Dennis Newhall has worked as an announcer and program director at a number of popular stations including KZAP, KSFM, and KROY in Sacramento and KSJO in San Jose. His visibility in the community makes him a welcome addition to our jazz staff. Asked how he became aware of jazz, Dennis responded:
"My lifelong interest in popular and rock music began early on. I had the radio tuned to the new "Top 40" stations when Hound Dog was a hit in 1957. I was only six years old. In those days, kids were exposed to jazz while listening for the less sophisticated pop hits and novelty songs of the day. I might love hearing the Chipmunk Song and stay tuned for Take Five. Eventually, I looked forward more to Jimmy Smith's Walk on The Wild Side and didn't care so much about Alley Oop.
"At the end of high school, KZAP came on the air in Sacramento playing a wide variety of music, including jazz. Lots of CTI artists, Miles,'Trane, and some really way out stuff. By 1972, I was working at KZAP, adding more to my knowledge and working all kinds of jazz into my show. Back then, we were all excited about new artists like Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny. Whenever something new by Grover Washington, Jr. or Eddie Henderson came out, we were on it!
"I also found myself listening to the Bay Area's KJAZ whenever I got near enough to tune it in.
"Since its inception, I've been a fan of KXJZ's programming. Even before then,I used to tune in to Gary Vercelli's Jazz International when jazz was on late at night on KXPR. So, to be a member of the jazz staff, and to have an opportunity to immerse myself in what's going on in the world of jazz is really exciting for me."