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.

Courtesy of Tom Collins

 

The KNKX School of Jazz hit the road for a performance at Seattle Pacific University's beautiful Nickerson Studios and we were knocked out by the talented sextet that makes up the S.P.U. Jazz Ensemble.

Guitarist Chase Rabideau told us that S.P.U. is one of the few places you can earn a degree in his chosen field, Music Therapy, right after showing off his beautiful acoustic guitar technique on the Antonio Carlos Jobim song "Look to the Sky."

The New Cool: Return Of Kamasi Washington

Apr 20, 2018
B+ (Brian Cross) mochilla.com/bplus

He sure has changed the idea of what a "full length" record is. Kamasi Washington follows his debut triple-album The Epic from 2015 with his double-LP follow up Heaven and Earth this Summer, and The New Cool previews an "epic" song from the new release this Saturday on KNKX.

Pianist Eliane Elias, cover photo from the album "Music From Man of La Mancha"
courtesy of the artist

Another stellar week of live Latin Jazz starts this Sunday in Seattle, including Cuban jazz and dance music, a Brazilian spin on the Tony-winning Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, and an artist who is at the forefront of the wave of Cuban millennials who are forging a new path with their music.  Here's the rundown:

The students from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash. performed effortlessly in our studios for their School Of Jazz studio performance. Led by trumpeter and mentor Bobby Medina, the group kicked off their performance with a rendition of “Girl From Ipanema.”

Next, the group performed “Just The Two Of Us” by American singer-songwriter Bill Withers.

The group listed their influences that ranged from their parents to jazz legends. The group finished their performance playing the jazz standard “Killer Joe” composed by Benny Golson. 

Courtesy of John Kessler

KNKX's long-time All Blues host, John Kessler was named Best Blues DJ at the 2018 Washington Blues Society "Best of the Blues" (B.B.) Awards on Sunday, April 15 at the Northwest Music Hall in Everett.  The awards show honored musicians, artists, events and venues nominated by Blues Society members in 32 award categories.  John was also nominated for this year's Keeping the Blues Alive Award. He won a national Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Memphis-based Blues Foundation in 2009.

The New Cool: Live Coolness In the PNW

Apr 13, 2018
Used with permission of the artist - facebook.com/lionelloueke

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and there are countless ways to celebrate around Puget Sound. Listen to jazz on KNKX, buy some jazz for Record Store Day, and take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to see and hear live jazz. This week on the New Cool we'll preview a few modern jazz shows in the coming weeks.

Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca performs at the Five Continents Jazz Festival, in Marseille, southern France, 2014.
AP Photo/Claude Paris

So many wonderful Cuban musicians are performing in Seattle in the next few months, I've started to refer to it as the "Cuban Invasion," and I'm excited to be introducing you to their music on Jazz Caliente.

Abe Beeson

The Boston-based trio Soulive are a busy bunch, though in most recent years you'll find guitarist Eric Krasno, keys player Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans playing with their own groups and as valuable sidemen. So the 5-song EP Cinematics, Vol 1 is like a desert oasis for thirsty fans of the original trio.

Gregor Huebner and El Violin Latino
Holger Keifel

Violinist Gregor Huebner has developed a signature sound inspired by traditional Latin American music.  This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a selection from his recording El Violin Latino.

Seventeen-year-old Daniela Rodriguez, who plays the trumpet in Lynnwood High School's Jazz Band, is KNKX's guest DJ on April 5 from 8-9 p.m.

Earshot Jazz Managing Director Karen Caropepe, 2018 Seattle Jazz Hero
Daniel Sheehan Photography (www.danielsheehan.com)

April is Jazz Appreciation Month; a celebration of America's homegrown art form all month long, ending with a global all-star concert on International Jazz Day, April 30.  This year's concert will be held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

In Seattle, the festivities began with a night of awards for musicians, presenters, educators and heroes.

Pianist Brenda Hopkins Miranda
courtesy of the arist/brendahopkinsmusic.com

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear a selection from innovative pianist and composer Brenda Hopkins Miranda.  Her sixth album is Puentes​ (bridges), and with this recording she succeeds in her intent to bridge differences in musical styles, traditions, languages and generations.

Support The New Cool on KNKX!

Mar 23, 2018
Abe Beeson

The Spring fund drive has arrived, and with it comes your opportunity to support The New Cool, your home for modern jazz on KNKX. Today's show will feature long time favorites like Snarky Puppy, The Bad Plus and The New Mastersounds.

The New Cool: Modern Jazz in the PNW

Mar 17, 2018
Michael Goude, Vibe Vision Seattle

The Pacific Northwest has a long musical tradition going back to vaudeville acts during the Gold Rush, and this corner of the country became home to early jazz, garage rock pioneers, the so-called "grunge" movement and many less-recognized but incredibly talented musicians. In the 2nd decade of the 21st Century, the Puget Sound region is filled with creative jazz musicians pushing their music past easily categorized genres. You'll hear a group of our Northwest neighbors in every set this week on The New Cool.

A Cuban flag waves in front of El Morro Castle in Havana, 2008
(AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

For St. Patrick's Day, Jazz Caliente takes a brief look at the long, rich history of Irish people in Cuba. 

Even the most iconic sight in Havana's harbor, the towering lighthouse at Morro Castle, was once known as the O'Donnell Lighthouse.  It was named in 1844 for Leopold O'Donnell, the Captain General and Governor of Cuba.

The New Cool: Syrinx Effect's Dynamic Duo

Mar 9, 2018
Daniel Sheehan, A Beautiful Day Photography

After two well-received shorter EP releases, the Seattle-Missoula connection of reed player Kate Olson and trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel - Syrinx Effect - are back with their first full length album, A Sky You Could Strike a Match On. To say it's striking would be an understatement, but a clever one.

Jesus Alemany, center, band leader of Cubanismo, directs a performance while playing trumpet at the Singapore Arts Festival, Tuesday, June 11, 2002.
Naashon Zalk / AP

"Cubanismo" is defined as something that's uniquely Cuban; that is, specific to the culture of the island and not common to the rest of Spanish-influenced Latin America.

Abe Beeson

Fifteen year-old Alli Wicklund, who attends Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, is KNKX's guest DJ on March 8th from 8-9 p.m.

The New Cool: Snarky Puppy Charms Seattle

Mar 2, 2018
Photo by Freudian Slurp guitarist Ian Hughes.

The entry to Seattle's Moore Theater is surrounded by scaffolding as the old building's facelift continues, inside the hall Snarky Puppy was doing a bit of construction of their own. They're building a new kind of instrumental music, and they've already built a fan base who love what they hear.

Pianist Ann Reynolds
photo by Jim Levitt / courtesy of the artist

This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear from some of the great Latin Jazz artists who make their home in the Seattle area.

The New Cool: Lance Ferguson's Hopeful Menagerie

Feb 23, 2018
Used with kind permission of the artist. @_lanceferguson_

Influenced by the vast history of jazz, and in particular the cosmic, spiritual music of the 70s featured on record labels like Strata-East and Oakland's Black Jazz Records, the new album from multi-instrumentalist and producer Lance Ferguson's Menagerie will fit comfortably in your record collection alongside new releases from Kamasi Washington and Snarky Puppy as well as classics from Pharoah Sanders and late-career John Coltrane.

School Of Jazz
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

They planned it out and executed flawlessly. The teens of drummer Elijah Baradi's Quintet were well prepared for their KNKX School of Jazz studio session. Unlike most groups of a high school age, this talented group from Interlake High in Bellevue played live on 88.5 without an adult mentor. They didn't need one.

Drumming since age 6, Baradi drives a strong rhythm section. The sophomore teams with seniors Mert Selcuk on piano and Kai Wagner at the upright bass, an instrument this electric bass player only recently picked up.

The New Cool: MAST Takes Monk to Space

Feb 16, 2018
Hand painted by Tokio Aoyama.

Multi-instrumentalist Tim Conley, performing as MAST, has just released a new collection of Thelonious Monk tunes. "Another one?" I hear you saying. Well, this collection of Monk tunes, simply titled Thelonious Sphere Monk, takes the jazz giant's music to wild electronic destinations. Thankfully, to a Monk fan like me, it really works.

Saxophonist David Sánchez and bassist Ricardo Rodriguez, 29 April 2007, Bimhuis Amsterdam
By Siebe van Ineveld Rotterdam, The Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons

Grammy-winning Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sánchez has a new musical project called "Carib."   The name of the project is a reference to the indigenous people of the region we know as the Caribbean.  Sánchez is performing this Saturday night at 8 at the Seattle Art Museum's Plestcheef Auditorium.

centrum.org

This year's Jazz Pt. Townsend is July 22-29 at Fort Worden State Park.

Spend a week living and learning with some of the finest musicians in the jazz world. Led by Artistic Director John Clayton, Jazz Port Townsend is the summer jazz camp designed to take you to the next level of musicianship. There’s a lot to learn at Jazz Port Townsend in 2018 and you'll be introduced to several faculty who are new this year. Whether it’s your first time here or your 33rd, you’ll find lots of fresh input on how to improve throughout the year.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman
Jay Blakesberg / courtesy of the artist

Joshua Redman's last visit to the KNKX Seattle studios was in 2015, for a live Studio Session with the Bad Plus.  He's coming to Tacoma to perform with the University of Puget Sound Jazz Band on Wednesday night, and he recently took a few minutes to catch us up.

Portland Jazz Festival Preview

Feb 12, 2018
Justin Steyer / KNKX

Now in its 15th year, the Portland Jazz Festival begins this week, running February 15th through the 25th. Always a great excuse to visit the Rose City, this year's jazz festival is wide-ranging and features jazz greats, Northwest favorites, and a number of tributes from all-star groups.

The New Cool: Jazzlandia in Portland

Feb 9, 2018
Used with kind permission of the artist.

The 15th Portland Jazz Festival begins February 15th, running through the 25th with big names like Abdullah Ibrahim, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Marcus Roberts and Dr. Lonnie Smith. On this week's New Cool show, we'll highlight a few of the modern jazz shows in Portland at this year's festival.

Percussionist Pete Escovedo performs at the "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina," a concert celebrating Hispanic musical heritage held on the South Lawn, Oct. 13, 2009.
Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It's all about family for percussionist/bandleader Pete Escovedo.

Eighteen year-old Kyle Bainbridge attends Edmonds-Woodway High School and is KNKX's guest DJ on February 8 from 8-9 p.m.

Pages