To those of us here in the basement, and to his many, many fans, Tom Schnabel is pretty much the “godfather.”
As KCRW’s first music director, he broke the rules of traditional public radio (jazz and classical ONLY!) to play something that, at the time, was considered much edgier: world music. He thereby cemented KCRW‘s place as a radio station that would always break new ground.
He’s a traveler who gathered records in each country he visited, bringing them back to his home base in Venice, where he worked as a lifeguard until he retired just a few years back. He played those records on the air for rabid fans excited about being exposed to Afrobeat, Latin music and beyond.
His expertise is mind boggling, and truly there is no way a two-hour, once-a-week show can even come close to capturing it.
So as Tom led us into the future before, he leads us again – this time into the digital realm. His enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge is vast so we wanted to figure out a way to properly share it with the world.
Tom has helmed an incredible blog called Rhythm Planet for the last few years (sample headlines: Apollonian v. Dionysian Music Experience, The Vatican vs. Rhythm and (specifically) Tango and, his all-time most popular, Steve Jobs at Home: Only Vinyl, Please).
The blog is an education from one of the world’s authorities on music and it will now be the core of a larger platform including a weekly audio show, live music events and a membership club.
We’re really excited for Tom’s new ventures. Tune in for his last on air show this Sunday and leave a comment of congratulations below! I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.