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Pianist Noah Haidu visits KNKX with a legendary rhythm section

Pianist Noah Haidu’s love of the jazz tradition, and his modern perspective on the music, make him one of the hottest musicians in New York City today. Playing two nights at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle, Haidu was joined by a pair of jazz icons to honor Keith Jarrett’s standards trio.

In recent years, Haidu’s regular trio is anything but “regular,” with rhythm section legends Buster Williams and Billy Hart on bass and drums. The three recently released Haidu’s Standards II, a second collection of tunes from the Great American Songbook.

While Hart recently visited the KNKX studios with The Cookers, Haidu's trio for this session was rounded out by the great Lenny White on drums.

Williams and White are best known for their work with Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and others in the fusion era. The two more than kept up with their younger bandleader.

Haidu spoke with KNKX about finding his voice as a composer and how the complications of bringing a band together to play his original music led to his current focus: improvising around the most loved songs of the past century.

We also heard about the most influential pianists for Haidu’s rhythm section mates.

Williams pointed to Jazz Messengers pianist Sam Dockery, a mentor who let the young bassist come to his house “from breakfast until dinnertime,” helping prepare Williams to “play in the big time.”

White credited Corea with giving him an opportunity to lead and compose his own songs. “I grew up as a man and composer being in his band,” White said.

Haidu led the trio through an abstract version of “Someday My Prince Will Come,,” and a beautiful reading of the ballad “What a Difference a Day Makes,” before picking up the tempo on “Just One of Those Things” that featured passionate solos from all three musicians.

Haidu remained coy about his next musical moves, saying: “I keep my projects under wraps to keep a little guesswork and mystery around it.”

Whatever the future holds for the musicians in this trio, KNKX is proud to present this sparkling improvisational occasion to you.


  • Noah Haidu - piano
  • Buster Williams - bass
  • Lenny White - drums


  1. Someday My Prince Will Come
  2. What a Difference a Day Makes
  3. Just One of Those Things
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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