Blaise Lantana photoAfter the sun sets and the lights go out in the newsroom, KJZZ Music Director and Host Blaise Lantana and her team take over the 91.5 airwaves to share the cool sounds of classic jazz.

Lantana is a veteran musician and public broadcaster. She moved to the Valley in 1994 to serve as an on-air host for KJZZ’s sister station, 89.5 KBAQ. While she has a deep affinity for classical music, the sounds of classic jazz lured her to take on the role of KJZZ’s Music Director in 1995.

She began her radio career with Texas Public Radio, playing classical music during the afternoon and jazz at night at KEDT in Corpus Christi. She also took a turn as a Morning Edition host. Lantana jokes that hosting Morning Edition was difficult because she’s a night owl and she was in constant fear of oversleeping. To this day, she still breaks into a bit of a sweat when she hears the Morning Edition theme song.

She  has interviewed dozens of jazz legends, including the great storyteller George Benson, Ornette Coleman, Jim Cullum, and Wynton Marsalis, which by the way was on the road, from his tour bus. 

Lantana has been a lifelong musician. She was born in Tucson, AZ and grew up in Philadelphia, PA.  She began singing at two, playing piano at seven and took up the organ at twelve. She picked up her first guitar in high school and it’s been her instrument of choice ever since.  As a student at Rutgers University and Texas A & M, she majored in voice and composition and became enchanted by the sounds of Miles Davis' trumpet and Billie Holiday's voice, which led her to pursue a musical career in jazz and blues. 

She spent 20 years on the road performing and composing with blues and jazz ensembles, including some Valley bands. You can still catch her perform at special engagements around town.

As KJZZ’s Music Director, one of Lantana’s primary responsibilities is to scope out new artists and recordings and then decide which selections and interviews to include in KJZZ’s weeknight jazz schedule. 

“While I love jazz classics and legends like Stan Getz and Ella, I’m always on the look out for new talent,” said Lantana. “Best of all, I love sharing these new sounds with KJZZ listeners because I think that all of us are still looking to fall in love with something we haven’t heard before.” 

Contact Blaise Lantana at blantana@rioradio.org or by way of facebook.

 

Titlesort descending Publication Date
Decades of Jazz with Ahmad Jamal [Interview Archives] October 24, 2011
Denise Donatelli November 15, 2012
Dexter Gordon July 26, 2012
Diana Krall November 16, 2012
Dizzy Gillespie October 23, 2012
Dmitri Matheny July 18, 2012
Dmitry Matheny talks Flugelhorn July 25, 2012
Donald Harrison June 22, 2012
Double Header! Ray Charles and New Jazz Releases October 19, 2011
Friday Night Jazz October 18, 2012
Gene Harris on a Blue Moon August 30, 2012
Genius Jazz with Regina Carter [Interview Archives] May 10, 2011
George Shearing August 13, 2012
Gershwin Special September 23, 2011
Good Vibes! September 05, 2012
Guy Pennacchio August 07, 2012
Halloween Special! October 30, 2012
Halloween Special! October 28, 2011
Hank Jones July 26, 2012
Harry Connick September 10, 2012
Hear Art Farmer August 20, 2012
Holiday Jazz and Classics! December 11, 2012
Holiday Jazz at 9! November 22, 2012
Horace Silver September 03, 2012
Jack De Johnette August 09, 2012

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