Mel Lipton was born in New York City in 1933 and he was there through the 40's and 50's, hearing most of the jazz greats live at venues such as The Royal Roost, Birdland, and Bop City. He moved to Miami from Houston, Texas, and became affiliated with the station in 1995. Going from a business career to becoming a jazz DJ was an opportunity he only fantasized about as he was a great fan of legendary Symphony Sid and the other great DJ's. He's a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans.
Born in Cameroon, Georges Collinet is one of the best-known and best-loved broadcasters on the African continent. Known to his fans as “Maxi Voom Voom,” Georges’ French and English language music programs on the Voice of Americahave attracted millions of listeners. Georges also hosts a television show connecting leading public policy and cultural figures around the continent.
Born in Jamaica and bred on his country’s music – reggae - since he was a boy during the 1960’s, Flagga brings a wealth of first-hand experiences to his audience. He’s from the ‘old school’ and believes firmly that to effectively promote reggae it must be presented in all its forms – ska, rock steady, roots, lovers rock, etc. What he tends to ignore are the quick profit fluffs that use rehashed rhythms, lewd and violent elements as a ploy.
Bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and administrator, Christian McBride, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. Sometimes hard to believe considering this man just entered his 40's.
Kurt Andersen is the author of the novels Heyday and Turn of the Century. Heyday was a New York Times bestseller that the Los Angeles Times called "a major work." The New York Times Book Review said there is "something moving, a stirring spirit, in the energy of its amazement."
Chuck Bergeron (jazz bass) is a lecturer in the Department of Studio Music & Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he also is the faculty mentor for the Stamps Jazz Quintet. Bergeron teaches jazz history, conducts big bands and small jazz ensembles and is an active clinician at schools throughout the country.
Skippy Louis Lezama first started listening to jazz as a teenager growing up in his native Trinidad. Although not a very popular form of music on the radio then, there were several serious collectors of the music who were always willing to share and who could be found at the limited live performances of the few musicians engaged in that genre.
Moving to New York and living in Greenwich Village, literally a stone’s throw from the Village Gate and close to the Village Vanguard both in the West Village and Slugs in The East Village, where the best in the business would perform, he frequented these spots as well as the many others in the city. Being also a regular at the Fillmore East (East Village) Skippy got progressively more into Blues which saw a resurgence in the mid to late 60s and early 70s by many of the rock musicians who played at the Fillmore as well as the old masters who also played there.
Moving to San Francisco Bay area in the early 70s also provided him an opportunity to hear the best at the places like the Keystone Korner and the Fillmore West in the City as well as the different venues across the Bay in the smaller clubs in Oakland and Berkely.
Skippy finds great parallels between Steelpan and Calypso music and Jazz and Blues, which tell the story of a people from a historical socio-political context and which initially were the only “allowed” medium of expression for commentary on the problems within the society. Skippy, who moved to Miami in 1979 has only been a volunteer at WDNA since the mid 1990s He is also an avid collector of steelpan jazz and blues.