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What Radio Station Plays Jazz What Radio Station Plays Jazz


What Radio Station Plays Jazz

Written by: Kikelia Farber

Discover the perfect blend of smooth jazz melodies and soulful tunes on the leading radio station that plays Jazz. Tune in now to satisfy your jazz cravings.

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Jazz is a genre of music that has captivated audiences around the world with its unique blend of improvisation, rhythm, and soul. From its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to its current status as a celebrated art form, jazz has carved a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts.

In order to share this dynamic genre with the masses, radio stations have played a vital role in promoting and preserving jazz music. From terrestrial radio stations to internet-based platforms, there are numerous avenues for jazz lovers to tune in and enjoy their favorite tunes.

Whether you’re a long-time jazz aficionado or a curious listener looking to explore the genre, this article will guide you through the world of jazz radio stations. We’ll delve into the history of jazz radio, highlight some popular stations, both local and online, and explore the vibrant jazz programs and shows available to listeners worldwide.

So, grab your headphones or turn up the volume on your speakers, because we’re about to embark on a musical journey that celebrates the magic and allure of jazz music!


History of Jazz Radio Stations

The history of jazz radio stations dates back to the early 1920s when the genre first started gaining popularity. In these early days, jazz was primarily played on local radio stations, which were limited in reach and broadcasting capabilities.

One notable pioneer in jazz radio was Willis Conover, who hosted the widely acclaimed show “Music USA” on Voice of America from 1955 to 1996. Conover played a pivotal role in promoting jazz music internationally, reaching listeners around the world. Through his show, Conover introduced jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald to a global audience.

As the popularity of jazz grew throughout the 20th century, dedicated jazz radio stations started emerging. These stations provided a platform for jazz musicians, both established and up-and-coming, to showcase their talent and connect with jazz enthusiasts. They played a significant role in shaping the jazz landscape and contributing to the genre’s continued evolution.

During the 1960s, as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum in the United States, jazz radio stations played a vital role in promoting equality and giving a voice to African American artists. Stations like WBGO-FM in Newark, New Jersey, became key players in the jazz scene, showcasing the works of renowned artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk.

With the advent of the internet and digital technology, the landscape of jazz radio expanded even further. Online platforms, streaming services, and podcasting have provided jazz enthusiasts with endless options to explore the vast repertoire of jazz music. Today, jazz radio stations continue to thrive, catering to a diverse audience and ensuring the legacy of this iconic genre lives on.

From the early days of local broadcasts to the global reach of internet-based stations, the history of jazz radio stations is a testament to the enduring appeal and influence of jazz music. These stations have played a crucial role in promoting the genre, nurturing talent, and creating a sense of community among jazz lovers worldwide.


Popular Jazz Radio Stations

When it comes to jazz, several radio stations have become go-to destinations for jazz enthusiasts. These stations offer a diverse lineup of jazz programs, live performances, and interviews with acclaimed artists. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular jazz radio stations:

  1. WBGO 88.3 FM: Based in Newark, New Jersey, WBGO is one of the premier jazz radio stations in the United States. Known for its eclectic mix of jazz genres, the station features programs hosted by renowned jazz experts and offers live broadcasts of jazz concerts and festivals.
  2. WDCB 90.9 FM: Located in the Chicago area, WDCB has been a trusted source for jazz music for over 40 years. The station boasts a wide variety of jazz programming, including classic recordings, contemporary jazz, and live performances from local venues.
  3. Jazz FM: Based in the United Kingdom, Jazz FM is a popular radio station dedicated solely to jazz music. With a strong emphasis on both classic and contemporary jazz, the station features a diverse range of programs that cater to different jazz tastes.
  4. TSF Jazz: Operating out of Paris, TSF Jazz is a prominent jazz radio station in France. Known for its sophisticated programming and in-depth coverage of the jazz scene, TSF Jazz offers a mix of classic jazz recordings, interviews, and live sessions.
  5. KJazz 88.1 FM: Broadcasting from Long Beach, California, KJazz is a public radio station that has been serving the Southern California jazz community for decades. With an extensive playlist that includes traditional jazz, Latin jazz, and smooth jazz, KJazz offers a diverse array of programs hosted by knowledgeable DJs.

These are just a few examples of popular jazz radio stations that cater to the diverse tastes of jazz enthusiasts. Whether you’re in the United States, Europe, or beyond, these stations provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich world of jazz music.

Don’t forget to check out their websites and streaming platforms, as many of these stations offer online streaming options that allow you to listen to jazz music anytime, anywhere. So, grab your headphones, tune in, and let the rhythm and melodies of jazz transport you to a world of musical bliss.


Local Jazz Radio Stations

While popular jazz radio stations offer a wide range of programming, local jazz radio stations play a crucial role in connecting communities with their local jazz scenes. These stations focus on showcasing regional jazz talent, promoting live performances, and providing a platform for local jazz musicians to gain recognition. Here are a few examples of local jazz radio stations:

  1. WWOZ 90.7 FM (New Orleans, Louisiana): New Orleans is renowned for its rich jazz heritage, and WWOZ is at the heart of the city’s vibrant jazz community. The station not only plays jazz music but also highlights the diverse musical traditions that have influenced the genre.
  2. KSDS 88.3 FM (San Diego, California): KSDS, affectionately known as Jazz 88, is a nonprofit public radio station dedicated to jazz. It features a mix of local and international jazz talent and hosts live performances from the local San Diego jazz scene.
  3. KUVO 89.3 FM (Denver, Colorado): Serving the Denver metropolitan area, KUVO is committed to promoting jazz and blues music. The station provides a platform for local jazz artists and covers jazz concerts, festivals, and events in the region.
  4. WWNO 89.9 FM (New Orleans, Louisiana): Another notable station in New Orleans, WWNO not only features jazz music but also provides in-depth coverage of the city’s cultural events and interviews with local jazz musicians.
  5. WAER 88.3 FM (Syracuse, New York): Located in Syracuse, WAER is a university-based radio station known for its diverse jazz programming. The station supports the local jazz community and regularly features local jazz artists and performances.

Local jazz radio stations create a sense of community around jazz music, fostering connections between listeners and the vibrant jazz scenes in their areas. These stations play a crucial role in promoting local talent, providing exposure for aspiring jazz musicians, and keeping the jazz tradition alive in communities across the world.

If you’re passionate about jazz and want to support your local jazz community, tuning in to these stations can be a great way to stay connected with the local jazz scene and discover new talent in your area.


Internet Radio Stations Playing Jazz

In the digital age, internet radio stations have become a popular way for jazz enthusiasts to explore and enjoy their favorite genre. These stations offer a wide variety of jazz programming, spanning different styles, eras, and sub-genres. Here are a few notable internet radio stations that specialize in playing jazz:

  1. Jazz24: Jazz24 is an online jazz radio station that is backed by the prestigious public radio station KPLU. Known for its diverse playlist featuring both classic and contemporary jazz, Jazz24 offers a rich selection of jazz programs and live performances.
  2. AccuRadio: AccuRadio is an internet radio platform that provides a range of jazz channels catering to different tastes. From smooth jazz to bebop, listeners can choose from various jazz sub-genres and customize their listening experience.
  3. Radio Swiss Jazz: Based in Switzerland, Radio Swiss Jazz is an internet radio station that focuses solely on jazz music. It offers an extensive playlist of jazz classics, as well as contemporary jazz recordings, providing a well-rounded listening experience.
  4. JazzRadio.com: JazzRadio.com is an internet radio station that features an extensive collection of jazz music, covering everything from swing to fusion. With multiple channels dedicated to specific jazz sub-genres, listeners can easily find the style of jazz that resonates with them.
  5. GotRadio – Jazz So Smooth: This internet radio station is dedicated to smooth jazz, providing a relaxing and soothing jazz listening experience. It features smooth jazz favorites from both established artists and emerging talents.

What makes internet radio stations so appealing for jazz lovers is the convenience and accessibility they offer. With a stable internet connection, jazz enthusiasts can access these stations from anywhere in the world, allowing them to discover new artists, explore different jazz styles, and enjoy their favorite tunes at their convenience.

Moreover, many internet radio platforms also offer interactive features such as liking and favoriting tracks, creating personalized playlists, and providing recommendations based on listeners’ preferences, enhancing the overall user experience.

So, whether you’re at home, on the go, or even in another country, internet radio stations allow you to stay connected to the world of jazz and immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of this extraordinary genre.


Jazz Programs and Shows

Jazz programs and shows are an integral part of the radio experience for jazz enthusiasts. They offer a unique platform for exploring the different facets of jazz, including interviews with renowned artists, live performances, historical retrospectives, and thematic explorations of various jazz styles and eras. Here are a few notable jazz programs and shows that have gained widespread acclaim:

  1. “Jazz Profiles” hosted by Nancy Wilson: This esteemed program, produced by National Public Radio (NPR), takes listeners on a journey through the lives and music of jazz legends. Hosted by legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson, each episode explores the careers, influences, and contributions of jazz greats, providing valuable insights into the rich history of the genre.
  2. “Jazz Night in America” hosted by Christian McBride: Presented by NPR and produced in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, this program celebrates the vibrant jazz scene across the United States. Hosted by renowned bassist Christian McBride, it features live performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories, offering a captivating look into the current state of jazz.
  3. “The Checkout” hosted by Simon Rentner: This program, broadcast by WBGO and available as a podcast, focuses on contemporary jazz and emerging talent. Hosted by Simon Rentner, the show highlights up-and-coming artists, explores new jazz trends, and provides a platform for artists to share their creative processes and inspirations.
  4. “Jazz Profiles with Jamie Cullum”: In this program, acclaimed pianist and vocalist Jamie Cullum takes listeners on a personal journey through the world of jazz. Cullum explores various jazz styles, shares personal anecdotes, and showcases his love for the genre through his unique perspective and musical insights.
  5. “The Real Jazz Archive” hosted by David Brent Johnson: This program, broadcast by WFIU Public Radio, delves into the extensive jazz archives to uncover rare recordings, interviews, and live performances from jazz legends. Hosted by David Brent Johnson, the show offers a treasure trove of jazz history, allowing listeners to discover forgotten gems and gain a deeper appreciation for the genre.

These programs and shows, among others, provide listeners with a curated and immersive jazz experience. They educate, entertain, and inspire, offering a platform for artists and enthusiasts to connect and share their passion for jazz.

Whether you’re a seasoned jazz aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, these programs offer a gateway to explore the vast depths of jazz music and its ever-evolving landscape.


Jazz Radio Stations Around the World

Jazz is a genre that transcends borders and has a global appeal. Around the world, there are numerous radio stations dedicated to jazz music, each adding their unique flavor to the genre. Let’s explore some prominent jazz radio stations from different corners of the globe:

  1. Radio Swiss Jazz (Switzerland): Located in Switzerland, Radio Swiss Jazz is a renowned jazz radio station that broadcasts a wide range of jazz styles, from classic to contemporary. Known for its high-quality programming and extensive playlist, it has become a favorite destination for both jazz enthusiasts and musicians.
  2. TSF Jazz (France): Based in Paris, TSF Jazz is a well-respected jazz radio station that offers a sophisticated selection of jazz music. With its focus on both classic recordings and contemporary artists, TSF Jazz caters to a diverse audience of jazz lovers.
  3. WDR 3 Jazz & World (Germany): WDR 3 Jazz & World, operated by Westdeutscher Rundfunk, is a prominent radio station in Germany known for its comprehensive coverage of jazz and world music. The station features a mix of jazz classics, live performances, and interviews with jazz musicians.
  4. ABC Jazz (Australia): ABC Jazz, part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is dedicated to promoting and preserving jazz music in Australia. The station broadcasts an eclectic mix of jazz genres, highlights local jazz talent, and covers major jazz festivals across the country.
  5. Jazz FM (United Kingdom): Jazz FM is a popular jazz radio station based in the United Kingdom. With its diverse programming that spans classic and contemporary jazz, the station showcases a variety of jazz styles and hosts shows presented by knowledgeable jazz enthusiasts.

These are just a few examples of jazz radio stations around the world, and there are many more, each with its own unique approach to presenting jazz music. From Europe to Australia, jazz radio stations play a vital role in promoting the genre, fostering a sense of community among jazz enthusiasts, and providing a platform for artists to reach a wider audience.

Thanks to advancements in technology and the internet, it has become easier than ever to access these international jazz radio stations. Whether through live streaming on their websites, dedicated radio apps, or online platforms, jazz lovers can tune in to these stations from anywhere in the world and experience the global beauty of jazz.



Jazz radio stations have played a pivotal role in the promotion, preservation, and growth of the jazz genre. From the early days of local broadcasts to the global reach of internet-based platforms, these stations have been instrumental in connecting jazz enthusiasts with the music they love and providing a platform for both established and emerging jazz artists.

Whether you tune in to popular jazz radio stations that offer a diverse range of programming, explore the local jazz scene through community-focused stations, or venture into the realm of internet radio stations that cater to jazz lovers worldwide, there is no shortage of options to indulge in the richness of jazz music.

Through jazz programs and shows, listeners gain insights into the history, influence, and vibrant nature of jazz. From retrospective programs that delve into the lives of jazz legends to contemporary shows that highlight emerging talent, these programs offer a deeper understanding of the ever-evolving jazz landscape.

No matter where you are in the world, jazz radio stations provide a gateway to discover new artists, connect with local jazz scenes, and explore the diverse range of jazz styles and sub-genres. They create a sense of community for jazz enthusiasts, fostering a shared love and appreciation for this extraordinary musical art form.

So, whether you prefer to tune in to your local jazz radio station, explore the vast selection of internet radio stations, or immerse yourself in captivating jazz programs, let the enchanting melodies, intricate improvisations, and soulful rhythms of jazz transport you to a world of musical bliss.

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