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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 Jackson Cruz: Enjoying 'The Great American Pastime"

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.

Everett High School's Jackson Cruz is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Jackson's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 9.  

To get to know him better we asked 16 year old Jackson to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Trumpet because my best friend wanted to play it in 6th grade and I wanted to feel cool.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece and why?

Peace by Ornette Coleman because that song is just great. It makes me feel (for a lack for better words) peaceful.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

Etienne Charles, he soloed in our band when we went to the Swing Central jazz competition and I got to talk to him afterwards.

What is jazz, exactly? How would you explain it?

Jazz is the greatest American pass time. Some people would say baseball is, but I disagree 100%. The feel of jazz is unique and makes you feel good while you listen.

Jackson's Playlist

  1. In A Sentimental Mood - Dule Ellington/John Coltrane
  2. Bag's Groove - Milt Jackson
  3. Hat and Beard - Eric Dolphy
  4. Ain't Misbehavin' - Benny Goodman
  5. Black Bottom Stomp - Jelly Roll Morton
  6. Dream A Little Dream - Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong
  7. Au Privave - Charlie Parker
  8. So What - Miles Davis
  9. I Got Rhythm - Ethel Waters
  10. Peace - Ornette Coleman