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The 18th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam Holiday Concert

The 18th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features jazz vocalist Gail Pettis and her trio--Thursday, December 11, 2014 from noon to 1 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus.  

Gail will perform Christmas selections with the University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner.  Gail's trio includes bassist Clipper Anderson and drummer Mark Ivester.  The event will be hosted by KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt and broadcast live on KPLU.  A live video stream will also be available at

Gail Pettis was named ”Northwest Vocalist of the Year” by Earshot Jazz in 2010, an honor she also received in 2007.   Her rich, warm vocals and understated phrasing have been described as “deliciously soulful” by Cadence Magazine.

Granddaughter of Delta Blues guitarist and vocalist Arthur Pettis, Gail grew up in Gary, Indiana and now resides in Seattle. She switched to music from a career as an orthodontist in 2002. Performance highlights include a residency at the 2006 Amersfoort Jazz Festival as featured artist with the New Manhattan Big Band and smaller combos on the main stage, a performance at KAVC Hall in Kobe Japan, and main-stage performance at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival in Boise, Idaho.

Gail's debut CD, May I Come In? received international airplay and was nominated for an Earshot Golden Ear Award for "2007 Northwest Recording of the Year." Her sophomore recording, Here in the Moment, was released in January 2010.

The University Jazz Ensemble is a jazz big band, varying in instrumentation according to repertoire. The ensemble performs regularly on the PLU campus, at jazz venues in the Puget Sound area, regional high schools, and national jazz festivals. The ensemble performs jazz big band repertoire from all eras of the music, from Duke Ellington to Maria Schneider, and covers all styles of jazz from early swing to jazz/rock.

House doors open at 11:15 a.m.  Early arrival is strongly suggested due to festival seating.  Parking for the event is limited as classes are in session.


The Mary Baker Russell Music Center is located at 8th Avenue Ct. S. and Wheeler Street S.