[JPL] Younger people on the radio

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 8 17:30:03 EST 2007

I think the thing with me is what the announcer knows about this music...regardless of age. I've heard so called young announcers mis-pronouncing names or incorrectly identifying genres simply because they are not informed. "Kind Of Blue" is not an avant garde recording. 
  In a lecture I gave years ago for one of the local university mass com departments I suggested that anyone wanting to go on the air as a "jazz" host should at least take a jazz 101 history course. It's amazing to me in that with most programs the students aren't required to take this course before going on air.  Young for the sake of young isn't good. Knowledge is. 
  The other side of this is that I've heard younger hosts playing what many of the younger listeners embrace as jazz.....the jam band thing....sampling....etc.....the fundraising drop about 80 percent during the drive. There's a fine line here to walk...between maintaining the integrity of the music (I'm talking level of artistic performance), developing a strong younger base of listeners with a quality presentation and sustaining a necessary level of $$$ support. Some are doing it but not many.  
  Jae Sinnett 

Linda Yohn <lyohn at emich.edu> wrote: 
  This Week's JPL Sponsor: SUMMIT RECORDS

Hello all,

Hear, hear for Andy Cook's post on re-vitalizing jazz radio. We have 
to develop a new talent pool in hosts! We, of aging ears and 
attitudes must listen to what they have to say and what they might 
like us to play. 

I caught myself being "old" on the air the other day. I played Tony 
DeSare. Then, in my backtag I said "impressive young man". Wrong 
thing for me to do. Just shoulda said, "he's got it together", or 
something like that. I can't afford to retire right now, so I've got 
to stay on the air or at my post at WEMU listening to new trends in 
music and getting them out to listeners. I have to be in the momement 
for them. Can't let on that I'm not hip. Anyone who fits in to my 
demographic (55-ish) should watch out for this tendency to point out 
the youngness of an artist. That ages the host. Believe me, I'll 
never do that again.

One thing I'm trying to impress upon WEMU hosts is that today's 30-
something listener doesn't have the time to hear a dj shuffle through 
some papers to get information. He or she wants professionalism at 
the same level as the music. If we can present good music with 
inspired segues...and lots of it....with little rambling dj 
chatter....then we can make it with a younger listener who might be 
tempted to just stick with the Ipod, etc. If an older host can't 
understand that, he or she will have to go. But, because we do know 
the music, we can improve on each piece with our segues. A shuffle 
Ipod can't program with our heart and intelligence. But, if a host 
can't keep up with the times and understand that listener preferences 
for the way radio announcers are perceived are changing, then there is 
room for new hosts who "get it". 

I'm reviewing an advance or Rachel Z's new CD "Dept. of Good & Evil". 
Excellent new music. Modern, yet melodic. I'm excited about Pete 
Levin's new disc, too! Tony Levin is the bassist on both of them.

Hey--while WEMU has a stream, if you can, listen in tomorrow (Friday) 
morning at 11AM ET. Rachel Z. will be my guest and we'll premiere 
tracks from the new disc. It's official release date is the 13th. 

Back to the original topic on this post--I'm stuck like a dope with a 
thing called hope, but I beleive that old dogs can learn new tricks. 
It is our survival. 


Linda Yohn
WEMU Music Director
lyohn at emich.edu
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