Updated: 10/7/2017 07:08
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LeRoy Downs has been on the jazz scene for two decades. LeRoy started listening to jazz in his early college days. That love and passion for the music landed him a position as an overnight program host right here at what was once KLON in Long Beach and is now known world wide as KJazz, 88.1 FM KKJZ.
"Programming creative jazz music is like a dream! The spirit, the mood, and all of the great sounds in jazz are the only universal elements needed for great jazz programming. It cannot be pre-planned. The spontaneity of selecting the music keeps the ideas fresh, hip and sounding absolutely wonderful! The love for the music keeps me richer than the richest king!"
With jazz, straight ahead of course, you need no caffeine. The sounds of Yusef, McCoy, Miles, Trane, Wayne, Herbie, Buhaina, Mingus, Monk, Dolphy, Charles Lloyd, Chico, Golson, Curtis, Lee, Elvin... Man I could go on forever! That's all you need!! I live for the music and the music lives in me. It was Abbey Lincoln who said, "The Music is the Magic of a Secret World", and the secret is out!
LeRoy, a native of Los Angeles, loves jazz but, was not raised on the music. "As a teenager, it was a constant search for something new and different. When I heard the young musicians playing the standards I thought, this is it! Little did I know that I was at the front door and it would be a great journey back in time to discover the masters and find a home in my heart for great classic, straight ahead jazz music"!
LeRoy has continued his quest for supporting and promoting jazz music. He has been one of the Master of Ceremonies at the Monterey Jazz Festival for the past decade, hosted a portion of the Big Sur Jazz Fest in Big Sur California, The Angel City Jazz Festival and just recently the first annual 2009 Playboy Jazz Cruise! He has also been a well recognized host in Los Angeles at places like the Hollywood Bowl, Catalina Bar and Grill, The Jazz Bakery, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Skirball Cultural Center, Café Metropol, The Pasadena Jazz institute, The Crown Plaza Hotel and the LAX Westin Hotel. LeRoy is currently producing a jazz music and television series at Wave Street Studios in Monterey California, is a member of the California Jazz Foundation and sits on the host committee for "Jazz on the Grass", an event which helps provide college scholarships through the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
LeRoy has developed an entertaining jazz television pilot currently being pitched for television, has a weekly jazz interview segment that features the top and most extraordinary jazz talents in the business, and is the administrator, author and photographer for thejazzcat.net where you can find LeRoy's articles, reviews, interviews, photos, video and much more!
"I am very happy and honored to once again be a part a station who dedicates its allegiance to Straight Ahead Jazz Music! Somewhere there's music, and that somewhere is right here at 88.1 FM KKJZ!