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Radio Jazz

April 27, 2009

46-200ftIn these downloading days, it’s easy to forget the value of a 19th century invention…

Radio. Now there’s a concept. Turn it on, tune it in, and drop, not out, but in to the comforting ritual of a weekly program presented by a host who knows a subject intimately.

Residents of southern Vancouver Island and vicinity are particularly fortunate in that they receive a signal loud and clear from Seattle’s National Public Radio jazz station KPLU at 88.5 on the FM dial. Without a computer or any other fancy doodad, we can enjoy great jazz conversations, spoken and musical, hosted by the likes of piano great Marion McPartland.

Even closer to home, of course, is the granddaddy jazz program of them all, CBC’s Hot Air, the longest running show of its kind in North America, these days hosted by Paul Grant but launched in 1947 at the tail end of the big band era by Bob Smith. Smith presented Hot Air for over thirty years, initiating a few generations of jazz fans into his special world of vinyl. Today, Grant, a strong voice for jazz in Canada, carries on that tradition, putting a special emphasis on BC musicians.

And closer yet we can tune in to Victoria’s local community radio station CFUV, 101.9 FM, where Arnold van Klaveren has been hosting Rhythm-a-ning since 1989, putting his main focus on Canadian musicians, with a special emphasis on BC players. Van Klaveren also manages a website on which you’ll find his weekly play lists. He’s always on the look out for new Canadian jazz for his program. You can contact him via his website at http://vankays.shawwebspace.ca/ and enjoy two hours of music on Monday night on CFUV from 6-8 pm.

Of course CFUV also runs the venerable Straight, No Chaser, co-hosted by Shaukat Husain and Demetrios Tsimon, former owners of what was, before it fell victim to the digital onslaught, one of Canada’s premiere jazz record stores, Victoria’s own Sweet Thunder Records. You can catch Husain and Tsimon on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm.

And CFUV features a third slightly more experimental jazz show called Searchin’ hosted by Ian Cochran in that same time slot on Friday nights.

So even if you can’t get out for live jazz, consider shutting off the TV and tuning in to the intimate world of radio jazz.

–Rick Gibbs

Listen to these jazz programs and check out CFUV at http://cfuv.uvic.ca/

© 2009 Rick Gibbs and Island Jazz
Categories: General
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