Radio producer

Jazz historian Phil Schaap and jazz radio producer Thurston Briscoe

From 1970 until his death on September 7, Phil Schaap displayed his encyclopedic knowledge of jazz music and history in his jazz programs on Columbia University’s WKCR radio station in New York.

He has taught jazz at Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Juilliard. Schaap has recorded hundreds of hours of interviews with jazz legends. He established the Swing University Educational Program for Jazz at Lincoln Center, which continues to offer courses in jazz listening and appreciation with the goal of increasing and cultivating audiences for music.

Phil Schaap has won six Grammy Awards for his liner notes, audio engineering and production. He was named one of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters this year.

Schaap was known as the ultimate authority on the music of Charlie Parker, and one of his long-running radio programs, As the crow flieswas devoted entirely to Parker’s history and recordings.


Thurston Briscoe was a radio producer, best known for his work on NPR’s long-running program Jazz Ensemble. He died on August 16.

Briscoe had been fascinated by music radio stations since childhood.

At Wichita State University, Briscoe majored in theater and speech therapy and hosted classical and jazz performances on the university station.

Briscoe moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he hosted a weekly jazz show on KLCC, the local NPR station. Soon he was also reporting on public affairs and becoming a full-time producer of feature films and documentaries.

In 1980, NPR hired Briscoe to join the artistic unit of their newly created daily show. Morning edition. He became the associate producer of the NPR performance series Live Jazz!

For 23 years, Briscoe served first as program director and then vice president of programming and production at WBGO’s “Jazz 88” in Newark, where he championed live remotes and performance series.

Briscoe was executive producer of NPR/WBGO JazzEnsemblewhose first host, Branford Marsalis, gave him the affectionate on-air name of “Thurston Briscoe the Third”.

During his tenure, WBGO became one of the nation’s most listened to jazz radio stations.

Throughout his career, Briscoe has mentored many new public radio producers and managers nationwide, especially African-American producers. He was a role model with legendary warmth and presence.