The KNKX School of Jazz hit the road for a performance at Seattle Pacific University's beautiful Nickerson Studios and we were knocked out by the talented sextet that makes up the S.P.U. Jazz Ensemble.
Guitarist Chase Rabideau told us that S.P.U. is one of the few places you can earn a degree in his chosen field, Music Therapy, right after showing off his beautiful acoustic guitar technique on the Antonio Carlos Jobim song "Look to the Sky."
We heard from bassist Tim Bartlett that today's young jazz musicians need to understand the long history of this music in order to create their own new styles. The ensemble selected a pair of lesser-known hard bop compositions by the great saxophonist Hank Mobley, each player soloing with confidence throughout.
Not everyone in the band is pursuing a degree in music. Logan Bryan is an engineering student who joined the group to expand his skills on saxophones and to give his tired brain some much needed moments away from the stacks of math books.
The Director of Jazz Studies for nearly a decade, Dan Kramlich guided the band with a sympathetic hand and told us that the smaller student body at Seattle Pacific results in more intimate ensemble jazz education. The intensive soloing and inter-band communication makes this a logical setting for growing as an individual artist.
KNKX thanks Mr. Kramlich and the band, Music Department Chair Brian Chin, and all the joyful, helpful students and staff at Seattle Pacific University for making us feel right at home on the Fremont Cut. We hope to return for more School of Jazz fun in the future!