Thursday, August 21, 2008

Austin Community Radio Station Celebration This Weekend

An article on yesterday, "KAZI Radio: The Left Side Doing it Right," profiled Austin, Texas community radio station KAZI-FM. According to the piece:

"...KAZI...began broadcasting on the 88.7 FM frequency in 1982. The station was launched by a group of students and community organizers led by the late John Warfield, professor of African American Studies at the University of Texas, as a media outlet designed to provide an African American voice in Austin. In the early days the station focused on news and information programming and the music played was primarily gospel."

Since the station began in the 1980s there have been various changes to their programming and upgrades to their studios and technical capabilities. The article discusses the current station format, which includes news, information, "Democracy Now," Austin City Council meetings, talk shows and music programming. According to the piece:

"A wide variety of music programming covers jazz, blues, reggae, R&B, gospel, hip-hop, rap, pop and zydeco, what [Station Manager Steve] Savage refers to as 'the sounds of blackness, all music that started from a black form.' All of the music programming has an emphasis on local music, classics and underground sounds. The hip-hop and R&B played on KAZI, for example, differs dramatically, one might even say refreshingly, from that played on the city's two commercial stations."

This weekend (Saturday, August 23rd) KAZI will be hosting a festival called SummerFest2008, which is both a celebration of its 26th anniversary and a fundraiser. The all-day event will feature music, performance, seminars, various vendors and kids' activities.

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