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Jazz Broadcasting Legend Leigh Kamman Steps Down as Regular Host of THE JAZZ IMAGE

The farewell edition of THE JAZZ IMAGE on Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast Sept. 29 on MPR News; Sept. 30 on The Current™

Public event to honor broadcasting veteran's more than 60 years of service on Sept. 23 at The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, Minneapolis

July 16, 2007

(St. Paul, Minn.)—July 16, 2007— Jazz broadcasting legend Leigh Kamman will step down as regular host of THE JAZZ IMAGE on Minnesota Public Radio in September.

After some 60 years of jazz broadcasting and programming, Leigh Kamman announced today: "I will take time for a long overdue vacation. Then I plan to fulfill a book proposal on the history of jazz broadcasting. Further I hope to continue my association with MPR, along with speaking engagements for students and the dinner circuit, focusing on the significance of this most important cultural art form—jazz."

Kamman's farewell broadcast of THE JAZZ IMAGE on Minnesota Public Radio will be on Saturday, September 29 on MPR News stations, and Sunday, September 30 on The Current.

With style and expertise, Kamman has long been a revered voice on the jazz airwaves. He began his broadcasting career in Minnesota in 1939, and traveled next to WOV in Harlem, New York during the 1950s, where he interviewed such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones and Art Farmer. He returned to Minnesota and ultimately created Minnesota Public Radio's THE JAZZ IMAGE in 1973, and has treated regional radio audiences, and worldwide fans via the Web, to the best of the jazz world ever since.

"Leigh Kamman is a treasured resource, not only for Minnesota Public Radio but the entire cultural community," said Sarah Lutman, MPR's senior vice president for Content and Media. "We'll miss his voice, his stories, his take on the world, and his deep and personal knowledge of the art form. Leigh has guided Minnesotans on a jazz journey, meeting musicians and hearing their music, and creating memorable radio. We wish Leigh the very best."

THE JAZZ IMAGE is broadcast Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on all Minnesota Public Radio News stations, including KNOW 91.1 FM in the Twin Cities; and Sundays 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on The Current, KCMP 89.3 FM in the Twin Cities and KMSE 88.7 FM in Rochester, Minn.

An event to honor Kamman's more than 60 years of broadcasting service will be held September 23 at The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis. Go to www.mpr.org/events for more details.

Minnesota Public Radio is committed to jazz programming and will explore a variety of options to succeed THE JAZZ IMAGE.

More about Leigh Kamman's broadcasting career
Kamman's first-ever jazz radio broadcast—a program in the early 1940s on Minnesota's WMIN called "Studio Party Wham"—showcased big bands and small combos, conducted in-studio interviews, chatted with a panel of jazz connoisseurs and played popular jazz records of the day.

Kamman hit the Big Apple in 1950 and in time, he was co-hosting a two-part program on WOV—"The 1280 Club" and "Life Begins at Midnight"—&that aired six nights a week. The show was broadcast live from The Palm Café in Harlem; a restaurant then located a few doors down from the Apollo. In addition to the jazz greats of the day, he also chatted with such personalities as Dorothy Kilgallen, Harry Belafonte, Art Carney, Sidney Poitier, Langston Hughes and longtime ABC announcer Fred Collins.

Kamman headed back to the Twin Cities in 1956, and worked for WLOL and KSTP, where he hosted live jazz and comedy shows from Freddy's in downtown Minneapolis, Herb's Bar on Nicollet Ave. and the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota Heights. Also during his tenure at KSTP, Kamman taped six months of programming for "International Band Stand," a pioneering jazz program for KJAZ in San Francisco.

Kamman brought THE JAZZ IMAGE to Minnesota Public Radio in 1973. He has broadcast live on Saturday nights, taking listeners on a journey to the far corners of the jazz world. His true quest: giving exposure to musicians.

Press Contacts:
Christina Schmitt
Minnesota Public Radio


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