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What's your local jazz station...

Jim Alfredson

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Ok, so I had an ulterior motive in starting this forum and that was gather information about your local jazz station(s). Do they have any local DJs or do they just use the syndicated shows like Bob Parlocha? (love that guy!) If so, which ones are your favorites?

I'm hoping to put together a database so we can get our next CD into the right hands and get some airplay! Thank you for your help!

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Miami's WDNA (www.wdna.org) uses Bob Parlocha over the graveyard shift, but everything else is live and local. I can put you in touch with the folks there (and put in a good word) if you want. They do mostly straight-ahead jazz with a heavy dose of Latin jazz in the early afternoons. I think DJs have a considerable amount of leeway in what they're allowed to play, as a few of them have IMO horrible taste. But it's mostly very good.

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Hm...as I'm based in Boston these days I'm not sure exactly who is left there. The morning guy would probably dig it, I think. They have a rotating staff in the afternoons so I'll try and listen in this week and see what their tastes seem to be. They webcast, too, so you guys can check it out too and see who might be best.

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KCSM Jazz 91.1, of course.

Favorite DJ has to be Sonny Buxton on Saturday mornings. Not only does he play great music, but he always has interesting anecdotes and stories.

All the DJs are local - including Clifford Brown, Jr.

At 9pm on weeknights they run syndicated shows by Nancy Wilson, Ed Bradley, Marian McPartland and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

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WGBH 89.7 Boston

Mondays - Thursdays, 7pm-12am, Jazz with Eric in the Evening, host Eric Jackson.

Fridays, 7pm-12am, Jazz from Studio Four, host Steve Schwartz

Fridays, 1am-6am, Jazz Gallery, host Al Davis

Saturdays, 1am-6am, Jazz Gallery, host Kevin Ball

Sundays, 1am-6am, Jazz Gallery, host Ron Gill

Mondays-Thursdays, 12am-5am, Jazz with Bob Parlocha

Btw, Steve Schwartz is a member of this board. In addition to hosting Jazz from Studio Four, he created the Jazz Gallery program and is the producer of the live jazz performance series Live From Studio One on 'GBH that features in-studio performances by local musicians. He's a great guy who's done a lot for the Boston jazz scene. :tup

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Phoenix has very little jazz on the radio of the "non-smooth" variety on fm. There is some decent programming on KJAZ 91.5 fm (npr affiliate with local studio at ASU campus). Bob Corritore has a terrific Sunday night broadcast on that station, but it's all about blues/r&b. Sirius satellite radio has brought a whole lot of great jazz into our house (and cars) with 5 jazz stations-this is going to be huge and you should get on playlists there, IMHO! With every NFL and NBA game available and Howard Stern on the way (I'm not a fan but millions are), it would seem Sirius is the way to go.

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In Philly, it's WRTI (Temple University's professionally-run NPR affiliate). REAL jazz from 6PM-6AM. (There's also a so-called "smooth jazz" station in Philly that isn't worth mentioning here). WRTI used to have 24-hour jazz, but gave the 6AM-6PM hours over to Classical when the all-classical station here sold out to another format. Frankly, it's ridiculous that Philly, the 4th largest radio market in the country--and home to world-class classical music institutions (Philadelphia Orchestra, Curtis Institute, etc.) and an incredible jazz tradition (Coltrane, Getz, Lee Morgan, Sun Ra, Golson, Philly Joe Jones, and on and on and on . . .) doesn't have either a full-time classical OR a full-time jazz station. Oh well, WRTI says that when they begin broadcasting digital radio, they'll be able to offer both classical and jazz streams during the day. :tup

WRTI has local jazz DJj's, and their star in that regard is Bob Perkins (6-9pm), who sounds like he's been doing it for decades. They also carry the NPR jazz shows.


Edited by Ron S
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Here in the Pacific NW, the big signal is KPLU /FM ( www.kplu.org) And considering the amount of Jimmy Smith they play, I'd add them to your list. Dick Stein and Nick Morrison are the main daytime DJs, and Jim Wilke does a weekend all night jazz show: "Jazz after Hours" that's syndicated nationally on PRI. (http://www.jazzafterhours.org/)

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Here in Santa Barbara we're lucky in that we have 2 jazz + NPR/PRI stations from which to choose. Actually one (KCLU) is based in Ventura and the other (KCBX), in San Louis Obispo but they both claim Santa Barbara as theirs-- probably to have a larger base for fund raising. I give to both because they're both pretty good. KCLU actually calls itself a "Jazz and NPR" station. KCBX plays classical music in the afternoons, but jazz most mornings and evenings.

They both carry the same syndicated show in the middle of the night but I just noticed that one of the KCLU djs, Bonnie Grice, is included in that mix, so she might be a good contact. (I like her because she plays a lot of Pee Wee Russell.) None of the other djs on KCLU have impressed me. Strangely, Ken Borgers formerly of KJAZZ, announces traffic reports etc on KCLU but doesn't dj.

The djs on KCBX for "Morning Cup of Jazz" and "Freedom Jazz Dance" are both very good.

Neither station ids what they're playing often enough, but that seems to be true of all stations nowadays. (I listen in my car a lot and often arrive at my destination without finding out what I'm listening to.) But KCBX at least posts their playlists.

Their website URLs are

http://www.kclu.org/ and


Good luck. I look forward to hearing some Organissimo on the radio.

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Smooth never makes the cut here at WFIU. Joe Bourne hosts the afternoon weekday jazz program, Just You & Me, from 3:30 to 5, and also does The Big Bands every Friday night at 9. (Full disclosure: I frequently sit in on both programs.) We also have a great two-hour jazz/popular-song program called Afterglow, hosted by the venerable Dick Bishop, that follows The Big Bands. The only syndicated jazz program that we carry is Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz, which comes on just before Joe and Dick's Friday night shows.

And, uh, there's this *cough cough* Saturday evening program called Night Lights that focuses on artists and themes of the 1945-75 period in American jazz. There might even be a website for it or something, if you look around...

Definitely send us the next Organissimo CD! I still plan to buy one & support the band, but I think Joe would like you guys as well.

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Most of the jazz shows in Kansas City and surrounding area are on public radio broadcasts. Bob Parlocha in the early morning wee hours, but local jocks the rest of the time. KCUR 89.3 out of Lawrence, Kansas (KU's station), and KKFI 90.1 has late morning and afternoon jazz during the week with local jocks. 91.5 plays some, too, but the shows seem to come and go, for the most part it seems to play classical music.

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There are only a few 24 hour Jazz stations in the States; maybe the world.

WGMC in Rochester, New York

KUVO in Denver

KSDS in San Diego

WBGO in Newark / NYC

KKJZ in L.A.

You would be well served to join the jazzproglist provided by my friend Tony Gasparre of JazzWeek, that has most stations reporting their playlists. JazzWeek in a jazz industry, fee based, magazine/ trade paper JazzWeek but you can sign up for the Jazz Programmers List for free from there.

From there you can view all of the reporting playlists and see who is playing the type of music you play.

Tony Gaspare is a good cat, I'm sure if you emailed him. he would point you in the right direction. They used to have a inexpensive service that would mail your recording to all of their reporting stations. I'm not sure if they do that anymore.

In a recent conversation I had with Tony, the subject of organ groups came up and he mentioned that Rochester, Cleveland and Philly were big on that type of group.

But talk to Tony ( and his partner Ed); they are right in the middle of the Jazz Radio scene and well respected by all. They also host a convention for programmers every year.

Here is a photo of Joe Locke and Dr. Lonnie Smith that was taken in Rochester this Summer for you.

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If you're really interested in getting airplay you should at least consider hiring an outside promoter to work your record. Most of the jazz promoters are good people and you stand a lot better chance of getting airplay going through them than just sending out a cd to stations and following it up yourself, UNLESS you're really going to put in the time and effort needed to do a good promotional campaign and make the calls (lots of them) that you need to.

There's a lot of JUNK that gets sent out to stations and you don't want your record to get lost in the junk, a promoter can help you there because they talk to the PD's and MD's every week and know them and what they like and don't like. Organ trio records often do well at radio, timing is the key though. Sometimes we won't have a new organ record for months, and then all of the sudden, there's three of them out at once.

Also, since Jazzweek changed to the new monitoring system with data provided by Mediaguide the charts are VERY accurate, down to individual spins. The technology is amazing, they're able to detect each time a station plays one of your tracks. Of course this means you need to have your CD in the Mediaguide database too.

PM me if you'd like more info and I'll also give you contact info for KFSR in Fresno, CA.


(and check out our online interview with Dr. Lonnie Smith)

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If you're really interested in getting airplay you should at least consider hiring an outside promoter to work your record.

I've been contacted by two different promoters. The problem is they are extremely expensive. $2500 for 8 weeks of promoting one record on 100 jazz stations. Considering our last disc cost $6000, including hiring Ron, studio time and mixing, and the cost of 1,000 discs, that's a lot of money.

We broke even on our first run of 1,000 discs. We are not anywhere near breaking even on our second run. Add $2500 and we're further in the hole. It's just not possible unless we can get a label behind us.

My immediate plan is to get the next CD (and the current one for that matter) in the hands of the guys that have syndicated shows, like Parlocha. We already got our record into the hands of Jim Wilke (who also listed the album as one of his top 2003 releases) and he's heard on over 60 NPR stations nationwide. Not bad. Bonnie Grice and Parlocha are the other big ones I'd like to get.

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Well, I'm using the great resources at AAJ (they have a list of 274 jazz stations... some are internet only, some are smooth, but it's a decent list) and I'm systematically trying to find out if:

a) They use local DJs or just have syndicated shows

b) If they do use local DJs, which ones might be most interested in our disc.

The other night I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finding email addresses and listening to streams of various stations to try and determine who might fit the bill. I emailed probably 12 people that night and already got one response (who said "SEND IT!") which is pretty good considering it's the holiday.

Since I'm a stay-at-home dad, I figure I can do the work myself. I just need a good list on contacts... ergo, this new forum!!! :D

Phil, did it really cost you $25k for your last disc? Wow-za. Big bands are expensive!

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