Jazz and Blues

Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

A Cuban Christmas

The music of Cuban Christmas past

Christmas Eve is celebrated in Cuba, not Christmas Day.  

It's called Noche Buena, and it includes food, music, dancing and gatherings.

A traditional Cuban Noche Buena feast consists of plenty of roast pig (yes, a whole one), black beans and rice, fried plantains and yucca with garlic.  To wash it all down:  mojitos, cuba libres, or a sidra (sparkling hard cider).  Desserts include rice pudding and rum cake.  I can feel the food coma starting already.

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Jazz Northwest
3:00 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Sumi Tonooka's solo Earshot Festival concert on Jazz Northwest

Sumi Tonooka in concert at The Earshot Jazz Festival
Credit Daniel Sheehan

Listen to Jazz Northwest

Pianist Sumi Tonooka was born in Philadelphia and is well-established as a pianist, composer and teacher in New York, but her roots are in the Seattle area. Her mother grew up on Bainbridge Island where she lived until at age 16, she and other Japanese-Americans were shipped to the Internment Camps of World War II.  Sumi Tonooka planned a visit last Summer to connect with her mother's early life on Bainbridge, and growing out of that visit she became a Seattle resident last Summer.

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

'Mercy, Mercy' and young Hendrix showcase the rhythm in R&B

Don Covay

The Blues Time Machine

This song emphasizes the “rhythm” in “rhythm & blues."

“Mercy, Mercy” or “Have Mercy” was recorded by Don Covay in 1964. It features 22-year-old Jimi Hendrix on guitar. He’s still a few years away from his own solo career, but his guitar playing is recognizable.

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16th Annual Christmas Jam
4:19 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

The 2012 KPLU Christmas Jam featuring Pearl Django

Pearl Django performing with the PLU Jazz Ensemble on December 6, 2012.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Listen to the 16th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam

KPLU’s much-anticipated free holiday concert, featured guest artists, Gypsy-Jazz masters Pearl Django live from Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus. 

Pearl Django performed Christmas selections with the University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner. The event, hosted by Nick Morrison, can be listened to in its entirety above, and will also re-broadcast on KPLU Christmas Day from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Jazz Caliente
12:20 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Grammy Nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album

Luciana Souza and Romero Lubambo
Dani Gurgel

This year's Grammy Awards will see the reinstatement of the Latin Jazz category that was deleted in the recent "consolidation" of ethnic music categories by the Recording Academy.

Nominated for 2013 Best Latin Jazz Album:

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Jazz Northwest
3:00 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Some of our favorite things on Jazz Northwest

Listen to Jazz Northwest

Jim Wilke shares some of his favorite CDs for the holidays by Northwest jazz musicians who’ve appeared often on the program.... Don Lanphere, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Ernestine Anderson, Dave Peck, Greta Matassa, Barney McClure and others.

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Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Just a 'Spoonful' of blues ... and the rest is history

Howlin' Wolf

The Blues Time Machine

It’s a modern blues standard with roots in the 1920’s, one of Willie Dixon’s many great compositions, and it can trace its origin in part to a Charlie Patton song from 1929: “A Spoonful Blues."

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Jazz Caliente
12:40 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Cal Tjader, master of Latin vibes

Cal Tjader
Verve Records

One of the most appealing Latin Jazz/Pop crossover artists was vibraphonist Cal Tjader (chay-der).

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Jazz
4:34 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Passing of Dave Brubeck leaves impact on many

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, responsible for the recording of the seminal album Time Out which still ranks as one of the best selling albums of all-time, and the first jazz musician to have a single sell 1 millions albums, died this morning of heart failure. He was 91.

In 1951, he formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and made a regular habit of touring and and performing at college campuses, bringing his musical approach to a younger audience. In 1954, Brubeck became only the second musician at that time to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.

The career that Brubeck sustained had an enormous impact on musicians and fans.

Read More on Groove Notes

Jazz & Blues
10:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Remembering The Vital Force Of Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck performing on the pilot episode of a television program in 1965.
CBS Photo Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 3:34 pm

To listen to Neda Ulaby's appreciation of Dave Brubeck's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

For millions of Americans who came of age in the 1950s, Dave Brubeck was jazz. His performances on college campuses, Top 40 radio play, his role as a jazz ambassador for the U.S., his picture on the cover of Time magazine — all made him one of the most recognized and recognizable musicians of the era.

He died Wednesday morning, the day before his 92nd birthday, in Norwalk, Conn. The cause was heart failure.

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Jazz
9:01 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck has died

Brubeck performing in Hamburg, Germany circa 1972.
Wikimedia Commons

Jazz icon Dave Brubeck has died this morning in a Connecticut hospital one day short of his 92nd birthday. 

Long-time manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd told The Chicago Tribune that Brubeck died of heart failure en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist." 

Brubeck attained pop-star status over the course of his long career with songs such as "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five" (which easily secured the #1 spot on our Jazz 100 list).

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Jazz Northwest
3:00 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

George Colligan Organ Trio on Jazz Northwest, KPLU

George Cooligan

Listen to Jazz Northwest

New York jazz pianist and organist George Colligan is presently on the faculty at Portland State University in Portland.  He's recorded over 20 CDs on his own and appeared as sideman on many more in addition to concerts with many of today's top jazz headliners. He brought Portland guitarist Dan Balmer with him for an Earshot Festival engagement at Tula's this Fall, and Seattle drummer John Bishop rounded out this new variation on the classic organ trio. The trio played several of George Colligan's original compositions in each set.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Cuba's influence on New Orleans music

Havana Vieja at night
Gabriel Rodríguez

It's been said that Cuba and New Orleans are more than musical cousins; they are more like twins and equally responsible for much of what we call jazz.  And I've often heard New Orleans described by its multi-cultural natives as being not a Southern city, but a Caribbean city.

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Jazz & Blues
10:54 am
Wed November 28, 2012

5 ways jazz musicians can help themselves with technology

Here's one jazz musician who's making solid use of the Internet to keep his career in front of fans.

These days getting the word out is probably easier and quicker than it has ever been, and for whatever reason jazz musicians seem to struggle to understand this.

So I have decided to offer up these five easy tips on how jazz musicians can better promote themselves and their music with very minimal time and effort using “modern” technology.

Read the story on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
2:32 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

10 best jazz albums of 2012

Brad Mehldau makes the list for a second straight year.

Groove Notes writer and KPLU jazz and news host Kevin Kniestedt lists the 10 jazz releases (and some honorable mentions) that he feels rose to the top in 2012.

Read more on Groove Notes.

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