The BIPOC Spotlights, Feature

The BIPOC Spotlights: CurtJazz Radio

As part of "The BIPOC Spotlights," Live365 is shining a spotlight on CurtJazz Radio! Curt Davenport shared the station's story as well as some music recommendations with us. Check out their story below!

How did you get started with your station?

I worked in terrestrial radio during the 1990s and early 2000s in New York. I left when I moved to North Carolina, but as a longtime jazz fan with few options on the dial in NC, I figured that instead of complaining, I should do something about it. So, I started a jazz station called Curt's Cafe Noir on the first iteration of Live365 in 2004. When Live365 went dark in early 2016, my station went with it. I was very happy to return in 2017 with CurtJazz Radio.

What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?

They can expect to hear music all across the spectrum of BAM (Black American Music), which most people call "jazz." We play classic jazz, Latin jazz, vocalists, and a very heavy dose of music from new and emerging jazz artists.

What’s one artist that you play on your station that is underrated in your opinion?

There are so many in the jazz world. One I can think of right now is an Israeli guitarist who now lives and works in Columbia, SC, not too far from me, named Amos Hoffman. He does amazing work on guitar and on the oud, which is a lute-like Middle Eastern instrument. He has recorded a lot of fine music, my favorite being his 2015 album called Back to the City. Once you hear that album, you'll definitely want to dig further into his catalog.

What’s one song that particularly stands out to you and that has stayed with you, whether for the storytelling, a lyric, the production, or any other reason?

"Resolution" by John Coltrane, from A Love Supreme. I am a HUGE fan of John Coltrane. His music is transformational for me and his pursuit of God throughout A Love Supreme, his greatest album, is something that I feel in my soul. "Resolution," the second of the four parts, is, to me, Coltrane at his most plaintive and powerful.

What are your top 5 favorite artists?

John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Al Green, Wes Montgomery, and Esperanza Spalding

What are your top 5 favorite songs currently?

I will keep this to current artists and releases because I feel that in order for jazz to survive, we must pay more attention to the living artists:

  1. "The City" - Kobie Watkins
    Formerly of Sonny Rollins' group, Kobie is one of the best young drummers on the scene today. This track from his album Movement shows him and his band at the top of their game.

  2. "Females Are Strong As Hell" - Roxy Coss
    Roxy is a great saxophonist. This a great tune and the title is also fantastic. What's not to like!

  3. "Othello" - Nicholas Payton
    Nic has been around for a long time. He is a great trumpet player, pianist, producer, arranger, and a fascinating man to talk with. He is also the founder of BAM, the movement to rename what we call "jazz." This tune features him live, not only on piano, but also accompanying himself on trumpet. He's at the top of his game on this one.

  4. "Out The Window" - Jazzmeia Horn
    Ms. Horn set the jazz world on FIRE with her debut album three years ago. This is from her 2019 follow-up and she is every bit as good here. She has learned from all of the ancestors and she has made it her own thing!

  5. "So What?" - Allan Harris
    This is from Allan's 2018 tribute album to the father of the "vocalese" style of jazz singing, Eddie Harris. I thought is was the best album of Mr. Harris' career and this was the best track on the album, with Eddie Jefferson's lyrics to Miles Davis' classic composition. It is on the money!

Listen to CurtJazz Radio on, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram!

BIPOC Live365 Broadcasters! We'd love for you to share your story with us as part of The BIPOC Spotlights! We invite you to submit by filling out the form at the following link: The BIPOC Spotlights Submission Form. (Duplicate station entries will only be featured once. You must have a Live365 Broadcaster account.)

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania