Jazz and Blues | KNKX

Jazz and Blues

News about jazz, blues, Studio Sessions, and music samplings from jazz artists in the northwest and around the world.

Abe Beeson

The double jazz festivals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia later this month (June 21 through July 1) feature many wonderful modern jazz groups. Happily, a few of them will make the border crossing to entertain Seattle audiences. Others will require a passport. Tune in Saturday afternoon to hear a few of them on The New Cool.

winthropbluesfestival.org

Bill Frisell Trio

Jun 14, 2019
jazzalley.com

Courtesy of Amina Figarova

marymoorconcerts.com

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

With one of the area's finest trumpet players acting as mentor, the all-star ensemble from Ballard High School's award-winning jazz program proved that these young musicians belong in any conversation about the northwest's finest teenage jazz bands.

Artwork designed by Andrew Adams.

With a new single and accompanying video just released, and more recordings nearly ready to share, Tacoma's progressive jazz quartet Velocity are shifting into a higher gear. I caught the band at Seattle's Seamonster Lounge earlier this week to ask them about the new release and their plans for the summer.

ABE BEESON / KNKX

Tenor Saxophonist Evan Snoey from Ballard High School visited our studios June 6 at 8 p.m. as a guest DJ. Listen to his hour and read his playlist. 

"Conversation" sculpture, Plaza de San Francisco, Havana, Cuba
Robn Lloyd / KNKX

This week, the Trump administration brought back drastic restrictions on travel to Cuba. Setting aside the political, economic and philosophical debates, here's a baker's dozen of fond memories from my trip to Cuba in 2013 with a delightful group of KNKX listeners.

The New Cool: Saturday night's all right for jazz

May 31, 2019

KNKX listeners know that Saturday night belongs to All Blues on 88.5 FM, but the modern jazz lineup around town this Saturday is creating difficult choices for New Cool fans. You'll hear from The Bad Plus, Barrett Martin Group and Samantha Boshnack's Seismic Belt on the show in the afternoon, with all three bands performing later that night.

Trumpeter Etienne Charles
courtesy of the artist

A troop of fine trumpeters from around the world liven up this week's Jazz Caliente. Here's the scoop.

Guitarist Daniel Girón
courtesy of the artist

The term "Latin jazz" may conjure images of lots of drums, percussion and horns, but let's not forget the guitars. This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a few great guitarists from Columbia, Brazil and right in our own backyard.

The New Cool: Upcoming live modern jazz

May 17, 2019
Abe Beeson

The nights are getting longer in the Northwest, and there's plenty of live modern jazz sounds to be found around Seattle. This week's New Cool previews several hot dates in Seattle over the next seven days, including two shows presented by KNKX.

Earshot Jazz poster design by Lauren Beauchemin.

Before we start, that's not a typo. It's a band name. Thiefs is a modern jazz trio spanning the Atlantic with musicians based in Paris and New York City. As I discovered on my recent vacation, Paris has many similarities to New York. The big city hustle and international "melting pot" communities, the youthful energy and progressive attitudes all come through on Thiefs' impressive second album, last year's Graft (La Greffe).

Monika Herzig's Sheroes
courtesy of the artist

Jazz Caliente observes Mother's Day this Saturday with a focus on women instrumentalists, bandleaders and a couple of all-women bands.  Here's a sample.

Cameron Allen

Saxophonists Cameron Allen and Jonah Panzer from Stadium High School in Tacoma will take over our Seattle studios tonight (May 9) at 8 p.m. as guests DJs. Listen to the show and read a Q&A with Cameron and Jonah. 


Eddie Palmieri performing at at the Tito Puente Amphitheather in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2005
HERMINIO RODRIGUEZ / AP

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, and we'll celebrate with some new music from Mexican artists like Lila Downs and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Jazz Caliente this Saturday. 

We'll also salute the "Sun of Latin Music," Eddie Palmieri, who brings his Latin Jazz Septet to The Triple Door on Tuesday, May 7.

Sixty years ago, this month, Miles Davis finished recording Kind of Blue, perhaps his greatest masterpiece and still jazz's bestselling album. But it was not the only milestone recorded that year.

Brazilian saxophonist Daniela Spielmann
courtesy of the artist

Centrum in Port Townsend is celebrating its 10th year of presenting Choro workshops and concerts. This week on Jazz Caliente, we'll get to know some of the visiting Brazilian artists who make this very popular Centrum program thrive.

The New Cool: The sky's the limit for Cloud Six

Apr 19, 2019
Photo by Carisa Lolmaugh

Lifelong love for local musicians has always meant expanding one's definition of "Northwest," and I'm happy to push the boundaries of our scene to Portland to call Cloud Six our neighbors. With their self-titled debut release out last fall, the muscular horn-driven sextet shows that the Rose City's musical reputation holds strong.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

After nearly two decades leading the bands at Timberline High School in Lacey, Cal Anderson knows he has some special players on his hands now. Performing three varied standards in the KNKX studios, these five young men impressed our audience and their mentor, Andy Omdahl.

James Carter is set to perform Saturday night at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.
Monica Morgan / Courtesy of American International Artists

Multi-instrumentalist James Carter performs with Symphony Tacoma this Saturday evening, April 20, at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma. "Saxophone Fusion" presents compositions derived from diverse cultures that feature the luscious sounds of the saxophone with the rich harmonies of the orchestra. 

Design by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AXS).

Spring is flowering, and The New Cool looks ahead to summer as ticket sales begin today for what's sure to be the biggest jazz event of the year. Lifelong musical innovator Herbie Hancock is co-headlining a tour with one of the hottest new voices in jazz today, saxophonist Kamasi Washington. The 10-date (so far) tour brings them to Marymoor Park in Redmond on Aug. 16, and you can expect that tickets will be gone long before then.

Pianist/composer Ann Reynolds enjoying the movement of Cuban jazz
Steve Korn

Ann Reynolds' second Clave Gringa CD, Joy, will be celebrated at a release party at the Royal Room in Seattle on Sunday, April 21.

Ann and I recently chatted about her fascination with Cuban music, and about the new album, part of which was recorded in Cuba with Cuban musicians. 

We were so please to have the Mercer Island High School Combo for a School Of Jazz studio performance. Not only did they play some challenging works – they were also able to let us on their musical influences as well as why they love jazz.  Band teacher Brian Lawrence described how he chose the tunes for the session.  You can catch Dan Marcus preforming with EntreMundos and well as coaching the Seattle Youth Symphony.  

Musicians:

Trumpet: Brennan Tien

Trumpet: Justin Lesko

Alto Saxophone: Cindy Huang

Piano: Harry Brown

Bass: Grady Short

The New Cool: Hailing the female future of jazz

Apr 5, 2019
"I believe the (female) children are our future....
Parker Miles Blohm/KNKX

This week, Seattle JazzED's Girls Ellington Project makes jazz history. They became the first all-female band to compete in a national high school jazz competition, one of just 12 groups invited to the Savannah Music Festival's Swing Central Jazz Competition. The battle of these teenage bands took place earlier this morning, and the Girls Ellington Project made all of us proud, despite missing out on the finals. And they reminded us that the future of jazz is, slowly, becoming more and more female.

Drummer Ignacio Berroa
courtesy of the artist

The foremost authority on Afro-Cuban jazz drumming will appear with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra for three concerts next week. If you're quick, you might be able to pick up the last few remaining tickets.

Let's get to know Havana-born Ignacio Berroa!

ABE BEESON / KNKX

Alto saxophonist Natalie Whitlock will join Abe Beeson tonight (April 4)  at 8 p.m. as guest DJ. She is a senior and plays in the jazz band at Edmonds Woodway High School. Listen to the show and read her Q&A and playlist.  


Abe Beeson

Drummer, composer, band leader Barrett Martin returns with a new CD this spring. The worldwide release date for Songs of the Firebird is May 10. The official release show, in conjunction with the release of Martin's new book of short stories, "The Way of the Zen Cowboy," is June 1 at the Royal Room. You'll hear the world broadcast premier — of the CD, not the book — coming up Saturday on The New Cool.

Pianist, educator and social activist Danilo Pérez
photo courtesy of the artist / Mack Avenue Records/Danilo Pérez

The prolific pianist, educator and social activist Danilo Pérez will be appearing with the University of Puget Sound Jazz Orchestra on Friday, April 5.

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