Leigh Kamman to step down as host of 'The Jazz Image'

Leigh Kamman
Leigh Kamman, host of "The Jazz Image" on Minnesota Public Radio, is retiring in late September.
MPR Photo

Jazz broadcaster Leigh Kamman is stepping down as the regular host of "The Jazz Image" on Minnesota Public Radio in September.

After spending 60 years in jazz broadcasting and programming, Kamman says it's time to take a break. First, he says he'll take a long overdue vacation.

"Then I plan to fulfill a book proposal on the history of jazz broadcasting," Kamman says. "Further I hope to continue my association with MPR, along with speaking engagements for students and the dinner circuit, focusing on the significance of this most important cultural art form--jazz."

"We'll miss Leigh's wonderful voice, his colorful stories, his take on the world, and his deep and personal knowledge of the art form," says MPR's Senior Vice President Sarah Lutman. "Leigh has guided Minnesotans on a jazz journey, meeting musicians and hearing their music, and creating memorable radio."

Kamman began his broadcasting career in Minnesota in 1939. He worked in New York City during the 1950s, where he interviewed such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones and Art Farmer.

Kamman returned to Minnesota and ultimately created "The Jazz Image" in 1973.

The farewell edition of "The Jazz Image" will broadcast Sept. 29 on MPR News and Sept. 30 on The Current.

An event to honor Kamman's more than 60 years of broadcasting service will be held Sept. 23 at The Dakota Bar and Grill in Minneapolis.

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