Kevin Kniestedt

Weekend Edition Saturday and Jazz on the Grooveyard Host

Kevin began his career at KPLU in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KPLU Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then he has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KPLU. Kevin is also the author of KPLU’s Groove Notes jazz blog, has interviewed several world class jazz artists, produced local news features, and helped make the KPLU Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KPLU radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in downtown Tacoma where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:48 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval coming to KPLU

Arturo Sandoval.

A Mis Abuelos by trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is a song in which during 5 minutes and 25 seconds, Sandoval manages to record a song with literally everything a trumpet player ever wanted to do in it.

Lightening fast fingers, unbelievable range that didn’t compromise the tone, and intense energy. Trumpeter and former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen is quoted as saying “Who in the hell is this guy?”

Find out this Friday (1/13 at 12:15 PM PST) when Sandoval comes in for a studio session  at KPLU.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
8:55 am
Tue January 10, 2012

1,000 jazz albums you should hear before you die (#821-#830)

Venupelli Blues is number 821.

We hope you will use these lists to seek out jazz albums you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums.

Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 821 through 830.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes picks
2:41 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

10 best jazz albums of the year

Brad Mehldau made the list. Find out more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes writer and KPLU jazz host Kevin Kniestedt lists the 10 releases that stood out to him over the past year (with an informal ranking).

Read more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
4:37 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Vote for your choice to win a Grammy in jazz

Randy Brecker has been nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - who's your pick?
Randy Brecker Website

The nominations have been released for the 2011 Grammy Awards, and there are some great selections for jazz categories. The winners are named on Feb. 12. Until then, vote on Groove Notes for your favorite.

Vote on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
6:03 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Engaging with Chick Corea and his 'student kind' of mind

Chick Corea playing in the KPLU studio on Friday.
Justin Steyer KPLU

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down in the KPLU performance studio last Friday with jazz legend Chick Corea for an interview and live performance.

One of the topics we covered was how he has remained so versatile over the years.

“I keep a student kind of mentality in my life, so that I am always learning something, and that keeps me fresh,” he said.

Read more on Groove Notes.

KPLU Studio Sessions
7:23 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Sophie Milman: A young jazz singer on the move

Sophie Milman performs in the KPLU Seattle studios on November 29, 2011.
Justin Steyer KPLU

It would seem that jazz vocalist, Sophie Milman is in motion constantly.  She was born in Russia, raised in Israel and moved to Canada when she was in her late teens.  Now, at age 27, she’s just released her 6th CD and seems to be perpetually on tour.

With someone moving as fast as Sophie, we were lucky to get her and her band into the KPLU studios for a live performance/interview, hosted by Kevin Kniestedt.

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Jazz & Blues
12:17 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Legendary jazz drummer Paul Motian dies

Legendary jazz musician Paul Motian, who stood as one of the most influential drummers of the last 50 years, died early this morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State scandal is wakeup call for big change in college sports

Alone on field for main Penn State coach Joe Paterno looks on during football practice on Wednesday.
Associated Press

The firing of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno following criminal charges of child sex abuse against one of his former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, has been the subject of innumerable news stories and conversations.

The 84-year-old Paterno has more wins than any other coach in college football history, but he will leave the university with his reputation destroyed for not taking serious action after receiving knowledge of these alleged crimes.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there is no question that Paterno deserved to lose his job.

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Sports with Art Thiel
3:21 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Preview: Paterno firing, Penn State University fallout

Joe Paterno and his wife Susan stand on their porch to thank well-wishers gathered outside in State College, Pa., Wednesday.
Associated Press

Penn State University has been in turmoil over the last week following an indictment of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of child sex abuse over a 15-year period.

This was followed by the firing of the university president and long-time iconic head football coach Joe Paterno. Find out what Art thinks about the Penn State decision and what it could lead to tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU.

KPLU Studio Sessions
12:04 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Grace Kelly: 'Unimaginably Inappropriate'

Grace Kelly performs live in the KPLU Seattle studios on November 3.
Justin Steyer KPLU

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, which prompted someone behind to say (in jest), "Well, that’s just unimaginably inappropriate."

Grace turned around, unleashed one of her disarmingly charming smiles and replied, “That’s me!”  Right then and there knew we were in for a good time. 

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Groove Notes
2:27 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Getting serious at Earshot Jazz with headliner Keith Jarrett

Left to right: Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock.

“Some people ask me why I don’t bring my cell phone up on stage with me. It’s because I don’t want to interrupt you.” – Keith Jarrett addressing the crowd after intermission at Tuesday's show at Benaroya Hall.

I had never seen Keith Jarrett perform live before. I had only heard his wonderful recordings and heard some interesting stories about the demands he has on his audience.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
11:41 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Mehldau shines in unforgettable solo performance at Earshot

Friday night during the Earshot Jazz Festival, Nordstrom Recital Hall was the scene of a mesmerizing solo piano performance from Brad Mehldau. The intimate setting was perfect for this concert, which was completely acoustic. No wires, no amps, no microphones, simply Mehldau and the piano.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
5:22 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Check out Groove Notes to follow the final weekend of Earshot Jazz

The Earshot festival runs through Nov. 6, and through the duration of the festival Groove Notes will be delivering in-depth, ongoing coverage. We’re using a new tool for pulling in information from a wide range of sources – Twitter, Facebook and more – so come follow the action on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
2:29 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Film project amplifies loss and hope in death of jazz great, husband

Michael Brecker

The documentary More to Live For screens at the Gig Harbor Film Festival this Saturday. People from the Pacific Northwest will finally get an opportunity to view the story of three men affected by Leukemia seeking out a bone marrow transplant, including the late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz Festival
7:03 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Djangofest Northwest on Whidbey Island underway

Now in its 11th season, Djangofest Northwest brings a world-class musical lineup to Langley on Whidbey Island to celebrate the music and spirit of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz.

Artists scheduled to perform this year range from local favorites to world-class international recording artists, making it the the premier showcase of Gypsy Jazz in North America.

Read more on Groove Notes.

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