I first worked as a deejay for Friday night dances at a local church in the Bronx during the late 50s and early 60s. I began broadcasting at KFAI in 1979, when I’d begin the stations’ broadcast day as a host of Shake Up Southside on Monday Mornings. I then moved to Wednesdays from Midnight to 2AM, with a show called Streetlight Serenade. I moved Streetlight to Saturday nights from 9PM – 11PM, before “retiring” to go back to school in 1989. I came back to the station in the last half of the 90s, and started Rhythm & Grooves in July of 2002.
Though Rhythm & Grooves focuses on jazz, my record collection (which actually includes vinyl as well as CDs, and electronic storage) encompasses rock n’ roll, pop, rhythm n’ blues, roots, and world music, with a special section for the music of New Orleans.
I was first exposed to jazz in my late teens, after delving deeply into the vocal group harmony of New York City, and early rock n’ roll. Among the first jazz albums I bought were Things Are Getting Better, by Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson, Focus, by Stan Getz, Big Bags, by the Milt Jackson Orchestra, and Saturday Night/Sunday Night at the Blackhawk, by Cal Tjader. I attended the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival twice in the early 70s, where I first heard Sun Ra and his Arkestra. I ended up seeing him numerous times before his passing, including a solo piano performance at the Whole at Coffman Union. I’ve made numerous trips to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and attended the North Sea Jazz Festival twice. I regularly attend the Dakota and the Artist’s Quarter.
For about five years in the 80s, I was a free-lance music writer for City Pages, interviewing artists like Bobby Blue Bland, James Brown, Claudia Schmidt, Nanci Griffith, The Persuasions, and Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I also reviewed albums, as well as performances by artists such as Sonny Rollins, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, the Neville Brothers, and Dr. John.
For about ten years, I have been a contributor to The Villager in Saint Paul, and have interviewed and written about local artists such as Happy Apple, singer/songwriter Matthew Fox, young banjoist Adam Hurt, The Middle Spunk Creek Boys, Trailer Trash, and Harold Tremblay of Cool Disposition (and Harold’s House Party here on Fresh Air).
From 2005 to 2009 I was a talent buyer and host for The Hat Trick Lounge in downtown Saint Paul, booking all kinds of bands, and often spinning vinyl between sets. Since the Fall of 2009 I have been deejaying at a number of venues around town, including the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, and Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul, as well as Bev's Wine Bar and The Dakota in Minneapolis, among others.