Guest Student DJ Joel Steinke: Ushering In The Next Generation Of Jazz

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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.  

Joel Steinke from Edmonds Woodway High School is the Student DJ for the month of July.  Joel’s hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 2.

To get to know him better we asked Joel to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

I play the saxophone because it allows the player to emulate the voice of a singer, and to me is one of the most personable instruments.

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

I don’t have just one “all time favorite jazz composition” but lately it’s been the music of Keith Jarrett.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

My jazz hero(s) has to be John Coltrane for his spirituality, and Lee Konitz for his personality.

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

I don’t really like to define what jazz is, because it can be so many things. To me personally, jazz is what you play when surrounded by people, and how you play differently or how they change your playing, as opposed to playing by yourself in a practice room.

Joel’s Playlist:

1 “I Want To Talk About You” John Coltrane – Newport ’63

2 “Hi Beck” Lee Konitz – At Storyville

3 “Kitty B” Sal Mosca – Warne Marsh/Sal Mosca Quartet Vol 2

4 “East Of The Sun” Charlie Parker – With Strings

5 “Ankara” Bobby Hutcherson – Patterns

6 “I Waited For You” Art Farmer – Sing Me Softly Of The Blues

7 “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” Warne Marsh – Unissued Copenhagen Studio Recordings

8 “Love No. 1″ Keith Jarrett – Life Between The Exit Signs

9 “Resolution (alternate take)” John Coltrane – A Love Supreme: Deluxe Edition

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School Of Jazz: Meadowdale High School Jazz Combo – Raising The Bar

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As we welcomed Lynnwood’s Meadowdale High School Jazz Combo into the KPLU live performance studio, they looked like normal, hard-working music students.  When they started to play, however, it was soon clear to us that we were hearing a band that was a cut above.

Along with their mentor, trumpeter Michael Van Bebber, the combo nailed each of the 3 songs they performed.  If you have doubts about whether or not high school students can really play jazz, listen to this session.  Your doubts will disappear.  Out thanks to the band for such a fine performance and kudos to the band’s director, Jeff Horenstein.

Song List:

  1. Road Song
  2. Things Don’t Exist
  3. Smash

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Guest Student DJ Danny Quaranta: Staying True To The Music

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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.

Issaquah High School’s Danny Quaranta is KPLU’s guest DJ for the month of June.  Danny’s hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 4th.  To get to know him better, we asked 17-year-old Danny to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

I was the classic “6th-grade clarinet for 1 year then switch to saxophone” kid, only my director set me up with a bass clarinet, which at the time was alright for me; a bigger instrument meant bigger buttons to press. When the next year rolled around, however, I was told I would be playing baritone instead of alto sax. At first I was hesitant, with my dad getting overly excited about how I would immediately become a competent groovy funk player the second I touched the horn, but it was whatever.

A year later a clipboard was passed around the band room for the kids that wanted to be in the jazz band. Me, having no intention of waking up early on Wednesday passed it on without a thought, only to receive a look of despair from my director. “Oh nononononono” he said, “I did not raise you on that instrument for you to wimp out of my band”. Smiling, gesturing for the kid I just passed it to to pass it back to me, I reluctantly printed my name in illegible print and never turned back.

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

Without a doubt, Body and Soul is my all-time favorite chart. Most people, myself included, usually picture beauty in our minds when we hear the word. I believe this song to be the best representation of what beauty sounds like.

Who’s your jazz hero and why?

This question took an hour or two of thought to answer, but I’d say Bill Evans in the end inspires me to stay true to music. It sounds like a meaningless and cliché thing to say, but Evans was the kind of guy who would wait 27 months after released his debut album despite the constant pestering of the label because, simply put, “Evans did not feel, during the intervening period, that he had anything new to say”.

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

Jazz to me is nothing more than a music genre, so I’ll put a quote here:

“Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe. . . That’s what I would like to do. I think that’s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician’s is through his music.” – John Coltrane

Danny’s Set List:

  1. “The Way You Look Tonight” Sonny Rollins/Thelonious Monk – self titled
  2. “Rue Serpente” Pepper Adams – The Master
  3. “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” Oscar Peterson – Night Train
  4. “Dancing In The Dark” Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
  5. “Nardis” Bill Evans – Explorations
  6. “Dear Old Stockholm” Miles Davis – ‘Round About Midnight
  7. “El Is A Sound Of Joy” Sun Ra – Sound of Joy
  8. “La Pasionaria” Michel Legrand – Le Jazz Grand
  9. “Here’s That Rainy Day” Stan Getz – Getz Au Go Go
  10. “Body And Soul” John Coltrane – Coltrane’s Sound

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School Of Jazz: Interlake High School Jazz Combo With Thomas Marriott

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The Interlake High School Jazz Combo is doing it right.  They’ve got chops, poise and the ability to select and arrange great material.

Of course, some of that ability to select and arrange might—just might—be aided and abetted by the band’s director, Paul Gillespie, and/or their mentor, jazz trumpeter, Thomas Marriott.

In this studio session, the band (with Marriott sitting in) performed three songs:  This Is For Albert (by Wayne Shorter), Stoner Hill (by Brian Blade) and Sonny Rollin’s classic, Doxy, here given an inventive treatment by the band.

Song List:

  1. This Is For Albert
  2. Stoner Hill
  3. Doxy

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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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