Kevin Kniestedt | KNKX

Kevin Kniestedt

Sound Effect Producer

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KNKX radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in Seattle, where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

Ways to Connect

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

This show originally aired on November 25, 2019. 

SAN JUAN ISLAND 17 BY JEFF CLARK IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 BIT.LY/2RLVP97

This episode originally aired on June 17, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, we head out to the islands.

The Good Ship Issaquah

Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975. And while she captains the ferry Issaquah, she considers her office the entire Puget Sound.

The One Lonely Island

Kevin Kniestedt / KNKX

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

Affordable housing is certainly a big issue these days, especially if you are living in the greater Seattle area. But it is also a major issue on some of our islands.

On San Juan Island, an overwhelming shortage of affordable housing is threatening the community and economy. But a non-profit in Friday Harbor is come up with a way to help that problem: by picking up old houses that are no long wanted in Victoria, British Columbia, putting them on a boat, and giving them a second life in Friday.

“McNeil Island and neighbors” by worldislandinfo.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2tseyeM

Note: Some of the content in this story might be upsetting to some listeners. 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

McNeil Island in South Puget Sound is where the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators is located. There are about 250 permanent residents at the Special Commitment Center -that’s what they’re called — and there are only a few ways you can leave the facility: you die, you’re deemed to have successfully completed treatment, or you can challenge your commitment with a trial.

AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

The Seattle Mariners might not be doing great in the win-loss column during this shortened 60-game season, but KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel says don't pay too much attention to that. 

Thiel says there weren't a ton of expectations going into this season, be it full or shortened. So consider this season an "extended spring training." 

Thiel says it's best to not rush our younger prospects, and to look forward to, hopefully, a full 2021 season.

PARKER MILES BLOHM / KNKX

There is nothing like standing in the crowd, watching your favorite musician take the stage, playing your favorite song live right in front of you. Well thanks to a little global pandemic, going to a concert has been more or less impossible. Well, those of us at Sound Effect miss hearing live music, and we are willing to bet that you do to. Today on the show, we are going to bring the concert to you. We're going to be playing live music recordings that were performed and recorded just for Sound Effect over the years.

Lydia Ramsey in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

To say that Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey was raised in a musical family would be kind of an understatement.

“Me and my brothers joke that, like, in order to sit down in our living room, you had to pick up an instrument because it was taking up the chair. And then you’d be like oh, well I’m holding this so I might as well play something on it,” said Ramsey.

This story orginally aired on February 24, 2018.

This past September, Steve Fournier expected to go out with his friends to see one of his favorite Rock bands, Loverboy, in concert. What he didn’t expect is for lead singer, Mike Reno, to get the flu and only be able to perform a couple songs. Reno’s wife started talking to the crowd to find someone in the audience to take his place.

Fournier’s friends started pointing at him telling her to pull him up on stage.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on May 26, 2018.

Naomi Wachira was born and raised in Kenya, studied broadcasting in Chicago, then theology in Seattle. While she always had an impressive singing voice -- she sang in choirs since she was five -- becoming a professional musician wasn’t truly on the radar until 2013, after her father, a pastor in Kenya, passed away.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

 This story originally aired on May 6, 2017.

Ben Union basically grew up in a church, and for him there was little question as to what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a preacher.

But in religion, just like in politics, or relationships, challenging or even traumatic experiences can make you change your feelings about a path you were once entirely certain about.

This was the case for Ben Union. He didn’t become a preacher, but instead, a professional musician in Tacoma.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

This story originally aired on November 26, 2016. 

Getting a tattoo can certainly be an occasion for regret. Getting a tattoo that has an intentional misspelling in it could potentially lead to more opportunity for regret. Naming your debut album after your intentionally misspelled tattoo pretty much sums up the "no regrets" attitude of the Seattle-based band Chastity Belt.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on October 1, 2016.

On our show, we do strive to get the complexity of this region and capture what it means to live here in all of it's contrasting glory — both the pretty and the gritty. And on our show, when we're doing our job, we're telling stories that have a lot of that. We really believe that a story can be sad and hilarious and heartbreaking and surprising all at once. It's an eclectic thing we are trying to do.  

Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer tours Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in December 2019, for a story about the old fort built.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Every week for more than five years, Gabriel Spitzer’s voice brought stories into your homes that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. In more than 200 episodes of Sound Effect, our host helped you get to know the Puget Sound region and its people through stories of wonder, joy, and profound humanity.   

Now, sadly, it’s time to say goodbye.

Courtesy of Cheri Spitzer

Today on the show, we say goodbye to our host Gabriel Spitzer. This is the last show Gabriel will host, as he transitions to a new job in public health. He celebrates some of his favorite stories from past shows in this episode.

Stephen Brashear / AP

This story originally aired April 2, 2016.  

Last December, St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams punter Johnny Hekker, an Edmonds resident who grew up in Bothell,  did not make many new friends in the Pacific Northwest. He punted the ball to the Seahawks, and after the play was over, he came up behind Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and drilled him to the ground.

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

This show originally aired on November 9, 2019. 

Courtesy Seattle Band Map

This story originally aired on November 9, 2019.  

Rachel Ratner is in a band called Wimps. She’s also a software engineer and a brand new mother — and the creator of the Seattle Band Map

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

This show originally aired on October 26, 2019.

This show originally aired on October 19, 2019.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

This show originally aired on September 21, 2019. 

Collections come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever it is, a collection can take on a life of its own. And it says something about the person behind it. That’s our latest theme — The Collector: why we’re drawn to collect stuff, and what we’re willing to do in pursuit of it.

Second base sits in an otherwise empty ballpark, where grounds crew members continue to keep the Seattle Mariners' field in playing shape in May.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

A Major League Baseball season is going to happen after all...sort of. Players are reporting to their teams' home cities in preparation of a 60-game season. KNKX's Kevin Kniestedt spoke with sports commentator Art Thiel to get more details on what this season will look like. 

The act of protesting can unfold in a variety of ways, and protesting through music is certainly one of them. Freddy Gonzalez, whose stage name is Freddy Fuego, is a local composer and musician. He's also an educator at Seattle's Northwest School, teaching music to students in grades 6-12.

WIKIPEDIA COMMONS/LOOZRBOY

This show originally aired on March 30, 2019.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on March 30, 2019.

Xolie Morra Cogley is a musician in Seattle, and leader of the band Xolie Morra and the Strange Kind.

“I’ve always been into music since I was very little," Cogley says. "And so music, I think, really helped to move me in a more social direction, because I didn’t really do a lot of talking when I was little. But I developed a communication skill using music that helped me fit into certain groups. So I didn’t have to have conversations. I was just playing music.”

Adrian Florez / KNKX

This show originally aired on June 29, 2019.

For this special edition of Sound Effect, the theme is “Small Miracles,” tales from our live storytelling event. Host Gabriel Spitzer recounts his brush with death after years of humiliation in swim class. Ty Reed recalls how a random encounter saved his life after he fell into homelessness and addiction. Cindy Healy is moved to tears seeing a special spacecraft in a Matt Damon movie. Queen Mae Butters remembers a powerful friendship formed at the end of her hospice patient’s life. And Paul Currington learns to breathe through the smoke of his past.

Cindy Healy (right) stands with friend and fellow engineer Becky Manning Mitties in the NASA clean room.
Courtesy of Cindy Healy

This story originally aired on June 29, 2019.

It may have not completely hit Cindy Healy, a former NASA engineer, until she was sitting in the theater watching the Matt Damon movie, "The Martian." 

"And I'm trying hard to suppress an audible sob because I know I am the only one crying at this part of the movie," she said. "And I'm just wiping away tears and my son looks at me like I'm crazy. And I lean over to him and I whisper 'that's my spacecraft.'"

Geoffrey Redick / KNKX

This show originally aired on June 8, 2019.

You won't find a colony of alligators in a sewer like this one. It would be "a completely inhospitable environment in the first place," says Snopes.com founder David Mikkelson.
Sean Havey / The Associated Press

This story originally aired on June 8, 2019.

No, Thomas Crapper didn’t invent the modern flushing toilet. Airplanes don’t directly dump “blue ice” and human waste from 30,000 feet. And alligators can’t thrive in a New York City sewer.

These are some of the abundant toilet myths that have circulated across the internet and beyond.

Courtesy of J.J. Harrison

This show originally aired on June 1, 2019.

This photo was taken at a rodeo in Hobbs, New Mexico, where rodeo clown J.J. Harrison fell down in front of a 2,000-pound, charging bull. "I remember thinking this could be the end," he said.
Courtesy of J.J. Harrison

This story originally aired on June 1, 2019. 

When J.J. Harrison fell down in front of a charging, 2,000-pound bull in Hobbs, New Mexico, everything seemed to slow down.  

"I just remember thinking this could be the end," he said.

It wasn't. And even though Harrison was pretty beat up that day, he was back at it almost immediately. "I got my check and I drove five hours to get to the airport," he said, "because I've got to keep going."

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