music | KUOW News and Information


Kurt B. Reighley and Mark Mitchell together at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

Bill Radke speaks with Mark Mitchell and his partner Kurt B. Reighley about why they decided to move to Tucson after living in Seattle for 30 years.  Mitchell is a costume designer and artist, Reighley is DJ El Toro on KEXP.

Larry Mizzell, Jr. at the 2010 Pop Conference.
Wikimedia Photo/Joe Mabel (

This summer City Arts Magazine did a cover story on Seattle's Larry Mizell Jr.

The story put Mizell at the center of what the author called a black renaissance in Seattle.

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Musician Yirim Seck.

Seattle musician Yirim Seck straddles two cultures. It’s been a tricky balancing act.

Seck’s father is Senegalese; his mother is from Arkansas. They met and fell in love in New York, then moved to Seattle.

When Olympia was run by (musical) women

Sep 21, 2016
The band Sleater-Kinney is one of the most famous products of the 90s punk scene in Olympia, Washington.
Flickr Photo/peta_azak (CC BY ND 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with Len Balli about the history of punk music in Olympia. Balli is the curator of a new exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma that displays called "A Revolution You Can Dance To." 

Don Buchla believed in the humanity of wires. The modular synth pioneer created an instrument like none other, one that relied on intuition, learning and, most importantly, human touch. He died September 14 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 79.

Banda Vagas entertains the audience in Seattle's South Park Duwamish River Festival.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Only a whisper of a breeze drifts off the water on this scorching August afternoon, but temperatures in the 90s don’t wilt the South Park crowd.

Older couples, young parents with their children, even gum-cracking teenagers wait patiently in the shade for the main musical attraction of this year’s Duwamish River Festival: Banda Vagos, a Mexican big band that performs a traditional style of music known as banda.

Jonathan Carollo, 14, captured viral attention when he played his washing machine. Now he's part of an international video including child prodigies
KUOW Photo/Emily Fox

Four years ago a kid in Sammamish started playing a unique kind of instrument.

The washing machine. Which, it turns out, is like a drum kit with a spin cycle.

At 10, Jonathan Carollo became a viral YouTube sensation. Now he’s back with a new video.

Erik Blood performs Sunday at Bumbershoot in Seattle.
Frank Corre

This weekend’s Bumbershoot music festival features headliners like Pretty Lights, Andrew Bird and Washington locals, Death Cab for Cutie and Macklemore. But there are also artists you might not have heard of, like Erik Blood.

I thought this city would be safe for us.

Oh darling tell me if I’m asking way too much ... 

Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans, the Belgian-American musician who cut a singular path as a jazz harmonica player, died in his sleep Monday in his hometown of Brussels. He was 94.

People cool off in Seattle Center's International Fountain.
Flickr Photo/David McSpadden (CC BY 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle DJ James Whetzel about his fifteen years as the mix master for Seattle Center's International Fountain, how he adjusts the music to the weather and what it's like underneath the fountain.

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

Bill Radke speaks with Jeff Vetting, executive director of the Upstream Festival,  about why billionaire Paul Allen is investing in this new music festival coming to Seattle's Pioneer Square in May 2017. 

Jeremy Pots and Emily Sheil perform in the North Cascades National Park.
Courtesy of Music in the American Wild/Geoff Sheil

Bill Radke speaks with Emlyn Johnson, director of Music in the American Wild, about how nature inspires their musical performances and why they decided to celebrate the National Parks Service's 100th anniversary by touring the parks in Washington state.

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

Bill Radke speaks with music journalist and Seattle native Ann Powers about Paul Allen's newest venture: a three-day music festival and industry conference called Upstream.

Festival organizers say they will "collide music, gaming, tech, media, design, and more to tackle today’s toughest industry challenges and open up opportunities within the new entertainment economy."

Congress is in the midst of a review of the copyright laws to make sure they're up to date. Some of the recording industry's biggest stars, among them Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Paul McCartney, recently signed a letter urging lawmakers to make reforms.