On Sunday, October 2, WBGO will host the Dave Koz radio show on its weekly schedule. Broadcast on Sundays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the show is a two-hour rendezvous with one of the biggest stars of contemporary jazz.
The nationally broadcast show was founded in 1994, when Koz was approached by radio executive Paul Goldstein who was creating shows hosted by artists in particular genres. “Paul thought I should host the smooth jazz show,” Koz explains. “Of course, I knew NOTHING about being a radio host. But Paul said my lack of experience could actually be advantageous because they weren’t looking for ‘jocks’, but rather people who were knowledgeable and passionate about radio. music and the artists. You should have heard those early shows. I was awful. But I learned on the job…and I always focused on the core of the show, which for me has always been to be a great cheerleader for the music and the amazing artists who make it. We’re now almost 30 years nonstop in radio. I guess I’ve gotten better.
Koz says he learned from hosts like WBGO’s Pat Prescott as he developed his own on-air chops. “Pat was a HUGE inspiration and an incredible educator. I used to sit with Pat on her morning show at CD101.9 in New York…we had so much fun. She taught me pretty much everything I know: about how to be yourself on the radio…how to be relatable and keep it brief…even how to keep my P’s from popping. , when I had the morning show’s host gig at The Wave in Los Angeles, I begged her to be my co-host We spent six glorious years on the airwaves together in Los Angeles who I’ll never forget. He says the late Ramsey Lewis, who hosted a show on WNUA in Chicago, was also a big inspiration. “He was actually doing what I set out to do.” Koz recalled, “I’ll never forget that conversation. Ramsey told me it was going to be okay, and it was for sure.”
What Koz enjoys most about the show is being a champion of his fellow artists and telling their musical stories. “Our slice of the music world doesn’t get the exposure that other genres get, and yet the music is SO awesome and the people who make it have amazing stories to tell,” he says. “I consider hosting this show to be one of the greatest gifts of my life…because once a week on the weekend, I just champion all of these amazing artists and take our listeners into a journey through music. I like it as much now as when I started. Maybe even more.
The saxophonist says it means a lot to him that his show airs on WBGO. “I am deeply honored to join the aircrew of such a heritage radio station as WBGO. It is a dream come true to have our show heard in the Tri-State area and especially on a station that is committed so much to keep music (and I mean all of it) alive and well and celebrated. I’m over the moon.”