Etta James’ 78th Anniversary of her birth – Wed 20 Jan 2pm-6pm Mon 25 Jan 2-6pm

Ron Lee | January 13th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Etta James 71dM0tUMXML._SL1425_Know for her signature song At Last Etta James’ career started with her discovery by Johnny Otis in 1950. She produced a series of hits like The Wallflower(Roll with me Henry), All I Can Do is Cry, At Last, Tell Mama and many others. Her time at Chess records was portrayed in the movie Cadillac Records. Later in her career she was recognized with several grammy awards, induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and named #62 in the Rolling Stoes’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

We are paying tribute to Etta on the 78th anniversary of the birth of Etta James. Listen to her sing “Something Has Got a Hold on Me”.

Sing a Song of Jazz on KCSM

Ron Lee | January 6th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

71097_193349651122_1526328_nAh the voice! The first instrument. The vehicle through which all others developed. Where would we be without it?

Fortunately we don’t have to answer that question, since we have so many extraordinary jazz vocalists in our history and our midst.

Join us this month as we Sing a Song of Jazz and celebrate some of the greats! The fun begins on Jan 20th as KCSM presents:

  • Etta James’ 78th Anniversary of her birth – Chuy and Melanie Wed 20 Jan 2pm-6pm
  • Tribute to the late Allen Toussaint – Chuy, Melanie, Kathleen and Harry Fri 22 Jan 2pm – Midnight
  • Sing a Song of Jazz with Ella Fitzgerald and others – Sonny with Melanie, Dick and Kathleen Sat 23 Jan 10am-6pm
  • Sam Cooke’s 85th anniversary of his birth – Keith and Melanie Sun 24 Jan 10am-2pm
  • Ruth Brown’s 88th anniversary of her birth and Etta James’ 78th anniversary of her birth – Chuy with Mel and Kathleen with Harry 29 Jan 2pm-midnight
  • Tony Bennet’s 90th Birthday! – Sonny and Mel 30 Jan 10am-6pm

Watch the KCSM blog for more details on these shows and others!

KCSM Early Bird donation

Ron Lee | January 5th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

774LBe an Early Bird! Make your donation between January 5-19 (6pm PST) and kick off the New Year in our new T-shirt! This exclusive KCSM item features a sketch based on a playful candid shot of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong taken in 1959. The T-shirt is a 98% cotton/2% poly blend, and should wash and wear well. Available in sizes Small to XXXL. In addition to the T-shirt, you will get an Ella and Louis: Together 2-CD set


KCSM Member Discount Card. Pledges at the $100 level or more will receive a KCSM member card that will open doors to discounts with local merchants. The card will pay by itself after you use it once or twice.


All Early Bird donors are AUTOMATICALLY entered into our raffle. Get raffle details.

KCSM membership drive – call for volunteers!

Ron Lee | January 5th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

71097_193349651122_1526328_nHave you been thinking about a New Year’s resolution?

Tired of making one you can’t keep? Well, here’s one that’s easy, fun and fulfilling… Why not volunteer to answer phones during our upcoming membership drive? It’ll make you feel good, and you’ll be helping out a good cause to boot! Our membership drive starts Jan 20 and goes through Feb 2.

Interested? Email

KCSM Reviews: SF Cole Porter Society

Fred Witt | December 21st, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Noah Griffin’s Cole Porter Society (CPS) is the group that put on our commemorative and celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday (or Cent Anni) earlier this month.  It was a nice, warm show.  We all know the pieces.  The show was in SF’s stately Herbst Theater in the downtown War Memorial.  Amidst all the good music, a really high point was some of the great voices among the performers.

15_12_21_Noah_GriffinAnd some more on what is our Cole Porter Society:  This is a performing, educational, and promotional group for Cole Porter work and for the “Great American Songbook” material.  The group is just going on 2 years now.  This is all the work of Noah Griffin, a senior person in (law and) singing and education.  Noah partnered with his wife Meridith Browning on this.

Noah, a professional singer in his own right, is a huge fan of American show tunes.  He organized the CPS and now hosts shows, performs, and conducts educational programs.

Photo on the right of Noel and Meridith by Mike Mustacchi

KCSM Frank Sinatra Centennial Blowout! Fri Dec 11 9am-6pm

Ron Lee | December 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Sinatra7420RET_1As part of the celebration at KCSM for the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra we are dedicating our programming all day Fri Dec 11th from 9am-6pm. Listen to our hosts play Sinatra classics and tune in for special programming. Come celebrate with KCSM!

Frank Sinatra Centenary: Cole Porter Society “Cent Anni” 11 Dec

Ron Lee | December 8th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

frank_300_event-237x300In celebration of the Frank Sinatra Centenary the Cole Porter Society is presenting “Cent Anni” at the Herbst Theatre in SF. Singer Noah Griffin will be a partial recreation  of Sinatra’s “Live at the Sands” recording. From the Cole Porter Society web site:

50 years ago, at the height of his powers, he was recorded live at the Sands. In honor of what would have been his 100th birthday, join us at the Herbst Theater as we recreate that night when he shared the stage with the great Count Basie. The Bay Area’s finest vocalists will grace the evening with song: Amanda King, Patrick Leveque, Deborah Winters, Sofia Perozzi, Bobby Vickers and Noah Griffin with the Starduster Orchestra led by Count Basie’s drummer, Harold Jones.

KCSM will be on hand as a media sponsor of the show and KCSM host Greg Bridges will be the master of ceremonies for the performance at the Herbst Theatre in SF. You can get tickets at
The Cole Porter Society Presents: “Cent Anni” Frank Sinatra at 100 Years

Cuban Jazz – 2nd Visit, 3 of 6: Toni Weingarten’s Cuban Sights

Fred Witt | November 22nd, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Toni W from Marin was one of the travelers in KCSM’s 2nd visit to Cuba, this Fall. She has written in for KCSM readers on the memorable sights and sounds from her trip. Should you make your own visit, keep in mind these parts of life that impressed.

“What I loved most about Cuba was the colors and the rhythms. The faded pinks and greens and blues of the old colonial buildings and the flapping of the laundry on all the once-ornate balconies. Even though now shabby – they are elegant and have class. As do the people – they may be poor but they have such heart and soul and a lot of pride in their history.”

“I loved the revolutionary billboards and posters and even street artwork that I would see (see the photo to the right). And I loved the music! The Latin and African rhythms – whether of a full-on modern jazz band with great 15_11_19_KCSM_ToniWhorn playing ( [click here to]see video) and you could feel the rhythm of the tropical breezes in their playing – or in the amazing folk dances of the Cuban Ballet Folklorico ( [click here to see the] video …) with their old African rhythms and chanting and incredibly graceful swirling dancers.”

“Cuba delights all the senses.”

Toni Weingarten
Greenbrae, CA

Click on these items if you’d like to see part 1 or part 2 of this 2nd Cuban visit series.

Click here if you’d like to see any of the parts of KCSM’s 1st Cuban visit series from this past Spring: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.

KCSM celebrates Giving Tuesday – 1 Dec

Ron Lee | November 21st, 2015 | Leave a Comment »


Join KCSM-FM, Jazz 91 to celebrate #GivingTuesday on December 1st! #GivingTuesday — the charitable counterpart to Black Thursday and Cyber Monday– has grown into an international movement. Last year, over 30,000 organizations in 68 countries came together to celebrate this special day. #GivingTuesday encourages giving by connecting people around the globe to give to their favorite cause or charity!


Giving makes our 24/7 jazz radio station over the air and online growing.  This past year we’ve added new talent, brand new programs like Jazz in the Wee Small Hours, Have You Heard and The New Now.  We continue to expand our jazz collection, which is now the third largest jazz radio collection in the country. We’re doing live broadcasts, taking listeners to Cuba, and started a Jazz Swap to connect jazz purveyors and collectors. We partner with all area jazz organizations and venues like Cafe Stritch, Yoshi’s, SFJAZZ, Stanford Jazz, San Jose Jazz and the quintessential, Monterey Jazz Festival. We support local, national and international jazz artists with exposure on our own interview programs like Desert Island Jazz and I’m Talking Jazz.


On #GivingTuesday, December 1st, remember your jazz station!  Give your gift so we can expand our jazz palate all year long.  Simply go to our website,, and click on the #GivingTuesday box on our homepage to make your gift.  Thanks for making KCSM-FM, Jazz 91 part of your giving tradition!



Cuban Jazz – 2nd Visit, 2 of 6: Owen Daniels Interview on Roberto Fonseca

Fred Witt | November 11th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

We’re talking with Owen Daniels who has just returned from KCSM’s 2nd tour in Cuba, and who caught the show at Havana’s leading jazz club, The Fox & Raven. The show that night was pianist Roberto Fonseco (see the photo, right) & his jazz band. Click here for a sample of Roberto’s work.

15_11_07_KCSM_FonsecaOwen is an SF native and a veteran keyboard & bass musician. Owen spent 9 years with his most recent band, with multiple monthly appearances.

[Interview edited for clarity & length.]

KCSM: “Owen, when it comes to playing music, what’s in it for you ?”

Owen: “I came into music at a primary-school age, behind my father & brother musicians. Music has been more than just a diversion from daily life. It is material I can perform. It is a place where I can look into all the parts and see what they are doing, separately and together. I can watch how they can be varied and still be a credible performance.”

KCSM: “What did the show at The Fox and Raven have for you ?”

Owen: “I got to see excellent musicians in Roberto Fonseca’s Temperamento group, with their individual playing, and sensitivity to each other. They did good performance work with the melody on their hands. Their work had a high degree of musicality (which I could more easily show you than explain) and very musical solos.”

Read the rest of this entry »