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Dianne Donovan celebrates 20 Years of Voices in Jazz

Community Profiles

Do you have a story about you and CKUA that you’d like to share with us? Please let us know by writing us. We’d love to feature it! What do such stories look like?

Well, here’s one by Dianne Donovan, one of CKUA’s most beloved hosts, whose program Voices in Jazz celebrates its 20th anniversary on our airwaves on Sunday September 13, 2020, at 3 PM!

The music doesn’t fall far from the radio.

Dianne Donovan, circa 2000

As a child growing up in a rural town in Eastern Canada, I would go to bed every night with a transistor radio next to my ear (wonder why I’m an insomniac?). I couldn’t get enough of my favourite tunes.

Late at night, one could pick up stations from New York and Detroit, which seemed so exotic! What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was not only getting a musical education but also a “radio education.” I enjoyed hearing how radio sounded in different cities.

I first heard CKUA while working in the summers at Lake Louise. I loved the classical and jazz music and pretty much everything I heard. I thought the announcers were incredibly knowledgable.

In the mid-1980s, while studying music/vocal performance at Grant MacEwan in Edmonton, I started doing jazz and eclectic radio shows at CJSR. It was a great experience and fed my endless appetite for music.

In 1999, I was hired at CKUA to do the Saturday/Sunday Breakfast show. Soon enough, I was filling in on virtually every single show (another amazing education). How cool it was to do Coull Jazz! Brian Dunsmore came up with the idea to do a vocal jazz show, Voices in Jazz, since I am a jazz singer. The show turns 20 this September!

Over the years, I learned a lot from my colleagues: Mark Antonelli, Bill Coull, Monica Miller, Cathy Ennis, David Ward, John Worthington and soooo many others, just having impromptu conversations about music with these wise people.

Music is like a great meal, so much better when you share it. Without our listeners, it’d be a pretty lonely feast!

Though we have instant access music these days, I couldn’t imagine listening to an algorithmic playlist from a digital music store. Nothing beats great radio, especially CKUA, for the breadth of its library, the perfect morsels of information and discovery.

Thanks to our listeners/donors, my music doesn’t fall far from the radio (it’s by my ear).

Thanks again for 20 years of Voices in Jazz and telling us this wonderful story about you and CKUA, Dianne!

Please email us if you would like to share your own CKUA story with our community!