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KNKX: Studio Sessions

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Listen to all of KNKX's amazing in-studio performances.

Listen to all of KNKX's amazing in-studio performances.
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Location:

Tacoma, WA

Description:

Listen to all of KNKX's amazing in-studio performances.

Twitter:

@KPLU

Language:

English

Contact:

12180 Park Ave S. Tacoma, WA 98447 253-535-7758


Episodes

Singer Kenny Washington Shares His Jazz Secrets

6/14/2018
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It's not a well-kept secret, at least in the Bay Area where he's been called the "Superman" of their jazz scene, but Kenny Washington's incredible vocal talents are just starting to get noticed. When he performed live in our studios, it was easy to see he's more comfortable as Clark Kent than the Man of Steel. Kenny Washington was raised in America's jazz and party capital of New Orleans, but his father kept him away from the wild atmosphere of the French Quarter. His early musical...

Duration:00:35:08

Jacqueline Tabor Celebrates The Joy In Jazz

6/9/2018
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As a sharp-witted friend noted recently, singer Jacqueline Tabor is " ruining the dour jazz musician stereotype!" The KNKX studio session audience was certainly drawn into the fun when Jacqueline celebrated her new album with The 200 Trio live on KNKX. The Lady in the Gown , title inspired by our own Nick Morrison's thoughts on Tabor's previous studio session here, features mostly classic jazz standards. There's a reason these songs are still performed, they're both perfectly constructed...

Duration:00:25:59

Bad News Botanists Cultivate Funky Live Fun

5/25/2018
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Enjoying a year that has brought his band a lot of positive attention, saxophonist Frank Vitolo brought his Bad News Botanists to our studios for a fun session of original funky jazz. It was a preview of their performance on The New Cool stage at the Northwest Folklife Festival, and more proof that this band is making its mark. Powered by a solid grooving rhythm section of drummer Heather Thomas and bassist Marina Christopher, who just won the Golden Ear award for Emerging Artist of the...

Duration:00:29:40

José James Performs Bill Withers

5/23/2018
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Like a painter that uses the entire range of his color palette, vocalist Jose James has spent the last ten years working in a wide variety of musical arenas - jazz, soul, R&B, hip hop, pop, electronica, and experimental music. His albums have ranged from a brilliant tribute to Billie Holiday, all the way to a very personal and modern work called "Love In A Time Of Madness." One music critic has noted that his albums are like "a box of chocolates." One thing though, whatever Jose James...

Duration:00:30:08

Jacob Szekely's New Frontiers In Jazz Cello

5/16/2018
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He's not just a terrific player and songwriter, cellist Jacob Szekely is blazing a path for future jazz cellists to follow. With his trio live in our studios, it's clear that his instrument is ready for the jazz spotlight. Szekely told us that the traditional way of learning cello makes it nearly impossible to translate those skills to improvisation, so he retrained himself to play in a new way. He's also co-founded the String Project of Los Angeles to give other cellists a fresh direction...

Duration:00:41:18

The Solo Side Of Danny Green

4/27/2018
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Before his performance in our studios, pianist Danny Green told me he hadn't played many solo shows. In fact, his new album One Day It Will adds a string quartet to his long-running trio. After three dazzling songs, however, it was clear Green has plenty to say on his own. With Justin Grinell on bass and Julien Cantelm drumming, Danny Green's previous trio album Altered Narratives featured a string quartet on a handful of songs. Green enjoyed that process so much he decided to write a full...

Duration:00:30:54

Joe T. Cook Blues Band Live On KNKX

4/19/2018
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This truck-driving, harmonica-blowing Bluesman won multiple awards in his hometown Minneapolis for his ace songwriting, singing and playing. Then about 10 years ago, Joe Cook moved his family to Seattle and had to start his musical career over again. He started going to some of the many local Blues jam sessions, where he met and teamed up with some of this area’s hottest Blues players. Joe’s massive harmonica “chops” and intensity remind me of Little Walter, Kim Wilson and Sugar Blue. A...

Duration:00:31:00

Spike Wilner's New York Jazz Comes To Seattle

4/6/2018
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On his path to musical self-discovery, pianist Spike Wilner set out to make himself a part of his New York City community. He'd buy old pianos and give them to bars for free, in exchange for a regular night for Spike to play there. We were happy to provide a freshly tuned piano to Spike when he brought his New York friends with him for a spirited Studio Session. About a decade ago, Wilner took over operations of the Greenwich Village jazz club Small's. He's made it a home for what he calls...

Duration:00:44:10

Marcia Ball Shines Bright

4/3/2018
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Pianist and songwriter Marcia Ball brought her signature swampy, bluesy, boogie-woogie roadhouse sound to our studio to celebrate the impending release of her latest album Shine Bright , which comes out April 20. Marcia’s won ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and had five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State...

Duration:00:28:33

Steve Treseler, Saxophonist In Motion

3/30/2018
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We've grown accustomed to his face, sax player Steve Treseler had performed in the KNKX studios as a sideman and as a mentor to School of Jazz combos, and his own dynamic "In Motion" quartet was a highly anticipated session for us all. Treseler talked about his early mentors, including sax great Jerry Bergonzi, who taught his young student to love practicing as a way to celebrate a love for your instrument and the intimate act of playing what you feel. The "In Motion" quartet explored...

Duration:00:36:51

Seattle's Hometown 200 Trio

3/26/2018
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Just a couple years after bringing guitarist Cole Schuster and bassist Greg Feingold from the Berklee College of Music to Seattle, drummer Max Holmberg and the 200 Trio have certainly endeared themselves to their new hometown. The threesome are playing all over Seattle, including the Triple Door's Musicquarium Lounge, exclusive "Hidden Jazz Club" shows through Air B&B, and at Egan's Ballard Jam House, where Jim Wilke recorded their new second album, Trinity . Following on a debut of...

Duration:00:33:03

Yale's Redhot & Blue Visit The KNKX Studios

3/23/2018
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Out studio audience had an acapella treat with Redhot & Blue, a 12-piece vocal ensemble from Yale University. The group kicked off the session with a swinging rendition of “Zoot Suit Riot” featuring bass singer Denis Tse. The touring group was founded in 1977 and named after the Cole Porter musical and as homage to Porter himself who graduated Yale in 1911. Alto Dani Schulman also doubles as tour manager and described how the group formed and how it’s influences include pop and rock but...

Duration:00:26:13

Seattle's Stuart MacDonald's Jazz Journey

3/12/2018
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Picking up his first saxophone in 5th grade, Stuart MacDonald made the most of the Seattle school system's jazz educators. Today, working on his Masters in jazz studies at the University of Washington, his education continues even as he teaches younger players a thing or two on the bandstand. Plenty of work as a sideman has honed MacDonald's playing to a fine point, his ability to play in reggae and funk settings don't seem to distract from his own musical point of view. He's a creative...

Duration:00:33:18

Ranger & The Re-Arrangers Do Gypsy Jazz Their Own Way

3/9/2018
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Violin player, composer and bandleader Ranger Sciacca is a massive fan of gypsy jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt, and his partner, violinist Stephane Grappelli. That said, Ranger's band isn't like most groups who play in this swinging style. The swing is still the motor that makes this band move, but the Re-Arrangers are breaking some of the unspoken rules of gypsy jazz bands. There's no lead guitar, that role is filled by the acoustic and electric mandolin of Dave Stewart. Such bands...

Duration:00:26:51

Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints Meet Sundae + Mr. Goessl

3/6/2018
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Sharing a guitarist and a studio session performance, Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints split time with the duo Sundae + Mr. Goessl in the KNKX studios, both excited to share new music from upcoming albums. Jason Goessl plays guitar in both bands, and it felt like hanging out in the living room with your most musically talented friends. The new Gin Joints album is called Western Swing and transports the listener back in time to when jazz, country music and even early rock n roll were powered...

Duration:00:33:12

Pearl Django Live In The KNKX Studios

2/28/2018
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Pearl Django once again graced our studio for a lively performance that included founding member Guitarist Neil Andersson, now living and working as a painter in California. The group was preparing for a stint at Jazz Alley and gave our studio audience a short preview. They kicked things off with a lively rendition of “With Friends Like These” written by Tim Lerch and inspired by the song “Just Friends.” It is the title track to the group’s current release, which also features Andersson....

Duration:00:28:38

The Triumphant Return Of The Rumba Kings

2/22/2018
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It’s only been 8 months since the Rumba Kings’ first Studio Session on KNKX, but we couldn’t resist their excitement over releasing their first recording, a double-disc CD: The Instrumental and Vocal Sessions, Volume One. Once again, their energy and virtuosity delighted our listeners. The Rumba Kings bold and romantic blend of Latin, Mediterranean and Gypsy music is irresistible! The Band: Johnny Bacolas, bass; George Stevens, guitar; Teddy Adams, guitar; Andrey Zasypkin, drums; Tor...

Duration:00:18:41

Bren Plummer - Fresh Jazz, Allstar Band

2/14/2018
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Bassist and composer Bren Plummer has put together a tasty band of Northwest allstars for his latest album, Moldy Figs . From Jay Thomas (trumpet) to Stuart MacDonald (sax), D'Vonne Lewis (drums) and Susan Pascal (vibraphone) as well as guitarist Frank Seeburger, it's a group of talented players and bandleaders themselves. Pascal may have put it best when she explained that she finds Plummer's music fresh and challenging, just what a good jazz musician wants to play. Surely it's exciting....

Duration:00:28:33

Cliff Colon's Contraband Returns To The Jazz Arcade

2/6/2018
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Following by ten years his original Contraband project, tenor sax player Cliff Colon has reformed the group to create more compelling modern jazz drawn from the melodies of late 80s video games. Whatever that looks like on paper to you, in practice Contraband Reloaded sounds like a genius. Colon says he remembers hearing rock bands cover these musical themes, but the world of modern jazz is a perfect setting to turn acorns of 8-bit melodies into mighty oak trees of creativity. A repetitive...

Duration:00:34:53

Brent Jensen Plays Paul Desmond And More

1/31/2018
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Alto and soprano sax player Brent Jensen says no matter which horn he plays, people often tell him he sounds like Paul Desmond. That's a high compliment indeed, but live in the KNKX studios Jensen showed he's no imitator. You've probably heard Brent Jensen playing around the Northwest, or from his hit debut album on Seattle's Origin Records, The Sound of a Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond from 2002. But he's only just recently moved to the Puget Sound region about a year ago and says...

Duration:00:35:09