AN OPEN LETTER TO KKJZ
What is happening to the music offered on KKJZ, America's so-called Jazz station? It seems like we're hearing the same 6 or 7 artists all day long. And many of these artists all day long. And many of these artists sound more like "middle of the road" musicians playing for middle America. This is a far cry from the rich spectrum of Jazz artists that are keeping the music vital and relevant.
It is important for Jazz radio to represent the living musicians that are furthering the development of America's most important art form; the musicians that are presenting their art to audiences on concert and cabaret stages daily. Instead, KKJZ is focusing on the past masters, pop artists and smooth Jazz artists.
It is time for KKJZ to fully reflect the jazz scene and all it's diversity instead of a program's director's narrow view.
Jazz is the art of articulate individuals, not the cookie cut-outs of corporate station program directors.
KSDS in San Diego is a much more interesting and relevant station. So is WBGO in Newark. There are also many options to jazz programming on the Internet as well. Many former KKJZ listeners are now relying on their CD collections and their iPOds rather than waste their time hoping to hear some real Jazz, but they are missing out on being exposed to the innovative musicians who are not as well known as the past masters.
As long as KKJZ keeps to its current mode of programming they will be losing listeners and listener support every day. This can be fatal to a station that reaches out to the listening public for contributions in their seemingly constant fund drives.
Bobby Matos, Los Angeles, 7/20/12
(reprinted courtesy of The Jazz Messenger)