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Jim Wilke After Hours

By Published: August 29, 2006

AAJ: Living through so many changes in the Seattle jazz scene, do you have any ideas about the direction the town is going or where it should go?

JW: Of course I'd like to see greater general public awareness of jazz, but I'm happy to see so many small clubs and neighborhood restaurants that employ jazz musicians. It's good to have jazz out in places where people encounter it like Crossroads, Seattle Center, parks, downtown Bellevue, etcetera, without having to seek it out. This is really important to creating awareness. TV does almost nothing for jazz except use it for commercials, and except for a few exceptions radio does nearly nothing. The Seattle Times offers minimal coverage, and the P-I (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) offers none.

AAJ: You have been nominated for The Willis Conover Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting by the Jazz Journalists Association in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. When are you going to win this thing?

JW: Not to draw a direct comparison, but I like what Duke said on being nominated for but not winning the Pulitzer Prize. Duke said "Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young." He was 67 at the time. This is like a lifetime achievement award and it's named for a person for whom I have enormous respect. Just to have my name in the same sentence with his is an honor, and I do have the honor of being nominated for the award more times than anyone.

AAJ: After 40-plus years in the business are there any goals that you still hope to achieve?

JW: I think I'll make it to 50, which I believe is next year. I've forgotten the exact date I started.

AAJ: I know you like sailing. What type of boat do you have and where do you like to sail?

JW: I'm currently sailing a 14' single-handed Laser. It's a one-design racing boat used in the Olympics and requires quite a bit of athleticism to sail well. I sail most frequently on Green Lake and Lake Union, occasionally on Lake Washington and Puget Sound. I also enjoy sailing the classic boats at the Wooden Boat Center on Lake Union. Sailors are as friendly as jazz people, and listening to jazz while sailing is about as good as it gets.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Jazz After Hours

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