Sonic Tapestries in Blue
Jazz 91’s Greg Bridges on The Jazz Oasis, early inspiration and many bright moments in jazz broadcasting.
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“I try to create a bit of calm and relaxation when doing The Jazz Oasis, sometimes it even works out that way,” says Greg Bridges. Hosting The Jazz Oasis on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Bridges uses the airtime as an audio easel to paint gorgeous sonic tapestries in blue.
Born and raised in East Oakland, Bridges has been in radio for about 20 years. Aside from his KCSM airshifts, he hosts Transitions and Traditions, a spoken-word and hazz show on KPFA Radio in Berkeley. A seasoned jazz writer, emcee and presenter, he also showcases music and spoken word artists on the weekends at Jahva House on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland.
A graduate of San Jose State University, Greg began his professional radio career at KJAZ Radio in Alameda, where he came into his own as an on-air announcer and host of The Blues Show.
The proud dad of two children, Simone and Miles, Greg was musically inspired by his drum playing father, the late Oliver Johnson.
“I remember going to rehearsals with him when I was really young. He played drums but I was intrigued by the sound of the vibes. Later I found out they were being played by Bobby Hutcherson. My dad inspired me to have open ears and taught me that music las no boundaries and Bebop was not the last frontier.
In the 1960s, Johnson was a major player on the San Francisco jazz scene, playing and recording with Denny Zeitlin, Rafael Garrett, George Duke, Jon Hendricks, Dexter Gordon and others. He moved to Europe in 1970 and spent 16 years drumming for Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, Roscoe Mitchell, Jean Luc Ponty, Archie Shepp and others.
Greg’s smile and positive personality beams through the microphone as he takes us on a relaxing jazz radio experience.
“Being in broadcasting has brought me many bright moments,” he concludes. Hanging out in a dressing room with Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, sharing jokes and taking with Miles Davis; receiving a gift in the mail for my newborn daughter from Betty Carter. There have been and continue to be many bright moments. I’ve been blessed.