Desert Island Jazz
Peter Williams (2002)

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After years of immersing himself in jazz through live concerts, record collecting, and reading about jazz, Peter Williams became a jazz disc jockey at KZSC, the radio station at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Within a year he was the jazz music director, jazz promotion director, and a member of the station's programming committee.

Moving north, he developed and hosted programs on KCSM in San Mateo, and the world-renowned KJAZ in Alameda. While at KJAZ, he introduced an avant-garde program as well as hosting 'mainstream jazz' programs.

In 1992, he was hired as the Program Director at KAZU, a community radio station in Pacific Grove, CA. As the program director, Peter doubled the amount of jazz programmed at the station. He also increased the station's visibility in jazz circles by partnering with the non-profit concert and educational organization, the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz.

In 1994, Peter assumed the duties of music director at KAZU, acquiring music for the station's library. It was at this time that KAZU started working with the Monterey Jazz Festival. Peter acted as an MC on the grounds stages. He has also acted as a panelist at various music conventions. He has interviewed many artists including Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John Hendricks, Michael Brecker, Diana Krall, John Zorn, Vinny Golia, and Jane Ira Bloom. For several years, he has also produced recordings of the Monterey Bay Blues Festival, broadcast nationally over the public radio satellite system. Peter earned a certificate in non-profit management at San Jose State University, and in 1996 was hired as KAZU's manager.

"Music was always in our house," says the Southern California native. "My father was involved with country music. He was a songwriter, a publisher, and a well known disc jockey." In high school I was changing around the radio dial, and I stopped when I heard guitar playing that was unlike anything that had ever heard. I listened, amazed, and when the announcer said who it was, I wrote down the title, and immediately went out and bought the record. That day was significant for two reasons. First, it opened my ears to a whole new world of music, second, it introduced me to L.A.'s full-time commercial jazz station KBCA. After that I started leaving a pen and paper in my glove compartment so I would write down music that I liked. From then on, I was hooked. Jazz was all I listened to, and I saw as much live music as I could. While others were altering their drivers' licenses to buy beer, I changed mine so that I could get into jazz clubs. The jazz scene in Los Angeles was really good. The Lighthouse and Concerts by the Sea were going strong, as were the Baked Potato and Donte's. I saw a lot of music that was over my head, but loved the chance to hear it, and learn more." He joined Yoshi's as the artistic director in May 1999.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 McCoy Tyner Fly Like the Wind Fly Like the Wind (OJC)
# 2 George Benson Beyond the Blue Horizon Somewhere in the East (CTI)
# 3 Maraca ¡Isonando! Los Tamatitos de Olga (Ahi Name Music)
# 4 Miles Davis 'Round about Midnight Bye Bye, Blackbird (Columbia)
# 5 Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins Standard Brands Somebody's Knockin' (One Way)
# 6 Kurt Elling This Time It's Love The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing (Blue Note)
# 7 Esquivel Music from a Sparkling Planet All of Me (RCA)
# 8 The Three Suns The History of Space Age Pop, Vol. 2 Fever (RCA)
Book John Irving, "Prayer for Owen Meany"
Luxury Item A guitar ("Maybe I'll remember how to play")
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Don Byron Bug Music N/A (Nonesuch)
Alt 2 Jack DeJohnette Parallel Realities N/A (MCA)
Alt 3 Ella Fitzgerald Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert N/A (Verve)
Alt 4 Joachim Kühn, Daniel Humair and Jean-François Jenny-Clark Live, Théatre de la Ville, Paris, 1989 N/A (CMP)
Alt 5 Wes Montgomery The Verve Jazz Sides N/A (Verve)
Alt 6 Oscar Peterson The London House Sessions N/A (Verve)
Alt 7 Anthony Wilson Anthony Wilson N/A (MAMA)
Castaways by date
Paul Anastasio
25 Sep
Macy Blackman
19 Jun
George Cole
21 Aug
Alex Condé
06 Mar
Kit Eakle
04 Sep
Phillip Greenlief
13 Feb
Noah Griffin
06 Nov
Tammy Hall
27 Feb
Alan Hall
22 May
Christian Howes
27 Mar
Kymberly Jackson
03 Apr
Julie Kelly
20 Feb
Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt
29 May
Jennifer Lee
17 Apr
Steven Lugerner
24 Jul
Steve McQuarry
05 Jun
Jacqui Naylor
13 Nov
Dave Newhouse
14 Aug
Zack Rogow
24 Apr
Holli Ross
17 Jul
Ellen Seeling
02 Oct
Richard Seidel
09 Oct
Edward Simon
31 Jul
Tessa Souter
23 Oct
Steve Turré
07 Aug
Donna Viscuso
20 Nov
Patrick Wolff
16 Jan