After being with you for over 20 years on Sundays — and for 34 years since I started producing radio shows for KCRW — today will be my last live broadcast show. It’s been a joy and incredibly rewarding for me to share my favorite music with you over this long stretch of time. That’s me in the old John Adams Middle School studio back in the early days of Morning Becomes Eclectic, probably around 1980. How time flies!
But I’m not leaving KCRW, just making a transition. I’ll be moving to our digital platform, hosting a new online show called Rhythm Planet, a companion to my KCRW blog which I’ve been writing for the past couple of years.
On Rhythm Planet, I’ll produce a weekly feature with jazz, world, and latin music, interviews and live sessions. I’ll be able to mine my archives and present rare interviews with musical heroes and giants. I’ll also appear monthly with Jason on Morning Becomes Eclectic to offer my latest world music recommendations.
KCRW will be launching a Rhythm Planet CD club where I pick my favorite jazz and world music titles for members. I’m also hosting an Up Close program on May 20th at the Jerry and Anne Moss Stage in Santa Monica, where jazz pianist Alan Pasqua will join me in presenting a live history of jazz piano from honky tonk to Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor, and beyond. I’m thrilled and excited about that upcoming event.
The first new feature of Rhythm Planet is already up and running. For the first time since June, 1986 when it first aired on Morning Becomes Eclectic, you can hear my interview with the legendary Nigerian afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti, which has never been rebroadcast since that day so many years ago.
This is timely because Fela! The Musical has returned to LA for a 2nd big run at the Ahmanson, but also because Fela has been a constant musical presence here on KCRW since we first played his rebellious music 30 years ago. The Fela feature is just a prelude to much more to come on my new Rhythm Planet program. There are other musical immortals in the pipeline too; interviews with Peter Tosh, Alice Coltrane, and Ibrahim Ferrer are coming soon.
I want to thank my great production assistants Bob Werne-who’s been with me since 1993–as well as Mary Falcone and Camellia Tse, who’ve helped me so much in producing my live shows and enjoying them even more.
Please stay in touch with me as I embark on this new venture. I’ll be on Facebook and Twitter. But I’ll miss doing live radio because I’m an old-time deejay and I love playing my favorite music on the radio for you.
This is not an ending, however, just a transition and a new beginning. So please listen online, become members of Rhythm Planet cd club and come out on May 20th for Up Close with pianist Alan Pasqua, and always feel free to contact me through the station or at tomschnabel.com.
Thanks so much for your support…..and for listening.