Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Seattle Jazz Vocalist Ernestine Anderson Dies

“Ernestine Anderson 2013” by HappyHappyMe is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Ernestine Anderson at a Seattle Event 2013

The renowned jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson, whose career spanned six decades, has died at the age of 87.

According to the Seattle Times, Anderson attended Garfield High School and came up in Seattle’s jazz scene in the mid-1940s. She found success in Los Angeles and on the road — then at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and so many other places. She was nominated for a Grammy four times.

Jim Wilke is the host of ‘Jazz Northwest’ on KPLU every Sunday. He first started listening to Anderson in college. Later on, Wilke worked with Anderson on numerous occasions, including when she was performing at the Bellevue Jazz Festival, where he was artistic director. 

"The question when people arrived was always 'What time is Ernestine on?' because that, as far as most people were concerned, was the principal time to be at the festival," Wilke said. "That was when the biggest crowd was there, and that was true throughout most of the ‘80s."

Anderson returned to live in Seattle in 1973. She was 87 years old.

Ernestine Anderson's music will be featured this weekend on KPLU jazz programming, including 'Jazz Northwest' Sunday at 2 p.m.