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 bgoldstein@knkx.org.

School Of Jazz sponsors: Alaska Airlines and BECU

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

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.  


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. 


ABE BEESON / KNKX

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.

We had some wonderful guest student DJs from all over the region in 2018. For our first student DJ hour of 2019, which aired Jan. 3, Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson compiled 11 songs that appeared on student DJ playlists from last year.   

Abe Beeson / KNKX

Saxophone player Noah Barr and trumpet player Rafael de Ocampo — juniors from Redmond High School — graced the KNKX studios Dec. 6 as guest DJs for the evening. Listen to the show and read a Q&A with Barr. 


KNKX jazz host Abe Beeson hosted a recorded studio session with three dynamic combos at Jazz Port Townsend 2018.  The two trios and a quintet were there attending Centrum's 44th annual jazz workshop, experiencing a week filled with living and learning under the tutelage of some of the finest jazz musicians in the world.  The workshop is open to all ages of participants. 

ABE BEESON / KNKX

Trumpet player Mauricio Hernandez plays for the Edmonds Community College Jazz Band and is KNKX's guest DJ on November 8 from 8 - 9 p.m. He also plays trumpet in the band, Mauricio & the Jazzhounds.

ABE BEESON / KNKX

Fifteen year-old bass player Andrew Vinther is a sophmore at Mountlake Terrace High School and is KNKX's guest DJ on October 4 from 8 - 9 p.m. He is also co-leader of the band, Blue North Trio. See them live at the Red Twig in Edmonds every Friday from 5 - 7 p.m.


Dylan Hayes
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We first encountered talented pianist Dylan Hayes performing with a trio at Centrum's Jazz Pt. Townsend camp this Summer, and we knew this young man was ready for the KNKX studios.

Hayes is in his final year studying jazz at Cornish College in Seattle, and he brought a fellow student and a few friends in town for a sonic display of his skills as a player, bandleader and composer.

KNKX hosted students of Seattle JazzED's Summer Advanced Institute for a second time in August, and the kids set a new record for largest group to play in our studios.

A total of 29 students split into 3 combos with mentors Riley Mulhelkar (trumpeter with the Westerlies, this Seattle native now lives in New York City), Sammy Miller (New York-based drummer who leads Sammy Miller and the Congregation), and Marina Albero (the Spanish pianist who's thrilled Seattle audiences upon her arrival in 2014).

ABE BEESON / KNKX

Sixteen year-old Jahnvi Madan is a senior at Newport High School and is KNKX's guest DJ on September 6 from 8 - 9 pm. She plays clarinet and baritone saxophone.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It was a fun jazz session with a great group of students, which included two different schools and a variety of age groups.  The energy brought by some of the young lions melded nicely with the older aesthetic.

The first song by Sun Ra titled “El is a Sound of Joy.” Mentor Keyboardist Josh Rawlings was happy to hear the group was already doing the song and encouraged them to “get weirder on it” and to explore the dynamic range and tempo.

ABE BEESON/KNKX

Eighteen year-old Ben McCall, who recently graduated Stadium High School is KNKX’s guest DJ on August 2 from 8-9pm on Evening Jazz. He will be attending Gonzaga University in the Fall.    


ABE BEESON/KNKX

Eighteen year-old Conrad Medina, who recently graduated Auburn Mountainview High School is KNKX’s guest DJ on July 5 from 8-9pm. Conrad received the “Louis Armstrong Award” at his High School in recognition of his outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to the program. It is the highest level interscholastic award given to a musician. He will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall. 

Abe Beeson/KNKX

Seventeen year-old Ballard High School junior Joe Fotheringham shares his favorite jazz with Abe Beeson on Thursday, June 7 from 8-9 p.m. on KNKX's Evening Jazz.  Joe received an Honorable Mention-Trumpet Soloist at the recent Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in New York City.

Students from Central Washington University and pianist Dawn Clement performed in our Seattle studios for a special School of Jazz performance.

Bassist Domi Edson arranged the first tune, a lively fun rendition of Chick Corea’s “Spain.” She said she has most of her ideas for arrangements at night when trying to fall asleep. It was fun watching Owen Evans, Ryan McKnight and Henry Sparks trading solos on the alto saxophone, tenor saxophone and trombone.

Mountlake Terrace High School
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We welcomed an energetic and skilled high school combo into our studios with Mountlake Terrace.  Band members included leader Ethan Pyke on trombone, Benjamin Leonard on tenor sax, Henry Smith-Hunt on trombone, Gian Neri on guitar, Andrew Vinther on bass, Josh Setala on drums and Dimitrio Neri on piano.  

Issac Ford and Ian McTamaney, who attend Kelso High school, are KNKX's guest DJs on May 3 from 8-9 p.m.

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 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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Abe Beeson/KNKX

Seventeen year-old Marianna (Anna) Aptacy attends Bellevue High School.  She shares an hour of her favorite jazz Thursday, January 4 from 8-9 p.m. on KNKX's Evening Jazz with Abe Beeson.

Jim Sisko performs with students from Bothell High School.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

From their perch in the suburbs, just northeast of Seattle, the jazz program at Bothell High School is producing some powerhouse musicians. This all-star ensemble’s performance with mentor Jim Sisko was a bold statement that these teens can keep up with anybody.

The front line horns of Richard Connelley's trombone and Preston Lee's sax have earned valuable experience working with Sisko's big band, and they showed it. Both took daring solos and pushed each song with their enthusiasm.

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