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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.

KNKX Student DJ Max Czerwinski

Abe Beeson/KNKX

Seventeen year-old Maximilian ("Max") Czerwinski is a senior at West Seattle High School.  He shares an hour of his favorite jazz with Abe Beeson on Thursday, December 7 from 8-9 p.m.

Which instrument do you play and why?

I was sort of forced into playing alto saxophone in middle school band because I didn’t want one of the more classical instruments. Over time, I learned to love the more expressive, dynamic qualities of it outside of standard practice, especially with players like Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?

It’s a tough pick, but I’d have to say “Haitian Fight Song” by Charles Mingus.

Who is your jazz hero?

Probably Jaco Pastorious. He just changed so much about what could be done with his instrument and the genre itself!

Why jazz?

It pushes the limits of what can be done instrumentally. Every time I hear a great tune, I can tell they were trying to accomplish something nobody has ever done before, and that inspires me to experiment in my music.

Max's playlist for December 7, 8-9 p.m.:

"Outro" - Vulfpeck (Vollmilch)

"Step Right Up" - Tom Waits (Small Change)

"Caravan" - Art Blakey (Caravan)

"Sirens of Jupiter" - The Olympians (The Olympians)

"Chinoiserie" - Duke Ellington (The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse)

"Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" - Joni Mitchell (Mingus)

"Confessions" - BadBadNotGood ft. Leland Whitty (III)

"The Tree" - Arsenal (Jazz Rock Ensemble)

"Mad About the Boy" - Gene Howard (Love Is a Drag)