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Spencer Day's ever-evolving musical journey brings him to the KNKX studios

For more than 20 years, singer and songwriter Spencer Day has graced stages worldwide with his honey-golden voice. For the first time in more than five years, he was in Seattle for shows at Dimitrou’s Jazz Alley.

Day had created original songs with a keen pen that unfolds life’s complexities in novel ways and is an adaptive interpreter of many styles ranging from Broadway songs, the great American songbook, modern pop and Mexican folk.

Since his major label debut, Vagabond in 2009, Day has continued on his journey with music. It has taken him from his hometown in rural Utah to Southern California, New York, London, San Francisco and Mexico.

Day began finding his gift for music in his late teens. He said it was a “divine intervention” of sorts when he got a Casio keyboard from a friend and began playing and writing songs. “It gave me a place to take all of these heavy feelings I was having,” he said during our session.

Day cites Chet Baker and Julie London as two of the first singers he heard who helped develop his style. He cites Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington as some of his early jazz favorites.

He played two originals at KNKX’s Seattle studio, “Till You Come to Me” and “Movie of Your Life,” and, for the first time in public, the Mexican song “Sabor A Mi.” Day and guitarist Brian Monroney discussed the song and decided to play a rendition after sharing a love for one of Mexico’s quintessential folk songs.

Mexican music is not completely foreign to Spencer. During the pandemic, he spent time in Mexico City and Guadalajara. He was semi-stranded there during the early days of the pandemic.

He told the audience during his studio session about being “a gringo in the right place at the right time” and found himself recording pandemic-related public service announcements in Guadalajara.

But playing music during his time there greatly impacted his upcoming project La Frontera which features musicians from the Mexican bandMariachi Vargas.

Musicians:

  • Spencer Day - vocals, piano
  • Brian Monroney - guitar

Songs:

  1. Till You Come To Me (Spencer Day)
  2. Sabor a Mí (Álvaro Carrillo)
  3. Movie of Your Life (Spencer Day)
Justus arrived from KBEM FM Jazz 88.5 in Minneapolis, and the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS), in the fall of 2023. For nine years he held many roles including Jazz Host and Production Director, producing a variety of programming highlighting new jazz artists, indigenous voices, veterans, history and beyond.
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