Helen Borgers
email

Monday 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Wednesday 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Thursday 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Friday 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Helen's love of jazz may have been instilled at birth as she was born in one of the hotbeds of the music, Kansas City, MO. But, more likely, it was engendered by her older brother, Ken, whose playing of John Coltrane, Gerald Wilson, Charlie Byrd, and Buddy Rich - Helen's earliest memories of jazz - came through the walls of his bedroom into hers.

Her father taught radio and television at USC, Ken graduated from USC with a degree in broadcasting, and her mother, too, had been in radio, back in the '40s in New York. She was a copy writer at WMCA and WOR, and worked with budding jazz journalists Leonard Feather and Barry Ulinov at the studios. So, jazz and radio were in Helen's blood. Helen's intention, however, was a life in the theatre. She majored in theatre at Cal State Long Beach, and her only radio work was doing weekly radio dramas on the student station, KSUL.

But Ken became program director of KLON a few years before CSULB became the licensee. Ken recruited Helen to help out at the station, even giving her a weekly show featuring vocal music. When the move was made to the university, and Ken streamlined the format to 24-hour jazz and blues, Helen was part of the deal. She became the weekend jazz host, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to five. A year of that and she became the weekday afternoon drive host, eventually moving to the morning drive when Chuck Niles came from KKGO to do afternoons. After her second year as a host, Helen was also made music director, interacting with the record label promoters, building and maintaining the station's jazz library.

In addition to her drive-time and library duties, Helen began a weekly three-hour interview program called The Artist's Corner. Each week, a different guest artist would come to the studio, choose their favorite recordings from the KLON library or bring them from home and, between their selected tracks, discuss these recordings and their lives with Helen. The guests included local greats as well as out-of-town legends, including Horace Silver, Gerald Wilson, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Steve Allen, Ray Brown, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Harris, Tony Williams, all of the Marsalis family members, and many, many others. Lots of the young giants got early exposure on this program, including Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Mark Whitfield, Brad Mehldau, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., to name only a few. For over ten years Helen hosted this show, building a reputation as the station's number one interviewer.

From 1991 to 1994, Helen was Program Director for a European jazz service called Eurojazz, which served the Netherlands via satellite from a special studio built in KLON's facilities. Along with designing and coordinating locally-produced jazz shows and European-produced shows, she would do her local drive-time show each day at KLON, and then go up the hall to broadcast to Europe. Eventually the service relocated to London, and Helen moved to England to set up the studios and reorganize the programming. After a year abroad, she returned to California and KLON, where she has been ever since.

In her capacity as a jazz broadcaster, Helen has been invited to give pre-concert lectures at various performing arts centers, has served on panels in jazz conventions all over the world, and has lectured about the history of jazz in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She has also written articles for international jazz publications. She regularly emcees concerts, festivals, and club dates throughout southern California.

HelenBorgers.com
SEARCH
NOW ON KJAZZ
David Benoit
6am - 10am
listen now
PLAYLIST
8:41 AM Modern Jazz Quartet
Ralph's New Blues
8:37 AM Harry Connick
Jr.
8:32 AM Earl Klugh
One Night
full playlist
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Upcoming events, exclusive offers and more all sent to your inbox twice a month
sign up now
listen  |  pledge  |  contact
Jazz Birthdays
Untitled Document
Blues Birthdays

There are no birthdays today

196