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Dylan Hayes' Jazz College Days

Dylan Hayes performs at an electric piano.
Parker Miles Blohm
Dylan Hayes in the KNKX Studios.

We first encountered talented pianist Dylan Hayes performing with a trio at Centrum's Jazz Pt. Townsend camp this Summer, and we knew this young man was ready for the KNKX studios.

Hayes is in his final year studying jazz at Cornish College in Seattle, and he brought a fellow student and a few friends in town for a sonic display of his skills as a player, bandleader and composer.

He's been working with his own big band and the large ensemble led by Jim Knapp, as well as various small groups around town for a couple years. This Studio Session blended Hayes' talents on acoustic and electric keyboards, with terrific moments for all five members of his quintet.

Having known drummer Xavier Lecouturier since high school, their collaborations were the most impressive. Especially noteworthy was their co-written song "XD", but all three originals required plenty of sheet music for all the players. In spite of the concentration on the pages, the music carried the organic feeling of having been created on the spot.

Hayes celebrates the upcoming conclusion of his studies in Seattle with a senior recital at Cornish's Kerry Hall on November 8th, and jazz fans around Puget Sound are hoping he'll stick around after graduation.

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.