Studio Sessions | KNKX

Studio Sessions

Studio Sessions from KNKX feature some of the best jazz and blues musicians performing in the KNKX studios in downtown Seattle, WA. Featuring artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Gregory Porter, Christian McBride and more!

Sonny Landreth in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably heard Sonny Landreth.  He’s a south-west Louisiana slide guitarist who played and recorded for several years with singer/songwriter, John Hiatt and his band ‘The Goners.’  He recently kicked off a 3-week tour on a double bill with boogie-woogie pianist, Marcia Ball and we got him in the studio for this very special solo performance.

Marina Albero (right) and friends will stream a live concert from virus-ridden Seattle this Sunday night at 7. Left to Right: Adriana Giordano, Jacqueline Tabor, Chava Mirel
Marina Albero

Successful musicians often need to be creative hustlers to make a living as artists. With the COVID-19 outbreak leading to increasing concert cancellations, those hustling skills are being put to a serious test. One musician, pianist Marina Albero, is experimenting with a new way for musicians to connect with their audience — virtually.

Stephanie Anne Johnson in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Stephanie Anne Johnson and The Hidogs stopped by KNKX studios and performed four songs from their new album, Take This Love. A Tacoma native, Johnson came to national attention as a finalist on NBC’s "The Voice" in 2013, and has developed a unique singing and songwriting style that draws on blues, soul and country.


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.

The smiles were wide and contagious when Martin Taylor and Frank Vignola returned to the KNKX studios for a guitar duet performance. Regarded as two of the best acoustic guitarists in the world, our studio audience was thrilled to share their intense love of music and joy of playing that came shining through.

Tiptons Saxophone Quartet in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet and Drums was formed in Seattle in 1988. Now with only Amy Denio still based in the Puget Sound area, the Tiptons roll on. A new album is due in March, and with their performance in the KNKX studios, the Tiptons showed they're at the top of their game.

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.

The Westerlies in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

The Westerlies unique combination of two trumpets and two trombones, nothing else, has been described as "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous." In the KNKX studios, these four Northwest natives, now based in New York, were simply four brass players having a lot of fun.

Roxy Coss in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

Roxy Coss grew up with a motto in her house that always stuck with her: do what you love, and the money will follow. She's taken that idea to heart, "making decisions based on passion rather than fear," she says. The music Coss makes is passionate, fearless and incredibly cool. The proof is in her new retrospective album, Quintet.

Janiva Magness is one of our best known and most decorated singers, with 26 Blues Music Award nominations, and seven wins, among them BB King Entertainer of the Year. Her 2016 album Love Wins Againwas nominated for a Grammy, and she just released her 15th studio album, Change in the Weather.

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.

Emmet Cohen performing in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Pianist Emmet Cohen has a passion for music, and still in his late 20s, he's only begun to share that passion with audiences and fellow musicians. That love shone brightly in the KNKX studios as Cohen led his trio through a brief set of songs previewing his Earshot Jazz Festival concert that night.

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. 

Madeleine Peyroux in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On her last visit to the KNKX studios, singer and songwriter Madeleine Peyroux was debuting music from her then-upcoming album Anthem in a duet with pianist Andy Ezrin. On this return visit, Ms. Peyroux accompanied herself on guitar and brought in longtime friend Steve Cardenas on guitar for her recent single "On My Own," as well as an old favorite and a brand new original song.

Nate Wood of Kneebody.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Having just flown in that day from Vancouver, the four men of Kneebody settled into the KNKX studios to briefly catch their breath and play a few songs. Their new album Chapters comes out Oct. 18, and their world tour is kicking into gear.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On the afternoon of opening up for Kneebody, one of their favorite bands, our Portland friends Trio Subtonic played the same role in the KNKX studios. Spirits were high, and the trio brought a pair of exciting additions.

Saxophonist Peter Daniel
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Peter Daniel is a busy guy. He's the leader of the 45th St Brass, plays with the New Orleans-influenced funk group Super Krewe, appears on recent records from Lucky Brown & the SGs and Marina & the Dreamboats, and has toured with electro duo Odesza and alt-popper Father John Misty. "When you say it like that, it sounds like a problem," Daniel says.

Jontavious Willis in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

At 22 years of age, Jontavious Willis is already a formidable blues talent. Largely self-taught, he has highly developed skills at Delta and Piedmont guitar styles, as well as playing banjo and harmonica. In 2015, his talent got the attention of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo, who took him on tour and helped him fund and produce his latest release, Spectacular Class

Tierney Sutton and Ann Hampton Callaway
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When singers Tierney Sutton and Ann Hampton Callaway visit the KNKX studios, it's always a pleasure and a thrill. When the two of them join forces, it's a superhero-caliber dynamic duo of jazz.

Sara Gazarek
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Though some jazz fans around the Seattle area will always think of Sara Gazarek as the talented young singer with the Roosevelt High jazz band, her new album Thirsty Ghost is making waves around the world. Back in the KNKX studios, Gazarek told us how this album is different from previous efforts, and why the accolades it's receiving is so gratifying.

Kareem Kandi
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

About 25 years into his career, Kareem Kandi is one of the key figures in the Northwest jazz community. For his third visit to the KNKX studios, Kandi's interchangeable World Orchestra band featured one of Portland's finest musicians, George Colligan, for this delightful meeting of extended I-5 neighbors.

Otis Taylor performing in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Otis Taylor is a unique Blues artist for many reasons. With 15 studio albums and 12 Blues Music Awards, he has made his mark as an originator of Trance Blues, a style that describes his mesmerizing approach to music and the blues.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

“I’m a true believer,” trumpeter Marquis Hill told us. The modern, acoustic sounds of his Blacktet draws inspiration from across the history of jazz. It’s also music of the 21st century, created by young musicians who see a distinct through line that renders genres meaningless. “It’s a continuum,” Hill says. “It’s all connected.”

Marica Ball in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

She's a legend of blues piano, but singer-songwriter Marcia Ball is so charming you quickly consider her a good friend. In the KNKX studios, our audience cheered on Ball and her band like they were gathered for a good time on the front porch.


Larry Fuller
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Celebrating his new album Overjoyed, pianist Larry Fuller returned to the KNKX studios to play a few songs and talk about his working trio, his partners on the new album, and feeling good at the piano.

 

Some of the earliest music of America, created by the enslaved Africans and their descendants along the country’s southeastern coast, is getting a fresh makeover by the young musicians of Ranky Tanky. They performed four songs from their hit second album, Good Time, to a loving studio audience here at KNKX that we’re proud to share with you.


Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Since he was a teenager, guitarist Lee Ritenour has been proud to call Dave Grusin his friend. While in Seattle for a stretch of nights at Jazz Alley, Lee and Dave returned to the KNKX studios to play together and for each other.

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.

Greta Matassa's new CD "Portrait," cover art by her father James Goehle.
Abe Beeson / KNKX

  

A true icon of Northwest jazz stopped by the KNKX studios recently. Singer, songwriter, educator, bandleader Greta Matassa has been a professional musician since her teen years, and was recently inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame. With her long-running band, Matassa gave an appreciative studio audience a thrilling taste of her new album, Portrait. Featuring a portrait of Greta's mother painted by Greta's father, Portrait gets the CD release party treatment at Egan's in Ballard on June 29.

Will Bernard in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

  

Before starting our studio session with Brooklyn-based guitarist Will Bernard, with Seattle favorites Joe Doria and Tarik Abouzied on organ and drums, I told him most of the interview would focus on "the out-of-towner." Will said, "wait, I'm here all the time!" 

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