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NEA Jazz Master Bill Holman directs The Jazz Port Townsend Festival All-Star Big Band

One of the most highly regarded composer-arrangers in jazz is Bill Holman, whose career stretches back over six decades and includes music performed by Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan and many others.  He also leads his own L.A. big band which includes many top musicians who vie for the opportunity to play Bill Holman's exciting and complex music.   Winner of three Grammy Awards and 14 nominations, he's arranged for recording sessions by Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and many others. 

Bill Holman was in Port Townsend this summer to talk about composing and arranging and direct a concert featuring his arrangements played by an all-star big band. A special feature of this concert was Northwest Passages, an extended work composed by Bill Holman especially for Jazz Port Townsend.  The celebrated jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski was the featured soloist.  The concert was recorded for broadcast on 88.5, KPLU. 

Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend Festival All-Star Big Band is exactly that.  The eighteen-member band was comprised of internationally renown musicians who also served as the faculty for the Jazz Workshop which precedes the Festival.  Terell Stafford, Ingrid Jensen, Wycliffe Gordon, Jiggs Whigham, Gary Smulyan, Jeff Hamilton and others joined resident musicians including Jay Thomas, Thomas Marriott, Dave Marriott, Dan Marcus, Travis Ranney, Mark Taylor, Bill Ramsay, Randy Halberstadt, Chuck Deardorf and others.  Most of the musicians in the band are leaders of their own groups.

Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke, exclusively for 88.5 KPLU where it airs Sundays at 2 PM Pacific and simultaneously streams at  The program is also available as a podcast at after the broadcast.

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Jim has been a fixture on Seattle radio since 1961. He was the host of Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International from 1984-2014. Currently Jim has been producing Jazz Northwest for KNKX since 1988. This weekly program focuses on the regional jazz scene and frequently includes performances Jim records on location for Jazz Northwest.