Pianist Elijah Allen-White from Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle will accompany Abe Beeson tonight at 8 p.m. (March 4) during Evening Jazz as guest DJ. Elijah is KNKX's first virtual guest student DJ. Listen to the show and read his Q&A.
Which instrument do you play and why?
I play the piano and the reason for that decision is very shallow. My brother began playing when he was around 7 years old and I was something like 5 or 6. I was equally fascinated and jealous of his developing skills, so I decided to copy his decision. Eleven years later I reap the rewards of that jealousy! I love the feeling of the keys and the timbre of the chords. I couldn’t imagine playing anything else. I also play the trumpet, but not well or long enough to tell a pompous story like the previous one.
What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
Duke Ellington’s "Sugar Hill Penthouse." This song is magical! The baritone sax solo introduces us to an environment of wonder. Each group of instruments acts independent of each other, expressing unique versions of a similar story. This song represents everything I love about music, storytelling, and the impact beautiful things can have and I love it to death for that.
Who is your jazz hero?
Jacob Collier. He has already done so much to change the genre – combining with other styles of music and creating styles purely through his own creativity – and he’s just started. I mean the guy is only 25 years old! I truly believe he has a long career ahead of him full of great and new music and I can’t wait to hear what he creates.
Barry Harris likes to say that jazz theory is the continuation of classical theory. I don’t think a genre has arrived which continues jazz theory, so it’s hard to find a reason not to study the latest and greatest form of composition.
ELIJAH ALLEN-WHITE'S PLAYLIST
"Symphony In Riffs” Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Live in Cuba)
“When It’s Sleep Time…” Wynton Marsalis (Standard Time 2: Intimacy Calling)
“Warm Valley” Duke Ellington/Charles Mingus/Max Roach (Money Jungle)
“Red Clay” Freddie Hubbard (Red Clay)
“Moon River” Jacob Collier (DJesse 2)
“Doralice” Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto (Getz/Gilberto)
“Blue Rondo A La Turk” Dave Brubeck (Time Out)
Follow and subscribe to Elijah Allen-White on his YouTube channel.