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

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

As we welcomed Lynnwood’s Meadowdale High School Jazz Combo into the KPLU live performance studio, they looked like normal, hard-working music students.  When they started to play, however, it was soon clear to us that we were hearing a band that was a cut above.  

Along with their mentor, trumpeter Michael Van Bebber, the combo nailed each of the 3 songs they performed.  If you have doubts about whether or not high school students can really play jazz, listen to this session.  Your doubts will disappear.  Out thanks to the band for such a fine performance and kudos to the band’s director, Jeff Horenstein.

I don’t get up to Vancouver, B.C. nearly enough. It’s a massive, international city with gorgeous scenery and lots to do, and I even have friends there. So wouldn’t you know, it took a jazz festival to get me back across our northern border.

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Issaquah High School's Danny Quaranta is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of June.  Danny's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 4th.  To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Danny to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The Interlake High School Jazz Combo is doing it right.  They’ve got chops, poise and the ability to select and arrange great material.  

Of course, some of that ability to select and arrange might—just might—be aided and abetted by the band’s director, Paul Gillespie, and/or their mentor, jazz trumpeter, Thomas Marriott.  

In this studio session, the band (with Marriott sitting in) performed three songs:  This Is For Albert (by Wayne Shorter), Stoner Hill (by Brian Blade) and Sonny Rollin’s classic, Doxy, here given an inventive treatment by the band.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Bellevue High School's Jake Escobar is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of May.  Jake's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 7th.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Jake to answer a few questions about jazz:

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Everett High School's Jackson Cruz is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Jackson's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 9.  

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Puget Sound Community School's Margaux Bouchegnies is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Margaux's hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5.  

Martha Kang

As part of the KPLU School Of Jazz project, we present regional high school jazz bands in our Studio Sessions.  The bands, under the direction of their faculty band-director perform three songs, as well as getting the chance to talk about what jazz means to them.

Courtesy of Luke Davis

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Black Hills High School’s Luke Davis is KPLU’s guest DJ for the month of February. To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Luke to answer a few questions about jazz:

Justin Steyer

In 2015 the ongoing KPLU School Of Jazz program expanded its opportunities for high school jazz bands by beginning to feature them in our series of live Studio Sessions from our Seattle studios. The first group is this sextet from the Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. David Bentley.  

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Interlake High School's Carlos Eiene is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of January.  Carlos' hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 8.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Carlos to answer a few questions about jazz:

Courtesy of Kaelyn Stanton

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Lynnwood High's Kaelyn Nicole Stanton is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of December. To get to know her better, we asked 16-year-old Kaelyn to answer a few questions about jazz:

Aaron Hushagen

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

North Thurston High junior Eli Moffatt is KPLU's guest DJ for the month of November. To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Eli to answer a few questions about jazz:

Justin Steyer / KPLU

We wrapped up KPLU's School of Jazz week with a special treat for our audience: a live in-studio performance from the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo, accompanied by trombonist David Marriott and led by director Edd George. 

The combo includes:

  • Trumpet: Alex Clark
  • Alto Sax: Griffin Hale
  • Tenor Sax: Winston Zhang
  • Baritone Sax: Jungwoo Lee
  • Bass: Jake Escobar
  • Piano: Melvin Soestrisno
  • Drums: Sean Mahoney

The KPLU School of Jazz, Volume 10 CD is now available.

For more information about the School of Jazz program, and to purchase your copy of this years CD, please visit SchoolofJazz.org.

KPLU School of Jazz-Volume 10 (physical CD) is available for purchase here - or order a digital copy below.

Several of Western Washington’s finest high school jazz programs and jazz professionals are showcased on KPLU School of Jazz-Volume 9, the station’s latest CD release which is the culmination of this year’s mentoring project.

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