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JAZZ NOTES

KLON Sweats Out Congressional Arts War

February 10, 1995|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Radio station KLON-FM (88.1), the only full-time jazz station in Southern California, may be facing more hard times ahead.

Several years ago, the station, based on the campus of Cal State Long Beach, lost its $750,000 a year grant from the university. Now, arguments are heating up in Congress over the issue of federal funding for public broadcasting.

If subsidies are cut or eliminated--as many lawmakers now advocate--the 24-hour, nonprofit jazz station licensed to CSULB may lose as much as $300,000 in subsidies. These funds, which make up 13.9% of KLON's annual $2.1-million budget, are essential to the services provided by the station, says Judy Jankowski, the station's general manager.

"Because we're a public station, we can get lines of credit based upon the moneys awarded to us," says Jankowski. "And the subsidies help us with cash flow, which is so important."

Jankowski acknowledged that KLON does have a line of credit with a bank. That might not be possible without federal grants, she says: "It's hard to get a line of credit based upon promises of people to pay a pledge."

Were KLON to lose its subsidy, Jankowski says the station might drop such services as a secondary studio-to-transmitter link, which sends the station's signal to its transmitter. Also in jeopardy would be some phone lines ("The life blood of a station"), KLON's jazz guide, a 24-hour listing of live performances in Southern California ("We'd have to see if we could sell it") and the station's program guide, which is now printed only once every three months.

KLON's listeners, aware of the station's situation, responded solidly to its winter fund drive, held Jan. 21-29. "We had set a modest of goal of $150,000, and we received $215,000," Jankowski says.

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Jazz at Troubadour: The Troubadour, long a bastion of alternative and hard rock, is looking to book jazz on a regular basis. Keyboardist Jeff Lorber appeared there earlier this week, pianist Jacky Terrason is scheduled for Tuesday, flutist Nestor Torres arrives Thursday and drummer Billy Cobham works March 1.

"We're definitely testing the waters," says Zack Zalon, a manager of the West Hollywood room. "We're always trying to expand our horizons and we consider excellent jazz to be the next logical step."

Terrason, winner of the 1993 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, will be accompanied at the Troubadour by bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker, who also appear on Terrason's recent Blue Note records debut. Showtime is 8:30 p.m., the opening act is Bertha D. Blues and tickets are $12.50.

Sterling Latin flutist Torres will have L.A.-based Latin jazz violinist Susie Hansen as opening act. Showtime is 8 p.m., $15 cover.

Information: (310) 276-1158.

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Rubalcaba Coming to L.A.: Gonzalo Rubalcaba, the Cuban pianist who first appeared in Los Angeles last spring at the Wadsworth Theater, has been signed to a six-night stand at Catalina Bar & Grill, (213) 466-2210. Rubalcaba will perform at the Hollywood nightspot from April 4-9 as part of a West Coast tour that includes dates in San Francisco and Seattle. The pianist will also appear in Southern California on the Grammy Awards telecast, broadcast March 1 from the Shrine Auditorium, and at Jazz at the Bowl on Aug. 16. at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Remembering Art Taylor: Art Taylor, one of the masters of jazz drumming, died Monday in New York at the age of 65. Taylor, who grew up in Harlem and was a childhood friend of Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean, appeared on many classic jazz recordings, among them Bud Powell's "Bouncin' With Bud," John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" and Thelonious Monk's "Orchestra at Town Hall." He was also the author of the book "Notes and Tones," a collection of insightful interviews with his colleagues, among them Rollins, Monk, Miles Davis and Art Blakey. His band, Taylor's Wailers, recorded for Verve and Enja, and he played with vigor on recent recordings with saxman Steve Grossman and others. The cause of Taylor's death was not announced.

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