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Blues singer Janiva Magness takes the next step

Justin Steyer
Blues powerhouse, Janiva Magness, performing in the KPLU Seattle studios on May 15, 2012.

Blues singer Janiva Magness just released a new CD, Stronger For It, and was recently in town performing at Jazz Alley. She and her 4-piece band visited KPLU’s Seattle Studio and performed 4 songs from the new CD. It’s her 9th release, but the first to feature songs written by her.

Along the way, we talk about the evolution of her music over the years, how it’s moved from a more traditional sound to a more rootsy and soulful place. She also opens up a bit about the emotional life of a singer, the toll it takes and the satisfaction it brings.

Another first is that her touring band also played on the album, and their live sound is very polished, with tight arrangements. The band is Zach Zunis-guitar, Gary Davenport-bass, Jim Alfredson-keys and Matt Tecu-drums. They all sing, and it really ups the energy when all 5 are harmonizing together.

KPLU has been playing Janiva’s music for many years, well before her rise to the top ranks of the blues world, and we were very happy to welcome her for this session.

Justin joined KNKX in 2009 as the station's first Multimedia Manager. In this role, Justin helped to produce multimedia content, and implement systems and procedures in efforts to transform KNKX from a traditional broadcast station into a multi-platform media organization.
John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KNKX since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KNKX “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.