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Since 2005, KNKX's School of Jazz has provided mentorship, learning and performance opportunities to Western Washington middle school, high school and college jazz students. A cornerstone of the station's signature community outreach program, it has directly impacted thousands of jazz students, band directors and professional musicians. School of Jazz is sponsored by BECU.

Guest Student DJ Carlos Eiene: Jazz Is 'A Way Of Being Who You Are'

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Interlake High School's Carlos Eiene is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of January.  Carlos' hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 8.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Carlos to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the tenor and baritone saxophone. I never really had a moment where I was specifically inspired to play these instruments, but through various band program instrumentation necessities, I ended up on the tenor and bari. I love the tenor especially, there are a ton of players out there constantly inspiring me to make new things.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?

"Stoner Hill" by Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band is most definitely my favorite jazz tune of all time. The simple harmonies and slow chord progression go against a lot of the bebop jazz standard, but I still find the song beautifully simple. The level of simplicity of this tune combined with the soulfulness of the players makes me quite emotional when I listen to it, and is a very impressively simple tune overall.

Who’s your jazz hero?

Michael Brecker, the famed tenor saxophonist, has got to be my jazz hero. His incredible humility is so incredible, especially how he doesn’t really consider himself to be “‘all that!” His mentality of practicing is incredible; I really admire him for that. Also, his tenor tone is out of his word, and definitely shows off his efforts of practicing.

What isjazz exactly? How would you explain it?

Jazz is a very diverse genre of music that revolves around feel. While this definition of jazz is very vague, you NEED feel an emotion to be able to play jazz. This general definition works for pretty much all tracks in this highly diverse genre; it’s incredibly difficult to find a track that features someone who’s playing with no emotion whatsoever. Jazz isn’t just “coffee shop music"; it’s a way of being who you are.

Carlos' Playlist

  1. "One Shining Soul" (Joshua Redman)
  2. "Remember" (Hank Mobley)
  3. "Like a Light"  (Snarky Puppy)
  4. "Stoner Hill"  (Brian Blade & The Fellowship)
  5. "Midnight Voyage"  (Michael Brecker)
  6. "Now or Never"  (Hiromi)
  7. "Stop This Train"  (Joshua Redman)
  8. "Home Fries"  (Joshua Redman)
  9. "This Little Light of Mine"  (Dan White Sextet)
  10. "Adansonia"  (Moonbow Music)

Connect with Carlos online: YouTube / Facebook / Twitter