The Count, The Duke and The King: Three Tales of Bands and Leaders Sat 1/21 10am-2pm Sat 1/28 10am-2pm

Ron Lee | January 19th, 2017 | 1 Comment »


A celebration of the lives of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman

These three gentlemen represented the top dance bands of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The recorded many of the great dance songs like King Porters Stomp, Black and Tan, Take the A train, and One O’Clock Jump.

Benny_Goodman_1942Benny Goodman first became famous in 1935 during a concert in Oakland, Ca. It was the start of his career as a successfull band leader. Earlier his band played live on NBC radio’s Let’s Dance broadcast. Benny Goodman and his band are credited with touching off the swing era of jazz.



330px-Count_Basie_in_Rhythm_and_Blues_RevueCount Basie was one of the most important and influential bandleaders of the swing era.  His amalgam of piano, bass, guitar and drums were known as the “Cadillac of Rhythm Sections”. William “Count” Basie was one of the top swing band leaders of the 1920s. His best known performance are One O’clock Jump and April in Paris.



330px-Duke_Ellington_-_publicityReview the list of Duke’s compostions you get a perspective of why Duke Ellington is considered one of America’s premier composers.  All through the 1920s and on Duke along with his collaborator Billy Strayhorn produced some of the greatest jazz compositions in America.

Listen to Sonny and Mel tell the stories of these three great band leaders and their accomplishments

Saturday, 1/21, 10AM-2PM

Saturday, 1/28, 10AM-2PM

 You can enter the first Winter Sweepstakes drawing for a seat at Sunny Buxton’s Seminar: “The Count, The Duke & The King” at the Fromm Institute in San Francisco, CA.

Nina Lives! The Story of Nina Simone Fri 1/20 2pm-6pm, Sat 1/21 2pm-6pm, Sun 1/22 10am-2pm

Ron Lee | January 18th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1950: Photo of Nina Simone Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesJazz & blues singer Nina Simone of North Carolina started at the classical piano, singing to keep her education going. If you sift through her songs over the early years look for influences like Johann Sebastian Bach in her piano work! With a great voice she became one of our heartfelt blues & jazz singers. The civil protests of the 60’s loomed and entered her work (but did not completely take it over – the ballads of everyman’s heart are still there).

Tune in for the Nina Simone story

Fri 20 Jan 2pm-6pm with Chuy and Mel

Sat 21 Jan 2pm-6pm with Dick and Mel

Sun 22 Jan 10am-2pm with Jayn Pettingill and Mel

Winter 2017 Cruisin’ with KCSM

Ron Lee | January 17th, 2017 | Leave a Comment »

kcsm license plateKCSM’s Winter Pledge Drive is happening now! But, wait! Where is the constant on-air yammering and clamoring?

Well, we heard you loud and clear and devised a Third Way. It’s our Hybrid drive now; pretty quiet during the week, then traditional Old School combustion engine on the weekends.

We have a lot of new gifts for 2017—take a look at KCSM.ORG

And Thanks for Cruisin’ with KCSM!

Something new tonight – Plugged In with host Greg Bridges Fridays, midnight – 2am

Ron Lee | November 11th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

img_39161Join Greg Bridges every Friday Night/Saturday Morning from Midnight to 2am for “Plugged In”, an eclectic soundscape of electric vibrations, an intoxicating array of sonic stimulation, a canvas of colors transmitted through sounds, an audio flight without ever leaving the ground…featuring the electric side of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, and those they inspired including Weather Report, The M Base Collective, Jean-Luc Ponty, James Blood Ulmer and more.

Listen tonight after Crazy About the Blues!

Sunday at Monterey Jazz Festival

Ron Lee | September 20th, 2016 | 1 Comment »


Barbara Lamb Hall  was at Montery Jazz Festival this last Sunday. Here are her impressions:

We looved it…Harry and I went Sunday…stellar line up all day. We were just blown away by Tommy Igoe’s band…a bang up big band…then added Tony Lindsay to a couple tunes, and then…(wait for it!)…Randy Brecker!  Oh, my goodness. It was toasty all day…got to see old and new friends, talk with musicians, hang out with Greg Bridges (he had an impromptu hour-long conversation with Quincy Jones and sat in on Wayne Shorter’s rehearsal), such a warm vibe with folks of every stripe.  Will gladly go back next year, for Monterey Jazz Festival’s Big 60.  You can see my posts on the KCSM Twitter and Facebook.  See link below for more photos…sweet one of Josh Redman with his boy in background. Monterey Weekly – Monterey Jazz Festival


KCSM Fall Pledge – The music of John Coltrane

Ron Lee | September 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

71m4eYTbWJL._SX425_ John Coltrans is considered to be the per-eminent jazz saxophone player of the 20th century.  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”. His “A Love Supreme” album celebrated its 50th birthday last year and it is considered one of the classic jazz recordings. For more info on John Coltrane and his music you can read the Wikipedia article at Click on play below to listen to his Blue Train recording on Blue Note records.


Celebration of Pete Yellin’s Life and Jam Session

Fred Witt | September 14th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_09_14_kcsm_pyellinSunday, September 25, from 2 to 5 pm

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle
410 14th St. – Oakland
No admission charge
Complimentary buffet

Jam session led by Vince Lateano.  Bob Mintzer, Keith Saunders, Peter Barshay, Mike Zilber, Dave Rocha, Jim Grantham, Tom Elliott, Mark Foglia, and others will be there.  Friends and fans of Pete are invited, especially musicians who would like to join in the jam session in his honor.

Veteran American jazz saxophonist had lived in our SF Bay Area for the last 10 years.   His style included bebop and latin music.  Pete died in April of this year.

KCSM Fall Pledge – The music of BB King

Ron Lee | September 12th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

 Riley B. “BB” King from Mississippi was our man who voiced the blues of the nation.  BB would croon, would morn, would praise, would howl our pain, and would “put it all out there for us.”  Our man regrettably passed away this past Thursday, May 14, and now we return his gifts on our stage with honoring his passing.

BB started on the guitar as a child, and was recording by the age of 25, migrating into the blues themes.  BB believed that good recorded music and the live experience for the audience were both important, and he honed being excellent at both.  He soldiered on, working his way up through recording companies and American countryside (and then international) performances.

BB the artist was still a sensible man with his feet on the ground.  One humorous story has him doing a show in Arkansas when a fight broke out, starting a fire.  BB hit the doorways with the rest of the folks, but then went back in to rescue his beloved guitar.  In the aftermath it came out that the two onlookers were fighting over a lady named Lucille.  BB promptly named his guitar Lucille, to remind him 1) not to fight over women, and 2) not to run into burning buildings !


Celebrating Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF), Sep 16 – Sep 18

Fred Witt | September 5th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_08_26_KCSM_MJFThe weekend of September 16, 17, & 18 is the MJF this year, and KCSM will be warming up to it a week ahead.  The Monterey Jazz Festival, in Monterey, California, is one of the longest consecutively running jazz festivals. It debuted on October 3, 1958 and was founded by San Francisco jazz radio broadcaster Jimmy Lyons.  By now, this festival is the big name for jazz here in northern California.

With 500 artists, the arena, and 7 more stages the show for you is sure to be there.  Names include the veterans Wayne Shorter (artist and music) and Quincy Jones (artist and music) , as well as rising stars like Cecile McLorin Salvant (artist and music) and Bria Skonberg (artist and music) .  Tune in to KCSM and get 6 days of music & info Sept 7 – 12, preparing for the big show.

KCSM Fall Pledge “Silent Drive” is on now!

Ron Lee | September 1st, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Miles cover for FBKCSM’s Fall fundraiser is NOW! We need your help in raising $275,000 and we want to do it with drastically reduced interruptions to our programming. That’s what our “Silent Drive” is all about. There’s no need to wait—no special thank you gifts you can’t get right now. And the sooner you make your pledge “In a Silent Way” the more chances you have to win the great raffle prizes we’re giving away. Our first drawing is September 12th for a pair of 3-Day Arena Passes to the Monterey Jazz Festival, a KCSM Hoodie, plus 91 CDs of past and present Festival artists. Pledge now at

You can find out more and track our progress at