Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

KCSM Jazz 91 Fall Specials

September 7th, 2017

KCSM is celebrating jazz and soul with special programming on the weekends for the month of September. The KCSM hosts have put together a full line up for you. Tune in for:

Patti Labelle
Friday, 9/8, 2-6pm with Chuy & Mel
Sunday, 9/10, 10am-2pm with Keith & Mel

Bebop Royalty
Charlie Parker: Saturday, 9/9, 10am-2pm with Sonny & Mel
Thelonius Monk: Saturday, 9/9, 2-6pm with Dick & Mel
Dizzy Gillespie: Saturday, 9/16, 10am-2pm with Sonny & Mel
Bud Powell: Saturday, 9/16, 2-6pm with Dick & Mel

Sisters of Soul and Jazz –
Friday, 9/22, 2-6pm with Chuy & Mel

Women of Soul: Aretha Franklin, Etta James & Ann Peebles
Friday, 9/22, 6pm-Midnight with Kathleen & Harry

Ray Charles 87th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, 9/23, 7am-6pm with Keith, Alisa, Sonny, Mel, Dick & Kathleen

Amazon Affiliate Program and KCSM

August 21st, 2017

Amazon Affiliate Program

Amazon Affiliate Program

You may have noticed the “Amazon Logo” button in our menu. By clicking on our Amazon button or simply typing in your browser’s address bar to initiate your Amazon purchases is another way that you can help the station stay in the black and on the air. partners with KCSM, and other public broadcasters across the nation, and generously donates a percentage of your purchases back to the participating station, in this case KCSM. By using any one of these buttons to get to to make your purchases, KCSM receives this donation directly from Amazon at no additional cost to you.

In our search for other ways besides eternal pledge to raise money for KCSM, it is very gratifying to have this type of corporate partnership.a trickle of revenue that helps us; access to music from a web-based retailer that helps you. It’s a win-win situation, made a little sweeter by the fact that our partnership with Amazon is valuable enough to them that we get twice as much that they give back to non-NPR partners.

So next time you have a hankering to whip out that credit card and go shopping online, would you mind taking a little detour through your favorite KCSM webpage? You’ll be helping us out and get an extra good feeling about whatever it is that is going to be showing up in your mailbox in one of those distinctive brown packages!

Thanks for all of the many ways that you help to support KCSM!

KCSM Jazz 91 Music Library

August 21st, 2017

Article By:
Jesse “Chuy” Varela, Director of Music and On Air Announcer

Digitizing Volunteer Alexis S.

Digitizing Volunteer: Alexis S.

It’s been a hundred years since the very first jazz record was made by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band of New Orleans, LA. The “Livery Stable Blues” was recorded in early April of 1917 for the Victor Talking Machine Company and became an instant hit! It helped usher in the Jazz Age and establish this African American derived musical artform as a vibrant style of American popular music.

Today jazz recordings are appreciated all around the world and every day someone is hearing the voice of Billie Holiday, or the trumpet of Louis Armstrong, for the very first time. For us at Jazz 91, we believe in, “Edu-Tain-Ment,” where an incredible cast of broadcasters entertain and teach you about the history, people, places and styles that make up this music.

To help our programmers to that end, we have the resource of the Jazz 91 library. Considered one of the largest jazz radio libraries in the United States, the collection is curated and maintained by me, Jesse “Chuy” Varela, Music Director at Jazz 91. I have been blessed to work as an archivist with the Smithsonian Institute, Oakland Museum, Arhoolie Foundation and others and find that what we have in the Jazz 91 library is a sonic reflection of the greats, and unsung, jazz artists of the San Francisco Bay Area and the West Coast.

The collection consists of Compact Discs, Vinyl LPs, 78 rpm discs, Reel-to-Reel tapes and Digitized Tracks. It is an active library used by programmers who play from source material. This distinguishes Jazz 91 from repositories like the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institute, Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, and others, who largely store recordings for archival preservation and research.

The categories of the Jazz 91 library include: Instrumentals, Vocals, Blues, Latin, Avant Garde, Holiday, Swing, Pop, and a special collection of Russian and Eastern European jazz. We also house an archive of programs by renown jazz broadcasters like Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins, Richard Hadlock, Marian McPartland and numerous NPR programs. It is a plethora of surprises for the jazz lover!

In recent years our most ambitious project has been the digitizing of our LP library. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers we are converting countless long out-of-print albums into digital format for renewed circulation over our airwaves and streams. Credit needs to be given to Jazz 91 Production Director, Chris Cortez, who handles the volunteers and teaches them the tech necessary to do the job, and our tireless engineer, Chris Phillips, who maintains our digital hardware.

Right now, the Jazz 91 library continues to grow thanks to a never-ending stream of new releases. But how we get our audio today is very different from the days of early jazz. Record labels are now beginning to service radio with downloadable tracks instead physical product. Vinyl is back and we are starting to receive a few new releases on LP. We are also starting to run out of room but we’ll make room for great jazz!

We don’t have every jazz recording ever made in the Jazz 91 library but what we have, we are proud to say, is quality without comprise!

Behind the Scenes. A KCSM Pledge Drive

August 21st, 2017

Melanie Berzon

Melanie Berzon, Director of Operations/On Air Announcer At the Mic

Article by:
Melanie Berzon, Director of Operations and On Air Announcer

Ever wonder what goes into putting together a KCSM Radio Pledge Drive? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Although we here at KCSM only come to you for support three times a year (January, May and September) we are actually working on our Pledge Drives every month of the year.

Let’s take our upcoming Fall Pledge Drive as an example. Our Spring Drive ended in May. Two weeks later we met to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. We also had to start thinking about our September Drive. The things we consider are: What artists would you be interested in learning more about? Are there any milestone Birthdays or Anniversaries coming up? Which musicians are hot at the moment? Our crack team of announcers go to work researching and taking the pulse of the Jazz and Music community.

For instance, this is the year of the centenary of the great Thelonious Monk’s birth.

But wait! Are there any new or reissue CD’s that would be of interest to you? Any special programs or educational documentaries that we can access? Would you like to add a Bebop Royalty custom made T-Shirt to your wardrobe? What other logo items would you appreciate? These (and others) are the types of questions we ask ourselves over and over again. All this takes time, energy and deep thought.

Our mission is two-fold:

  1. Entertaining you and keeping Jazz alive on the airwaves
  2. Raising the money we need to keep the station viable and successful

It’s not easy balancing the two. But it’s a task we take on with great joy and passion. As well as enormous responsibility and commitment.

Because you, the music, and the musicians are worth it! We hope you think so too and will continue to support us.

One Call And I was Hooked – Volunteering at KCSM

August 21st, 2017

Volunteer Diane D.

KCSM Volunteer Diane D.

Article by:
Diane D., KCSM Volunteer

Looking back, it was the very first pledge call I took that did it – the listener was so nice, and went for a “Phat Pack!”

I was hooked on volunteering at KCSM.

The Pledge Room was a fascinating place to start.

The cast of characters answering phones range from teens to retirees, from musicians to teachers to ministers.  Without exception, they are generous in time and spirit.  For many of them, this is not their only volunteer gig;  away from the station they care for and tutor kids, assist seniors, coordinate community music groups, serve as docents, restore native landscapes, and much more.

The station staff, from producers to on-air hosts to the back office staff work hard to put on the show, but never so hard that they don’t show their appreciation for the phone volunteers.

For the geeks among us, another volunteer opportunity at the station is digitizing the vast KCSM vinyl library.  A lot of great jazz from the past has not been released digitally, so this is our chance to preserve it.  That is rewarding on its own, but an added perk is that you have a chance to listen to great music you may never have heard before.  And there’s job security!  In addition to the KJAZ library we inherited, Chuy is always finding a treasure trove of LPs in someone’s garage or storage unit and putting them into the mix.

If you’re not into phones or computers, but still want to volunteer, never fear!  There are opportunities galore being the face of the station at jazz events, shipping thank you gifts, folding/stuffing envelopes for mailings, helping out in the care and maintenance of volunteer staff, and more.

To find out more about how to volunteer, email

Listening to KCSM without an FM Radio

August 21st, 2017

Article by:
Rene Renard, KCSM Engineer

Ever find yourself in a situation where you can’t listen to KCSM-FM on the radio? Maybe the FM reception isn’t so great where you work and your boss won’t allow you to install an outside antenna. Or you’re traveling to another city that’s way beyond Jazz 91’s reach. There is an easy solution; KCSM-FM offers free Internet streaming of our live radio broadcast at our website or via our free mobile app designed for your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet.

Using your desktop or laptop computer connected to the Internet, navigate on over to On the upper left side of the page you’ll find a large green “Listen Live” button. Mouse click on that button and you’ll be directed to our streaming page. The web stream will automatically launch and play the same great sounding music you hear broadcast over-the-air on Jazz 91. You’ll find links to our playlist and to our show archives hosted by Radio Free America. Our stream URLs can also be found on the same page if you prefer to stream KCSM via iTunes or other media players.

If you’d like to listen using a mobile device, download the free KCSM iOS streaming app for iPhone or iPad from the Apple App Store. You will find the Android version for phones and tablets in the Google Play Store. These apps feature playlist access as well as an alarm clock and a sleep timer so you can begin and end your day listening to KCSM! Allow “push notifications” during installation for a chance at special news, information and giveaways from KCSM.

KCSM mobile apps use the advanced codec recommended by NPR Labs (HE-AACv2) and sound great. The apps will work using Wi-Fi or most cellular data services. Be aware when using your cellular data plan, streaming with the KCSM app uses roughly 1GB (gigabyte) of data for every 35 hours of listening.

For more information regarding streaming KCSM or for any other KCSM-related technical advice, please send an email addressed to Happy listening!

Ella Fitzgerald Centennial Birthday Sat 20 May 10am-2pm

May 15th, 2017

16_01_02_KCSM_EFitzgeraldElla, born in 1917 in Virginia and we are celebrating her  100th birthday at KCSM. Ella got her start at the famous talent shows at the Apollo theatre in Harlem. She went on to work for Chick Webb’s big band and went on to stardom.

From here web site:

Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella). She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common – they all loved her

Join KCSM on Sat 20 May from 10am-2pm when Mel and Sonny will celebrate Ella’s 100th birthday!


Janis Joplin and the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in SF 19 May 2pm-6pm and 21 May 10am-2pm

May 14th, 2017

janis_solo_2_smIt has been 50 years since the Summer of Love in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco. KCSM is celebrating with one of the iconic singers of the psychedelic era, Janis Joplin. Her unmistakeable voice and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, provided many of the hits during the Summer of Love.

From her website biography:

She claimed the blues, soul, gospel, country and rock with unquestionable authority and verve, fearlessly inhabiting psychedelic guitar jams, back-porch roots and everything in between. Her volcanic performances left audiences stunned and speechless, while her sexual magnetism, world-wise demeanor and flamboyant style shattered every stereotype about female artists – and essentially invented the “rock mama” paradigm.

John Coltrane – Taking the Coltrane Fri 2pm – 6 pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-2pm

May 8th, 2017

71m4eYTbWJL._SX425_Celebrate the legacy of John Coltrane with KCSM. Born Sept. 23rd 1926, KCSM is showcasing his superb virtuosity and spirituality. Coltrane’s jazz career started after he left the Navy. His first band was with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. He was part of the NY music scene and joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1958. Their he would develop his “sheets of sound” technique and establish himself as a premier tenor player. He went on to release his albums “My Favorite Things”, “Giant Steps” and “A Love Supreme”.

Starting on Friday 5/12 2pm-6pm with Chuy and Mel KCSM will be celebrating the music of John Coltrane. Things continue on Sat 5/12 from 10am-6pm with Sonny, Mel and Dick and finish on Sun 5/12 with Sonny and Mel from 10am – 2pm.


Miles Davis – Kind of Blue 5 May 2pm-6pm, 6 May 10am-6pm, 7 May 10am-2pm

May 5th, 2017

c9d7697e-0967-37e8-af3c-28baf216fd14Kind of Blue has been the top selling jazz album for many years. In Oct 2008 it was certified as quadruple platinum in sales. What makes it so popular? For a lot of people Kind of Blue was their into to jazz. The opening track So What has a kind of sassy attitude. All Blues swings gently and is very approachable. This is what caught people’s attention. These songs also showcased the “jazz style” of solos and improvisation and interplay between the musicians.

On Fri May 5th from 2pm-6pm Chuy and Mel will be showcasing this classic album.

Sonny, Mel and Dick will be on Sat 6 May from 10-6 and Keith and Mel will be on Sun 10am-2pm.

Listen in.