Jazz and Blues

Jazz & Blues
2:16 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival returns to north central Idaho

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is back for another year at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Now ten years after the death of its namesake, the festival, like many such celebrations, is challenged by a changing jazz industry.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
2:24 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

3 Washington schools among finalists for Essentially Ellington Competition

Competitors at the Essentially Ellington event.

Jazz at Lincoln Center announced this morning the 15 finalist bands and one winning community band for its prestigious 17th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Among the finalists were three bands from Washington State.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
9:36 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Jazz Grammy winners announced

Chick Corea won Best Improvised Jazz Solo for ‘500 Miles High’ from ‘Forever (Corea, Clarke and White).’ Above, Corea plays in the KPLU studio in December in a rare live studio session.
Justin Steyer KPLU

The Grammy Awards were given out in the jazz categories during the pre-telecast ceremonies on Sunday. Check out the winners and the results of our reader poll.

Read more on Groove Notes.

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Groove Notes
2:50 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Latin jazz musicians to protest outside of the Grammy Awards

Oscar Hernandez, right, two-time Grammy winner for Latin Jazz Album, joins musicians and others demonstrating outside a meeting of the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in May.
The Associated Press

When the Grammy Awards revealed last year that they were reducing the number of award categories from 109 down to 78, it didn’t take long for those affected to show their displeasure. And, the passion hasn't died down. This year, members of the Latin jazz community will be protesting the awards ceremony.

Read more on Groove Notes.

A Blog Supreme
3:02 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

NPR: A list of things which are more 'jazz' than bad jazz music

Pickup basketball, for one.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:12 pm

For non-playing participants, jam sessions can be difficult musical experiences. As "hangs," or social gatherings, they aren't so bad — sometimes you learn a lot by talking to the musicians there. But the quality of the music itself often varies. It only takes a mediocre performance to sour the mood, and a poor showing can turn you off altogether, especially if you've paid money to see it.

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Blues Time Machine
1:00 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

'Rock Island Line' evolved from the rhythm of hard labor

library of congess

Blues evolved from many different sources including spirituals, work songs, and chants. “Rock Island Line” began as a work song, first recorded in 1934 by prisoners at Cummins Farm in Arkansas. The rhythm of physical labor is integral to songs like these.

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Groove Notes
2:14 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Jazz film review: 'Treme Life,' a love letter to New Orleans

James Demaria, photographer, filmmaker and soul searcher, became friends with trumpeter Kermit Ruffins about 5 years ago. They decided to try to make a film about Kermit’s musical upbringing in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood.

The result, "Treme Life," turned into a love letter to New Orleans.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
9:30 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Remembering Etta James: Songs on YouTube

Singer Etta James performs at the Vine St. Bar & Grill in Hollywood on April 6, 1987.
Alison Wise AP Photo

The "Matriarch of the Blues" has died. Music legend Etta James died at Riverside Community Hospital in California from complications of leukemia. She was 73. In tribute, here are five songs from James.

Jazz & Blues
8:47 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Etta James, 'Matriarch of the Blues,' has died

Etta James rehearses a song before recording at Fame Studios circa 1967 in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
House Of Fame LLC Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:03 am

The "Matriarch of the Blues" has died. Music legend Etta James died Friday morning at Riverside Community Hospital in California of complications from leukemia. She was 73.

She was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938. Her first manager and promoter cut up Jamesetta's name and reversed it: Etta James.

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Groove Notes
3:33 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Is the word 'jazz' racist? Nicholas Payton says it is

Nicholas Payton performing in 2008 in New York.
Associated Press

My best effort to summarize trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s post On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore is that he is saying the word “jazz” is racist, that jazz died in 1959, and “Jazz is a marketing ploy that serves an elite few. The elite make all the money while they tell the true artists it’s cool to be broke.”

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.

Jazz & Blues
11:26 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Top 10 blues CDs of 2011

Mariam Muldaur's 'Steady Love' is at the top of the list.

Here are the top 10 blues CDs of 2011, according to KPLU's John Kessler, Host of “All Blues.”

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A Blog Supreme
1:54 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

NPR's links to recent jazz coverage on the internet

Many have weighed in this week on the influence of the late valve trombonist and composer Bob Brookmeyer.
Simeon Morales-Füss Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 10:41 am

Happy Holidays all. The blog will be active with fresh content early next week, though I will be away. Thanks for reading, and see y'all in 2012.

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Holiday Music
2:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Enjoy the 15th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam

Gail Pettis sings at the KPLU Christmas Jam at PLU on Dec. 8, 2011.
John Froschauer PLU

KPLU was pleased to welcome back our special guest from last year, award-winning Northwest jazz vocalist Gail Pettis to the 15th Annual Christmas Jam on December 8. Along with the PLU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, Pettis performed numerous holiday classics.

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Jazz & Blues
11:46 am
Tue December 13, 2011

2 ways to celebrate the life of jazz great Clark Terry and ‘Keepin on’

Part of the cover of Clark Terry's autobiography.

Trumpeter, composer, bandleader and jazz educator Clark Terry will be 91 years old this week. His 70-plus year career is being celebrated with a couple of biographical events.

Read more on Groove Notes.

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