School Of Jazz | KNKX

School Of Jazz

Since 2005, School of Jazz has demonstrated a commitment to jazz education; in fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of KNKX’s mission as the station’s signature community outreach program.  School of Jazz provides mentorship, learning and performance opportunities to Western Washington middle school, high school and college jazz students.  Since its inception, School of Jazz has directly impacted over 3,000 jazz students, band directors and professional musicians.


Before COVID-19, every month during the school year KNKX invited a student jazz combo and professional mentor to perform in our studios, which were recorded.  KNKX’s Abe Beeson also hosted a year-round monthly student DJ to share an hour of their favorite jazz.  Check out the hundreds of in-student performances and student DJ segments on this page.


Now that in-person interactions and public gatherings have been greatly impacted, artists are occupying the virtual events space, which includes music students.  So—if you are the director of a Western Washington school jazz program (including a big band or combo) or a jazz student who’s created digital content during COVID-19—please send it to us and we might post it on the School of Jazz page.  And if you’re a jazz student who’s interested in being a KNKX student DJ, we’d like to know that, too.  Please contact Brenda Goldstein-Young at

School Of Jazz sponsors: Alaska AirlinesBECU, Beacon Plumbing and Half Price Books


Alto saxophonist Anna McPherson from Snohomish High School will virtually join Abe Beeson on Evening Jazz tonight at 8 p.m. (Sept. 3) as guest DJ. She is a sophomore and in the school's band program. Listen to her show and read her Q&A.


Musicians of all ages are demonstrating their creativity and resourcefulness while sheltering in place during COVID-19.  Here's what some jazz students from regional middle school, high school and college music programs are doing to keep the music alive, and uplift us during these challenging times.  If you are a jazz student or band director with digital content to share with KNKX, please contact Brenda Goldstein-Young at


Trumpeter Jonah Elbaum from West Seattle High School will take over Evening Jazz with Abe Beeson tonight at 8 p.m. (Aug. 6) as guest DJ. He is a junior and in the school's jazz band. He is also an aspiring filmmaker. Listen to his show and read his Q&A. 

Austin Miller

Trumpeter Austin Miller from Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens joins Abe Beeson tonight at 8 p.m. (July 2) during Evening Jazz as guest DJ. Austin also plays the horn and is in the wind ensemble at his high school. Listen to the show and read his Q&A.

Pianist Elijah Allen-White from Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle will accompany Abe Beeson tonight at 8 p.m. (March 4) during Evening Jazz as guest DJ.  Elijah is KNKX's first virtual guest student DJ.  Listen to the show and read his Q&A.


Multi-instrumentalist Nicolas Lofgren from Bainbridge High School on Bainbridge Island will take over Evening Jazz with Abe Beeson as guest DJ at 8 p.m. tonight (March 5). Nicolas is a senior and plays lead alto in the jazz band at his high school. He also plays clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones. Listen to the show and read his Q&A. 

G. Alvarado

Saxophonist and singer G. Alvarado from Bellarmine Preparatory High School in Tacoma will join Abe Beeson as guest DJ during Evening Jazz at 8 p.m. tonight (Feb. 6). G. is a senior and does solo and trio performances outside of school. Listen to the show and read his Q&A and playlist. 

Located between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, Decatur High School in Federal Way is in prime position to soak up all the arts activities on offer. And these teenagers are creating their own art as part of a successful and still-growing jazz program.

Snohomish High School's band program celebrates it's 90th year this year, and the allstar jazz ensemble showed us how talented their musicians are. With saxophonists Kate Olson and Brent Jensen in mentor and instructor roles, it's clear there's some fantastic jazz blowing down from the north.

Adrian Florez

Ingraham High School's jazz program is booming, expanding to include a pair of big bands under the direction of Shane Henderson. With their mentor, saxophonist Peter Daniel, Ingraham's all-star jazz ensemble showed off their passion for this music in the KNKX studios with a trio of classic tunes.


Trumpeter David Kaiser from Shorecrest High School in Shoreline will join Abe Beeson as guest DJ during Evening Jazz at 8 p.m. tonight (Jan. 2). David is a senior and play’s in the Shorecrest High School jazz band. Listen to his show and playlist. 

Drummer E.J. Brannan from Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds will join Abe Beeson as guest DJ during Evening Jazz at 8 p.m. tonight (Dec. 5). E.J. is a senior and play's in Edmond-Woodway's jazz band. Listen to his show and playlist.

For a third time, KNKX hosted an all-star jazz ensemble from Central Washington University for a studio session performance. The fresh faces of this combo did have some familiarity, with two former School of Jazz high schoolers in the group as well as our friend, saxophonist Mark Taylor, acting as mentor.


Saxophonist Ethan Buck at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley joins Abe Beeson tonight (Nov. 7) in the 8 o' clock hour as guest DJ during Evening Jazz. Ethan is a senior and plays in Tahoma's jazz band. Listen to the show and read his playlist. 


Guitarist Faye Alesse from Roosevelt High School in Seattle joins Abe Beeson tonight (Oct. 10) at 8 p.m. as guest DJ during Evening Jazz. Faye is a junior and plays in Roosevelt's jazz band. Listen to the show and read her Q&A and playlist. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Jazz musicians are always learning, and thanks to Seattle's nonprofit Jazz Night School program, students ages 10-74 are getting that education. An all-star ensemble mentored by trumpet and sax player Jay Thomas showed us how fun the early stages of learning jazz can be at any age.


Alto Saxophonist Shaina Ellis from Central Washington University in Ellensburg will join Abe Beeson tonight (Sept. 5) at 8 p.m. as guest DJ. Listen to the show and read her Q&A and playlist. 

Drummer Matt Wilson's student ensemble at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend.
Tom Collins

Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend jazz camp is an educational opportunity for students of all ages. On my visit to the camp and jazz festival last month, I took my opportunity to ask some of the younger campers what they thought of modern jazz, who their favorite modern musicians are, and what they're generation will contribute to the future of this ever-changing art form.

Under the direction of Jim Sisko for the past seven years, the jazz program at Bellevue College is emphasizing a more diverse set of musical skills. The well respected big band remains, but students are focusing more on small groups, improvisation, arranging and composition. When Sisko brought an all-star combo from the college into the KNKX studios, he told us that new focus is paying dividends.

Abe Beeson / KNKX

KNKX celebrates six alumni from our School of Jazz! Abe Beeson co-hosts the 8 o'clock hour tonight with young jazz musicians who are home from college. Listen to their stories and hear about the role that jazz plays in their lives today.  

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.


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. 

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. 

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.

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.  


Trumpet: Brennan Tien

Trumpet: Justin Lesko

Alto Saxophone: Cindy Huang

Piano: Harry Brown

Bass: Grady Short


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.  

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The all-star jazz ensemble from Monroe High School, calling themselves Kelsey and the Boys, showed their love of jazz in the KNKX studios. The session provided a good reminder that as the Northwest grows, the once-small-town of Monroe is growing an impressive jazz program.

Abe Beeson / KNKX

Bass player Bridget Shelton from Bainbridge High School will take over our KNKX studios as guest DJ at 8 p.m. tonight (March 7). Listen to the show and read her Q&A and playlist. 


From Temple University Jazz Band in Philadelphia, freshman Preston Lee took over the eight o' clock hour on Feb. 7 as guest DJ at our KNKX studios. Listen to the show and read his playlist. 

Kenji Wagner plyaing trumpet in the KNKX Seattle stuidos.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Asked about learning jazz in the red-hot Northwest scene, Interlake High School junior Kenji Wagner told us the best part is sharing jazz with the community of teenage musicians he encounters.