Robin Lloyd | KNKX

Robin Lloyd

Jazz Caliente & Jazz Host

Robin Lloyd was born and raised in the Detroit area. She performed radio plays in junior high and high school, took various radio apprenticeships in high school and college, and has held a number of different positions at community and public radio stations in Michigan and Western Washington, including Jazz and Blues Host, Producer, Production Manager, Station Operations Manager and Program Director. Robin is married to drummer Michael Slivka; together they manage a household full of dogs, cats and percussion.

Her most memorable KNKX moment: dancing with the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians on stage at Jazz Alley on my birthday.

Ways to Connect

Claudio Roditi plays piccolo trumpet at Jazz Club Unterfahrt, Munich  2010
OhWeh / Wiki Commons CCA-SA 2.5

Playing horns ranging from valve trombone to piccolo trumpet, Claudio Roditi made his mark on Latin jazz with his beautiful tone, his wonderful compositions, and his absolute belief that music and laughter were the best things in life.  

Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa with SRJO, April 2019
Jim Levitt

Drummer Ignacio Berroa was a guest artist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra last April, and he returns to join the SRJO Sextet for the inaugural concert of Northwest Music Mondays, presented by KNKX at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley on Jan. 27.

Pianist Josean Jacobo
courtesy of the artist

This week on Saturday's Jazz Caliente, we'll hear Dominican pianist Josean Jacobo and his group Tumbao play an instrumental version of "Aunque Me Cueste La Vida," a ballad written by prolific Dominican songwriter Luis Kalaff and made popular by singer Alberto Beltran. Here's a little background:

Marina Albero in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

We were ecstatic to have pianist Marina Albero come back to the KNKX studios, celebrating the release of her new three-CD album, A Life Soundtrack.

CD cover for Marina Albero's "A Life Soundtrack"
Cover art by Koldo Barroso / Courtesy of the artist

Spanish pianist and composer Marina Albero's new release, "A Life Soundtrack," is an impressive three-disc collection of her life (so far) in music. 

Ninety Miles CD cover, Concord Music Group 2011
Devin DeHaven /

In 2011, Concord Music Group released a CD and DVD called Ninety Miles, documenting a trip to Cuba by American jazz musicians Stefon Harris, David Sánchez and Christian Scott.

Actor, musician, lawyer, activist Rubén Blades
courtesy of the artist

Last week the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2020 Grammy Awards. The 62nd awards ceremony and televised extravaganza will be held on Jan. 26. Let's sample the nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album!

Guitarist Dave Peterson has been the "secret sauce" in the Seattle jazz scene for decades. He taught at Cornish College of the Arts for 35 years, and has added his graceful tones to countless performances and recordings.  He's a composer, too, having penned more than 100 works for bands of all sizes.

Percussionist Sammy Figueroa
Daniel Azoulay / courtesy of the artist

Learn more about the multi-talented percussionist Sammy Figueroa, as Jazz Caliente marks his 71st birthday this Saturday.  

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera brought his band back to KNKX for a warm-up performance ahead of their Earshot Jazz Festival concert at Town Hall. 

Roy Rogers, Badi Assad and Carlos Reyes are StringShot
courtesy of the artist

StringShot is a collaboration between an American blues guitarist, a Brazilian guitar and vocal percussion specialist, and a Paraguayan violinist/harpist. They're coming to Seattle to perform at The Triple Door on Thursday, Nov. 7, presented by KNKX.  

Brazilian pianist and guitarist Egberto Gismonti
Roberto Cifarelli ( / courtesy of the artist

The 2019 Earshot Jazz Festival brings us a rare opportunity to see Brazilian guitar master Egberto Gismonti on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Jazz Caliente invites you to learn more about this unique artist.

Brazilian vocalist Adriana Giordano
Cedar Suede / courtesy of the artist

Songwriters repurpose their work more often than you might think. Here are three incarnations of a beloved Antonio Carlos Jobim composition.

Latin jazz violinist Susie Hansen
Calvin Cairns / courtesy of the artist

A variety of stringed instruments and styles spice up Saturday's Jazz Caliente this week. Let's explore!

Trumpeter Miles Davis during his last concert in the Netherlands at the North Sea Jazz Festival, 1990
Peter Buitelaar / Wiki Commons CC by 2.0

The truly definitive Miles Davis documentary, "Birth of the Cool," is showing at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle through Thursday this week, and for one day only at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera
courtesy of the artist

The 31st Earshot Jazz Festival starts Friday and runs through Nov. 6. This week on Saturday's Jazz Caliente, we'll hear from some of the great Cuban and Brazilian artists performing at the festival, including some of our Northwest favorites!

Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés with batá drum
Carol Friedman / courtesy of the artist

On Jazz Caliente this Saturday, we'll hear a selection from the latest release by Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, "Jazz Batá 2."  The album was nominated this week for Best Latin Jazz Album by the 20th Annual Latin Grammys. Let's meet a few of the other 2019 Latin Grammy nominees.

Trombonist, singer and songwriter Natalie Cressman
FifthLegend from Eagan, Minnesota / Wiki Commons

This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll hear some great trombone playing from veteran bandleader Papo Vasquez, and also from relative newcomer Natalie Cressman.  Let's get to know some Latin jazz trombonists!

Percussionist Manny Oquendo (1931-2009) led and co-founded the influential Latin jazz ensemble called Conjunto Libre.  Like the "hard-bop academy" of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, it was a finishing school for the musicians who passed through it on their way to becoming leaders and luminaries of Latin jazz.

Puerto Rican dancers at the 35th annual Puerto Rican Festival Parade in Boston, 2002
AP Photo/Julia Malakie

Looking at the diversity of musicians just within this Saturday's Jazz Caliente playlist, I realize that the arts (and, for me, music in particular) are the common ground where we all can meet and get along like civilized beings.  

Master percussionist Paoli Mejías
Alex Diaz /

A Grammy-nominated Puerto Rican percussion master is bringing his Latin jazz quintet to the Pacific Northwest for two concerts this week. Let’s get to know Paoli Mejías!

Jim Coile plays flute with Sonando at KNKX, June 2018
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Saxophonist and flautist Jim Coile died last week, in an accident on his way home from a kayaking and fishing trip in Mexico. Coile worked with several groups in the Pacific Northwest, and he was one of the original members of Seattle’s longest-running Latin jazz band, Sonando.

A toucan sits on a branch at the Biopark "La Reserva" in Cota, Colombia
Fernando Vergara / The Associated Press

For no particular reason, this week's Jazz Caliente show starts with a set of three tunes about birds.

Birds are well represented in music throughout Spain, Cuba, Mexico and South America. Here are a few more Latin jazz bird songs.

"Conversation" sculpture, Plaza de San Francisco, Havana, Cuba
Robn Lloyd / KNKX

This week, the Trump administration brought back drastic restrictions on travel to Cuba. Setting aside the political, economic and philosophical debates, here's a baker's dozen of fond memories from my trip to Cuba in 2013 with a delightful group of KNKX listeners.

Trumpeter Etienne Charles
courtesy of the artist

A troop of fine trumpeters from around the world liven up this week's Jazz Caliente. Here's the scoop.

Guitarist Daniel Girón
courtesy of the artist

The term "Latin jazz" may conjure images of lots of drums, percussion and horns, but let's not forget the guitars. This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a few great guitarists from Columbia, Brazil and right in our own backyard.

Monika Herzig's Sheroes
courtesy of the artist

Jazz Caliente observes Mother's Day this Saturday with a focus on women instrumentalists, bandleaders and a couple of all-women bands.  Here's a sample.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle Rep’s show “Nina Simone Four Women” plays through June 2. It’s not a biography and it’s not a musical review. This “play with music” imagines Nina Simone in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, just after the 1963 bombing that killed four young girls. 

Eddie Palmieri performing at at the Tito Puente Amphitheather in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2005

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, and we'll celebrate with some new music from Mexican artists like Lila Downs and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Jazz Caliente this Saturday. 

We'll also salute the "Sun of Latin Music," Eddie Palmieri, who brings his Latin Jazz Septet to The Triple Door on Tuesday, May 7.

Brazilian saxophonist Daniela Spielmann
courtesy of the artist

Centrum in Port Townsend is celebrating its 10th year of presenting Choro workshops and concerts. This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll get to know some of the visiting Brazilian artists who make this very popular Centrum program thrive.