Live Studio Sessions | KNKX

Live Studio Sessions

Abe Beeson

Paris-based pianist and composer Alex Monfort recently reminded me that it's been two years since the release of his excellent trio album Introspection. A little over a year ago, Monfort made his Seattle debut at Tula's. Hear Monfort on The New Cool Saturday, and listen close for a chance to win a copy of the CD.

Stephanie Anne Johnson in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Stephanie Anne Johnson and The Hidogs stopped by KNKX studios and performed four songs from their new album, Take This Love. A Tacoma native, Johnson came to national attention as a finalist on NBC’s "The Voice" in 2013, and has developed a unique singing and songwriting style that draws on blues, soul and country.


The smiles were wide and contagious when Martin Taylor and Frank Vignola returned to the KNKX studios for a guitar duet performance. Regarded as two of the best acoustic guitarists in the world, our studio audience was thrilled to share their intense love of music and joy of playing that came shining through.

Roxy Coss in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

Roxy Coss grew up with a motto in her house that always stuck with her: do what you love, and the money will follow. She's taken that idea to heart, "making decisions based on passion rather than fear," she says. The music Coss makes is passionate, fearless and incredibly cool. The proof is in her new retrospective album, Quintet.

Janiva Magness is one of our best known and most decorated singers, with 26 Blues Music Award nominations, and seven wins, among them BB King Entertainer of the Year. Her 2016 album Love Wins Againwas nominated for a Grammy, and she just released her 15th studio album, Change in the Weather.

Saxophonist Peter Daniel
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Peter Daniel is a busy guy. He's the leader of the 45th St Brass, plays with the New Orleans-influenced funk group Super Krewe, appears on recent records from Lucky Brown & the SGs and Marina & the Dreamboats, and has toured with electro duo Odesza and alt-popper Father John Misty. "When you say it like that, it sounds like a problem," Daniel says.

Jontavious Willis in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

At 22 years of age, Jontavious Willis is already a formidable blues talent. Largely self-taught, he has highly developed skills at Delta and Piedmont guitar styles, as well as playing banjo and harmonica. In 2015, his talent got the attention of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo, who took him on tour and helped him fund and produce his latest release, Spectacular Class

Tierney Sutton and Ann Hampton Callaway
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When singers Tierney Sutton and Ann Hampton Callaway visit the KNKX studios, it's always a pleasure and a thrill. When the two of them join forces, it's a superhero-caliber dynamic duo of jazz.

Sara Gazarek
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Though some jazz fans around the Seattle area will always think of Sara Gazarek as the talented young singer with the Roosevelt High jazz band, her new album Thirsty Ghost is making waves around the world. Back in the KNKX studios, Gazarek told us how this album is different from previous efforts, and why the accolades it's receiving is so gratifying.

Kareem Kandi
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

About 25 years into his career, Kareem Kandi is one of the key figures in the Northwest jazz community. For his third visit to the KNKX studios, Kandi's interchangeable World Orchestra band featured one of Portland's finest musicians, George Colligan, for this delightful meeting of extended I-5 neighbors.

Otis Taylor performing in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Otis Taylor is a unique Blues artist for many reasons. With 15 studio albums and 12 Blues Music Awards, he has made his mark as an originator of Trance Blues, a style that describes his mesmerizing approach to music and the blues.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

“I’m a true believer,” trumpeter Marquis Hill told us. The modern, acoustic sounds of his Blacktet draws inspiration from across the history of jazz. It’s also music of the 21st century, created by young musicians who see a distinct through line that renders genres meaningless. “It’s a continuum,” Hill says. “It’s all connected.”

Marica Ball in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

She's a legend of blues piano, but singer-songwriter Marcia Ball is so charming you quickly consider her a good friend. In the KNKX studios, our audience cheered on Ball and her band like they were gathered for a good time on the front porch.


Larry Fuller
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Celebrating his new album Overjoyed, pianist Larry Fuller returned to the KNKX studios to play a few songs and talk about his working trio, his partners on the new album, and feeling good at the piano.

 

Some of the earliest music of America, created by the enslaved Africans and their descendants along the country’s southeastern coast, is getting a fresh makeover by the young musicians of Ranky Tanky. They performed four songs from their hit second album, Good Time, to a loving studio audience here at KNKX that we’re proud to share with you.


Will Bernard in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

  

Before starting our studio session with Brooklyn-based guitarist Will Bernard, with Seattle favorites Joe Doria and Tarik Abouzied on organ and drums, I told him most of the interview would focus on "the out-of-towner." Will said, "wait, I'm here all the time!" 

Xavier LeXavier Lecouturier in the KNKX Seattle studios. couturier
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Performing in the KNKX studios, young jazz upstarts Dylan Hayes (keyboards) and Xavier Lecouturier compose intricate jazz with improvisational energy. It's a tricky balancing act that these two Californians continue to refine, made easier by their relatively longtime working relationship.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle Rep’s show “Nina Simone Four Women” plays through June 2. It’s not a biography and it’s not a musical review. This “play with music” imagines Nina Simone in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, just after the 1963 bombing that killed four young girls. 

LaVon Hardison
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Vocalist LaVon Hardison joined KNKX Public Radio for a fun-filled studio session. She kicked off with a playful version of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash. Hardison says she chooses songs based on interesting or beautiful melody, or a lyric that tells a story. 

The Rumba Kings performing
Courtesy of The Rumba Kings

There are only a handful of artists who have performed more than twice on our live KNKX Studio Sessions. We’re thrilled that The Rumba Kings have hit the mark!  

Catherine Russell in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It seems the timing was just right for Catherine Russell’s third KNKX studio session. Her new album, Alone Together, had risen to the top of the jazz charts. Also, the just-ended fund drive had all of us in the mood to celebrate.

Omar Sosa
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The message of Transparent Water is to heed nature’s warnings and protect our most important resource.

Pianist Omar Sosa travels the world, looking to make musical connections. His Afro-Cuban heritage blends magically with the other members of this trio.     

BrandonLee Cierley of 322.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Saxophonist BrandonLee Cierley has now performed in the KNKX studios four times, the first as a student at PLU with his band director, David Deacon-Joyner in the lead. Now, after a third session with his own band, 322, Cierley is coming into his own as a player and a band leader.

Sinne Eeg
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

With her recent debut at Jazz Alley nearly selling out, there’s no doubt that Danish jazz singer Sinne Eeg is gradually growing her fanbase in the United States.

Reid Anderson of The Bad Plus in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

After 17 years with pianist Ethan Iverson, Orrin Evans made his Seattle debut with The Bad Plus to sold out shows. Stopping by for a live session at the KNKX studios, it was clear that the moods of bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King had improved for the better, and their playing showed it.

Los Angeles-based Seattle native Sara Gazarek returned to Seattle for a series of performances at Jazz Alley recently, billed as a Seattle-only, new-album preview. 


Wayne Horvitz in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The perpetually busy pianist, composer, arranger, educator and bandleader Wayne Horvitz brought his recently formed Snowghost Trio to the KNKX studios for a live performance. Added to his piano and the bass-and-drums combo of Geoff Harper and Eric Eagle, Sarah Shoenbeck brought her bassoon to the proceedings for a wonderful selection of music, both beautiful and strange.

Pianist Jonas Myers
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Making a debut appearance in the KNKX studios, the Seattle-based The Walking Hat Trio seemed a little nervous while warming up for their first-ever live broadcast. But once the music started, our audience got an earful of fresh, confident swinging and impressive new music.

Cory Weeds in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Four of the Northwest's top jazz musicians teamed up to celebrate a new release of sax great Cannonball Adderley's band with concerts around Puget Sound. A delightful addition to the group was the longtime drummer in Adderley's '60s band, the charming Roy McCurdy.

Jacob Zimmerman in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On both saxophone and clarinet, Jacob Zimmerman is a versatile musician working with various bands around Puget Sound. For his own group, this master of creative swinging jazz focuses on the remarkable transition from big-band swing to small group bebop in the 1940s.

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