Jazz

Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

A Bit Of The Best Saxophone You'll Ever Hear

Nov 6, 2014
The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

Thursday marks the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone. And yes, that's his real name. A bit about him and his instrument, from NPR:

As a young man, Sax worked for his father, also an instrument maker. The younger Sax made improvements to the bass clarinet and invented a family of instruments called saxhorns before creating his eponymous "phone" in the early 1840s.

Are You A Saxpert? Find Out Here

Nov 6, 2014
Lexington Herald-Leader / Getty Images

It's the 200th birthday of the saxophone's inventor, Adolphe Sax - really, that was his name. To celebrate, NPR invites you to try and identify some great sax solos. How well do you know your saxophone?

Find out with this interactive audio quiz.

Northwest Public Radio is now in the jazz business, with a third program stream airing on its newest station, KJEM.  (LISTEN). Click here for current on-air playlist.

Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar got his big break after Stan Kenton heard him playing in a college band and invited him to join his Orchestra in 1960.

"One of my biggest highlights in Stan's band was being featured on a beautiful standard tune called 'Stairway to the Stars,'" the 83-year-old Baltazar says. "He liked that tune, and he thought it would be my signature song. And throughout my career, four years with the band, I was featured on that and it was just great."

Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, early 1942. The Jay McShann Orchestra from Kansas City, Mo., has the stage, and Charlie "Bird" Parker picks up his alto saxophone:

"The rhythm section had him by the tail, but there was no holding or cornering Bird. Disappearing acts were his specialty. Just when you thought you had him, he'd move, coming up with another idea, one that was as bold as red paint on a white sheet."

RJ Capak / SCETV (via NPR)

Jazz legend and public radio host Marian McPartland died of natural causes Tuesday night at the age of 95.

LaChapelle family

Jazz musicians from around the country will gather on Sunday to honor a musician who didn’t sell a lot of records, but influenced three generations of jazz guitarists. John LaChapelle died last month at the age of 91 in Richland, Wash.

Photo courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection

PLUMMER, Idaho - Jazz aficionados know Mildred Bailey as the legendary singer who cleared the way for female jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Less well known is the fact that Bailey was Native American. Now, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho has launched a campaign to bring the singer -- and her heritage -- into the spotlight. Jessica Robinson tells the story.

The music of two innovators from the last two centuries comes together Saturday night in Tacoma.  Tacoma Philharmonic and Broadway Center present ‘The Bad Plus – on Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring’.  According to Billboard, The Bad Plus is America’s most “audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio”.  They will be performing one of the most famous works of 20th century art, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a work that at its premiere in 1913 caused a riot among the audience

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