Jazz Music Radio in Seattle

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for a great jazz radio station in Seattle? Check out KPLU 88.5 FM! They play a mix of jazz standards and modern jazz, and they’re always keeping things fresh.

What is Jazz?

Jazz music is a genre of music that originated in the African-American communities in the early 20th century. The style of jazz music was influenced by both European and African musical traditions. Jazz music is characterized by its use of improvisation, syncopation, and swing.

The Origins of Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as “America’s classical music”. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression.It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a significant contribution from Native Americans.Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals,
polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as “one of America’s original art forms”.

The Elements of Jazz

When people think of jazz, they often think of brass instruments, blue notes, and syncopated rhythms. While these are all certainly defining elements of the style, they only begin to scratch the surface of what makes jazz the unique and revered musical genre that it is. In its simplest form, jazz is music that is improvised, or created spontaneously as it is being performed. This means that while most music is planned out in advance by a composer or bandleader, with specific parts written out for each musician to play during the performance, jazz musicians instead rely on their training, experience, and creativity to come up with their part in the moment. This commonly happens by building off of the chords being played by the rhythm section (usually piano, bass, and drums), or by taking turns soloing over those chords.

While this improvisation is undoubtedly the most important element of jazz, there are other important features that distinguish it from other genres. These include its African-American roots (jazz originated in New Orleans in the late 19th century), its use of blue notes (flattened or “bluesey” sounding notes), and its swung rhythms (a “lazy” feel that is achieved by playing 8th notes slightly late).

Of course, there are many subgenres of jazz that have developed over the years (bebop, hard bop, cool jazz, etc.), each with its own unique flavor and set of defining characteristics. But at its core, jazz is still music that is improvised and created in the moment by some of the most skilled and creative musicians in the world.

Jazz in Seattle

Jazz music has been around for over a hundred years and originated in the United States. The first jazz recordings were made in 1917 and since then, jazz has become one of the most popular genres of music. Jazz is a style of music that is characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and swing. Jazz music is often played on the saxophone, trumpet, piano, and drums.

The Seattle Jazz Scene

Though Seattle is not as traditionally associated with jazz as some other US cities, it has a thriving and vibrant jazz scene. There are many great venues to catch live jazz performances, ranging from cozy intimate settings to large concert halls. And if you can’t make it out to a show, there are plenty of great jazz radio stations to listen to.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to enjoy jazz in Seattle, as well as some of the top radio stations for Jazz fans.

The Top Jazz Venues in Seattle

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, if you’re a fan of jazz music, then you’ll want to know about the top jazz venues in Seattle. From classic joints to modern hotspots, there’s sure to be a place that suits your taste. Here are our picks for the best places to enjoy some jazz in Seattle.

The Crocodile
One of Seattle’s most popular music venues, The Crocodile is known for attracting big-name acts from all genres, including jazz. The intimate setting is perfect for enjoying some smooth sounds, and there’s always a great atmosphere here.

Egan’s Ballard Jam House
This cozy little venue is a favorite among locals and features some of the best live jazz in town. The great food and drinks don’t hurt either, making Egan’s Ballard Jam House the perfect place to spend an evening.

Tula’s Jazz Club
With a focus on local talent, Tula’s Jazz Club is the place to go if you want to catch some up-and-coming jazz artists. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, making it a great place to unwind after a long day.

The Royal Room
Located in the heart of Columbia City, The Royal Room is one of Seattle’s most beloved music venues. This charming spot has been host to many great jazz musicians over the years and continues to be a staple of the city’s music scene.

The Best Jazz Festivals in Seattle

Seattle is a great place to enjoy live jazz music, and there are several festivals throughout the year that showcase the best local and international talent. Here are some of the top festivals to check out:

-The Earshot Jazz Festival is one of the largest and most respected jazz festivals in the country. It takes place every October and features over 100 artists from all over the world.
-The Seattle Improvised Music Festival is a smaller festival that takes place in February and March. It focuses on avant-garde and experimental jazz, and is a great place to see up-and-coming talent.
-The Seattle Art Fair is a new addition to the city’s jazz scene, taking place in August with a focus on contemporary art and music. There will be plenty of live performances to enjoy throughout the weekend.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of jazz or just getting started, these festivals are sure to have something for everyone.

Jazz on the Radio

Jazz music has been around for over a century and has been influencing other genres of music since its inception. Jazz music is known for its improvisational nature and for its ability to bring people together. Jazz on the radio is a great way to experience this genre of music.

The History of Jazz on the Radio

Jazz on the radio has a long and storied history. The genre was first popularized on the airwaves in the 1920s, when radio was in its infancy. Jazz quickly became a staple of American culture, and its popularity only grew in subsequent decades.

Today, there are dozens of jazz radio stations across the country, including several in Seattle. These stations keep the genre alive by playing both classic and contemporary tunes. If you’re a fan of jazz, or simply curious about the genre, tune in and enjoy!

The Future of Jazz on the Radio

As more and more people turn to digital streaming services for their music, the future of jazz on the radio is uncertain. Seattle has a rich history of jazz music, and it’s one of the few genres that is still widely played on the radio. But with listenership declining, it’s possible that jazz could be relegated to a niche corner of the radio landscape in the years to come.

To ensure that jazz continues to thrive in Seattle, supporters of the genre should continue to listen to jazz on the radio and support local venues that showcase live jazz music. By keeping jazz alive and visible in our city, we can ensure that this important art form continues to thrive for years to come.

The Top Jazz Radio Stations in Seattle

If you’re looking for the best jazz radio stations in Seattle, you’ve come to the right place. Seattle is home to some of the best jazz musicians in the world, and there are plenty of great radio stations that play their music.

Here are the top five jazz radio stations in Seattle:

1. KPLU 88.5 FM: This station is owned by Pacific Lutheran University and features a wide variety of jazz programming, including live shows and interviews with local musicians.

2. KNKX 89.3 FM: This NPR affiliate is known for its extensive jazz programming, which includes live broadcasts of local concerts and interviews with nationally-known musicians.

3. KEXP 90.3 FM: This popular alternative station features a regular jazz show on weeknights, as well as occasional live broadcasts of local shows.

4. KBEM 88.5 FM: This Minneapolis-based station offers a mix of jazz, R&B, and soul music, and is available in Seattle on HD Radio.

5. KUOW 94.9 FM: This public radio station features a regular show called “The Swing Years” that plays classic jazz from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as modern recordings from today’s leading artists.

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