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.”

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Cuban Jazz – KCSM’s 2nd Visit, 1 of 6: Santeria Street Performers

Fred Witt | November 6th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_11_06_KCSM_SanteriaKCSM just hosted their second tour of Cuba.  The group is back and they are raving !  The blog will provide a another look at the tour view of Cuba, the traveler’s impressions, the music to be found there, and how to ease your way if you chose to visit.

While Cuban economy is in recession and short of a lot of things, they are not short of music.  Some of their jazz musicians are right up with us, and then they have their latin specialties.  The tour heard a street Santeria drum & dance group who were really hot.  A clip here is not the street group in question, but is a sample of the type.   If you’re visiting Havana and want to catch the original group, get to (the alley:-) Callejon de Hamel, Sunday afternoons only.  By mid-show you will be easily caught up in their fever pitch.

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KCSM Jazz Swap College of San Mateo 31 Oct 10am – 5pm

Ron Lee | October 25th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

2015_jazzswapWelcome to KCSM’s first jazz swap! This event will take place on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at College of San Mateo – College Center (Bldg. 10) located in the heart of San Mateo, California. Vendors from near and far will be on hand to sell jazz related items: vinyl and CD’s, vintage jazz memorobilia and rarites.

More details at KCSM Jazz Swap

Etta Jones – KCSM Special – Mon 14 Sep, 2-6 pm

Fred Witt | September 14th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_09_13_KCSM_EJonesOn Monday, September 14th, join Chuy Varela and Kathleen will broadcast the life and music of Etta Jones.  Etta was born in South Carolina, and raised in Harlem.  She was on her first nationwide tour with Buddy Johnson’s band in her teens. In a long-running career Etta sang and recorded R & B into her 70’s.

With a clear, melodic voice it’s easy to understand Etta’s popularity, although a mystery why she was not much more widely known during her career.  Listen to “Don’t Go To Strangers” here, one of her national hit works.

Now join Kathleen and Chuy on Monday, September 14th from 2- 6pm for an Etta Jones program.

A Blue Monday: Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon and more! 21 Sept 2-6pm

Ron Lee | September 13th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Listen to Kathleen and Chuy play the music of Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon and other great blues artists. Listen from 2-6pm.

Volunteers Ready For Your Pledge Call @ 1-800-527-6911 !

Fred Witt | September 11th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Jazz 91 volunteers are on site at the station, ready for your pledge call. Don’t worry if you didn’t see the number on the home page – it’s right here. Join the great group of KCSM supporters !

Feelin’ the Vibe on Thursday, September 10 from 2-6pm

staff_blogger | September 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

pledge_9_10_feelinthevibe From 2-6pm on Thursday, September 10th, Chuy and Mel will be your guides on a “trip into Jazz Vibe Heaven” you don’t want to miss this ride!

Some of these featured artists will be vibraphonists Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson.

KCSM Interview with Bria – @ SJ Jazz Summer Fest

Fred Witt | September 9th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_08_16_BSkonbergWhen you get to your first performance by the rising star Bria Skonberg; trumpeter, singer, and band leader, the next thing through your mind is “When do I get to see this AGAIN !”  Bria is a very good trumpeter, has a terrific voice, and brings the world’s warmest welcoming smile to the stage.

Bria was one of the surprise acts of the festival; very talented and enjoyable with not a lot of  local awareness of what was coming.  The truth is, Bria’s open, on-stage candor and warmth had the audience in her hand through the whole show.  Further, after the scheduled festival dates there was a surprise Tuesday night add-on show downtown at the Cafe Stritch.  This was  funded by an anonymous donor who saw Bria’s festival show !  If you catch one of her shows you’ll appreciate it for yourself.

Bria is also a composer of note.  If you take a close look at one of her CD’s like “So Is The Day” you’ll find that she composed most of the music.  She has a few CD’s out and is working on the next one.

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