KUOW Jazz | KUOW News and Information

KUOW Jazz

The architect of the new service is veteran jazz radio host and programmer Steven Williams who has 40 years of experience in broadcast and jazz programming, most recently as program director of WBGO public radio in Newark, New Jersey.
Credit KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

KUOW has launched a preview of a new music service called KUOW Jazz dedicated to jazz and blues.

KUOW Jazz is a comprehensive expression of the art form, covering all of the bases from the instantly recognizable trumpet of Louis Armstrong to the groundbreaking fusion of Esperanza Spalding, and everything in between.

KUOW Jazz is replacing our streaming service for World Radio Network and the BBC World service. Both BBC World Service and WRN are available to stream on their websites.  

Give us your feedback!

The trombone virtuoso J.J. Johnson was among the first to adapt the challenge laid down by bebop saxophonists and trumpeters to his more ungainly instrument. Among the recordings he left as evidence was a series of albums partnering with fellow trombonist Kai Winding. In a concert at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trombonist Vincent Gardner recently took on that "Jay and Kai" repertoire, joined by sectionmate Elliot Mason, other members of the JLCO and special guests.

The pianist, composer and music ambassador Herbie Hancock is working on new music with a new band, and he's about to present the first taste of it in live performance.

Randy Weston At 90

Jul 1, 2016

The eminent pianist Randy Weston turned 90 this year, and he enjoyed an early celebration at the 2016 Panama Jazz Festival, where he was the guest of honor. Weston, whose father was born in Panama, has long celebrated his African roots in his life and music. His career spans the better part of 70 years.

The Ray Charles Songbook

Jul 1, 2016

At age 21, trumpeter Kenny Rampton (now of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra) launched his touring career with a nine-month stint in Ray Charles' band. Earlier this year, Rampton honored his former bandleader by presenting the most authentic Ray Charles experience possible. The band was full of Ray Charles alumni (including backing vocalists The Raelettes), the set lists were faithful recreations of actual Ray Charles sets, and the charts were transcribed from the original tour music.

When you think of the sound of Houston, you might think of country and western music. Maybe you've heard of bluesmen like Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins or gospel stars like Yolanda Adams. Or, you know, Beyoncé?

Jacob Collier first attracted attention with endearing homemade music videos that feature his versions of classic songs by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and others. Now 21, the multi-instrumentalist is seen in his family's well-stocked music room, playing every instrument.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

Jun 17, 2016

The harp may be one of the most ancient musical instruments, but it isn't particularly prominent in jazz. Despite the mid-century emergence of innovators Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane, the harp has remained on the fringe.

Looking for a musically sensitive, responsive bandmate? Maybe you should try out Shimon.

Leroy Jones' New Orleans Strut

May 20, 2016

Trumpeter Leroy Jones was playing in New Orleans back when Bourbon Street was lined with jazz clubs. The city has changed since then — Bourbon Street is a prime example — and Jones has evolved with it. From second lines with the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band and the Hurricane Brass Band, club gigs with modern combos and tours with Harry Connick Jr., he's been a part of many jazz scenes.

In the greater jazz world, Danilo Pérez is a respected pianist. In his homeland of Panama, he's a national icon and cultural ambassador, and not just for his artistry. Ever since he returned to perform in his war-torn homeland in the 1980s, he's seen the potential for jazz to be a vehicle for social change, and spent much of his time offstage seeding this vision in the form of youth music education programs.

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

May 12, 2016

Catherine Russell has been a backup singer with Steely Dan and David Bowie, but she's better known as an interpreter of blues and early jazz. At Jazz At Lincoln Center, Russell recently assembled a vocal trio (with Carolyn Leonhart and La Tanya Hall, her partners on tour with Steely Dan) to unearth a book of charts by arranger Sy Oliver.

In 1965, the trumpeter, composer and arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis found themselves with a book of big-band music originally intended for the Count Basie Orchestra — and nobody to perform it. So they made their own. They handpicked some of New York's top talent and called rehearsals on Monday nights, when the studio musicians could actually make it.

Today is International Jazz Day, which you can celebrate with five great jazz performances at the Tiny Desk and a list from Christian McBride — plus a newly unearthed studio recording by a short-lived version of the Bill Evans Trio.

The Legacy Of The Benny Goodman Quartet

Apr 21, 2016

In the late 1930s, a bespectacled white man who played the clarinet was a teen idol. That was Benny Goodman, and he got to be that way from leading a quartet with Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa — one of jazz's first racially integrated bands. In a special stage show written by Geoffrey Ward and narrated by Wendell Pierce, a young band (Christian Sands, piano; Joel Ross, vibraphone; Sammy Miller, drums) with a rotating cast of clarinetists (Will Anderson, Peter Anderson, Patrick Bartley and Janelle Reichman) tells the whole story at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Henry Threadgill, a saxophonist and flutist known as one of the most original composers influenced by jazz, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recording In for a Penny, In for a Pound.

Chicago's Jazz Record Mart attracts visitors from all over the world. At least, it used to: Last month, owner Bob Koester sold the store, saying he was just too old to run it any more.

Koester began selling used records when he was a teenager in Wichita, Kansas. After moving to Chicago, he opened his own store, as well as his own jazz and blues label, Delmark. But after more than 60 years in business, he decided this spring that it was time to pack it in.

KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

Quick Links: Frequently Asked Questions | How To Listen To KUOW Jazz | Feedback Form

SEATTLE — KUOW will launch a preview of a new music service dedicated to jazz and blues on Monday, April 18, at noon. Currently called KUOW Jazz, the service will showcase leading jazz and blues artists from yesterday, today and tomorrow, and it will be available for streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week at kuow.org, via the KUOW app and on KUOW HD Channel 2.

It's 9:30 on a Thursday night and Chinese and foreign jazz fans descend on the JZ Club in Shanghai's former French Concession. Glasses clink and the splashing sound of cymbals ripple through a cabaret setting bathed in soft red light.

Andrew Field, an American historian, says clubs like JZ represent a return to Shanghai's cosmopolitan past.

Remembering Argentine jazz great Gato Barbieri

Apr 4, 2016

Gato Barbieri was a cool cat. And it wasn't just his sunglasses and trademark fedora that made you think he had nine lives.

It was actually his slinking from club to club in Buenos Aires, scooping up late night jazz gigs, that earned him the nickname that stuck with him for the rest of his life.

That life ended on Saturday at the age of 83.

Considering Barbieri was Argentine, it's a bit surprising that his most overt take on Argentina's most iconic music was in a movie: "Last Tango in Paris."

Most Sunday nights at New York's Birdland nightclub, you can find Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra on stage. That's where I found them this past Sunday. 

Before the show, Arturo took a few moments to talk with me about Cuba.  

Cuba is an emotional topic for him. His dad was Chico O'Farrill, a famous Cuban jazz composer and conductor, who was born in Havana. 

The Fillmore District of San Francisco was once known as the "Harlem of the West" for its rich African-American culture and jazz roots. This week, the neighborhood's beloved Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church may be forced to find a new home.

Clockwise from top, left: Colby Lamson-Gordon (junior, Lakeside), Susana Davidson (soph., Garfield), Bell Thompson (soph., Garfield), Lauren Martinez (Garfield), Kelly Barr-Clingan (director), Maia Nelson (sophomore, Garfield)
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Kelly Barr Clingan is a woman on a mission.

That mission is music, specifically jazz.

Barr Clingan directs the bands program at Seattle’s Washington Middle School. She also plays trombone in a Mexican band. And she teaches classes for a nonprofit organization called Seattle JazzED.

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

When Stephen Colbert takes over the Late Show tonight on CBS, he'll have a new partner in crime on stage: pianist Jon Batiste.

Peanut butter and jelly. Abbott and Costello. New Orleans and marching bands.

Some things are inseparable.

The city best known for hot jazz is a wellspring of talented musicians. Where do they all come from? Oftentimes it's great teachers — like Sam Venable, the band director at Langston Hughes Academy, a middle school on Trafalgar Street.

Hear the story of great teaching at the top of the page. You can also hear this clip of Venable playing at his grandmother's 90th birthday:

Jazz saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman died early this morning at the age of 85 in a hospital in Manhattan. The cause was cardiac arrest. He’s being remembered as one of the most powerful and influential innovators in the history of jazz.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages