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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.

School Of Jazz Triple-Play With Seattle JazzED

KNKX hosted students of Seattle JazzED's Summer Advanced Institute for a second time in August, and the kids set a new record for largest group to play in our studios.

A total of 29 students split into 3 combos with mentors Riley Mulhelkar (trumpeter with the Westerlies, this Seattle native now lives in New York City), Sammy Miller (New York-based drummer who leads Sammy Miller and the Congregation), and Marina Albero (the Spanish pianist who's thrilled Seattle audiences upon her arrival in 2014).

Each of the mentors stressed the importance of teamwork in jazz education, and these kids certainly got along well. Another point of mention to the students was to enjoy each moment you get to play, that seemed baked into the day with Seattle JazzED.

The non-profit organization has been working hard to provide the best jazz education possible for Puget Sound area kids since 2010, and this year participation has grown to serve over 900 kids. Their space at the MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center in Madison Valley is near overflowing, as was the KNKX studios on this amazing day. Albero's ensemble was largest, including 12 students and Marina herself on a bit of piano.

Familiar School of Jazz faces were sprinkled among many young musicians getting their first taste of America's music. Sharing the love of classic jazz songs from Duke Ellington to Jelly Roll Morton, it's clear that the Northwest will be contributing to the future of jazz for years to come.

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.