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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 guest DJ for December: Barrett Lhamon

Barrett Lhamon wears a gray KNKX baseball cap while sitting in front of an upright piano. He holds a saxophone in his lap.
Courtesy of Barrett Lhamon
Barrett Lhamon

Saxophonist and pianist Barrett Lhamon from Bainbridge High School will join Abe Beeson as guest DJ on Dec. 2 during Evening Jazz at 7 p.m. Get to know him in this Q&A, and check out his playlist. He is in the school's jazz band.

Which instrument do you play and why?
I play tenor saxophone and piano. I play tenor because I like the range and I feel the tone is the best among the saxophones. I play piano because I enjoy being able to comp for myself and not be restricted to the piano sounds found in backing tracks. It has also helped my chord knowledge, which is helpful for my soloing.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
All-time favorite jazz piece is “This I Dig of You” by Hank Mobley. Wynton Kelly’s playing got me into jazz piano, and that quartet was just so tight that I got hooked on the album Soul Station and combo playing.

Who is your jazz hero?
My jazz hero is Oscar Peterson—the colors that he creates in his solos and the ideas he comes up with stand out among all other improvisers. His technical ability and his sense of groove are things that make me mad sometimes.

Why jazz?
The feeling of playing off of other people’s ideas, and making quick-minute decisions is something that gives me more joy than anything else. I can listen and play the same songs over and over again and they never seem to get old, and I love how proficient the best players are.


"This I Dig of You," Hank Mobley (Soul Station)

"Freedom Jazz Dance," Joey Alexander/Chris Potter (In a Sentimental Mood)

"Para Machucar Meu Coração," John Chamorro/Alba Armengou (S/T)

"Spain," Jesus Molina/Sam Smith/Roni Kaspi (Departing)

"Cherokee," Clifford Brown/Max Roach (Study in Brown)

"Hide and Seek," Joshua Redman (Freedom in the Groove)

"Softly As In a Morning Sunrise," Sonny Clark (Sonny Clark Trio)