Saturday, December 4, 2010


KMHD and the Future of Jazz Radio

New direction from Program Director Matt Fleeger spikes interest, listenership

By Kyle O'Brien

Matt Fleeger ended up as the Program Director for KMHD because of skateboarding.

"Skateboarding got me into jazz," said Fleeger at his office above Willamette Park in the newly carved out KMHD section of the Oregon Public Broadcasting building.

Fleeger, an avid skateboarder since his youth, cites the groundbreaking skateboarding video, "Video Days," as his inspiration to learn more about jazz. The soundtrack for the video features the sound of John Coltrane behind skateboarders doing fancy tricks. That, and the fact that Fleeger saw the indie punk band Fugazi's guitarist wearing a Coltrane shirt, convinced him that jazz was indeed cool.

"I went to a store and bought "Blue Trane," he said. That launched Fleeger into jazz, which brought him first to San Antonio from his native Pennsylvania, and last year to Oregon to be the man behind the jazz at KMHD.

Fleeger continues to skate, but after jazz wove itself into his life, he knew he had to pursue the music.

….continued in the December 2010 Jazzscene ….

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