Latin Jazz concerts in Seattle this fall, and more!

Jack Costanzo with bongos, 1947 or 1948, probably with Stan Kenton's Orchestra
William P. Gottlieb / Public Domain

Chicago-born Jack Costanzo fell in love with Afro-Cuban rhythm instruments when he was 14.  By the time of his passing last Saturday at age 98, he'd lived a life full of music, become a friend and teacher to Hollywood stars, and introduced a generation of Americans to bongos and conga drums.

Playing Claves
By Freddythehat at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a performance from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Cuba.  It's called "2/3's Adventure," and the title is a reference to a configuration of the clave rhythm.  Let's learn more about clave:

Cuban drummer and bandleader Yissy Garcia at Festival Jazz Plaza, Havana, 2015
Michel Pou

Cuban drummer/composer/bandleader Yissy García is breaking new ground with her group Bandancha; a heady mix of jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms and electronic music.  She's part of the wave of young, foward-looking artists creating the new sound of Cuban music.

Bobby Medina live at Theolonius Jazz Club in Buenos Aires
Marcela Casarino, Buenos Aires / courtesy of the artist

This week's Saturday Jazz Caliente starts with a hot set of music from some Northwest favorites, and then we'll get into some cooler Latin Jazz sounds to help you beat the heat.

Dawn Clement
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Pianist and vocalist Dawn Clement has made her mark on the Seattle music scene over the past several years, prompting music writer Paul de Barros to refer to her as the “Wonder Woman of Seattle.”  She’s won three Earshot Jazz Golden Ear awards, recorded 5 albums, and was last year’s Artist-in-Residence for the Earshot Jazz Festival.

Pianist/Composer Dayramir Gonzalez
courtesy of the artist/www.dayramirgonzalez.com

The effervescent Cuban pianist/composer/arranger Dayramir Gonzalez makes his Seattle debut on Wednesday July 25th at The Triple Door.  I'll introduce you to his latest album The Grand Concourse this week on Saturday Jazz Caliente.

 Kiki Valera And La Serenata Cubana
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Kiki Valera comes from the famous La Familia Valera Miranda, a multi-generational traditional musical group from Santiago de Cuba.  He’s known as one of the world’s greatest players of the Cuban guitar known as the cuatro.  

Herbert Behrens / Anefo / CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

Legendary trumpeter Lee Morgan would have celebrated his 80th birthday today.

The story of Lee Morgan's death in 1972 pops up every few years to be hashed over and nit-picked by jazz enthusiasts, critics and journalists.  I've read the articles, the essays, and even the transcripts of the taped interview of Helen Morgan, the "lady who shot Lee Morgan."  

None of the above prepared me for the emotional depths of the story told in the 2016 film "I Called Him Morgan."

Kiki Valera with La Familia Valera Miranda at Seattle's Town Hall 2013
EyeShot Jazz/Daniel Sheehan Photography / eyeshotjazz.com

Son Cubano is one of the most popular musical styles of Cuba.  We're lucky to have one of its foremost practioners right here in Seattle.  His name is Kiki Valera, and he's presenting a Cuban serenade at the Triple Door next week:  La Serenata Cubana.

José Mangual, Sr. on the cover of the 1977 album Buyú
Turnstyle Records/Martin Cohen/congahead/Latin Percussion

Bongocero José Mangual performed with nearly all of the American musicians who were discovering Latin rhythms from the 1940s through the 1970s, including Count Basie, Miles Davis and Erroll Garner.  He was also a huge inspiration to the founder of the one of the most popular percussion instrument manufacturing companies in the United States.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We were thrilled to welcome Seattle’s longest-running Latin Jazz group Sonando to our Seattle studios for a live performance.  

Formed in 1990 by pianist and tresero Fred Hoadley, Sonando has recorded three stellar albums, won an Earshot Jazz Golden Ear award for Best Acoustic Jazz Group of 2007, and received a grant to arrange and perform the music of jazz great Charles Mingus, Afro-Cuban style, in 2011.

Pianist and bandleader Oscar Hernández
courtesy of the artist

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra returns to Seattle's Jazz Alley June 21-24.  It's their 15th anniversary tour, and a celebration of the release of their latest CD Anniversary.

I caught up with bandleader Oscar Hernández by phone, and we talked about his early days as musician and arranger in New York, forming the SHO, and more:

1974 album cover Fania All Stars Latin Soul Rock
courtesy of Fania Records/www.fania.com

This week's Latin Soul selection on Saturday Jazz Caliente is "Viva Tirado," from the Fania All Stars 1974 collection Latin-Soul-Rock.  The composition, written by the great jazz arranger Gerald Wilson, has an interesting history and has proved to be an enduring piece of shared culture. 

Here's the original and just a few of the many different recordings of "Viva Tirado."

Percussion master Steve Kroon tosses the chekeré
courtesy of the artist

Steven Kroon was raised in Harlem and Queens, and what he learned there has taken him on 15 world tours and given him 50 years in the business of professional percussion.

Cinco de Mayo Parade, Mexico City 2017
(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

As we celebrate Mexican and Mexican-American culture, let's go beyond tacos and tequila, and recognize Mexico's contribution to jazz and Latin jazz.  This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear from one prominent Mexican-American Latin jazz musician, Poncho Sanchez.  Here are a few more:

Pedrito Martinez of The Pedrito Martinez Group performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Friday, April 28, 2017, in New Orleans.
Amy Harris/Invision / AP

Wynton Marsalis called him a genius.  Quincy Jones says listening to this man's band makes him feel like a teenager.   Let's meet Cuban-born percussionist Pedrito Martinez.  He'll be at Jazz Alley in Seattle next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 1st and 2nd.

Pianist Eliane Elias, cover photo from the album "Music From Man of La Mancha"
courtesy of the artist

Another stellar week of live Latin Jazz starts this Sunday in Seattle, including Cuban jazz and dance music, a Brazilian spin on the Tony-winning Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, and an artist who is at the forefront of the wave of Cuban millennials who are forging a new path with their music.  Here's the rundown:

Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca performs at the Five Continents Jazz Festival, in Marseille, southern France, 2014.
AP Photo/Claude Paris

So many wonderful Cuban musicians are performing in Seattle in the next few months, I've started to refer to it as the "Cuban Invasion," and I'm excited to be introducing you to their music on Jazz Caliente.

Gregor Huebner and El Violin Latino
Holger Keifel

Violinist Gregor Huebner has developed a signature sound inspired by traditional Latin American music.  This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a selection from his recording El Violin Latino.

Earshot Jazz Managing Director Karen Caropepe, 2018 Seattle Jazz Hero
Daniel Sheehan Photography (www.danielsheehan.com)

April is Jazz Appreciation Month; a celebration of America's homegrown art form all month long, ending with a global all-star concert on International Jazz Day, April 30.  This year's concert will be held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

In Seattle, the festivities began with a night of awards for musicians, presenters, educators and heroes.

Pianist and songwriter Marcia Ball brought her signature swampy, bluesy, boogie-woogie roadhouse sound to our studio to celebrate the impending release of her latest album Shine Bright, which comes out April 20.

Marcia’s won ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and had five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State Musician.

Pianist Brenda Hopkins Miranda
courtesy of the arist/brendahopkinsmusic.com

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a selection from innovative pianist and composer Brenda Hopkins Miranda.  Her sixth album is Puentes​ (bridges), and with this recording she succeeds in her intent to bridge differences in musical styles, traditions, languages and generations.

A Cuban flag waves in front of El Morro Castle in Havana, 2008
(AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

For St. Patrick's Day, Jazz Caliente takes a brief look at the long, rich history of Irish people in Cuba. 

Even the most iconic sight in Havana's harbor, the towering lighthouse at Morro Castle, was once known as the O'Donnell Lighthouse.  It was named in 1844 for Leopold O'Donnell, the Captain General and Governor of Cuba.

Jesus Alemany, center, band leader of Cubanismo, directs a performance while playing trumpet at the Singapore Arts Festival, Tuesday, June 11, 2002.
Naashon Zalk / AP

"Cubanismo" is defined as something that's uniquely Cuban; that is, specific to the culture of the island and not common to the rest of Spanish-influenced Latin America.

Pianist Ann Reynolds
photo by Jim Levitt / courtesy of the artist

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear from some of the great Latin Jazz artists who make their home in the Seattle area.

The Rumba Kings
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It’s only been 8 months since the Rumba Kings’ first Studio Session on KNKX, but we couldn’t resist their excitement over releasing their first recording, a double-disc CD:  The Instrumental and Vocal Sessions, Volume One. 

Once again, their energy and virtuosity delighted our listeners.  The Rumba Kings bold and romantic blend of Latin, Mediterranean and Gypsy music is irresistible!

Saxophonist David Sánchez and bassist Ricardo Rodriguez, 29 April 2007, Bimhuis Amsterdam
By Siebe van Ineveld Rotterdam, The Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons

Grammy-winning Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sánchez has a new musical project called "Carib."   The name of the project is a reference to the indigenous people of the region we know as the Caribbean.  Sánchez is performing this Saturday night at 8 at the Seattle Art Museum's Plestcheef Auditorium.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman
Jay Blakesberg / courtesy of the artist

Joshua Redman's last visit to the KNKX Seattle studios was in 2015, for a live Studio Session with the Bad Plus.  He's coming to Tacoma to perform with the University of Puget Sound Jazz Band on Wednesday night, and he recently took a few minutes to catch us up.

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