Jazz and Blues

Ticket Giveaway
5:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Win Tickets To The Helen Sung Quartet

Credit Wardrobe by Vivienne Tam

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitiriou's Jazz Alley presents the Helen Sung Quartet for two nights only. Band members are Helen Sung (piano), Hamilton Price (bass), Jamire Williams (drums), and Joshua Johnson (sax). Show time is Tuesday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.

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Ticket Giveaway
5:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Win Tickets To "Basie Bash: SRJO Celebrates Twenty Years"

SRJO goes back to its roots and opens its 20th anniversary concert season with a celebration of all things Basie--from the early works of the 1930s to the “new testament” hits written by Sammy Nestico, Bill Holman, Frank Foster and more!

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Jazz and Blues
5:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Win Tickets To The Heritage Blues Orchestra

The grit of low-down country and urban blues with the bold brass of New Orleans; the hand-clapping fervor of gospel punctuated with fiery postmodern, jazz-infused horn arrangements; the haunting cries of work songs and pulsating drums that reach back to the

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

A Unique Musical Blend: Pablo Menendez And Mezcla, Direct From Cuba

Pablo Menéndez and Mezcla
B. Leyva

Guitarist Pablo Menéndez takes fusion to the next level.  His band Mezcla (meaning "mixture") blends jazz, blues, rock and several styles of Cuban and African music into one raucous, joyous expression of life.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Have Piano, Will Travel: Mr. B's Epic Bicycle Adventure

Mr B's Joybox Express
Joybox Express

Boogie-woogie and blues pianist Mark Braun (a.k.a. Mr. B) has fond memories of touring in the Pacific Northwest. KPLU has played his recordings for more than 20 years. I've followed Mr. B for some time, because there's not much I like better than his style of piano playing, the music that came up from New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.

What I didn't know about him until recently is that he's also a dedicated amateur athlete, an avid bicyclist and an advocate for getting kids active in the arts and athletics.

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Jazz Caliente
10:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

The Rhythm That's A Way Of Living

Roman Diaz, playing at right.
Martin Cohen

Compared to American rock and roll, Afro-Cuban music sounds complicated to the point of intimidation. Sure the rhythms make you want to move, but if you stop to think about what's going on, your feet won't know what to do. And that's just the point — some rhythms are better felt than counted off. NPR's Frannie Kelley learned how easy they can be to play, once you abandon a central tenet of rock: the one.

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Jazz and Blues
2:28 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Legendary Pianist Horace Silver Dies At 85

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:22 am

Pianist Horace Silver, whose potent and catchy combination of blues, funk and Latin sounds shifted the jazz landscape in the 1950s and '60s, died Wednesday morning at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. He died of natural causes, according to his son, Gregory Silver. He was 85.

As a bandleader, Horace Silver mentored some of the hottest musicians of his era. As a composer, he devised numerous jazz standards still played today.

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Jazz and Blues
2:08 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Jazz Pianist, Composer Horace Silver Dies At 85

American jazz pianist Horace Silver performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1988.
Frans Schellekens Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 2:43 pm

This post was updated at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Pianist and composer Horace Silver, who created a rhythmic jazz known as "hard bop" that combined R&B and gospel to go along with his eclectic style of piano playing, has died at age 85, his son confirms.

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Jazz and Blues
5:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Film Tells Story Of How A 90-Year-Old Jazz Icon Became Friends With A Young Pianist

Pianist Justin Kauflin and jazz legend Clark Terry in a still from the film, "Keep on Keepin' On"

Justin Kauflin is a young twentysomething pianist who, at age 11, lost his eyesight.

Jazz legend Clark Terry — the revolutionary flugelhornist who played with Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and mentored Quincy Jones and Miles Davis — shares something with Kauflin. Diabetes claimed his eyesight.

But that’s not the only reason the two musicians, who are separated by nearly 70 years, became close friends. The story of the bond between teacher and mentee is told in the new documentary “Keep On Keepin’ On,” which is being shown at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. The film also celebrates Terry, who, even from his hospital bed, coaches Kauflin as he sets out to forge his own jazz career.

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Jazz Caliente
10:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

It's All About Family For Juan de Marcos And The Afro-Cuban All Stars

Juan de Marcos
Michael Hoefner

I had a delightful telephone chat last week with Juan de Marcos, leader of the Afro Cuban All Stars.

Known as the "Quincy Jones of Cuba," Juan de Marcos comes from a family of musicians.  His father was a well-known singer with famed tres player and bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez, and his uncle, Ruben Gonzalez, was one of Cuba's most beloved pianists.  Juan grew up with some of the finest Cuban musicians visiting and playing music in his home.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Revisiting The Sunny Side Of The Street

Halie Loren on the sunny side of the street.
allaboutjazz.com

I got my start in public/community radio at WFBE in Flint, Michigan in the late 1970s. I talked my way into being the self-appointed assistant, apprentice and substitute for a Thursday night program called John's Jazz.

The show was hosted by John R. Davis, journalist and unmatched jazz enthusiast. He very kindly let me tag along and learn things about music and radio.

John’s Jazz theme song was "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" featuring Johnny Hodges on sax.

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Jazz and Blues
5:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Join Us For KPLU's 2014 Summer Jazz Brunch Cruise!

Get more information and purchase your tickets here!

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Film Shows Clark Terry Keepin' On

Clark Terry
clarkterry.com

The long-awaited film about legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry "Keep On Keepin' On"  won an audience choice award at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and will be shown next week in the Seattle International Film Festival.  The documentary follows the relationship of Terry with one of his many students, pianist Justin Kauflin.

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How I Came To Jazz
5:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

How Overton Berry Learned The Most Important Thing In Music — And In Life

Editor’s Note: Every jazz musician seems to have a defining moment that led to a lifelong love of the music. KPLU jazz reporter Jason Parker will explore these moments in a three-part series titled How I Came To Jazz.

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Legendary jazz pianist Overton Berry’s “defining moment” story has to do with a brief encounter with a stranger more than 50 years ago. It taught him the a lesson about the most important thing in music — and in life.

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How I Came To Jazz
5:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

'The One Moment Where I Felt Like Jazz Really Made Me A Person'

Monique Khim performs on stage.
Courtesy Monique Khim

Editor’s Note: Every jazz musician seems to have a defining moment that led to a lifelong love of the music. KPLU jazz reporter Jason Parker will explore these moments in a three-part series titled How I Came To Jazz. 

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“I grew up with Cambodian music…Cambodian karaoke,” said Monique Khim, with a giggle that belies her years.

Monique, a senior at Lynnwood High School, traded her karaoke mic for an alto saxophone years ago. Her love of jazz and saxophone runs deep, and she credits her dad’s fondness for the karaoke machine for her passion for music: “He’s the one that actually spurred on my love for music.”

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