March 26, 2017 by Helen Borgers

For those of us who love jazz, “appreciating” it is a year round gig. We listen and donate to KJazz, play our CDs or iPods, and go out to live concerts. But April (“Jazz Appreciation Month”) gives us a special opportunity. It’s a chance to introduce young people and other friends to the music, to share our favorite artists and recordings, and to raise awareness.  

These days, one is less likely to just stumble across Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, or even Herbie Hancock, because there are fewer places where they might be played. Fewer (if any) record stores, fewer jazz radio stations. So, if we want to get others excited about – or even just interested—in the heroes who have played and are playing “America’s music,” jazz and blues, it’s up to us to make it happen by enlarging its audience, one person at a time, one friend at a time.


We would like to urge you to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month by renewing your membership with KJazz, becoming a new member, and/or giving a gift membership to a friend. Keeping jazz on the radio, where it can be heard 24 hours a day, ensures its continued growth by increasing the number of its fans. Being a member gives one a vested interest in the state of the art.

There is nothing that can inspire appreciation of America’s music like being introduced to it by knowledgeable air personalities (some of whom are renowned jazz musicians, such as Gordon Goodwin, David Benoit, and Steve Tyrell, and some who are award-winning scholars, such as Bubba Jackson, Gary Wagner, Jose Rizo, and Helen Borgers).


And the experience of membership enhances the interest in the music by being one of a group of people with whom you can share the benefits – knowing what the new releases are and who the new artists are, going to station-produced concerts, volunteering at events, and joining station-sponsored travel tours to Cuba, South Africa, France, etc. These benefits are in addition to the financial savings all members share at many businesses that accept the KJazz Member discount card!


KJazz has been a full-time jazz and blues service for 37 years! Our goals have been not only to play the giants of America’s music, past and present, but also to nurture the young artists of the future, and to produce and/or co-produce live concerts in our community. We play both classic recordings and brand new releases, so new and veteran fans stay on top of the scene, enjoying blasts from the past, such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk, as well as the latest recordings from the biggest stars, such as Wynton Marsalis and Tony Bennett. We also introduce our listeners to new artists, such as Joey Alexander, Alfredo Rodriguez, and KJazz scholar, Katie Thiroux, (who is just about to release her second disc!). Music of distinction, representing the American expression of freedom and diversity.

This incredible record of loyalty to one format (jazz and blues, uninterrupted by commercials) is made possible almost exclusively by the financial contributions of our listeners! Over 90% of our operating budget comes from listener support. Your dollars are what keeps this service on the air and on the internet. We are a non-commercial, public radio station, so we don’t receive money from advertisers. We operate solely in the public’s interest, and are dedicated to preserving and promoting America’s music…now one of only a handful of stations in the country to do so. We depend on jazz and blues lovers to keep the service going with their tax-deductible membership donations!


So, please join our J.A.M. Session in April!  Our goal is 1,000 new and renewing members in 30 days. We’ll have special web-only membership deals throughout the month, as well as four days of phone-pledging (April 20th through the 23rd). We’ll have special sweepstakes and premiums!

Don’t miss this opportunity to spread awareness of the historical and present coolness of jazz! Help keep KJazz on the air so that our community – local and global – can continue to appreciate it for years to come!  

On-air personality, Helen Borgers, can be heard on KJazz 88.1 FM from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. As a jazz broadcaster, Helen has been invited to give pre-concert lectures at various performing arts centers, served on panels in jazz conventions all over the world, and lectured about the history of jazz in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She has also written articles for international jazz publications and regularly emcees concerts, festivals, and club dates throughout southern California.

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