Women of Soul – Etta Jame, Ann Peebles and Aretha Franklin

Ron Lee | September 20th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

Fri night Kathleen and Harry will be exploring the music of Etta James, Ann Peebles and Aretha Franklin. Tune in for a soulful and bluesy evening. Listen to a few samples below.

Listen to Etta James’s intro to this song. Not many singers can do that…

Sisters of Soul and Jazz Fri 22 Sept 2pm-6pm

Ron Lee | September 20th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

Enjoy an afternoon with Mel and Chuy exploring the sisters of Soul and Jazz. Melanie has been digging through the library and archives looking music from the great soul and jazz artists. Tune in on Fri to see what she found.


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

Ron Lee | September 15th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

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

Ron Lee | September 8th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

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

Ron Lee | September 8th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

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

Ron Lee | September 7th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

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

Ron Lee | September 7th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

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

staff | August 21st, 2017 | 2 Comments »

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 kcsm.org/amazon 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.

Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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

staff | August 21st, 2017 | 13 Comments »

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

staff | August 21st, 2017 | 5 Comments »

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.