KSQD’s Without A Net program features live recordings of Santa Cruz area jazz bands every second Thursday on Jazz Tracks.

Part of KSQD’s mission is to showcase and support the arts community in our area. We do this by broadcasting author interviews, hosting conversations between community members and producing listings of upcoming musical events. KSQD also produces a monthly program spotlighting a local jazz band. Hosted by Jazz Tracks programmers Noreen Nolan and Bill Van Bloom, the program offers a ‘fly on the wall’ listening experience that takes our audience to local jazz stages as the wonderful art form of jazz music is created. Called Without A Net, the program airs on the Second Thursday of every month at 9:00 PM and features a live recording of a Santa Cruz area jazz band performing on one of the many local stages that regularly support community-based jazz musicians.

We think of Without A Net as the Open Studios of the Santa Cruz jazz scene” says Bill. We know that each October the public is invited into the studios of local painters, sculptors, potters, weavers and other artists to actually see where their art is created. But for jazz musicians, their art is created in public, on a stage and in real time with other musicians. And, unlike artists whose work can be carried home at the end of the day, Jazz music is ephemeral. It is created in a transitory environment; it momentarily hangs in the air and is enjoyed in the instant that it is created and then it’s gone. So we bring a small, high quality recording system on to local bandstands: the coffee shops, breweries, farmers markets, restaurants and wine bars that provide a ‘place to create’ to the local jazz community, and then we broadcast those recordings on Without A Net.

There are so many talented jazz players in Santa Cruz, and they deserve to be heard by more people. Jazz is a unique American art form. So we thought about how we could best promote jazz and build a larger fan base.” says Noreen. The real heroes of this scene are the many establishments that host live jazz music with no admission fee charged and there are dozens of these stages around town that regularly host open-to-the-public jazz events.

Without a Net airs about 20 minutes of a local performance each month to encourage the public to participate and support the local jazz scene. The show is called Without a Net as an homage to the local players who get up on a bandstand and create this music, often with no rehearsal, often from memory or with just a rudimentary music chart. There are no overdubs; there’s no stopping the tape. It’s a bit of a high wire act that, at its best, creates a palpable sense of magic among the musicians and the audience. Our goal on Without a Net is to capture those moments, present them to our radio audience, and nurture this beautiful musical ecosystem.

So if you are curious about what’s going on in the local jazz music community, tune in to Without A Net on the second Thursday of every month at 9:00 PM on The Squid. The jazz musicians of Santa Cruz appreciate what K-SQUID is doing to promote the arts in our community, and we think you will not only enjoy hearing local jazz musicians practice their craft, but you’ll also be better informed about where and how to experience this great art form for yourself.