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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.

KPLU School of Jazz On the Road in Portland

KPLU School of Jazz recently hit the road for our second studio session featuring a regional high school jazz band program (our first being the Point Grey Secondary School studio session in June at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival).

This time, Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson was on stage at the Alberta Abbey in North Portland with the winner of this year's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition—the American Music Program's Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, an all-star high school big band under the direction of trumpeter and mentor Dr. Thara Memory.

The studio session was recorded prior to the band's benefit concert on Sunday, November 8.  (It will air in February leading up to the 2016 Portland Jazz Festival; Audio and video will be posted at

The band performed three songs, including "Down South Camp Meeting" which was originated by Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra.

Thanks to PDX Jazz for making this studio session possible.

The AMP/Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra performs Duke Ellington's "The Tattooed Bride" during the final concert at Essentially Ellington 2015: