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Three Coltrane Legacy Membership Events You'll Love Supremely

On the final night of this leap-year-February, an exclusive KSDS membership event worthy of the all-too-rare February 29th. We’ll be at the beautiful outdoor patio at Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria in Mission Hills and have a BEEFED UP “Jazz Across America: Chicago” listening party and concert

From 5 to 7 p.m., we’ll pipe in Neil Tesser’s weekly Chicago program featuring the best of Chicago jazz past and present. Then, from 7-9 p.m., Luther Hughes and his Quintet, aptly named The Cannonball-Coltrane Project, will be paying live musical tribute to a gem of the Coltrane discography, The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago. Hughes and his all star band will present this fun, high-octane, low stakes, late 1950s hard bop cutting session in a way that pays homage to the idea that combining contrasting styles like Ball and Trane can be a recipe for brilliance.

And speaking of recipes, Lefty’s has imported all the fan favorites from The Windy City. We’ll have a robust buffet of all the Chicago delicacies you can eat. In other words, the best Chicago dogs, Italian beef, and Chicago-style pizza this side of The Loop.

That’s a "Jazz Across America: Chicago" listening party, all-you-can-eat Taste of Chicago buffet from Lefty’s, and a live concert celebrating that historic collaboration between Cannonball and Coltrane…all for just $60/person. Capacity is not much larger than 50; this will sell out very quickly. So reserve your spot ASAP by going to or calling 619-388-3037.


Tamara Paige to Conduct Gilbert Castellanos and KSDS Jazz Orchestra in "Sketches of Spain" This Saturday Evening, Jan. 6. Tickets Now SOLD OUT!

It’s the hottest ticket in town! San Diego native and celebrated musical educator Tamara Paige will conduct Gilbert Castellanos and the KSDS Jazz Orchestra in “Sketches of Spain” — the legendary Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration — on Jan. 6, 2024 at the Legacy Center’s Pavilion Theater.

Happy New Year, Jazz88ers!

We’ve got a ton to look forward to in 2024—from even more expertly curated on-air programming specials to the best live music events put on by any public radio station anywhere. And we’re not wasting any time bringing out the big guns—maybe San Diego jazz’s biggest gun—to start the new year in a manner befitting our great radio station and our attuned, sophisticated listeners.  

THIS SATURDAY, JAN 6 at 7 PM—at the PAVILION THEATER on the campus of the new and spectacular LEGACY RESORT HOTEL & SPA in Mission Valley — trumpeter and San Diego jazz patriarch GILBERT CASTELLANOS will be the featured soloist, as San Diego's own Tamara Paige conducts the KSDS JAZZ ORCHESTRA in a performance of SKETCHES OF SPAIN, the monumental collaboration between Miles Davis and composer/arranger Gil Evans. Best of all, the orchestra will be playing THE ORIGINAL CHARTS, as orchestrated by Evans. Paige, Castellanos and co. will be delivering you the genuine article: unamended, unadulterated, and in MINT condition. And in the KSDS JAZZ ORCHESTRA, they’ll have the horsepower backing them to pull it off with all the style and panache you'd expect from a program bearing Gilbert Castellanos's name.

TONIGHT, on the Night BEFORE the Night--New Year’s Eve's EVE--Take a Walk on the Soulful Side…

Join Host Billy Vera for a Most Special SOUL JAZZ Edition of SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY.

There’s no better way to spend New Year’s Eve EVE than with Grammy winning musician and producer Billy Vera and a very special Soul Jazz edition of Saturday Night Fish Fry.

By Matt Silver

This Saturday night at 6 p.m. PT, Billy Vera, the celebrated singer/songwriter, Grammy winner, and most soulful host of KSDS's "Saturday Night Fish Fry," is trading in his usual brand of jump jazz, rhythm and blues, and boogie woogie and setting course for a decade-and-a-half into the future, to the early-to-mid 1960s, when hard bop, R&B, funk, and gospel got together and expressed themselves through Hammond B3 organs and amplified saxophones and smoky electric guitars and honest, assertive, maximally soulful vocals that brooked no BS—or jive, as it were.

On the Next "Sing! Sing! Sing!" with Will Friedwald, it’s PART I of the AJ Lambert + Wee Small Hours Miniseries

AJ Lambert — singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and Frank Sinatra’s granddaughter — Joins Host Will Friedwald for Frank Conversation on The Wee Small Hours. Sat. Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. PT

This week on “Sing! Sing! Sing!” Will Friedwald makes a weekend contribution to KSDS’s 12 Days of Sinatra by revisiting Sinatra’s 1955 recording "In the Wee Small Hours" and interviewing Sinatra’s granddaughter AJ Lambert, a vocalist who’s made the album part of her vocal repertoire.

By Matt Silver

It’s no secret that the prolific Will Friedwald considers Frank Sinatra to be the greatest entertainer of the 20th century. On this week’s episode of “Sing! Sing! Sing!” Friedwald takes a deep dive into what might be Sinatra’s greatest album, 1955’s In the Wee Small Hours. Joining him is singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist AJ Lambert, who knew Frank and his music as well as anybody — as a granddaughter would (Lambert is Nancy Sinatra’s daughter and oldest child).

"The New Yorker’s" Adam Gopnik to Guest on “Sing! Sing! Sing!” with Will Friedwald

Friedwald and Gopnik to have 'Frank Conversation' this Saturday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

Adam Gopnik, longtime staff writer for "The New Yorker," author, songwriter, playwright, Sinatra fanatic.

By Matt Silver 

Our “Twelve Days of Sinatra” is officially breaking for regularly scheduled programming over the weekend. We’ll officially be back at it again on Monday, Dec. 11 at noon Pacific, with the Seventh Day of Sinatra—Frank in the Movies—hosted by Chuck Granata. Officially. But here at KSDS, we’re less interested in the distinction between official and unofficial than you might think. In fact—call it our trailblazing spirit—we kind of love the renegade, weekend regions of our terrestrial radio landscape, where we give the unofficial a wide berth to stretch its legs, riff without restraint, and luxuriate in the unadulterated freedom of an off-the-books lifestyle.

Attention Jazz Live Ticketholders: Gordon Goodwin and the Big Phat Band. Tues. night, Oct. 10. Saville Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Feed Your Soul's Need for Swing with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

By Matt Silver

Gordon Goodwin (on keys) leads the Big Phat Band in Lviv, Ukraine. Photo courtesy Gordon Goodwin.

Attention Jazz 88ers, especially Jazz Live Ticket Holders:

A friendly reminder that this Tuesday night, Oct. 10, KSDS’s Jazz Live: Best of the West concert series welcomes Gordon Goodwin and the Big Phat Band to the stage at City College’s Saville Theatre. The band hits—and we’ll be broadcasting live-to-air—promptly at 7:30 p.m., so arrive with some time to spare, indulge in some delicious treats from our friends at Blackmarket Bakery, find your seats, and strap in for an unforgettable show.

Fall Membership Drive Celebrates Latin Jazz

KSDS Fall Pledge Drives Celebrates Latin Jazz with One-of-a-Kind Membership Gifts 

By Matt Silver

Machito and His Afro-Cubans, Glen Island Casino, New York, N.Y., c. 1947. Photo by William Gottlieb. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), the 2023 KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM Fall Membership Drive (Fri., Sept. 22- Sun., Oct. 1) will celebrate Latin American music’s myriad indispensable contributions to jazz. Over the course of the drive, the station will, per member drive custom, be asking listeners to pledge support by purchasing or renewing memberships to sustain KSDS as a vital cultural resource here in San Diego and in every community around the world where the best in straight-ahead jazz can be streamed. And, per member drive custom, there will be Thank You gifts.

Pero este año con la ñapa. But this year, with a little something extra.

Two Special Editions of “Jazz Latino” with Raul Rico, Jr. to Air This Week

Celebrating One Year of “Jazz Latino” and 103 Years of Charlie Parker

By Matt Silver

Tito Puente played with Machito and his Afro-Cubans before joining his once-boss on the marquee as one of the Palladium Ballroom's 'Big Three' bandleaders.

Jazz will never die because its legends never do. We do our small part to make sure of that here at KSDS, which is why when there’s a birthday or anniversary to celebrate, we do it right.

Want proof?

Tune-in this Sunday afternoon (Aug. 27), from 3 to 5 p.m., when Raul Rico, Jr. celebrates the first anniversary of “Jazz Latino’s” KSDS debut by presenting a program devoted entirely and exclusively to “El Rey,” Tito Puente. That’s two hours of nothing but Tito: the percussionist, vibraphonist, and bandleader who, beginning in the 1940s, brought mambo to the masses at famed dance halls like New York City’s Palladium Ballroom and, over a career spanning six decades, earned a reputation for performing and recording tirelessly, doing so until his death in 2000.

Michael Feinstein to Guest on "Sing! Sing! Sing!" with Will Friedwald This Saturday at 10 a.m.

Friedwald and Feinstein the Perfect Pairing to Celebrate Life and Work of Oscar Levant

By Matt Silver

Oscar Levant stars alongside Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris (1951).

Calling all Great American Songbook devotees: I urge you in the strongest possible terms to tune-in to “Sing! Sing! Sing!” with Will Friedwald this Saturday at 10 a.m., when Michael Feinstein, renowned vocalist and the foremost living authority on the Songbook, joins the show to celebrate the life and work of Oscar Levant, a polymath of prodigious talents and profound psychological struggles, who at various times in his life was the highest paid classical pianist in the country, a classical music composer and conductor, a memorable popular songwriter who composed music for over 20 movies and acted in several more (including the pretty famous one pictured above), and a pioneering comedic personality in midcentury America.