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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 January: Ethan Feiges

A teenage boy with short brown hair wearing a gray sweater and headphones sits in a studio and speaks into a microphone.
Abe Beeson
Newport H.S. bass player Ethan Feiges is the KNKX School of Jazz guest DJ for January.

Bassist Ethan Feiges joins Abe Beeson as guest DJ for January. He is a senior and member of the jazz band at Newport High School in Bellevue. Get to know Ethan and check out his playlist full of legendary bass players.

Which instrument do you play and why?

I have been playing the double bass for over six years, and I hope to continue playing my instrument for the rest of my life! The primary reason I chose the double bass is because I could play both classical and jazz music.

In jazz, I find the double bass to foster personal creativity and expression through walking bass lines. Additionally, I have always liked soloing on the double bass, especially through developing rhythmically centered melodic ideas.

Besides playing, the double bass is also very fun to teach, as I have multiple students whom I offer weekly music lessons to. On the other hand, carrying the bass around town has not been as fun.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?

"Haitian Fight Song!" Charles Mingus’ cadenzas are so gritty and energetic, and I really enjoy the free improvisation and inner voices within the horns.

Who is your jazz hero?

Charles Mingus. His work always conveyed a poignant social message, and you can clearly denote the passion he has for his music. I try to emulate him with my soloing and comping style.

Why jazz?

Jazz music just has an unparalleled amount of soul in the music. When you can “feel” the music, jazz feels so powerful and conveys so much meaning with no words at all. Additionally, I love the community of jazz artists, and I have met so many talented and aspiring jazz students throughout my involvement in jazz ensembles.

Ethan's playlist:

  • Paul Chambers "Visitation"
  • Charles Mingus "Better Get It In Your Soul"
  • Carlos Henriquez "Cuchifrito"
  • Duke Ellington with Jimmy Blanton "Body and Soul"
  • Duke Ellington with Jimmy Blanton "Jack the Bear"
  • Esperanza Spalding "I Know You Know"
  • Oscar Pettiford with Hans Koller "Blues in the Closet"
  • Bill Evans with Scott LaFaro "Waltz for Debby (Take 1)"
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd 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.