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

A street in Havana, Cuba

ICYMI: The long-suffering people of Cuba have had enough. And, as always, Cuba's musicians and artists lead the way.

Pablo Gil, Sheila E. and Tony Succar.
Photo by Leigh Kelly

Two Latin music documentaries premiere on the PBS series "Great Performances" this month, starting Friday, July 9, with Gloria Estefan presenting "Sangre Yoruba," which focuses on Brazilian music. On Friday, July 16, it's "The Roots of Latin Jazz" hosted by Sheila E. and featuring Tony Succar's Raices Jazz Orchestra.

The Rumba Kings in action at the Triple Door, Seattle
courtesy of the artists

The Pacific Northwest's favorite Latin/Mediterranean/guitar extravaganza band The Rumba Kings have been busy during the COVID-19 lockdown. They've spent months improving and expanding their live show, and you can see it at the Triple Door Nov. 19 and 20.  

Drummer and social activist Terri Lyne Carrington
Tracy Love / courtesy of the artist

Jazz speaks to social issues, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s focus on equality informs her work at the Berklee School of Music as well as her new album. Robin Lloyd reports for Jazz Appreciation Month.

Nationwide recognition for jazz artists is a rare thing. The National Endowment for the Arts stepped up its mandate in 1982 to include jazz as an art form and celebrate those who advance it. Robin Lloyd introduces the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters for Jazz Appreciation Month.

John Dimitriou hard at work in his office at Jazz Alley
Ari Dimitriou

Jazz Appreciation Month brings recognition to the art form and to the artists who produce it. But did you know there are also awards for the behind-the-scenes supporters of jazz? Robin Lloyd has the scoop from jazz journalist Paul De Barros.

Grammy nominee Aymee Nuviola
Paulo Simeon / CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Grammy Awards will be televised this Sunday at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. On Saturday's Jazz Caliente, we'll sample the five nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album. Here's some background on each album, in the artists' own words.

Roberta Flack, 1976
By Atlantic Records / Public Domain

In 1969, Roberta Flack debuted with her album “First Takes.”  It included her version of a song written by Donny Hathaway, “Trying Times,” which addressed the civil disorder of the era.

Maceo Parker at the Liri Blues Festival, Italy, in 2009.
Simone Quattrociocchi

Maceo Parker had many influences growing up, but Ray Charles was number one.

Nina Simone
Verve Records

When Nina Simone had finally had enough, she wrote her first protest song in 1963.

Pianist and jazz educator Dr. Billy Taylor
North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

For Black History Month, Robin Lloyd honors Dr. Billy Taylor and his Civil Rights anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free.”

KNKX remembers the groundbreaking bandleader Blanche Calloway for Black History Month.

Fania All-Stars, 1980
Judy Morales / Fania Records

Johnny Pacheco, one of the "Fathers of Salsa," died on Feb. 15. He was 85. Jazz Caliente remembers this influential and beloved Dominican musician who brought a cross-cultural phenomenon to the world.

Carlos Cascante y su Tumbao, KNKX Studio Session 2013

Sunday is Valentine's Day, and Saturday's Jazz Caliente celebrates early with songs of love and longing, including a few slow-dance boleros for cuddling with your cutie.

George Gershwin 1898-1937
Bain News Service / Public Domain

Known as one of the most significant composers of American music, George Gershwin excelled in popular songs, Broadway musicals and even classical compositions. 

In February of 1932, George treated himself to a two-week vacation in Cuba. When he came back to the U.S., he wrote a short piece of music inspired by the rhythms he heard on the island.

Pete Escovedo and his daughter Sheila E in Rome, 2013
Jun Sato / Wireimage

Bay Area percussionist and bandleader Pete Escovedo was honored at last week's Jazz Education Network Virtual Conference as this year's Legend of Latin Jazz.

Cuban singer Omara Portuondo
Johann Sauty/Courtesy of the artist

The 21st annual Latin Grammy Awards will be televised on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m.  The Latin Grammys are incredibly complex and diverse. I encourage you to explore other categories, but for this week, Jazz Caliente samples five nominees for Best Latin Jazz/Jazz album and one for Best Contemporary Tropical/Fusion. 

Brazilian songwriter extraordinaire Milton Nascimento
João Couto

The music of two beloved Brazilian songwriters is being celebrated with two new albums that we'll sample this week on Saturday's Jazz Caliente.

CD cover Charlie Parker The Latin Bird
High Definition Jazz CD re-issue

Jazz Caliente this week starts with a Latin jazz tribute to the musical genius and innovator, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, on what would have been his 100th birthday.  We'll also get up to date on what's happening with Northwest favorites The Rumba Kings, and sample new music from the Bay Area's resident expert on rhythm, John Santos.

Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira
courtesy of the artist

This week on Jazz Caliente, I'll feature another song from Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa's latest album, Te Lo Dije, revisit the uniquely gifted trumpeter Gabriel Alegria and his Afro-Peruvian Sextet, and sample something new from Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira and his group The Blindfold Test.

Harold Lopez-Nussa shouts "I TOLD YOU SO" on the cover of his new album "Te Lo Dije"
courtesy of the artist

The capricious gods of remote broadcasting prevented us from hearing the new music that I had planned for last Saturday's Jazz Caliente. We're making up for it this week. Here is what's in store:

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

For Jazz Appreciation Month, Robin Lloyd salutes pianist, composer, and arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi. As a musician she is a trailblazer on the piano, in the jazz genre in her 64 year career, she has experienced many firsts.

Photo by Luz Mendoza on Unsplash

For Jazz Appreciation Month, Robin Lloyd focuses on three influential Latin Jazz musicians and composers who shaped their creative talents to lead others in new directions as bandleaders.

Mongo Santamaria plays the conga drums at the Super Jazz Concert at the Apollo Theater in New York on Saturday, Dec. 10, 1988.
William I. Ballinger / The Associated Press

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and we'll join the festivities on Jazz Caliente this Saturday by celebrating some Latin jazz artists' birthdays.

Percussionist and bandleader Ray Mantilla at Tuscia in Jazz Festival, 2008
Massimo Manconi / courtesy of the artist

Percussion master and beloved bandleader Ray Mantilla died on March 21. He was 85.

Album cover, Eddie Palmieri's Doin' It in the Park
courtesy of the artist / Alala Records

In case you missed it: Back in 2012, pianist/composer/bandleader Eddie Palmieri contributed his considerable skills to the soundtrack for a documentary film, Doin' It in the Park, an intense look at pick-up basketball culture in New York City parks. 

"You can play high school or college for four years. You can play pro for a decade. You can play pick-up...for life."

Violinist Regina Carter performs during the opening night concert of the SFJAZZ Center Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg / The Associated Press

In honor of Black History Month, we are taking a look into the career highlights of African American artists and their contribution to the world of jazz and blues. Robin Lloyd celebrates the diverse artistry of Regina Carter.

Omar Sosa and Yilian Cañizares
Franck Socha / courtesy of the artist

The gods of Latin jazz are truly smiling on Seattle right now. Here's a bit of background on two shows that you really should see.

Mary Lou Williams in 1947
Library of Congress via Flickr

In honor of Black History Month, we are taking a look into the career highlights of African American artists and their contribution to the world of jazz and blues. Here’s Robin Lloyd’s appreciation of jazz giant Mary Lou Williams.

Seattle Opera's production of "Charlie Parker's Yardbird" opens Feb. 22, and we were thrilled to have the lead tenor Joshua Stewart come in for a conversation and a preview, with accompanist David McDade at the piano.