During his 60 years in jazz
broadcasting, Leigh Kamman
conducted hundreds of interviews
with jazz artists, including
some of jazz's legendary figures.
In the early years these were
recorded on magnetic tape.
Now these treasures have been
lovingly preserved and edited into
a new series of broadcasts called
The Jazz Image: Special Edition,
airing on KBEM.
These recordings preserve priceless
conversations Leigh Kamman had
with such luminaries as
Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan and
Now in his ninth decade, Leigh adds fresh
commentary to roundout these 5 minute
broadcasts, 13 in all in this series.
This work of restoration, archiving and cataloging Leigh
Kamman's interviews, as well as the production of this new
broadcast series was made possible with a grant from
the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The Proposal for the Grant was conceived and written by
radio personality and singer Maryann Sullivan.
Steve Wiese, the brilliant recording engineer behind
Creation Audio, used his expertise to transfer material from
aging and deteriorating reel-to-reel tapes, "baking" them to keep
them intact and repairing countless old splices that kept
breaking during playback.
Steve Blons, local jazz guitarist and former co-producer of the
KBEM series, Jazz and the Spirit, selected and edited the
interviews for broadcast, recorded new conversations with
Leigh Kamman and produced the series.
Leigh provided the anecdotes and recollections.
His daughter, Kathy Vye, helped Leigh sort through his
collection and watched over everything, especially
over Leigh himself.
Although some 300 or more interviews have already been
retrieved, hundreds more remain.
The hope is to secure additional financial support to complete
this work and to create a permanent and accessible collection
of all of Leigh's interviews.
Tune in to KBEM to hear that immediately recognizable voice of
Leigh Kamman once again coming from your radio speaker.
The Jazz Image: Special Edition airs Monday, Wednesday and
Friday at 11:30 a.m.