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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: Sam Llanillo serves as guest DJ


Tenor saxophonist Sam Llanillo from Ingraham High School in Seattle will join Abe Beeson as virtual guest DJ tonight (June 3) on Evening Jazz. He is a senior and in the school's jazz band. He has formed his own indie pop-rock band called Aurora Ave. Last month they participated in the Sound Off! showcase at MoPOP. 

Which instrument do you play and why?
I play the tenor saxophone because it’s reliable, and it’s what I’m most comfortable on. Other saxophones have their own unique moments, but I play this instrument because of its versatility.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
I think it would have to be "Song For My Father" by Horace Silver! It was one of the first jazz pieces that I really got into and the solos on it are amazing!

Who is your jazz hero?
Kamasi Washington. His phrasing is consistently beautiful, and I like how he experiments with blurring the lines between jazz and other genres.

Why jazz?
Because it makes the most sense to me, and because it makes expressing yourself easy without words. To me it has the highest capacity for freedom of any music genre.


"Moanin'" Tony Allen (Tribute to Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers)

"End of Courtesy" Industrial Revelation (Liberation & Kingdom of Nri)

"Have You Met Miss Jones?" Joe Pass/N.H.O.Pederson (Chops)

"Girl" Standing on the Corner (Standing On the Corner)

"First Responders" T. Martin/R. Glasper/K. Washington/9th Wonder (Dinner Party)

"Vilia (Take 3)" John Coltrane (Both Directions at Once)

"Alice in Wonderland" Shigeo Sekito (Special Sound Series, Vol. 1)

"Song for my Father" Horace Silver (Song for My Father)

Follow Sam on Instagram @samllanillo._.
Follow Sam on Spotify