The Best Jazz Music Radio Stations

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Best Jazz Music Radio Stations You Can Listen to Online


Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a combination of African and European music traditions. Its roots can be traced back to the blues and ragtime. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation.

Jazz has been called “the sound of America.” It has influenced other genres of music, including rock and roll, pop, Latin jazz, and hip hop. Jazz is also known for its distinctive improvisational style.

There are many different types of jazz radio stations, but some of the best include WBGO 88.3 FM in New York City, KKJZ 88.1 FM in Los Angeles, WCLK 91.9 FM in Atlanta, WBGO 94.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey, KCRW 89.9 FM in Santa Monica, California, and WEMU 89.1 FM in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


KJAZ was a historic jazz radio station in San Francisco, California, that went off the air on October 31, 2004. It was one of the first full-time jazz radio stations in the United States. The station began broadcasting on April 16, 1956, at 96.5 MHz on the FM dial. It originally broadcast from the top of San Francisco’s iconic Sutro Tower. KJAZ’s transmitter and studios were later located in Fremont, California.

The station was owned and operated by JazzRadio, Inc., a non-profit organization. Its mission was to promote and preserve jazz music and culture. The station’s programming included a mix of live and recorded music, as well as news, interviews, and other features about the jazz world. KJAZ was nominated for several awards over the years, including three Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Radio Station.

In the late 1990s, KJAZ began to experience financial difficulties due to rising costs and diminishing revenues. These problems were exacerbated by the fact that the station did not have an endowment or other source of financial support. In 2000, the station was sold to new owners who changed its format to dance/electronica music. However, due to weak ratings, the new owners sold the station back to JazzRadio just one year later.

KJAZ went off the air on October 31, 2004 due to a lack of funding. Although there were efforts to raise money to keep the station on the air, these efforts were unsuccessful. KJAZ’s license was officially cancelled by the Federal Communications Commission on January 26, 2009.


WBGO is a popular jazz radio station based in Newark, New Jersey. The station has a long-standing reputation for broadcasting the best in jazz music, and is also known for its support of up-and-coming jazz musicians.


KCSM is a jazz radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is licensed to San Mateo, California, and broadcasts on 91.1 MHz FM. KCSM is owned by the College of San Mateo and broadcasting jazz music 24 hours a day.

The New York Times

Jazz music is one of America’s original art forms, and it has been enjoyed by people all over the world for many years. If you’re a fan of jazz music, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of great radio stations out there that specialize in playing this genre.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best jazz music radio stations that you can tune into, no matter where you are in the world. We’ve also included a few honorable mentions that are worth checking out.

Without further ado, here are the best jazz music radio stations:

– WBGO (Newark, NJ)
– NPR Music (Washington, DC)
– WBGO 88.3FM (New York, NY)
– KCRW 89.9FM (Los Angeles, CA)
– Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Radio (Burbank, CA)
– Jazz 91.9 WCLK (Atlanta, GA)


WDNA is a radio station that is located in Miami, Florida. It first went on the air in February of 1947 and has been playing jazz music ever since. The station is owned by the University of Miami and features a variety of programs that focus on the history and culture of jazz music.


WFMT, which is based in Chicago, is one of the most popular jazz radio stations in the United States. The station broadcasts a mix of live concerts, music from studio recordings, and interviews with jazz musicians.


WRTI (90.1 FM) is a non-commercial, public radio station licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It is the flagship broadcast outlet for jazz and classical music owned by Temple University.

The station’s studios are located on Norris Street in North Philadelphia, while its transmitter is based on Hog Island in Philadelphia’s Eastwick section.


We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best jazz music radio stations. Jazz is a genre that has something for everyone, and we hope that this guide has helped you find a station that suits your taste. If you’re new to jazz, we recommend starting with one of the more mainstream stations on our list. However, if you’re looking for something a little different, be sure to check out some of the more niche stations. Whichever station you choose, we hope you enjoy exploring the world of jazz!

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