Live Studio Sessions

Live Studio Sessions

From KNKX Public Radio

Listen to all of KNKX's amazing in-studio performances and interviews.More from Live Studio Sessions »

Most Recent Episodes

Eric Verlinde: Hardest Working Pianist In Show Business

From the moment he peeped into the orchestra pit at the Pacific Northwest Ballet's annual "Nutcracker" performance, Eric Verlinde has been driven with the desire to play music. These days, he's doing just that — and lots of it. Boasting one of the busiest gigs calendars in town, you'll find Eric working Sunday nights at El Gaucho with singer Josephine Howell, Monday nights on the same stage playing solo, and every Tuesday night he leads one of the city's favorite jam sessions at the Owl & Thistle pub downtown. With all this, he also finds time to work regularly in the EntreMundos Quarteto and leading a trio of his own, which knocked our socks off in the KNKX studios. Verlinde is obviously well-liked, and he told us one of his great joys is to play music with as many people and in as many styles as he can. His mother is from Costa Rica, and he honored her with a burning version of "Bopticos" from his last album Firewalker. His rhythm section, Dean Schmidt and Jeff Busch on bass and

Drummer Adam Kessler Finds Community In Jazz

The Phil Sparks/Adam Kessler band has been playing live jazz at the Barca Lounge on Capitol Hill for more than 10 years now, and just released "Live at Barca, Vol 1" to celebrate. The album features live recordings from Kessler and bassist Phil Sparks, along with lots of their friends who join them on this long running regular Tuesday-night gig. Though Sparks was unable to play our studio session this time around, Kessler built his band with Geoff Harper, the "other" bassist on the new release, and other Barca regulars Alexey Nikolaev on sax and Bernie Jacobs sax and vocals, with one of the area's favorite pianists, John Hansen. The comradery they find in the club came through clearly as Kessler urged his band mates through Nat Adderley's "Work Song", the Tin Pan Alley gem "Sunday" and a funky finisher in the soulful "Funky Mama" by organist Big John Patton. It was a celebration of the Northwest jazz community, highlighted by Kessler's reminder that "Live at Barca, Vol 1" is sending

Tim Kennedy And The Cool Kids Of Northwest Jazz

Tim Kennedy is one of the shining stars of the current Northwest jazz scene, and jazz is just the beginning. You'll find him playing classic rock in the group Hot Rod, electric keys in the modern jazz trio Gravity, doing solo gigs as pianist, guitarist and/or singer, and often embracing electronic dance music as his alter ego Richie Aldente. He's also on electric keys alongside organist Joe Doria in one of Seattle's hottest young groups, The Happy Orchestra, and featured two of those players – the group's leader, drummer Tarik Abouzied and trumpeter Thomas Marriott – along with Art Brown's sax and in-demand bassist Evan Flory-Barnes for a session of his own compositions that enthralled our studio session audience. Kennedy considers himself a songwriter first, and finds more opportunities by playing as much music with as many players as he can. The result is a player and composer who thinks more about each song than about any preconceived ideas of what jazz should be. A nominee for this

Nancy Erickson's Teaching And Living The Life Of A Jazz Singer

Singer Nancy Erickson recently received her masters in music education, but live in the knkx studios, she was anything but a reserved academic. She told us about singing in her early days, taking time off to raise a family, and a return to form inspired by audiences in a Woodinville club that led her back to a life in jazz. Thanks, Woodinville! Starting her session with her own tune, "New Years Eve" - a song written for her parents' anniversary transformed into jazzy pop magic - then into Duke Ellington's beautiful and challenging "Prelude to a Kiss". As if we needed more proof of her talents, Nancy sang her "Whippoorwhill Song" to conclude her session. As a loyal collaborator rather than iron-fisted leader, our guest gave ample room for her supporting quartet: Alexey Nikolaev on sax, Randy Halberstadt at the piano, Clipper Anderson and Mark Ivester played bass and drums. https://youtu.be/PVJD3dQlUHQ

Something's Jazzy In Denmark

The knkx studios got a Danish treat when we welcomed singer Sinne Eeg and her pianist friend Jacob Christoffersen. Traveling through the Seattle area for a third time for a series of intimate house concerts, Sinne told us she enjoys an intimate concert setting, and shared a funny story about primitive conditions at a remote Chinese jazz club she worked early in her career. Though Sinne's English seemed fluent, she told us that when writing songs, she still mostly leaves lyrics to others, and had to copy lyrics from her phone that had just been sent to her a day earlier - and we heard the result: the first performance and broadcast of her soulful new song "Bitter End." She also charmed us with her original "Crowded Heart" and a fresh reading of "Happy Talk" from "South Pacific." This was a session to remember, and we can't wait for Sinne Eeg to return! https://youtu.be/vi1c0oGzixQ

Sundae + Mr. Goessl: Old Time Melodies Make For A Romantic Duet

No wonder they do a lot of wedding gigs - Sundae + Mr. Goessl (the stage act name for singer Kate Voss and her guitarist/songwriter husband Jason Goessl) have a natural romantic chemistry that comes through in the throw-back songs of a time long past. In fact, we learned in our interview that it was their considerable musical talent that first attracted them to each other. Hot on the heels of their recent Christmas album "Santa, Won't You Bring Me a Ring," they skipped the holiday tunes for material from last year's release "Makes My Heart Sway" - including the title song, which Jason wrote as a love note to Kate. The old Nat Cole hit "Nature Boy" was a perfect fit, along with a nearly century old classic, "My Blue Heaven." Jason's incredible guitar work can certainly stand on its own, but mixed with Kate's charming voice and her occasional melodica solos evoking a Parisian accordion, our studio audience was transported by Sundae + Mr. Goessl. Check out this studio session and you will

Pearl Django And Gail Pettis—The Beginning Of A New Year's Tradition?

For at least a decade, gypsy jazz group, Pearl Django, has performed at Seattle's Jazz Alley on the first days (well — evenings) of the new year. For the past few years, the groups' guest has been Seattle vocalist, Gail Pettis. Also for the past few years, 88.5 has had these folks in for a 'first of the new year' live studio session. Is this the beginning of knkx New Year's tradition? We hope so. In this 'first of 2017' session, Pearl Django, Gail, and drummer D'Vonne Lewis had a great time, played wonderfully and delighted the audience. We also found out how it sounds when a gypsy swing band plays the blues. Musicians Michael Gray (violin), Rick Leppanin (bass), David Lange (accordion), Tim Lerch (guitar), Gail Pettis (vocals), D'Vonne Lewis (drums) Credits Host: Nick Morrison, Audio Engineer: John Kessler To subscribe to Studio Session and other knkx podcasts click here .

Seattle's Tyrant Lizard Trio: Americana-Fueled Improvisation

KNKX welcomed a second performance of the trio Tyrant Lizard , just as the band released their self-titled debut album, and the new release from the group's guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, "I Sang To You and the Moon." It was also the last few days for two-thirds of the band here in the Northwest - bass player Carmen Rothwell was returning to New York City and Belisle-Chi was days away from making the move himself. This left trumpet player Raymond Larsen to reassure us, a few thousand miles doesn't mean the end of Tyrant Lizard, just new paths to discover. The group talked about their "ethereal" style ("I don't think of us as a ballads band," said Belisle-Chi), their undeniable musical chemistry, love of blending jazz and folk music, and how excited they were to explore vast musical territories with each other and whichever new, lucky musicians they encounter at this early stage in their careers. It would appear this Tyrant Lizard isn't in any danger of extinction. Musicians Carmen

Dmitri Matheny: Romance, Intrigue, And A Big Horn

One of the leading flugelhorn players in jazz dropped into the knkx studios to celebrate his recent album "Jazz Noir," and to play three cool tunes with his now-Northwest neighbors. We hope to see and hear a lot of Dmitri Matheny since he relocated to Centralia, Wash. recently. Teaming with Seattle stalwarts Jay Thomas, Bill Anschell, Phil Sparks and D'Vonne Lewis, we were treated to a beautiful and dramatic medley of film music from his latest, as well as his original tune "Perfect Peaches" and a lovely old tune favored by trumpeter Lee Morgan and many others, "What Now My Love?" Along the way, Dmitri talked about his move from trumpet to the instrument his mentor Art Farmer called "The Big Horn", and his love for the dramatic noir film music from Chinatown, Vertigo, and Taxi Driver. It was a lovely session with our new neighbor, and promises to be only the first of many. Dmitri - flugelhorn Jay Thomas - sax Bill Anschell - piano Phil Sparks - bass D'Vonne Lewis - drums https://www

Steve Griggs Ensemble: Jazz And Social Justice

Inspired by Seattle's places and historical events, the Steve Griggs Ensemble plays music with a message. Griggs, a saxophonist, composer and writer addresses social injustice with music and words, telling the story of the International District's Panama Hotel, where Japanese-Americans left their possessions when they were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The ensemble also recounts the history of Joe Brazil, the saxophonist who introduced jazz to the University of Washington's School of Music curriculum in 1968, but was denied tenure due to institutional racism. The group has twice won the ASCAP/Chamber Music America's award for adventurous programming of contemporary music. They currently have two CDs available: "Panama Hotel Jazz" and "A Cup of Joe Brazil," both on the Hip City Music label. Steve Griggs- tenor sax Jay Thomas –alto sax, trumpet, flugelhorn Susan Pascal- vibes Phil Sparks-bass Milo Peterson-drums https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3U_-9JU8s4

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