KNKX presented its 21st Annual Holiday Jam on Monday, December 4 at Edmonds Center for the Arts. The program featured the vocal jazz group Soundsation from Edmonds Community College under the direction of Kirk Marcy, the Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jake Bergevin and special guest vocalist, Olympia-based LaVon Hardison. The event was hosted by Abe Beeson and was performed in front of a sold out theatre.
Soundsation's set included beautiful a cappella versions of "Silent Night,” "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Winter Wonderland, all accompanied by a student instrumental trio. The LaVon Hardison Quartet, featuring Dr. David Deacon-Joyner on piano, Osama Afifi on bass and Jeff ‘Bongo’ Busch on drums performed a set that exhibited LaVon's warm vocals, including "Carol of the Bells" and "My Favorite Things." Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Ensemble demonstrated why they're consistently one of the top high school jazz programs in the country. The highlight of their set was soloist Natalie Whitlock's soulful vocals, channeling Ella Fitzgerald on the Duke Ellington tune, "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues." In addition to vocals, Natalie also plays alto sax and clarinet in the band. LaVon returned to the stage to join the Edmonds-Woodway High School band for an energetic set that included "Christmas Time is Here" and "Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag."
The Holiday Jam is just one of the ways KNKX gives back to the community. For the second year in a row, we partnered with Northwest Harvest to help those in need in our region. We were truly touched by the generosity and kindness of our listeners, who brought non-perishable food items to the event and filled four receptacles to the brim, which will be donated to Northwest Harvest.
The 2017 KNKX Holiday Jam will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day at 11AM PST.