Abe Beeson

Evening Jazz Host

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KPLU, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and he's been hosting Evening Jazz since 1998.

His most memorable KPLU radio moments include introducing Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson and other greats; attending the San Sebastian Jazz Festival in Spain with a group of KPLU jazz fans; and locking himself out of the station on a particularly cold winter night.

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Studio Sessions
2:31 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Creation And Resurrection (Of Songs)

Cécile McLorin Salvant performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on February 19, 2014.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Cecile McLorin Salvant is one of the best young jazz singers to appear on the scene in years.  She’s the prefect combination of what many think a great singer should be.  She creates her own songs, allowing us to see the world through her eyes and she also combs American music history looking for semi-obscure gems to polish and present to a new audience. 

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Studio Sessions
11:24 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Grace Kelly With The Marc Seales Trio

Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist/vocalist, Grace Kelly has just released her 8th CD, and she is only 21 years old. Those two facts kind of say it all. Grace is a prodigiously talented musician. 

She’s also delightful company, which is why we were so happy to receive a return visit from Grace for a KPLU Studio Session. 

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Studio Sessions
2:13 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Bucky Pizzarelli With Pearl Django

Bucky Pizzarelli (right) with Pearl Django's Michael Gray in the KPLU studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Recently, guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli visited Seattle to play a series of shows with Northwest gypsy jazz band, Pearl Django. On a cold January day, they all came into the KPLU studios to play… and things warmed up fast.

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Studio Sessions
1:40 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Rachelle Ferrell: Singing Her Way To A Higher Plane

Rachelle Ferrell performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

To say that the voice of singer Rachelle Ferrel  is supple would be to understate its magnificence. Ms. Ferrel’s voice has a 6-octave range which conveys deep and surprising levels of emotion.

As you can imagine, KPLU was very proud to host her and her pianist, Mo Pleasure, in an intimate studio session.

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Studio Sessions
3:01 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Why We 'Simply Love' Halie Loren

Halie Loren performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on October 15, 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

On a beautiful fall day, jazz singer/songwriter, Halie Loren, made her second visit to KPLU’s performance studio. 

Her first live KPLU performance was so well received in the fall of 2012, we couldn’t resist inviting her back as she passed through town on a tour that celebrates the release of her latest CD, Simply Love

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Studio Sessions
12:45 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Pat Martino And James Carter: Two Generations Of Jazz Power

Left to right: Pat Bianchi (organ), Pat Martino (guitar), Carmen Intorre (drums), jazz host Abe Beeson, and James Carter (saxophone).
Justin Steyer KPLU

Guitarist Pat Martino and saxophonist James Carter might be separated in age by a generation but musically, they’re absolute equals—Martino is just as agile and innovative on his guitar as Carter is on his saxophone.

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Studio Sessions
2:23 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Nellie McKay: Quiet Anarchist

Nellie McKay performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

OK, maybe "anarchist" is too harsh a word to apply to singer/songwriter/pianist/ukulele player, Nellie McKay, but as you will hear in this interview, Nellie is a woman of strong beliefs, which she presents pleasantly, politely and often with great wit.  But in her conversation and in her songs, her opinions and social observations are definitely on display.

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Studio Sessions
2:21 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Larry Coryell and The Eleventh House Reunion Band

The Eleventh House band performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Forty years ago, a band called Eleventh House helped set the standard for what would become known as Jazz-Rock Fusion.  The band consisted of Larry Coryell (guitar), Alphonse Mouzon (drums), Mike Mandel (keyboards), Danny Trifan (bass) and Randy Brecker (trumpet).  

On this leg of the Eleventh House Reunion Tour, Mandel couldn’t make the gig so Larry brought in one of Seattle’s finest pianists, Marc Seales, to fill in. 

As you’ll hear in this performance, Marc more than holds his own.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
3:00 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton—‘Nuff Said

Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton in the KPLU Seattle studios on August 9, 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

“’Nuff said,” is right.  When jazz fans hear the names Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton in conjunction, they know they’ll be treated great music, played with inspiration, joy and absolutely amazing technical chops.  

Monty (piano), John (bass) and Jeff (drums) have performed together off and on for almost 40 years. 

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KPLU Studio Sessions
9:05 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Gregory Porter: Football's loss is jazz's gain

Gregory Porter performs live in the KPLU Seattle studios on June 21, 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

On his first trip to Seattle, Grammy-nominated vocalist Gregory Porter stopped by the KPLU Seattle studios for a live studio session that you do not want to miss.  This also happened to be the day that Blue Note Records announced the release of Porter's new album, Liquid Spirit. 

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KPLU Studio Sessions
8:30 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo: 'Better than caffeine'

Vinny Raniolo (left) and Frank Vignola performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on May 30, 2013
Justin Steyer KPLU

Frank Vignola is well-known as one of the most amazing guitarists on today’s jazz scene. Five years ago he hooked up with a young, extremely accomplished guitarist named Vinny Raniolo.

Since then they’ve worked together in a number of different group configurations but they’re at their best when it’s just the two of them, each armed with an acoustic guitar and a great desire to have a good time.

And that’s exactly what they do in this studio session with jazz host, Abe Beeson.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
2:59 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The Greyboy Allstars: A serious party band

Mike Andrews performing live with the Greyboy Allstars on May 17, 2013 in the KPLU Seattle studios.
Justin Steyer KPLU

During this performance interview with The Greyboy Allstars, KPLU jazz host, Abe Beeson, called their latest CD (Inland Emperor) ‘the party album of 2013.’

The Greyboy Allstars’ reputation as a party/dance band is well-earned.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
1:06 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Ann Hampton Callaway: Singing the standards, Streisand and making it up as she goes

Ann Hampton Callaway performs live in the KPLU Seattle studios on May 10, 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Vocalist, pianist and composer, Ann Hampton Callaway has had success in the worlds of jazz, Broadway and cabaret. She’s also one of our favorite KPLU Studio Session guests.

We invite her to perform every time she passes through Seattle because, from one visit to the next, we never know what kind of surprises she’ll treat us to.

This time around, with host Abe Beeson and a small audience of KPLU Leadership Circle members, Ann turned Our Love Is Here To Stay into an audience-participation scat-along which was enjoyed by all.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
2:51 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Molly Ringwald: Rediscovering her jazz roots

Actress/singer Molly Ringwald performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on April 15, 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

In 2010, actress/singer, Molly Ringwald wrote her first book, Getting The Pretty Back. The "pretty" in the title is a reference to what is perhaps Molly’s most famous movie, "Pretty In Pink" (1986), directed by John Hughes.

She also worked with Hughes in "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club." But before Molly Ringwald became one of the world’s most famous teenagers, she was a jazz singer. 

Yes. She recorded a traditional jazz (Dixieland) album when she was 6 years old, accompanied by her father, Bob Ringwald, and his Fulton Street Jazz Band.

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