Norman Durkee died January 12 after a rich and productive life that produced all kinds of music in many different settings. Best known now as one of the creators and music directors of Teatro ZinZanni for the past 15 years, he was also prolific in concerts, opera, dance, contemporary concert music, jazz and blues to mention a few areas in which he was well known. Jim Wilke remembers Durkee from the 70s when he was producing radio commercials, an underground opera “Plastic Radio”, and playing concerts that mixed classical, jazz, rock and blues. Irreverant and unpredictable, he never landed in the same place twice and every performance was different, often radically so.
Excerpts from a Norman Durkee performance with Dan Dean and Tom Collier in the Alki Room at Seattle Center during Bumbershoot in 1979 will be featured on this week’s Jazz Northwest. Music on this week’s program also includes Steve Treseler’s CD “Center Song” and new CDs by Scenes with Hans Teuber, and “American Songs, Vol.2” by Marc Seales.
Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU, and it airs at 2 PM Pacific on Sunday afternoons. The program is also available as a podcast following the broadcast.