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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 Jahnvi Madan


Sixteen year-old Jahnvi Madan is a senior at Newport High School and is KNKX's guest DJ on September 6 from 8 - 9 pm. She plays clarinet and baritone saxophone.

Which instrument(s) do you play and why?

I play clarinet and baritone saxophone. I fell in love with the sound of the clarinet all the way back in 3rd grade, so I already knew I wanted to learn it when band started in 5th! I just love how the instrument has such a broad range of sound, from warm, airy sounds to darker tones full of depth. It’s beautiful. I started saxophone in middle school because I wanted to join jazz band, but my band director said clarinet wasn’t a jazz instrument! I was mad but it led me to sax and now I love playing it.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?

This changes all the time, but currently "Sunny Side of the Street". I love it because there are dozens of versions, yet every single one brings a smile to my face with or without the words. Even though many versions of the song are instrumental or phrased uniquely, the underlying emotions of the song always come across. I feel like this standard captures my favorite thing about jazz – how easily it lends itself to expressing feeling.

Who is your jazz hero?

My jazz hero is Grace Kelly! She puts so much emotion and energy into her music, and has an insane ability to make listeners feel any emotion at all. I had the opportunity to hear her at Jazz Alley and cried, laughed, felt angry, and felt empowered all in that one night because she communicated so many feelings through her sax. I also look up to her because there are almost no Asian-American women jazz musicians, so it’s really cool to see representation in her. She really inspires me.

Why jazz?

I love jazz because it’s all about individual expression and intent. It’s about what you want to say and how you want to say it rather than how well you can re-state someone else’s thoughts. I love that everyone plays standards differently and you can almost hear their personality in their phrasing and ideas. I love that jazz lets people express themselves in such a direct, honest, and raw way that listeners can resonate with the feelings emoted on a deeper level than if they were listening to a speech.


"Don't Cross the Coss" Roxy Coss (Restless Idealism)

“Gonzalo’s Melody” Ariel Pocock (Living in Twilight)

“Serpent’s Tooth” Adison Evans (Meridian)

“I Know You Know” Esperanza Spalding (Esperanza)

“A Social Call” Jazzmeia Horn (A Social Call)

“Baby Carrots” Jacob Mann Big Band ft. Amber Navran (Greatest Hits, Vol. 2)

“My Ship” Melissa Alsana (Back Home)

“Trying to Figure it Out” Grace Kelly (Trying to Figure it Out)

“The Dreamweaverer” Camille Thurman (Origins)

“Norman” Hailey Niswanger (The Keeper)

“Mack the Knife” Ella Fitzgerald (Ella in Berlin)

“On the Sunny Side of the Street” Emily Asher (Dreams May Take You)

Jahnvi Madan's Hot 5

Jahnvi Madan, at age 15, with her traditional jazz combo at the Royal Room in Seattle, Sept. 2017. Featuring: Jahnvi Madan (Clarinet), Bell Thompson (Trumpet), Jonny Sabath (Trombone), Daniel Page (Bass), and Lander Pridgeon (Drums), with further accompaniment by Jacob Zimmerman (Piano). Be sure to follow and subscribe to her channel for more jazz!