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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 February: Kelvin Bixler

A young man wearing a blue t-shirt and black hoodie smiles as he points up to a illuminated "Recording" sign.
Abe Beeson
Kelvin Bixler is a trumpeter with the Lake Stevens High School jazz band and KNKX's School of Jazz guest DJ for February.

Trumpeter Kelvin Bixler joins Abe Beeson as guest DJ for February. Originally from Austin, Texas, Kelvin is a 17-year-old senior at Lake Stevens High School. Learn more about this big band trumpet fan and dig into his playlist below.

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the trumpet. I was switching schools at the time of choosing my instrument, and I had figured that the trumpet was the violin equivalent of band, so I chose the trumpet.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?

"Begin the Beguine" as performed by Doc Severinsen

Who is your jazz hero?

Doc Severinsen

Why jazz?

Jazz has more freedom to feel through what you're playing, as well as possesses more creative freedom than what's offered through the classical lens. I wanted a taste of that.

Kelvin's playlist:

  • Chuck Mangione "Feels So Good"
  • Louis Armstrong/Duke Ellington "It Don't Mean a Thing..."
  • Stan Kenton Orchestra "Send in the Clowns"
  • Cannonball Adderley "Work Song"
  • Alan Blaylock Orchestra "Torque"
  • Chet Baker "How High the Moon"
  • Maynard Ferguson "Macarthur Park"
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third 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.