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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.

KNKX School of Jazz guest DJ for November: Warren Kidder

Warren Kidder, senior bass player in the Everett High School jazz band, presents his School of Jazz guest DJ show on KNKX Thursday night.
Abe Beeson
Warren Kidder, senior bass player in the Everett High School jazz band, presents his School of Jazz guest DJ show on KNKX Thursday night.

Warren Kidder is a senior bass player with the Everett High School jazz band. His band director, Megan Vinther, is also the mother of bass player and past School of Jazz guest DJ Andrew Vinther who's now studying at the Juilliard School in New York. Yes, Kidder said, Ms. Vinther is "hard on bass players," but he wouldn't have it any other way.

We talked about his love for the instruments - both acoustic and electric basses - and his appreciation for multiple styles of music. As for jazz, Kidder sees a continuum of artistic evolution built upon the musicians who came before.

The young music lover also points to the metal genre as a style that influences the way he plays jazz, as much as improvisational skills inform his modern rock playing.

Though Kidder loves to sing, he hasn't done it on stage. His playlist does include great singers Samara Joy, Somi and Benny Benack. Kidder said his own singing helps him stay in tune as a bass player.

Representing the low end in Kidder's playlist, bassist Endea Owens and Christian McBride are cornerstones of his guest DJ show. He also wanted to share his love of trumpets by featuring Bruce Harris and Petter Iderstrom Pankinaho, as well as violin jazz from Detroit star Regina Carter.

Kidder loves the freedom and diversity in the world of jazz and beyond. The wide-ranging styles and sounds in his guest DJ show, despite the lack of metal bands, shows a musician building on a strong understanding of the artform's often rule-breaking tradition.

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the bass, because I love the low and rich sound it makes.

What is your favorite jazz piece?

My all-time favorite jazz piece is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" by Charles Mingus.

Who is your jazz hero?

Jaco Pastorius

Why jazz?

Because each band/song/arrangement will sound different according to who you play it with, where you play it, and how you feel.

Warren's playlist:

  • "Love Cynical" Endea Owens
  • "Throw It Away" Terri Lyne Carrington/Somi
  • "Simple Happiness" Petter Iderstrom Pankinaho
  • "Hank's Pranks" Bruce Harris
  • "Moe-Honk" Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau/Christian McBride/Brian Blade
  • "Sweet Pumpkin" Samara Joy
  • "Georgia On My Mind" Regina Carter
  • "It Could Happen to You" Steven Feifke Big Band/Benny Benack
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.