Much beloved Seattle singer Ernestine Anderson died on March 10 at the age of 87. Her career spanned six decades, thirty albums, four Grammy nominations and hundreds of performances all over the world. This Sunday on Jazz Northwest, host Jim Wilke remembers his friend and her performances around the Seattle area including live broadcasts, jazz festivals and club gigs. Recordings on the show range from her 1955 debut to her late recordings up to 2010.
Ernestine Anderson grew up in Seattle, attending Garfield High School where her contemporaries included Quincy Jones, Floyd Standifer, and Buddy Catlett. Though she spent time living in London and L.A., Seattle was home to Ernestine when she wasn’t on the road literally around the world. She gave generously of her time and talent, with the Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble being the special recipient of many benefit performances. She was a regular performer at The Bellevue Jazz Festival, Jazz Port Townsend, and Jazz Alley and lent her name to a Seattle jazz club, Ernestine’s (formerly Parnell’s) where she also performed. She was one of the first persons to be named to the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame and will be honored at this year’s Golden Ear Awards presented by Earshot at The Royal Room on March 15.
Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org. After broadcast, programs may be streamed at jazznw.org. The program airs Sundays at 2 PM Pacific. Next week, a concert at the Seattle Art Museum by The Tiptons saxophone quartet.