Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bud Powell, Bebop Royalty Sat 16 Sept 2-6pm

September 15th, 2017

Bud Powell was the pianist for Cootie Williams band in 1944. He is considered to be one of the finest jazz pianists. Bud along with Thelonius Monk, Charlies Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were the founding musicians of the bebop sound in New York. Bud was a prominent pianist in the jazz world through the 1960s.

“He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano. Every jazz pianist since Bud either came through him or is deliberately attempting to get away from playing like him.”

Listen to him play some of his greatest hits.


Thelonius Monk, Bebop Royalty Sat 2pm-6pm

September 8th, 2017

Pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of the major figures of bebop and revered, alongside such luminaries as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, as a father of modern jazz. But, in so many respects, his stylistic approach to the music differed from his illustrious contemporaries. While Parker, Gillespie and his fellow pianist Bud Powell often displayed their considerable technique at ridiculously fast tempos, Monk’s approach was entirely different with a keyboard technique that used a considerable amount of space and relied greatly on its percussive qualities for impact.

Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, Bebop Royalty 9 Sept 10am-2pm

September 8th, 2017

charlie_parkerCharlie “Yardbird” Parker was one of the leading musicians that formed the bebop sound in NYC. Along with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and more they played in the clubs and concert halls. Eventually each of these artists would graduate and lead their own bands. Bird was captured on Verve, Prestige, Savoy and Dial record labels. Listen to his Orinthology album below.


Patti LaBelle, Godmother of Soul – Fri 8 Sept 2pm-6pm, Sun 10 Sept 10am-2pm

September 7th, 2017

Patti LaBelle has been singing since the 70s and is known for her hit “Lady Marmalade” with the group LaBelle. In the 80s she launched a solo career which included film and TV roles. Rolling Stone counts here as one of the 100 greatest singers. Recently she has branched out with products like desserts and a cookbook.

Most importably this last spring she released a jazz album, Bel Hommage. The album is series of great jazz songs. Variety published an update and a review of the album at
Patti LaBelle on Her First-Ever Jazz Album: ‘It Sounds More Beautiful Than I Ever Imagined’

She has promised there is more to come.

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!