(Monday through Friday, 5:00 - 8:20 am)
Out To Lunch
(Monday through Friday, 12:00 - 3:00 pm)
(Monday through Friday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm)
These shows form the core of WKCR's jazz programming. In them, our rotating cast of DJs presents the entire range of recorded jazz, from its birth in New Orleans through its most avant-garde incarnations on today's scene. Each programmer has his or her own unique approach to the music; on a given day, one may hear anything from an in-depth examination of a focused theme to an eclectic presentation covering a broad mix of styles. Additionally, many DJs are known to invite prominent and up-and-coming artists to our studios to discuss their music; the Wednesday edition of Jazz Alternatives is always reserved for this purpose..
(Monday through Friday, 8:20 - 9:30 am)
WKCR's own Phil Schaap, one of the world's leading jazz historians, hosts this daily forum for the music of Charlie Parker. Besides offering a variety of approaches to listening to Bird's music, the show is often an example of scholarship in action, as Phil uncovers and preserves jazz history through countless on-air interviews.
Wednesday Musician's Show
(Wednesday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm)
Every Wednesday, we invite a working musician into our studios to act as a "guest DJ" on Jazz Alternatives. The show has long been popular with local musicians: besides getting a chance to spin some of their favorite records, they have the opportunity to discuss their own music and inform our listeners about their current projects.
Traditions in Swing
(Saturday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm)
Phil Schaap has hosted this award-winning show for over thirty years. He offers thematic presentations of jazz from the first half of the twentieth century, from the earliest records of the 'teens through the end of the swing era in the mid-forties. Phil takes pains to find the best sound sources, often the rarest, in order to present the music in its highest quality.
Jazz 'til Dawn
(Sunday, 2:00 - 6:00 am)
This overnight show typically features some of the jazz departmentıs most adventurous programming. Listeners can expect to hear extended works and complete albums.
(Sunday, 2:00 - 7:00 pm)
This five-hour feature, WKCR's longest regularly-scheduled show, presents an in-depth look at one specific artist or theme. Our DJs conduct thorough research to offer rare recordings alongside acknowledged masterpieces, thus presenting our listeners with a fully-rounded portrait of the chosen musical subject.
Monday Morning in Mono
(Monday, 2:00 5:00 am)
Our weekly jazz programming begins with this show, which explores the world of jazz in the first half of the twentieth century. Like 'Traditions in Swing', these thematic presentations are recommended for learning about and enjoying earlier styles of jazz. MMM begins a 7.5 hour block of continuous jazz, WKCRıs longest in any style.
About WKCR Jazz
The sounds of jazz have been heard over the WKCR FM airwaves for
over 60 years. In that time we have cultivated a position of great
respect among both listeners and musicians (Duke Ellington, Dizzy
Gillespie, and Charles Mingus have walked our hallways, and this
past year we have been visited by Billy Taylor, Dick Hyman, Randy
Sandke, Henry Grimes, Art Davis, and Lawrence Lucie, among many
Roughly 67 hours (about 40%) of WKCR airtime is currently devoted
to Jazz music each week and, quite simply, we present American art
music that no other radio station plays. We practice a 'one foot in
the past, one foot in the future' approach. Unlike other 'jazz'
stations, WKCR is deeply commited to the rich and storied history
of jazz music and its numerous genuises, many of whom have been
unfortunately neglected in recent decades. Additionally, we feature
and interview cutting edge, avant-garde musicians who are seldom
heard in more commerically-driven media.
At WKCR, all of our resources and efforts are directed towards
presenting America's art music in a historically conscious and
educational fashion. Guided by alumni members, who are among the
foremost jazz experts in the world, our DJs have produced a variety
of festivals, serving to educate both programmer and listener.
Beginning in 1970 (see Phil Schaap interview), WKCR began to
present extended broadcasts, generally exceeding 150 hours in
length, whose purpose was, and still is, to present the complete
recorded works of an important musician. A few notable examples
include the Louis Armstrong Centennial Festival Part I (June 30 -
July 7, 2000; 184 hours), and the Duke Ellington Centennial
Festival (April 23 - May 1, 1999; 240 hours). A two-week John
Coltrane Festival is currently planned for the spring of 2004.
Aside from festivals such as the ones just mentioned, WKCR's jazz
department also presents 14 annual 'Birthday Broadcasts,' 24-hour
marathons that celebrate the birthdays of the pivotal figures in
jazz history as holidays. In addition to the Birthday Broadcasts,
WKCR also occasionally interrupts regular programming for
unscheduled 'Memorial Broadcasts' which serve to pay tribute to
musicians upon their passing and alert the jazz community to
memorials and funeral plans. Mindful that jazz is not just a
recorded phenomenon, but a rich community based on human
interaction, WKCR serves as a vital bulletin board, announcing
upcoming concerts and music-related events. Overall, we are
committed to keeping our listeners abreast of all significant jazz
With this kind of dedication and attention to the history and
ongoing preservation of the jazz legacy, we seek to simultaneously
address the needs of both the newcomer to jazz and the aficionado.
Listeners turn to WKCR because they know that we lead them to the
classic, rare, and cutting-edge sounds of Jazz.
Besides the weekly shows mentioned above, numerous special broadcasts occur throughout the year, pre-empting all regular programming for at least 24-hours. These include:
Long ago it became tradition at WKCR to play 24 hours of a jazz great's music on his/her birthday.
(b. January 10, 1924)
(b. January 30, 1911; d. February 26, 1989)
(b. March 9, 1930)
(b. March 10, 1903; d. August 7, 1931)
(b. April 7, 1915; d. July 17, 1959)
(b. April 22, 1922; d. January 5, 1979)
(April 29,1899; d. May 24, 1974)
(b. August 4, 1901; d. July 6, 1971)
(he believed his birthdate to be July 4th 1900, so we celebrate both birthdays.)
(b. August 27, 1909; d. March 15, 1959)
(b. August 29, 1920; d. March 12, 1955)
(combines with Lester Young to form a three-day broadcast)
(b. September 23, 1926; d. July 17, 1967)
(b. Oct. 10, 1917; d. February 17, 1982)
(b. October 30, 1930; d. June 26, 1956)
(b. Nov. 21, 1904; d. May 19, 1969)
WKCR is perhaps most famous for its extended marathon festivals. Beginning with Albert Ayler in 1970, the Jazz Department has periodically pre-empted all programming in order to present, in chronological order, the complete recorded oeuvre of a jazz great (see Phil Schaap interview for complete list).