Bright Moments: The Jonathan Turner Jazz Program
hosted by Johnathan Turner
Jazz music is an everyday thing for me. If I go for even a day without listening to a jazz tune by someone, anyone, I’ll go crazy and would not be any good for that day. Hi, I’m Jonathan Turner, and I love sharing my knowledge and appreciation of America’s only original musical art form with people like you. I’ve been in the business of playing jazz on the radio for close to 40 years, here in Toledo, and in Columbus, Ohio, where I lived for just over a decade.
My love affair with jazz began as a child, where I was exposed to the music that was produced on PBS Television, for such children’s programs as Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Zoom, and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Some of the music from these programs, struck me as something that was not the sounds I was regularly was exposed to as a young boy. This music was freer, more melodic, and had a sense of swing that I did not hear on the local radio stations of the day. When I learned that this music was called jazz, I made it a mission to find out more about it. I would pick up music from the Public Library, searched up and down the radio dial hoping to hear that same sounds I heard on television, and continued to watch those old PBS shows to hear the music they presented. I began to share this music with others, but my peers’ musical tastes were not as sophisticated as mine at such a young age. By this time, I also began to develop an interest in radio. On the high school level, it began at J.W Scott High School, where they had a student run radio station, then known as WAMP. As a junior, I began to learn the ropes about radio, then, in my senior year had a show on WAMP where I first played the music I liked to hear. My jazz palate was mostly contemporary at the time, but as the years went on, got more and more straight ahead.
My professional debut in radio began in 1980 at Public Radio Station WGTE-FM, where at the age of 19, I became the host of a Saturday night jazz program. I also was selected in 1981 by the Toledo Public Schools to work at the jazz radio station where I began my journey into radio. The station soon changed its call letters to WXTS. I worked there into the 80’s and 90’s, while taking classes at Bowling Green State University. At the same time, I found employment at other stations outside of the jazz spectrum, such as WVOI, WWWM (3WM), WBGU at Bowling Green, WTWR in Monroe, Michigan, and WJZE, which played “Smooth Jazz”. All this continued up to 1995, when I moved to Columbus, Ohio, hoping to add a new chapter to my radio career. I soon found a position at urban-formatted WSMZ (Z-103), as Production Director. I was soon offered a Sunday afternoon slot as a jazz producer/host. As the host of “Jazz Expressions”, I played a variety of mainstream jazz, current and classic. I left the station in 2000, to explore other interests. I then did a short stint at local NPR station WCBE as a jazz producer/host. Upon moving back to Toledo, I continued to volunteer myself as a jazz show co-producer with the other jazz hosts at ‘CBE, which continues to this day. I also volunteered myself with WXTS from Scott High School as Music Director and assistant, giving back to today’s younger generation, until 2014.
It will be a tremendous pleasure to once again share in presenting the music that I love with you on WAKT. Tune in Sunday Afternoons from 2-6pm and join me in a weekly journey into the many sounds and moods of Jazz. The show is called “Bright Moments: The Jonathan Turner Jazz Program”, and I hope you’ll venture with me into some Bright Jazz moments, right here on Toledo’s independent radio station, WAKT-LP at 106.1 on your FM dial. Until then…peace and BRIGHT MOMENTS!!