Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Katie Malloch

This post is about the retirement of Katie Malloch, the host of CBC's JazzBeat, as well as more recently, Tonic.
There have been some very good posts regarding this at Peter Hum's and Jessie Cahill's blogs, however I do feel I would like to add some of my personal experience of Katie and what she's done for Jazz musicians and fans alike, in Canada as well as all over the world.

I first remember listening to Jazzbeat in high school with my friend Jeff Weafer, who came from a family that was always very hip. We heard so much great music (Canadian and otherwise) for the first time there. As I worked on developing as a musician in my teens, I dreamed about someday being recorded for the show, and as Jessie mentioned in his blog, it was a rite of passage for many musicians over the years. As well as being a great, knowledgeable, yet not intimidating host, she was a great friend to musicians. In fact, my stock and credibility as a musician went WAY up with my extended family once I had been on the show a few times.

She was always up on what was going on with musicians. One time when I saw her at a festival gig in summer 1997, the first she did was say. "Ted Warren's getting married", in a sing-song voice. Like a favorite relative that we wish we could see more often, she always wanted updates about pets and kids. I think her manner put musicians at ease, and they often opened up to her in ways they wouldn't to other radio personalities. She once related a story about Tony Williams telling her about the origins of the tune "Sister Cheryl". From what I understand, Mr. Williams wasn't always the most talkative individual, but Katie charmed him like she did the rest of us!

All good thing must come to an end, and I'm hoping Katie will enjoy her retirement with her family and friends. If you're in Toronto tonight, come by the Rex where Mark Eisenmans' band will playing at a tribute to her. I, unfortunately can't attend. I just wanted to say, thanks Katie for your support, dedication, and love of the music. We'll miss you.

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