Guest Student DJ Jake Escobar: Jazz Delivers ‘Emotion And Expression’

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Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air. The program is part of KPLU’s School of Jazz.

Bellevue High School’s Jake Escobar is KPLU’s guest DJ for the month of May.  Jake’ hour will aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 7th.  To get to know him better, we asked 16-year-old Jake to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the Bass, Upright and Electric. There’s certain tones which can seldom be replicated by other instruments that the bass provides, and the unique timbre of the instrument, along with it’s fundamental part in the part is what drives me to play.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece and why?

I don’t think I could ever have a “favorite jazz piece”, simply because there’s too many brilliant ones out there and many more to discover.  However, It’s song’s in jazz like “Tank, Like a Light, and Sandcastle Princess” that never cease to amaze me with the power of this genre.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

While not exactly a traditional jazz hero, I’d Have to say Japanese Musician Yoko Kanno (Leader Of “The Seatbelts). Besides being an all around phenominal composer, arranger, and pianist, her sheer versatility with all jazz (and other genres for that matter) styles, feels, and eras is incredible. In the Cowboy Bebop OST, she embodies sort of a Woody Herman-esque overpowering style, with additions of latin grooves and straight 8th backgrounds. It’s pretty cool.

What is jazz, exactly? How would you explain it?

(Like all music,) I think Jazz is another medium of delivering emotion, and expression. While I might be biased in saying Jazz does exactly that “better” than most genres, I would say that what sets apart Jazz is it’s unique construction relying heavily on Improvisation. Another explanation might add that Jazz is like a language, with different dialects (Bebop, Latin, Fusion).

Jake’s Playlist

  1. “Kelly’s Blues” Ray Brown Trio – Don’t Get Sassy
  2. “Tank!” The Seatbelts – Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack
  3. “Amour T’Es La” Snarky Puppy with Magda Giannikou – Family Dinner, Vol 1
  4. “Summer Wave” Chihiro Yamanaka – Forever Begins
  5. “A Night In Tunisia (Actually, An Entire Weekend)” Arturo Sandoval – Dear Diz
  6. “Stardust” Oscar Pettiford – Nonet & Octet
  7. “Summer Sun” Koop with Yukimi Nagano – Waltz For Koop
  8. “Like A Light” Snarky Puppy – groundUP
  9. “Sandcastle Princess” Jon Hamar – Hereafter
  10. “Rush” The Seatbelts – Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack

Connect with Jake on YouTube and Tumblr

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Guest Student DJ Jackson Cruz: Enjoying ‘The Great American Pastime”

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Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU’s School of Jazz.

Everett High School’s Jackson Cruz is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Jackson’s hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 9.

To get to know him better we asked 16 year old Jackson to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Trumpet because my best friend wanted to play it in 6th grade and I wanted to feel cool.

What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece and why?

Peace by Ornette Coleman because that song is just great. It makes me feel (for a lack for better words) peaceful.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

Etienne Charles, he soloed in our band when we went to the Swing Central jazz competition and I got to talk to him afterwards.

What is jazz, exactly? How would you explain it?

Jazz is the greatest American pass time. Some people would say baseball is, but I disagree 100%. The feel of jazz is unique and makes you feel good while you listen.

Jackson’s Playlist

  1. In A Sentimental Mood – Dule Ellington/John Coltrane
  2. Bag’s Groove – Milt Jackson
  3. Hat and Beard – Eric Dolphy
  4. Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Benny Goodman
  5. Black Bottom Stomp – Jelly Roll Morton
  6. Dream A Little Dream – Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong
  7. Au Privave – Charlie Parker
  8. So What – Miles Davis
  9. I Got Rhythm – Ethel Waters
  10. Peace – Ornette Coleman

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Live Studio Session: Bellevue High School Jazz Combo With Mark Taylor

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We’ve been having a great time bringing some of the excellent regional high school jazz bands into the KPLU studios for live performances.  The musicians of the Bellevue High School Jazz band came in loaded for bear.

The group, under the direction of Edd George and featuring mentor Mark Taylor (tenor sax), began their set with Freddie Hubbard’s Crisis and followed that with Lee Morgan’s beautiful jazz ballad, Ceora.  They wrapped it up with a true be-bop classic, Charlie Parker’s 1945 composition, Billie’s Bounce. Read the rest of this entry »

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Live Studio Session: Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo With Dan Marcus

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Recently KPLU presented yet another excellent Puget Sound area high-school jazz band in a live studio session.  This time around it was the Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo from the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

The band arrived with their director Matthew Wenman and their mentor, Dan Marcus (trombone).  The band had recently been selected to participate in the 2015 Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City so in addition to the band’s excellent musical performances in our studio, the students also talked about the upcoming Big Apple gig, as well as sharing their thoughts about jazz in general. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Student DJ Margaux Bouchegnies: ‘Through Jazz We Tell A Story’

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Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU’s School of Jazz.

Puget Sound Community School’s Margaux Bouchegnies is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Margaux’s hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5.

To get to know her better we asked 15 year old Margaux to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why? Read the rest of this entry »

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