Spotlight on Michael Burman

You know Michael Burman as the knowledgeable host of the Weekend Jazz Oasis, Saturday nights from 6-10pm and as the producer of Desert Island Jazz with Alisa Clancy.

"I've had more on-air time than I ever did while I had a regular shift. I'm really enjoying the variety of filling in all over the schedule; in fact, I actually prefer it to having a regular shift" writes Burman in an e-interview.

Born in South Wales, Michael discovered jazz by accident in his early teens when he misheard the title of a piece of music coming up on the radio and began to record Johnny Hodges and Things Ain't What They Used to Be with Duke Ellington, on his reel-to-reel recorder.

"I was a true child of the 60s, so of course I also listened to the Beatles, the Stones, the Hollies, Dusty Springfield, Manfred Mann, the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the Moody Blues, and Spencer Davis," recalls the Peninsula-based software programmer.

"But at the same time I loved jazz music. There was very little jazz on the radio (BBC) in those days - only two hours per week, so it was difficult to hear a lot of jazz. But in my mid-teens I discovered, to my surprise, that there were several other 'weird' kids at my school, and we used to listen to each others' music: Cannonball, Miles, Oliver Nelson, Jazz Messingers."

In June 1999, Michael began a regular shift on FM 91 doing Jazz After Hours. A walking encyclopedia of jazz, he landed the Monday night Eving Jazz slot in April 2000 and programmed it for 3 years. As producer for Desert Island Jazz he has also helped to organize over 100 interviews.

"It's great fun, and it's always interesting to meet the guests, some of whom have been among my favorites for decades. You can learn a lot about music from their choices, too. Alisa and I couldn't be more different, but I think that we make a good team."

Now a regular part-timer, you never know where you will hear Michael Burman as he says: Call me when you want some bebop!