Riverwalk Jazz Radio Show

Riverwalk Jazz

Jim Cullum Jazz Band & David Holt at the Landing recording Riverwalk Jazz, 1989

Riverwalk Jazz is a weekly public radio show spotlighting classic jazz from 1900-1945 and featuring the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and some of the greatest names in jazz from Lionel Hampton and Benny Carter to Topsy Chapman and Cathrine Russell. I have been hosting the show since it started in 1989.

We have been on the air over twenty years. Thanks to the tireless work of producer Margaret Moos Pick, the show has continued to be extremely well written and produced. It  attracts a large nationwide following on public radio. Listen online at www.RiverwalkJazz.org.

There is no better band in America playing vintage jazz than the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and it has been my privilege to hear their great music all these years. The greatest names in jazz have been guests on Riverwalk and it has been a thrill interviewing them and spending time together. To be able call artists like Clark Terry, Doc Cheatem, Dick Hyman, Milt Hinton and Topsy Chapman friends is an honor.

Lionel Hampton & David Holt

It has been a great education for me. The classic jazz era is the same historical time period that fascinates me with mountain music. Riverwalk Jazz covers the music that was being played in cities between in the first half of the 20th Century. The golden age of old-time mountain music took place in the same time period. In general, jazz was coming out of the black community with mountain music growing out of the white rural communities. Two great musics running side by side.

People often ask how I got the job as host of Riverwalk Jazz since I don’t play jazz and am known as a country musician and storyteller.

Margaret Moos Pick, Producer of Riverwalk Jazz

It happened that in 1989, producer Margaret Moos Pick, who had produced A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, was looking for a host of Riverwalk Jazz that could: tell a story, interview older musicians and not sound like Garrison…and I got the job!

After more than 22 years recording twenty-six one hour shows a year we have covered a lot of musical ground. All the early shows were recorded at the Landing Jazz Club in San Antonio, Texas. Today we record live shows at the Landing and at the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio. I also do some of the voice over work near my home in Asheville, NC.

"On Air" at the theater at the Pearl Brewery

Recording Riverwalk Jazz at Pearl Brewery, San Antonio with Topsy Chapman as guest

Recording Riverwalk Jazz at the Pearl Brewery, San Antonio with Topsy Chapman as guest

Bucky & John Pizzarelli on Riverwalk Jazz

Topsy Chapman, David Holt and Vernel Bagneris on Riverwalk Jazz

David Holt hosting Riverwalk Jazz 2010

Jim Cullum, band leader and co-host