The 38th Annual Jazz Record Collectors Bash will kick off Friday, June 29th at the Hilton Woodbridge in Iselin, New Jersey, and run through Saturday June 30th. Those attending will be able to buy, sell, swap, and trade 78′s, LP’s, CD’s and memorabilia, as well as view some very rare jazz films. On Friday, jazz […]
Famous for his collaborations with Miles Davis, Evans brought orchestral colors and textures to jazz, and was a pioneer of the “cool” sound.
The Cuban trumpeter first met Dizzy Gillespie in 1977, when the American jazzman came to Havana to play a concert. It was the start of a friendship that would last until Gillespie’s death in 1993.
“Cookie cutter” students, young musicians in New York and the history of jazz in India.
In Boston, three professors and musical virtuosos meet weekly to give concerts of free improvisation — and have for four decades. One fan tells us about how she saw The Fringe so many times, the manager of the club finally offered her a job tending bar.
Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of songwriter and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Pianist-singer and Mercer enthusiast Daryl Sherman brings her sophisticated swing and witty charm to the show for performances of “Too Marvelous for Words” and “Jeepers Creepers.” McPartland joins in on one of her favorite Mercer tunes, “Skylark.”
Tampa Red was a slide guitar pioneer who helped create the template for modern blues. His distinctive use of single-string slide melodies in the 1920’s would go on to influence virtually every slide player who followed him, including Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters. In the days before amplification, he played a steel-bodied resonator guitar, […]
The Undead Music Festival hosts a nationwide “Night of the Living DIY” this Friday, organizing house concerts from Oakland to Brooklyn. As one grassroots concert presenter explains, living rooms might just be where improvisation thrives best.
For arranger Gil Evans’ centennial, we present a concert from the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival. Terence Blanchard plays Davis’ role with commitment and emotion.
Pianist Christian Sands has an old-school jazz education — yet loves to riff over Kanye West beats and arrange OutKast songs. Of course, if you follow improvised music today, this is far from unusual.
Plenty of instrumental bands conversant with today’s pop music come from a similar perspective with more creativity — if not attention. Here are five such groups that preserve the same keyboards-bass-drums lineup of the young Toronto trio.
His life reads like a blues song … 1920’s, a young preacher playing the blues, despite his church’s opposition. Kills a man in self-defense, 2 years in prison, and comes out to team up with the best-known blues man of the day, Charley Patton. After limited commercial success of his own, he fades from view, […]
Rarely-Heard Recording Includes Original Cookbook of Louis’ Most-Loved Recipes This release comes from Smithsonian Folkway Recordings. Jazz icon Louis Armstrong, always the consummate entertainer, turned a 1971 award ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington DC into an impromptu performance despite recent poor health. It was one of his last concerts before he passed […]
Known as the “First Lady of Jazz” singer Ella Fitzgerald was born April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. From rather humble beginnings Fitzgerald and her smooth, silky voice climbed to the top of the jazz world, reports Biography.com. During her long career she worked with greats from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Dizzy […]
In the first generation of be-bop musicians, Ray Brown was King of the Jazz Bass. Today, the ‘go-to’ jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we felt quite lucky when he said he had the time to stop into to KPLU studios for a performance with pianist, Peter Martin. Christian talked about his formative years, the […]
Originally, a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club in 1972, one of the last recordings of Louis Armstrong will be available widely for the first time via Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on April 24th as part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of the 11th annual Jazz Appreciation Month. Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and […]
Every so often, a barrage of articles and blog posts come out claiming that jazz has found the musician or musicians that are going to “save” jazz. More often than not, these musicians are achieving some current commercial success and popularity among a broad audience outside of the typical “jazz head” community. Recently, bassist/vocalist Esperanza […]
When pianist Lynne Arriale released her first CD in 1994, KPLU began playing music from it right away. It was clear to us that Lynne had that “something extra” that separates good musicians from great musicians. Over the course of her career she’s continued to build on that quality, so we were especially pleased to […]
Written by Nick Morrison from Jazz24 In this edition of Take Five, we wish a belated but happy 85th birthday to jazz pianist Dick Hyman. Born March 8, 1927, in New York City, the classically trained Hyman was drawn to jazz at an early age. Today, he’s a living, breathing, swinging encyclopedia of jazz piano history, […]
By Justin Steyer & Abe Beeson Tenor saxophonist/composer, Benny Golson is now in his second half-century as a touring and recording jazz artist. He began performing almost 60 years ago and recorded his first LP as a bandleader 55 years ago … and if his stop by the Jazz24 studios last week with pianist, Sharp […]
Blues singer and harmonica player, Kim Wilson, thinks it’s very healthy for people to drop their emotional guard every now and then and let themselves get smacked around by a great blues performance. And he should know. He’s been doing a fair amount of the smacking for almost 40 years with his bands, […]
“If you’ve got music in your heart, you’re gonna be a happy person, no matter what.” That’s what trumpeter Arturo Sandoval told KPLU’s Jazz on the Grooveyard host Kevin Kniestedt, as he recalls growing up in rural Cuba and having a trumpet teacher tell him (at age 10) that he had no talent and should […]
By Nick Morrison Pioneering jazz drummer Max Roach was born on Jan. 10, 1924 in Newland, N.C., and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. Roach began playing in New York jazz clubs in the early 1940s. From those early days until his death in 2007, he never stopped creating and exploring new possibilities for jazz drumming. In this […]
In November, Chick Corea celebrated his 70th birthday with four weeks of concerts at The Blue Note in New York. However, when he walked into the KPLU studios in early December it was impossible to see him as a 70-year-old man. He looks 20 years younger, acts 40 years younger and plays piano with […]
Written by Nick Morrison from Jazz24 The life of stride pianist Willie “The Lion” Smith was the stuff of legend, but unfortunately, some of that legend seems to have come from Smith’s own imagination. For example, Smith always claimed to have been born in 1897, but his WWI draft registration states that he was born 118 years […]
19-year-old saxophonist/singer, Grace Kelly is immensely gifted. She’s also a lot of fun to hang around with. Right before this studio session, interviewer Kevin Kniestedt asked her if she had already chosen the songs she would be performing that day. She said she might not know what songs she’d be doing until she did them, […]
John Scofield is one of the most innovative and genre-bending guitarists in jazz. Over the years, his great talent and eclectic tastes have garnered him a huge international following; a following which includes a lot of people who didn’t know they liked jazz until they heard Scofield. On a recent swing through Seattle, Scofield, along […]
When Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and Wayne Henderson (trombone) moved from Houston to LA to being their collective recording career, they called their band The Jazz Crusaders. Their focus was acoustic be-bop tinged with R&B and soul music. In 1971, they dropped the word ‘Jazz’ from their name, began delving into jazz-funk and […]
Written by Nick Morrison When jazz fans talk about the Texas Tenor saxophone sound, they’re talking about a sound which is very robust, sometimes raw, and which mixes the musical vocabularies of swing, bebop, blues and R&B. It’s that honking, bar-walking saxophone sound that used to blast from jukeboxes coast-to-coast. Here are five examples of […]
Brazilian-born, New York-based pianist/vocalist, Eliane Elias, has covered a lot of musical territory in her recording career. Some of her CD’s have been straight-ahead be-bop. Others have focused on Brazilian music. She has also very successfully transformed familiar pop tunes into fresh-sounding jazz. In this interview, KPLU’s Nick Francis asks Eliane how she balances all […]
In this studio session, we welcomed Donald Harrison (alto saxophone, congas) and Glen David Andrews (trombone), both of whom were born in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood, cut their musical teeth on the music of Treme, and can be seen in the HBO television series, Treme. Currently they’re also part of an ever-changing line-up of New […]
Relive last week’s studio session with vocalist/pianist, Karrin Allyson, who was joined by guitarist Rod Fleeman. Karrin has just released a CD called Round Midnight, which explores heartbreak. The first song she performed in this studio session was Paul Simon’s April Come She Will, from the new CD. “Choosing the material [for the CD] was […]
Written by Nick Morrison When blues guitarist and vocalist Stevie Ray Vaughan released Texas Flood in 1983, he introduced Texas blues to a much broader audience than it had previously known. His impact was great enough that even today, 21 years after his death, if you ask a music lover to name a Texas blues guitarist, he or she […]
When Julian Lage was 8 years old, his skill as a guitarist was the subject of a documentary film, Jules at Eight. Before he entered his teens, he had already performed with Carlos Santana and jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton. He made his first jazz recording with Burton at age 15, and at age 22 he […]
We were pleased to welcome jazz violin virtuoso, Regina Carter to the KPLU studios on June 1 for a unique performance and interview with Evening Jazz host, Abe Beeson. Accompanying Carter were Will Holshouser on accordion, and Yacouba Sissoko on the kora, a beautiful and unique African harp. The trio performed two selections from Carter’s […]
Pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend (and Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee), Allen Toussaint stopped by the Jazz24 studios on June 1 and took us on a sweet and uplifting trip to New Orleans with his music. Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious career in music. He has produced, written […]
At the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival, three-quarters of the stellar fusion band Return to Forever re-united. They are Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White on piano, bass and drums, respectively. Hear the highly charged acoustic set.
Pianist, Taylor Eigsti and vocalist/guitarist, Becca Stevens, stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios on May 16th to brighten an otherwise rainy Monday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest with an performance and interview, hosted by Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson. Both artists are in the process of building strong solo careers for themselves. However, their paths […]
Live sessions in the KPLU Performance Studio are always fun. However, when saxophonist, Joe Lovano, stopped by with his group, Us Five, it was more than fun. It was also an honor. New York Times jazz critic, Ben Ratliff, put it very succinctly: “It’s fair to say that (Lovano’s) one of the greatest musicians in […]
Some jazz singers excel at singing standards. Others excel at scat-singing or vocalese (writing lyrics for instrumental improvisations and singing them). However, Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling can do it all. He easily proved it in front of a small studio audience of Leadership Circle members on April 15th with along with two long-time musical […]
KPLU was pleased to welcome ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, into our studios on March 29, 2011. Jake played before not only a record number of KPLU Leadership Circle members, but four young ukulele players from Foster High School we recently featured in an installment of Artscape, which explored the rising popularity of the ukulele in […]
Written by Nick Morrison When is a holiday not actually a holiday in America? Well, when it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. Although March 17 is a national holiday in Ireland — and, according to Wikipedia, a public holiday in Montserrat, Newfoundland and Labrador — it’s not an official U.S. holiday, which makes it perhaps the most […]
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Having guitarist/vocalist/storyteller, John Pizzarelli, as a guest in the KPLU studios is always great fun. He loves making music, he loves telling stories and he loves entertaining his fans. When he visited us recently for this performance/interview with Abe Beeson, several members of the KPLU Leadership […]
Written by Nick Morrison The traditions of Mardi Gras are a huge part of New Orleans’ cultural identity. They’ve been evolving since the mid-1700s, and for the past century or so, the music of the Crescent City has provided the thread that ties all these traditions together. It’s history you can dance to, and you […]
By Nick Morrison Jazz pianist, arranger and composer Tadd Dameron was born 94 years ago on Feb. 21, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio. During the 1940s and ’50s, after working for several years as an arranger for big bands (including those of Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie), Dameron focused his considerable compositional talents on the emerging jazz style called […]
When pianist Benny Green agreed to come to KPLU’s Seattle studios for a solo piano performance he was on tour with his band doing a tribute to the music of Thelonious Monk so it seemed logical to have his studio session consist of Monk compositions. That was the plan, anyway … However, just before the […]
Esperanza Spalding walked into the KPLU Seattle studios like some teenaged gunslinger. However, she’d been working full time in music for most of her 25 years, and her chosen weapon was a double-bass that reached just above her impressive afro. Now a Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist (take that, Justin Bieber!), I’ve recently […]
The Vijay Iyer Trio’s latest release, Historicity, won a number of “Album Of The Year” awards in 2010 and has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy as “Best Jazz Instrumental Album.” Pianist, Vijay Iyer, seems pleased by this recognition but not really fazed by it. In fact, during his trio’s visit to the KPLU […]
This studio session marks the first visit from pianist, Jacky Terrasson, to the KPLU/Jazz24 studios. We hope it’s the first of many. In a stunning three-song set, Jacky left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today. With bassist Ben Williams (winner of the annual Thelonious Monk […]
Martin Taylor is widely considered to be one of today’s finest solo jazz guitarists. While still in his early 20’s, he was introduced to the world’s jazz audience as the guitarist with Stephane Grappelli, a gypsy-jazz violinist and co-founder (along with Django Reinhardt) of the Quintette du Hot Club de France. But Martin’s familiarity with […]
By Nick Morrison The holiday spirit, powerful though it may be, just doesn’t work for everybody: Some folks simply hate the season. Maybe they’re lonely, maybe they’re broke, maybe they’re depressed, maybe they’re killjoys. Whatever the reason, “Jingle Bells” isn’t everyone’s cup of egg nog. If you count yourself among their ranks, here’s a list […]
Vocalist, Bethany Yarrow, and cellist, Rufus Cappadocia gave an incredible performance in the Jazz24/KPLU studios on November 9, 2010. Vocalist, Bethany Yarrow, and cellist, Rufus Cappadocia make an incredible amount of music for just two people. Bethany, daughter of Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), first met Rufus at The Knitting Factory in Manhattan. They’re […]
By Nick Morrison Phil Woods has one of the most distinctive alto saxophone sounds in jazz. He was born on Nov. 2, 1931, joined the bebop revolution in the late ’40s, graduated from Julliard School of Music in 1952 and was recording as bandleader by 1954. Since then, he’s produced more than 40 recordings under his […]
When The Manhattan Transfer (Tim Hauser, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, Janis Siegal) came into the Jazz24/KPLU performance studio, they had literally just gotten off an airplane. A little jet-lagged but ready to sing, they kicked of the session with their version of Moten Swing. When the song was over, interviewer Abe Beeson asked, “Is it […]
As the son of actor/director/jazz fan, Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood grew up listening to jazz. In this performance-interview hosted by Abe Beeson, Kyle talks about a childhood trip to The Monterey Jazz Festival and how hearing the Count Basie Big Band that day inspired him to become a bass player. For the past few […]
When Lee came into the Jazz24/KPLU studios on an unseasonably cool August afternoon, he arrived with a rhythm section hot enough to raise Seattle’s temperature a few degrees: drummer, Will Kennedy and bassist, Melvin Davis. Together, they laid down three delightful tracks; Water’s Edge, L.P.—For Les Paul, and Freddie Hubbard’s composition, Povo (watch the video […]
When blues singer, Shemekia Copeland performs live, it’s almost guaranteed to be an electrifying experience. In this session, recorded in KPLU’s Seattle studios, we get a rare opportunity to hear Shemekia’s voice in an intimate performance context. Instead of bringing her whole band, Shemekia arrived with just her guitar player, Arthur Neilson.
Here’s a rare treat; a solo performance from 6-time Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist, Gary Burton. In his 50-year (and counting) recording career, Burton has recorded with many different group configurations and has done a number of duo recordings with artists including bassist, Steve Swallow, guitarist, Ralph Towner and most famously, pianist, Chick Corea, but we rarely […]
Jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, is one of our favorite guests in the KPLU/Jazz24 studios. Not only is he widely acclaimed as perhaps the finest solo, acoustic jazz guitarist alive, he’s always great company. Whenever his touring schedule brings him to Seattle, we make sure he pays us a visit. In this lively conversation with jazz […]
Grammy-winning Trumpeter Roy Hargrove performed live at KPLU’s Seattle studios on December 2, hosted by Abe Beeson. Hargrove was accompanied in the studio by pianist Jonathan Batiste, bassist Ameen Saleem, saxophonist Justin Robinson, and drummer Montez Coleman as they performed three songs: Low Life, For Tamisha, and Soulful.
Speaking with Jazz24/KPLU jazz host, Kevin Kniestedt, Eldar talked about his family’s move from Kyrgyzstan to Kansas City as a child, and how much he learned from that city’s veteran jazz musicians. Eldar also showcased his improvisational and compositional skills with three solo piano pieces, I Should Care, Insensitive and his own Vanilla Sky/Exposition.
In 1965, Chicago jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis had a hit record—‘The In Crowd’ (by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, featuring drummer Redd Holt and bassist, Eldee Young). Since that time, Lewis has recorded over 80 albums. He has also hosted the popular Legends Of Jazz radio and television series’. Now, at age 74, Ramsey Lewis is […]