Monday, December 24, 2007

Oscar Peterson Dies - George

Jazz great Oscar Peterson has died at the age of 82. The pianist died of kidney failure at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga Sunday. Peterson was born Aug. 15, 1925, in a poor neighborhood southwest of Montreal. He played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. To read more go here -

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ice, Ice, Everywhere...And None For My Martini--Dennis

As of this writing, KCCK is back up to full power for the first time since December 1st. During ice storms, radio towers, like trees and power lines, get caked with ice. As ice builds up, so does electrical resistance. Our transmitter automatically starts to reduce the power sent through the line to prevent dangerous overloads.

At one point last week, we were down to a paltry 250 watts. I have fluorescent lights that put out more power.

The situation is even worse with our 106.9 translator, which has been off completely for several days. We hope to get it going again this week.

Anyway, if it seems like it's been harder to pull KCCK in of late, it's not your imagination. But, it's better than the alternative. During the February storms, we were off the air for nearly 3 days.

And, with more freezing rain predicted for later this week, we aren't out of the woods yet. But, we'll do our best to stay on the air. If the signal is a little fuzzy, you might check out the online webcast, which is not (usually) affected by transmitter problems.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Any Jackrabbits, Bison in the Audience? - George

There’s a big football game in Brookings, S.D., Saturday when South Dakota State and North Dakota State play for the Great West Football Conference championship. It’s also the “Battle for the Dakota Marker” – sort of their version of Floyd of Rosedale. The trophy is a replica of the border marker between the states of North and South Dakota.

The game is of special interest to me because I am an SDSU graduate, my daughter-in-law is an NDSU grad and one of my sons attended NDSU for a year before transferring to Iowa State.

There are two polls for the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision and for most of the season, North Dakota State has been Number-One and Northern Iowa Number-Two in the Coaches’ poll while UNI has been Number-One and NDSU Number-Two in the media poll. (SDSU has been in the “Among Others Receiving Votes” category.) But the Bison and Panthers won’t play this year because NDSU and SDSU are in the final year of transition from Division II and are not eligible for the playoffs.

Next year, however, the Jackrabbits and Bison will join the Panthers in the Gateway Conference. It will be a renewal of rivalries from the days when all three were members of the North Central Conference, which is disbanding at the end of this year. The Jacks and Panthers have played the past two years, with UNI winning both games. The Rabbits led at halftime before losing in the UNI-Dome in 2006. The Panthers dominated much of this year’s game in Brookings.

Both SDSU and NDSU have outstanding engineering colleges and I know many engineers from the two schools have been attracted to Cedar Rapids by Rockwell Collins. I’d be interested in hearing from any of them who are KCCK listeners.

George Dorman - News Director

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bobby D. Featured in Gazette - George

A nice article in the Monday, Nov. 12 Cedar Rapids Gazette about KCCK's DaBlues host Bob DeForest. Check it out at

George Dorman - News Director

Friday, November 9, 2007

KCCK's Veterans

With the coming of Veterans Day, it's worth noting that several veteran KCCK staffers are also veterans of military service.

KCCK Morning Man, Talking Pictures co-host and Got-a-Minute's Mark Yother was in the Air Force for three years. He was editor of the base newspaper at Ent Air Force Base in Colorado, then worked in radio and television with the American Forces Korea Network (AFKN) for a year.

News Director George Dorman spent two years in the Army, including a year in Korea -- the first six months in field artillery, the next six months as a reporter/photographer for the 2nd Infantry Division newspaper and as a weekend radio newscaster and occasional television sportscaster for the American Forces Korea Network (AFKN).

Big Band Memories co-host Cary J. Hahn served four years in the Navy, broadcasting on Armed Forces Radio aboard the USS Hancock aircraft carrier during Vietnam service and on the island of Kodiak, Alaska.

Our other BBM co-host, Murray Kent, was a news and sports announcer for American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) and an FM radio music host.

Gentle Jazz's Bob Naujoks spent his entire two-year army tour at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., managing an enlisted men's service club and did some interviews for the Public Information Office.

George Dorman - News Director

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Check Out the Podcasts - George

Are you a fan of Talking Pictures but sometimes miss it when it's aired? Or do you want to find out what's happening this weekend but you didn't catch the Culture Crawl? Well, all you have to do is listen to the Podcasts on our web site. It's as easy as clicking "On the Air" in the menu bar and scrolling down to "Podcasts and Downloads." Got a Minute and Clean Up Your Act archives are also found there as well as a long list of interviews we've done with jazz musicians who have performed in this area. You can also subscribe to the Podcasts and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Keep Jazz Radio Alive! - Dennis

This is Membership Week on KCCK, which means we come to our listeners, both on the air and online, and ask them to do something counter-intuitive: Voluntarily pay for something they could get for free.

Why would we expect people to do this? Well, KCCK listeners are the kind of people who take responsibility. They understand that good things only continue if they receive enough support. Right here in Iowa, we've seen stations that used to play jazz cancel their jazz programs, so you can't take it for granted. And, thanks to our webcast, we've heard from new members around the state and around the world that KCCK is worth supporting.

Won't you help as well? Pledge securely online at this link. Or, if you'd like to talk to a live person, call 1.800.373.5225.

And thanks!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Weekend Lineup! -- Dennis

On-air announcements will start in a few days, but I wanted to let you know about some exciting changes coming to KCCK's weekend Lineup. Both Saturday and Sunday are affected, so we'll proceed chronologically.

First off, we are pleased to announce that one of the Corridor's most-recognized jazz experts is joining KCCK. Craig Kessler is the owner of Real Records and CDs in Iowa City. Craig began his retail music career in the Chicago area, where he got to know many of the Windy City's musicians and label owners.

Craig has also been one of hosts of "As Night Falls" on KSUI-FM, with the UI's John Rapson and Dan Moore. As you may know, Iowa Public Radio has debuted a new state-wide, classical music schedule , and they weren't able to find a spot for "As Night Falls," making Craig available.

Craig's KCCK program will be similar to the one he hosted on KSUI, with jazz music, stories and history, all around a central theme. We hope that John and Dan will be regular guests.

Craig's yet-to-be-titled program will air 3-6pm Saturdays. Ken Rinehart will move up to the Noon-3pm shift, right after Doug Jackson's Smooth Brunch.

Sunday's changes are equally as exciting.

I'm pleased to announce that Gentle Jazz will soon be expanding to four hours. For years, one of the most-requested program ideas for KCCK has been for a "softer jazz-brunch program on Sundays," to complement the vintage jazz programs which are also very popular. The return of Bob Naujoks from a summer off has given us that opportunity.

The temporary host of Gentle Jazz, Ron Adkins, did such an outstanding job that we didn't want let him go! So Gentle Jazz will double in size, now airing from 9am-1pm. Bob will host the first half, and Ron the the second.

But don't worry. Your other favorite Sunday shows aren't going away. Mark Yother's Sunday Morning Swing will remain three hours long, but will now air from 6-9am Sunday. Big Band Memories will continue to air from 1-5, with Cary J. Hahn and Murray Kent. Riverwalk Jazz moves to 5pm.

The new lineup takes effect the weekend of Sept. 29.

As always, let us know what you think!

Dennis Green
General Manager

Friday, August 31, 2007

Jazz Showcase Returns-Bob

The good news reported in the Chicago Tribune this week is that, after closing their old location at the end of last year due to the high rent, one of the premiere live jazz spots in the Midwest will be back up and running this winter. The Jazz Showcase has announced that it'll be opening up at a new location at the Dearborn Station, on Polk Street between Dearborn and State Streets. The Showcase has been presenting major jazz acts since 1947. No other Chicago jazz spot picked up the slack in the absence of the Showcase, so it'll be nice to have that option again, in addition to the Bistro in St. Louis and the Dakota in Minneapolis.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Thanks for 20 great years! -- Dennis

Well, the 20th anniversary season of Jazz Under The Stars is history, and it's full of fond memories and great music. We had four outstanding concerts (although it took us five weeks to get them all staged), concluding with a smokin' set from GrooveShip.

Thanks to the members of the Rod Pierson Big Band, Eddie Piccard Quartet, Euforquestra and GrooveShip for the awesome performances, to our sponsors for supporting the series and to YOU for attending! Pictures from each night are here.

We still have a few 20th anniversary commemorative T-Shirts remaining. They're navy blue, and on the back, list every band who has ever played Jazz Under The Stars. A true collectors item. We still have some youth sizes, as well as several XLs, 2X and 3X.

They're just $12.00. Reserve yours by emailing Kim. Tell her which size you want and a daytime phone number. Don't delay! When they're gone, they're gone.

Dennis Green

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Christian's a Class Act-Dennis

Steve Carpenter, Public Information Director for Kirkwood (and former KCCK Manager) alerted us to a complimentary post jazz bassist Christian McBride made on his blog about his April performance in Cedar Rapids with the Kirkwood Jazz Ensemble and CR Jazz. He had particularly nice things to say about director Tim Feldkamp. Read it here.

We will have at least one, and possibly two chances to see Christian this fall. He's a part of the Pat Metheny Trio, playing at Hancher on Oct. 10. Details here.

And we may see him nine days earlier, also at Hancher, as he has been touring with Queen Latifah's band. Details.

If he wants to save on air travel, he can crash at my place...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere--Dennis

Maybe we should have known when we hired a band called GrooveShip that we should worry about excess water....

We've had to postpone tonight's Jazz Under The Stars concert to next week, due to continued rain and saturated grounds at Noelridge Park, with the threat of more showers tonight. There is standing water all over the park and the seating area is a marshland. Even if it's not actually raining at concert time, the soggy ground makes for an unpleasant concert experience and a safety hazard for the sound crew and musicians.

But, that's why we have rain dates. So, please mark your calendar for next Thursday, Aug. 30 for both the KCCK Member event, Dinner At The Duck Pond at 5:30, and the concert with GrooveShip at 7pm.

The 7-day forecast for next Thursday?

Partly Cloudy and 76.

Dennis Green

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A New Look for

If you came to the blog via KCCK's website, you've already noticed the new and improved We're really pumped about the new look and functions.

One of the coolest new things is that we are now feeding the information from the online playlist directly to the home page, so when you visit, one of the first things you see is the title and artist of the song currently playing. The current producer or show is listed right below, along with upcoming programs. Recent blog headlines now display on the home page as well.

The other major improvement is an enhanced way for you to listen to or download some of our programs on demand. You can listen to Talking Pictures, Gotta Minute and artist interviews right from the site, or you can subscribe to them as podcasts and they'll load automatically to your ipod or other media player. There's an easier to navigate Photo Gallery as well.

(Music licensing rules prevent us from offering music programming as podcasts, in case you're wondering.)

The online playlist, webcast and other areas of the site are still there, although we'll be updating their layout in the coming weeks to bring them in line with the new look. Coming soon: an enhanced Concert Calendar, Culture Crawl podcast and other improvements.

Thanks to an outstanding design team for this dynamic new look: Web designer John Shultz of Codejazz and graphic design by John Foster of Avatar Design Group.

So, what do you think? Post a reply in this space or email me directly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Listeners at all times of the day - George

We recently received a call from a listener who had trouble sleeping one night and caught "The Brazilian Hour" during the early morning hours of a Sunday. She really enjoyed the mix of traditional Brazilian and Brazilian-flavored jazz. She wondered if the show was repeated during the week.

I told her that in addition to airing at 2 a.m. Sunday, it was also broadcast at 2 a.m. Tuesday. She was really excited to hear that.

"Are you up listening at that time?" I asked her.

"When I can't sleep," she replied. "But now that I know when it's on, I'll probably just get up and listen." (!)

Do you listen to KCCK at odd times of the day? We'd like to hear from you if you do.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Monday, July 16, 2007

Webcasting Update-Dennis

Well, we're still webcasting today.

Late Friday, we received word that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
(CPB), and National Public Radio (NPR) were still in negotiation with Sound Exchange
to settle the issue of royalty payments for webcasting of public radio music programming.

While no agreement was reached on a substitute for the March 2nd decision of the
Copyright Board (which would substantially raise royalty payments for webcasters,
including public radio stations like KCCK), CPB offered a payment (on behalf of public
stations) to SoundExchange, which has been accepted, to cover what NPR and CPB believe
is due July 15 as the base rate payment for stations beginning March 2, 2007. NPR
and CPB are confident that public radio stations can continue their music streaming
operations for the next three months as good faith discussions are ongoing about
the structure and amount of the ultimate fee.

Bottom line: We're still streaming and should be able to continue so for the near

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Great Fest! -- Dennis

Hope you were at the Pentacrest at some point this weekend for the Iowa City Jazz Festival. The weather was perfect, and the music spectacular. Our 20-hour live broadcast of the Festival ended with a delightful set from the Ben Allison Quartet Sunday afternoon (Record company restrictions would not allow us to broadcast the Derek Trucks Band Sunday night).

We'll be re-broadcasting the Festival on Labor Day, so you can catch what you may have missed, and Bob Stewart's interviews with the headliners will be posted on the web site this week.

What did you think of the Festival? Post your replies below!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Brush with Greatness-Dennis

Do you remember the episode of "Happy Days" where rock star Flash Cadillac stays with the Cunninghams for a few days but Richie can't tell any of his friends?

We had a similar experience this week when a call came from an LA ad agency, asking if they could rent our production facilities for a taping session with Masters champ and Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson (pictured with Gordon Paulsen). Zach and his family have been home for several days visiting his parents.

I'd like to say it's because the reputation of KCCK for quality is nation-wide, but I suspect it was more because when you search the phone listings under "radio station" in Cedar Rapids, guess who's first in the alphabet? Try it.

Of course, since he was not here for a promotional appearance, but to work, we were asked to keep a low profile.

And we did.... more or less. After he completed his recording, we had to make a little fuss, of course. Zach exhibited the graciousness that the world now knows him for, posing for a couple of pictures and signing an autograph.

He's warm, funny and still just a little nonplussed, I think, when people make a big deal out of his showing up someplace. He's done a lot for Cedar Rapids and for Iowa, just being himself.

I'm proud to say I met him.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Edgy Stuff II--Dennis

Thanks for the wide range of comments to the earlier post (if you haven't read them all, just page down. All are excellent thoughts).

The bottom line is that we consider the main thrust of our mission to find ways to make jazz accessible to a greater number of people, without pandering. In other words, to try and grow the segment. KCCK will never be for everyone, but I think you'll agree that trying to create a bigger fan base is good for the station and the music. If we just program to an ever-shrinking group of jazz purists [you know who you are... :)], eventually it will become difficult to justify our existence, let alone find the money to keep going.

But that said, we also recognize the importance of trying always to portray the whole picture of where jazz is and where it's going. And that certainly includes edgy, progessive, avant-garde...whatever you want to call it... jazz.

Scheduling is always the problem. 10 or 11 pm seems like a good place to put a show like this, and that's actually the recommendation some of you have made.

But as astute listeners know, we are reserving the 11p-2a weeknight slot for student producers, as providing opportunities to beginners is an important part of our mission.

The idea of taking the Jazz Masters slot once or twice a week for an avant garde/progressive show may have merit, although you should know that one reason we put that show on at that time was at the request of school band directors, who wanted a place their students could hear classic jazz recordings at a time they were likely to listen.

But let us work on it. In the meantime, who are the artists you think belong on a show like this?
Who are you listening to? Who would you like to hear? Let us know and we'll start trying to build a library, and will also start thinking about where a show like this would be placed on the schedule.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Edgier Stuff? -- Dennis

Here's a comment from a recent posting I made, which I would like to use to start a new conversation:

I would like to hear more CAM Jazz on the station, and ECM. I would like to have a formal mechanism for listeners to recommend discs that are not getting air time. Here's my first one: "What Now?", Kenny Wheeler, CAM Jazz. I would like to have a specific time slot every week for edgier material of all stripes: 60's and 70's dark fusion, noisy New York Zorn and Frisell type stuff, Threadgill and late Coltrane avant garde, wiggy ECM a la Garbarek, ethnic stuff like Anour Brahem and Rabih Abou-Kahlil, etc. Thanks.

This is a tough one. We all know that jazz is at its best when someone pushes the envelope. Miles Davis totally reinvented how we think about jazz, not once but several times.

But, we see an important aspect of our business as inviting new people to experience jazz and making the station as welcoming to untrained ears as well as people who have been listening to jazz all their lives.

It's a delicate balance to strike, and we know we can never please every one. Edgy jazz shows haven't really been too much on our radar because frankly, "regular" jazz is edgy enough for most people.

#1 complaint about jazz in general and one we hear about KCCK often? Something to the effect of.... "It's fine till those saxophones start to honk and there's no melody."

But, it's a big tent, and there are a lot of hours in a week.

So, what do you think? Would you tune in for a show that featured edgy jazz? What time do you think it should be on? Who should host?

We'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Your Message Here-Dennis

Here's a recent comment left for us (I'll cut and paste so you don't have to page down):


I'm curious if you want comments on this blog. It appears as though you just want it to be a billboard that you post messages to. Do you want interaction? Discussion about jazz? People to post comments?

If yes, please post so others can see. I'm sure the jazz community you serve have quite a few things they could contribute.

The answer is YES. When we started this blog, it was our hope to encourage two-way communication with our listeners and jazz fans. The poster is right, though, most of the time it's just one-way, us posting things about the station and our shows and events. Why? Well, those are the things that are topmost in our minds on a daily basis. I'd love to be able to say we spend our free time here pondering weighty trends in jazz and culture, but like most working stiffs, we're mainly just trying to muddle through each day's crisis. :)

But that said, we would like to see this blog become a forum for your thoughts on jazz and on KCCK. If there are topics you'd like to see addressed or discussed, send them to me directly, I'll start a new thread.

One caveat: The thing we don't really want to get into on the blog is referendums on particular shows or personalities. We know not everything on KCCK will be to your particular taste, but I can guarantee you something.... Each and every show is someone's MOST favorite and someone else's LEAST favorite.

Mean-spirited comments or jibes about our staff or shows will be deleted. All else is fair game!

We'll be waiting to hear from you.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George Dorman

Among the topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of April 30 are "Crocs are removed from the endangered list" and "Simple ways to live green."

After three decades, the American crocodile is off the federal endangered species list. In 1975, the croc was close to extinction in the U.S., a victim of development, habitat loss and hunting. There were only about 200 of them left in south Florida -- just 10 to 20 breeding females. Scientists say there now may be as many as 2,000. Wildlife experts credit sanctuaries set up to protect the predators. The crocodile does remain a "threatened" species.

Greg Horn is the author of the book "Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability." He became interested in such matters while fighting a case of multiple chemical sensititives (MCS). In the book, Horn offers tips on how to live healthier through what we put into and onto our bodies, purchases for the home and energy use. Some simple steps include purchasing progammable thermostats, patching up leaks around doors and windows, putting carbon filters on shower heads, and reducing the use of chemicals on lawns.

Clean Up Your Act airs at 6:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. weekdays. Weekend editions are heard at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and at 3:20 p.m. Saturdays.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Monday, April 23, 2007

Christian Rocks!

KCCK hosted superstar Bassist Christian McBride over the weekend, when he came to Cedar Rapids for a residency and performance at Kirkwood. Christian was delightful, chatting in-studio with Bob Stewart for nearly an hour. Listen to that interview here.

The concert was outstanding, as Christian led the Kirkwood Jazz Ensemble and CR Jazz through tunes by Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver and even an original chart by Cedar Rapids' own Denny Redmond. Christian also "walked the tightrope," as he called it, playing one duet with piano using his bow.

Another highlight was Coe Senior and Kirkwood jazz alum Rene Ybarra stepping out with CR Jazz and just ripping up "A Night in Tunisia" with a soaring lead and torrid solos.

Kirkwood Media Services recorded the concert. It will be broadcast several times on the Kirkwood Channel, the first being May 12 at 10pm. Ch. 11 in most of Eastern Iowa. Check the program schedule here. KCCK will also feature the concert in a future Wednesday Special.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George Dorman

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of April 23 include "Burning fat for your car" and "The Iowa River makes a list of endangered waterways."

Tyson Foods plans to send fat from one of its plants in Texas to a nearby ConocoPhillips refinery where it will be mixed with diesel. It will be called "renewable diesel" and marketed for fuel. ConocoPhillips will produce 175-million gallons of renewable diesel per year and is experimenting with other sources like algae.

The Iowa River is on the list of Most Endangered Rivers in America for 2007 by the environmental group American Rivers. Growing loads of sewage from both humans and livestock are cited. Andrew Fahlund of American Rivers says the Iowa D.N.R. has neglected to write rules to help implement the Clean Water Act. The is the first time that an Iowa river has made the list.

Clean Up Your Act airs at 6:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. weekdays. Weekend editions are heard at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and at 3:20 p.m. Saturdays.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Live Jazz Galore--Bob

It's a busy week for live jazz in the area, starting tonight in the Washington High Auditorium with the Cedar 6 Jazz Festival. The 7pm concert features the six area high school jazz bands strutting their stuff. Thursday night is the first night of KCCK's Jazz at the 'Brary: Caliente! program, with Jim Drier and the U of I Latin Jazz Ensemble providing the jazz at the Iowa City Public Library at 7 & 9pm (the 9pm program is in Spanish). The Cedar Rapids edition will be Friday 4/20 at 7 & 9pm. Also this Thursday night, the U.N.I. Jazz Band One performs at 7:30pm at the Gallagher Bluedorn Center in Cedar Falls. Tuscan Moon in Kalona is hosting the Chicago vocal/guitar duo of Typhanie Monique and Neal Alger on Friday night...they'll be stopping by the studios for a performance and interview around 1:30pm. You may know Alger's work with Patricia Barber's quartet. Also on Friday night the Coe College Gold Jazz Band plays Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe campus, and Kurt Elling is up in Decorah at Luther College.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Miles Book and Ella Tribute-Bob

I was just perusing a review by Steve Greenlee of The Boston Globe about yet another book coming out about Miles Davis. "It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off the Record" is written by Richard Cook, who is one of the authors of "The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD." Each chapter of "It's About That Time...," says Greenlee, "focuses on a particular album while bringing into the fold just about every other recording he ever did...Cook is clearly a fan of Miles Davis but he's far from a cheerleader. 'It's About Time' brings fresh insight to a lifetime of music and can help even a longtime connoisseur hear it in a whole new way." The book is from Oxford University Press.

I also notice a new cd is on the way in honor of the 90th anniversay of Ella's birthday. "We All Love Ella: a Celebration of the First Lady of Song" features pop and R&B vocalists such as Linda Ronstadt, Gladys Knights, Chaka Khan and Natalie Cole taking on some of Fitzgerald's signature pieces. Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves bring some jazz cred to the proceedings. Michael Buble is the lone male voice on the tribute, which is expected in June.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, March 16, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of March 19 include "Surveying coral reefs by satellite" and "The Brits tackle climate change."

A new satellite survey has allowed scientists to pinpoint the location and assess the health of half-a-million square miles of coral reefs. Over-fishing is a problem.
With fewer fish to eat algae that grow on coral, the algae can overwhelm and kill entire reefs. Coral reefs support 9-million species of aquatic life.

Britain has become the first country to set hard and fast targets for tackling climate change. The goals are ambitious...a 26% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 60% reduction by 2050. Can they do it? Energy experts say to cut emissions that much by mid-century, the British would have to scrap all their domestic appliances, rip out their central heating, give up foreign hoidays and get rid of their cars!

Clean Up Your Act airs at 6:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. weekdays. Weekend editions are heard at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and at 3:20 p.m. Saturdays.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Friday, March 9, 2007

Great Week-Bob

Boy, it was a great week for live jazz in Eastern Iowa this past week. With numerous opportunities to catch bassist Ben Allison and his Quartet and David Sanborn and his Quintet, it was a rare treat for us jazz fans. I caught Allison's date at the Sanctuary on Monday night, after he and trumpeter Ron Horton stopped by the studios on Sunday for a chat and performance (which are now on the KCCK web site). The Quartet had a great time playing for the appreciative audience on Monday, presenting a few hours of their very forward-thinking jazz. And then, on the other end of the jazz spectrum, there was Sanborn at Hancher on Wednesday night playing a scorching set of his funked-up contemporary jazz. Despite some technical problems which had the players somewhat distracted for a large portion of the evening, it was a fine set. I could have done with fewer of his trademark ballads, but that didn't detract too much. As for live music this weekend, Saul Lubaroff gets a two-night stand at the Tuscan Moon in Kalona, while Dick Watson and Eddie Piccard do their regular gigs. You can get specifics with our concert calendar at

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Monday, March 5, 2007

Ben Allison in Studio Today-Bob Stewart

Bassist Ben Allison and his quartet are in the area this week for a series of live performances. It starts with a gig at the Sanctuary in Iowa City tonight, then at the Redstone Room in Davenport on Wednesday, and the Reverb in Cedar Falls on Thursday before moving on to the Blue Room in Kansas City on Friday. We're going to have Ben in studio this afternoon at 1pm, along with trumpeter Ron Horton, for a conversation and a performance.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, March 2, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of March 5 include "Green roofs grow in popularity" and "An Oscar for Al."

The number of green roofs in the U.S. is said to have grown by 80% in 2005.
A green roof contains a layer of soil and vegetation. It helps insulate the roof, reducing heating and cooling, retains rainfall which reduces pressure on storm seweres, and actually prolongs the life of a roof by shielding it from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Al Gore won an Oscar for Best Domentary at the recent Academy Awards for "An Inconvenient Truth"...a chronicle of his 30 years of research on global warming.
One of the movie's prdocuers...Laurie David...says the movie brings global warming down to a personal level. She says if everyone does something, we can start to solve the problem.

Native Son Glenn Miller-Bob Stewart

As we noted Iowa native Glenn Miller's birthdate yesterday, it brought back memories of my first exposure to jazz back when I was a kid. We were all bombarded by those commercials for the "Best of the Big Band Era" compilations on television. You'd get little snippets of the more famous charts of the Swing Era's most popular bands as a list of the album's complete roster scrolled across the screen. To this day, I could probably still recall some of those snippets, but as far as the whole charts go, my memory would be quite hazy. Unless it's the charts of Mr. Miller who, maybe with the exception of Benny Goodman, has proven the most enduring figure of the Swing Era.

That's because, also when I was a kid, I was exposed to that great film about Miller starring Jimmy Stewart, Henry Morgan and June Allyson. "The Glenn Miller Story" also included cameos from Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Ben Pollack and others. The music just swept me away! Seeing just how passionate Miller was about his music was very intriguing. The mysterious and tragic circumstances of his death also sent a powerful message. I was out the door to one of my local album shops (which are sadly now obsolete) to get a disc of Miller's music. I learned his most famous pieces from front to back, and even taped radio shows on my little cassette recorder as if I was broadcasting his concerts from some far-off ballroom. As a sign of the times, the show was usually sponsored by some cigarette brand I had seen in commercials...usually it was Chesterfield for some reason. Luckily I never picked up the nicotane habit, but I was hooked on jazz from there on out!

I'm sure our resident Miller aficianado, Cary J. Hahn, will be featuring plenty of Miller's music on his Big Band Memories program this Sunday afternoon. A well-deserved salute to one of Iowa's greatest native sons.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Monday, February 26, 2007

And we're back!

KCCK returned to the air this morning (Monday), several hours ahead of when we thought we'd be back up, so things are rapidly returning to normal. Kirkwood, of course, is closed today and tonight, all locations. Listen to KCCK or watch for the early word on Kirkwood classes on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Storm Blog (Sunday)-Dennis

There are many things critical to the success of a radio station... Great music, interesting personalities...

And electricity.

Right now, KCCK has only two out of those three. The winter storm that blew through Eastern Iowa on Saturday first iced over our tower, requiring us to leave the air about 5pm, and remain off till the antenna thawed out. The knockout punch was delivered a couple hours later, when the power lines to a major substation snapped and took out power to the entire Cedar Rapids Kirkwood campus.

Because KCCK's web page is hosted off campus (thank you ABC Solutions!), our web page is still up, although Kirkwood's is not, as of this writing, at least. So you can check and this blog from time to time, to check on our status.

At this time, we're going to regroup tomorrow (Monday) and look into renting a generator to power the transmitter.

We'll also try to post information on Kirkwood's status as well.

Trying to contact us? Office phones and email are down, of course. You can post comments to this blog, or email us at a temporary address...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Merger Mania-Dennis

Unless you're been held incommunicado somewhere for the last week (or perhaps haven't caught any newscasts because you're a satellite radio listener), you know that Sirius and XM, the holders of the U.S. licenses for satellite radio, have decided the market simply won't sustain two sat radio companies, and they need to merge, in effect becoming a legal monopoly.

As someone who is trying to sustain a local public radio service on, oh... 1/500 of what Sirius is paying just Howard Stern, it's hard for me to be sympathetic. Both XM and Sirius have been spending money like the U.S. government, locking up national personalities like Stern and Oprah, not to mention NFL and college sports, NASCAR and even A Prairie Home Companion and Car Talk. At the same time, they've been spending millions on advertising. As a terrestrial radio manager, I've been more than happy to let them beat each other up, and am having trouble understanding why it's the government's job to let them have a monopoly simply because they've spent themselves into oblivion.

Am I worried satellite radio will take listeners away from KCCK? Well, it's not satellite radio itself that bugs me as much as this is just another trend toward big, faceless companies controlling the music we hear, instead of local people. When Clear Channel started buying multiple signals in cities large and small, company executives insisted the economies of scale would enable them to put interesting, niche formats on some stations that wouldn't have to be as profitable, or at least as profitable as soon. Yeah, that's happened.

If XM and Sirius merge, do you think they will put more jazz (for instance) on the combined service? Of course not, they'll stick with the three flavors they have now and spend the money they've saved on some flavor-of-the-month talk host or music format.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think there is value in a radio station where a local host picks music he or she thinks is worth sharing, working for a company that's accountable to the community where the both the staff and listeners live.

Try finding that on a satellite. Heck, good luck finding it in most towns. Ours excepted, thanks to you!

Clean Up Your Act - George

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of Feb. 26 will include "Banning the Bulb" and "Wood or Plastic Pallets."

The Australian government plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescents. The hope is to reduce Australian greenhouse gas emissions by 4-million tons by 2012.

More than a billion pallets are in service in the U.S. at any given time. Half-a-billion new ones are needed each year to replace broken ones. Most are used only once. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, can be used up to 70 times. This might be one case where plastic is the superior material over a natural material.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Results and Reactions-Bob

The Grammys were doled out on Sunday night...just a few thoughts on the winners. It was good to see the ageless Tony Bennett pick up three more Grammys for his work on the "Duets" CD. His voice just seems to get better with age. Odd that George Benson and Al Jarreu won in the Pop Instrumental category for their VOCAL disc, "Givin' It Up"! (Although they did win one for Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for their work with Jill Scott on that disc, our Featured CD from back in November.) As for the Jazz categories, just one quibble...for the Jazz Vocal Album, they went with the safe bet, Nancy Wilson's "Turned to Blue," which was a fine disc for the veteran vocalist. But my vote would have gone to the much-more ground-breaking and impressive "Footprints" disc for Karrin Allyson, who has certainly paid her dues and deserved an award. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Randy and Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, and Brian Lynch & Eddie Palmieri all were deserving (and were all heard on KCCK over the past year!)

One other thing: I hope everyone had a chance to take in the "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life" documentary on IPT Sunday night...just a fascinting look at the complicated life of the composer and his relationship with Duke Ellington, with some neat performances by Bill Charlap, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano and others. If you weren't able to see it, I would watch for the dvd in the future...a real nice addtion for the serious jazz fan's collection.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, February 2, 2007

Giving You The Business-Dennis

KCCK has recently added a business report to our midday news. The report is prepared and hosted by Joe Brisben and Ken Wall of BDF Investments in Coralville. Their names will be familiar to radio listeners in the area for past reports on other stations.

Why business news? Well, we all have an interest in the national and global economic climate. Even those who don't own or trade stocks are in the market through 401(k)s and the like. But we wanted something more than just a recitation of Dow Jones Average and a list of stock prices. You can get that from a stock ticker on your computer. What Joe and Ken bring is some context, the "why I should care" behind the numbers, along with a sense of humor that makes the reports entertaining. They're a great addition to our daily lineup!

Hear the Midday Business Report right at the end of the 11:50 news.

More Live Jazz to Enjoy-Bob

It's going to be a cooooold weekend in Eastern Iowa, but there's some live jazz out there to warm things up, starting with the great Latin jazz reedman Paquito D'Rivera tonight at Hancher Auditorium...or the Cuban Penguin as he referred to himself in a conversation I had with him last week as he was braving the cold in New Jersey. That chat,by the way, can be heard on our website at His originally scheduled concert was snowed out last month. He and his quintet take the stage tonight at 7:30.
Also tonight, guitarist Steve Grismore and his trio will be playing the Tuscan Moon in Kalona, which is becoming quite the jazz venue for Eastern Iowans. They'll be playing from 7-10pm. Morning After plays there Saturday from 8-11pm.

You can also experience what some student jazz musicians are doing these days with a couple of high school concerts. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids will have their Band Carnival on Saturday from 4-9pm in the auditorium there. The jazz bands will be included in the concert with all the other ensembles from that school's program. And at City High in Iowa City, the jazz bands will be featured in concert along with our good friend, pianist Dan Knight, sitting in as special guest. There'll be two shows, at 6 & 8pm, taking place in the school cafeteria.

And, of course, it's the regular gigs from pianists Eddie Piccard and Dick Watson and their ensembles this weekend, too. Eddie plays Konstantino's in Cedar Rapids tonight from 7-10 and Saturday night at the Top of the Five Seasons Hotel in Cedar Rapids. Dick has his regualar gig at the Lighthouse in Cedar Rapids Friday and Saturday.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Strayhorn Specials-Bob

If you missed out on the special for Jazz Masters this afternoon, "Lush Life: the Music and Life of Billy Strayhorn," hosted by Rhonda Hamilton, you can catch it again tonight. We'll be replaying that on John Heim's Jazz Masters session at 10pm. This coincides with our Featured CD for the Month of February, "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life," which by the way we'll have in its entirety tonight for our Midnight CD. This is the companion soundtrack to a brand new 90-minute documentary film about the pioneering African-American composer, arranger,and pianist. There are 15 Strayhorn compositions by several of today's jazz stars: Bill Charlap, Joe Lovano, and Dianne Reeves, as well as piano legend Hank Jones and special guest Elvis Costello provide vibrant new performances, and are also featured throughout the PBS/Independent Lens documentary, which will air on Iowa Public Television at 10:30pm on Sunday February 11.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jazz Under The Stars is "ICCY"--Dennis

A big night for the arts and culture crowd, KCCK in particular last night, as we were honored at the inaugural Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Awards for Innovation and Excellence, the "ICCYs" (Pronounced "Ickies").

Jazz Under The Stars was recognized in the Music Programming category, a field that also included Holiday Pops and Cabaret in the Courtyard.

It was a fun night, not only for awards but also great performances from City Circle Acting Company (whose collaboration with the Iowa Children's Museum and the Englert, "Suessical," won two ICCYs), the University of Iowa Opera company, Kevin "BF" Burt, Riverside Theatre and New Beat Society.

Z102.9's Schulte and Swann hosted the event and I served as booth announcer which meant, yes, when we won I was able to say... "Accepting the award for KCCK is...well, me."

Thanks to ICCA Executive Director Joe Jennison and his organizing committee for a great evening that reminded us just how much innovation and excellence there is in our arts and culture community!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paquito Interview Tomorrow, Abe on Saturday-Bob

In anticipation of his rescheduled concert next Friday, February 2, at Hancher Auditorium, we'll be having a chat with NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera tomorrow right around noon or so. Saturday will see the return to the KCCK airwaves of Abe Kellison, who'll be filling in for John Heim from noon-3pm. John will be plying his other trade of working musician that day. It's been some months since we've heard from Abe and it'll be nice to hear his voice again.

Looking ahead to New Music Monday, we have a new big band disc from Harry Connick, Jr., the latest in the Marsalis Music "Connick on Piano" series...some really nice arrangements by Harry of some original and traditional New Orleans jazz. Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli is joined by cornetist Warren Vache, pianist John Bunch, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Mickey Roker in saluting Basie's great guitarist Freddie Green with "5 for Freddie." Another guitar disc, "Joko," comes from Frenchman Sylvain Luc and his septet. Norah Jones fans can look forward to her third disc, "Not Too Late." And the very gifted young Japanese composer and arranger Chie Imaizumi makes her recording debut with "Unfailing Kindness." She leads an ensemble that features, among others, baritone sax man Gary Smulyan and trumpeters Ron Miles and Greg Gisbert.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Monday, January 22, 2007

GM in the House-Dennis

Monday, January 22
11:00 am

We start out the week with a lineup shift. I will be in for Gordon Paulsen this afternoon. It will certainly be a radio adventure as we'll learn whether I still know how to fly the control board.

I'll feature JJ Johnson, Teddy Smith and Lizz Wright on their birthday, and remember Jimmy Cheatham, who passed away this weekend. On Funk at Five, get ready for Tower of Power and local faves Grooveship.

Got a request? anytime after 3pm.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Busy Weekend for Jazz Fans-Bob

There's lots of live jazz to take in this weekend in the area. In addition to Eddie Piccard's regular gigs at the Fireside Grill in Kalona tonight, Konstantino's in Cedar Rapids tomorrow night, and the Top of the Five Seasons Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, plus the Dick Watson Trio at the Lighthouse Friday and Saturday, there's a handful of other events of note. First off, it's the first installment of the KCCK series, "Looking at Jazz: America's Art Form" at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, which explores the culture and history of jazz. Our own Mark Yother is your host for "New Orleans: the Birthplace of Jazz" and "The Jazz Age & the 1920s," Friday night at 7 with pianist Brent Watkins providing the music. This three-part series continues February 16 and March 16.
The U of I School of Jazz is providing us with a couple of nights of great jazz. On Friday in Clapp Recital Hall at 8pm, it's the Jazz Extravaganza, featuring student groups the Jazz Guitar Ensemble, Chuck and the All-Nighters, Living Proof, and the Jazztet. Then on Saturday, the action moves to the Englert Theater downtown for the OftEnsemble, a collective of U of I jazz faculty and alumni, in concert at 8pm. This group features Brent Sandy, Bob Thompson, Chris Merz, Rich Medd, Steve Grismore, John Rapson, Greg Mazunik, Jim Dreier and Paul Cunliffe. They'll be featuring works by Rapson, Merz, Grismore, Chris Potter, Bennie Maupin and Jymie Merritt. You can follow this concert by staying downtown and heading to the Sanctuary for some late night jazz with saxophonist Saul Lubaroff and his quartet.
We've also learned of an appearance by Des Moines native Dick Oates on Saturday night. The nationally-known saxophonist appears with Al Naylor's jazz bands at Linn-Mar High School in Marion starting at 7:30pm. Who says there's never anything to do around here?!

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Notes From New York (Thursday)-Dennis

Another day of seminars and great music.

There is a jazz radio track at the IAJE, and we spent a great deal of time today in various meetings talking about what is wrong with, andright with, jazz radio.

The good news: Jazz radio's audience is not decreasing as fast as the overall radio listening audience. The bad news: The audience is in fact, declining, not growing.

The reasons for this are varied. Satellite radio takes some of the blame, but not all. Only a small percentage of satellite radio subscribers buy the service to listen to the jazz channels.

But, satellite, Ipods, the Internet and simply a busier lifestyle for all of us, siphon away time that previously might have been spent enjoying jazz on the radio.

And another prevalent theme is what can we do to attract more people, and in particular more young people, to the music and to our stations. Ironic, because the IAJE is the single largest gathering of middle, high school and college musicians anywhere.

I'm pleased to say that based on what I'm hearing from our peers, KCCK is doing a lot of things right.

But, there are also areas where we can improve. And we'll be working on those.

Tomorrow, I'll get my turn in the spotlight as I'll be on a panel about making your station important in your community, particularlythrough jazz education.

Brushes with greatness: I got to spend some time today with guitarist Fred Woodard, now of Boston but with Iowa roots, and a performer at Jazz Under The Stars 2003. Fred will have a new CD out later this yearand sends a shout out to his dad and friends in Iowa City.

Rode an elevator with Bob Mintzer as he tried to straighten out some sound issue over cell phone. Passed Nancy Wilson in the hallway, and followed behind her for a few minutes just so I could listen to her voice. But I wasn't stalkingher, honest....

Tonight, it's a reprise of the Iowa City Jazz Festival 2005, as ConradHerwig and Brian Lynch present an extended version of the "The Latin Side of Miles," included the full suite of "Sketches of Spain" a piece they didn't have time for in Iowa City. Then Randy Brecker takes the stagewith the Bill Evans Soul Jazz Project.

I love this job.

Notes from the IAJE-Dennis

Greetings from The International Association of Jazz Educators conference in Manhattan!

In between plenary sessions (I have no idea what that means, I just like to say the word "plenary") and concerts, I hope to sneak away to give you a little flavor ot the King of All Jazz Meetings here in the Jazz Capital.

Today, most of the business was done at the registration table and hotel bar...

"Whenja get in?" "When ya flying out?"

There are several jazz radio stations represented here. WBGO, the New York station, is doing several days of live broadcasts. At one point today, someone in their booth turned around, and there was Tony Bennett, knocking on the window, asking if he could sit down for a chat.

You can guess what the answer was.

My personal brush with greatness was bumping into Joe Lovano, who I thanked again for the great interview he had at KCCK in 2005.

I also spoke with Wendy Oxenhorn, the Executive Director of the Jazz Foundation of America, which is raising and investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to help indegent musicians all over the country, but these days they are primarily working to support the musicians of New Orleans. She told me they recently shipped several semi-trailers full of pianos to give to New Orleans musicians. One of them went to Fats Domino, who was so thrilled he had the movers set the piano down right in the middle of the street and played a mini-concert for the crew in thanks!

More tomorrow

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Jazz in the New Year-Bob

Well, here we are a week into the new year. Historically, this is a slow time for new jazz releases. The record labels stop releasing new discs from about the end of November through mid-January, so things should start picking up again very soon. What we feature in the interim are things we haven't had room to fit in for the latter part of the year, usually up-and-coming artists and lesser-known musicians who have yielded to the more well-know jazz artists 'til now.

For instance, we've unveiled some really neat cds over the past few weeks from D.D. Jackson, Luther Hughes, Ximo Tebar, Scott Neumann and Osage County,Gil Golstein and George Duke, to name a few, all which came out between summer and fall of 2006. Plus something from jazz master Chico Hamilton, who put out four different discs last year in honor of his 85th birthday. If only he had spread those out a little more!

I can tell you, though, that 2007 looks quite promising for new releases. Just to note a few, there are discs coming soon from Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, another Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau collaboration, a get-together with Chick Corea & Bela Fleck, as well as cds from Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, and Joey DeFrancesco. On the contemporary side of things, we can look forward to new jazz from Norah Jones, Joe Sample with Randy Crawford, Jeff Golub, and Jeff Lorber. And that's just for starters! Enjoy.

Live From New York, it's ME! --Dennis

I'll be attending the first few days of the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in Midtown Manhattan this week. Tough duty, eh? This is a huge and very exciting gathering of musicians, educators, recording people, vendors... anyone associated with jazz.

We've been asked to participate in a panel called "Jazz Radio in the Community-How To Make Your Station More Relevant." I'll be presenting information about Jazz Under The Stars, Jazz At the 'Brary and Schoolhouse Jazz.

But the real fun of this conference is the chance to rub shoulders with jazz stars. Among the many performers are Doc Severinson, Joey DeFrancesco, John Patitucci, Randy Brecker, Matt Wilson, and many more who will be attending or hosting sessions.

Watch this space for the remainder of the week and I'll let you know about any of my "brushes with greatness!"

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Nightbreeze 2007 checking in-Markj

Happy New Year everyone! I will be back on the air "live" on Sunday night, January 7, 2007.
Seems like it was yesterday we were bringing in 2006. With the Winter season upon us(even though it feels like Spring) the music on Nightbreeze seeems more solemn and reflective. Nightbreeze tends to be seasonal. The longer nights of Winter lends a quieter and meditative note to Sunday evening on the program.
Hopefully, you, the listener, will tune in to hear and, if you have a favorite instrumental or vocal artist that fits this reflective mood, pleases let me know and I will see if it is in the Nightbreeze Library. It has quite a large selection of music from the mid 1970's until now and includes artists from David Arkenstone to Yanni.
Thanks for listening in 2006 and, I hope you will continue to listen and support Nightbreeze in 2007.
Mark Jayne
Producer and Host