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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 March: Eric He

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Abe Beeson
Eric He

Saxophonist Eric He from Bellevue High School will join Abe Beeson as guest DJ on March 3 during Evening Jazz at 7 p.m. Get to know him in this Q&A, and check out his playlist.

Which instrument do you play and why?
Saxophone. I have always loved the timbre and tone of the instrument. I feel that its widespread use in a huge variety of styles and genres is pretty unique.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
Tough one. "Georgia On My Mind" is up there – it’s always touched me in a way few other tunes can do. But my absolute favorite has to be "Green Dolphin Street," which ties so many different subgenres and styles of jazz together into a brilliant tune.

Who is your jazz hero?
I look up to so many greats of the past (and present) that it’s hard to decide – Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane were some of my earlier influences. However, my all-time favorite has to be Michael Brecker. He pioneered a style of playing that’s really changed modern jazz.

Why jazz?
First and foremost, jazz has so much variety. Both the genre itself – which has a large number of distinct subgenres, as well tunes – no rendition of a tune is, or will be, exactly the same as any other. Each and every performance is unique and personal. I think jazz is one of the best reflections of the spontaneity core to us all.

“Song for Bilbao,” Michael Brecker (Tales from the Hudson)

“Hot House,” Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker (Groovin’ High)

“Horn of Puente,” Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band (XXL)

“Emily,” Bill Evans Trio (The Last Waltz: Final at Keystone Korner ’80)

“Osmosis,” Dick Oatts/Dave Santaro (Meru)

“Work Song,” Nina Simone (High Priestess of Soul)

“Georgia on my Mind,” J.J. Johnson/Kai Winding (The Great Kai & J.J.)

“Freedom Jazz Dance,” J. Alexander/C. Potter (In a Sentimental Mood)

Follow @eric8he on Instagram.