Archive for Curt’s Cafe

We’re Back On the Airwaves!

Posted in curtjazz radio, Holiday Jazz, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , on December 11, 2017 by curtjazz


CurtJazz Studio 300x400When Charlotte Community Radio went off the air last spring, I felt in my spirit, that this was going to be a temporary absence from the air. I had heard rumblings and rumors that Live365, which had been my on-air home from late 2004, until its demise, due to draconian governmental regulation, in January 2016; was going to make a comeback. The format would be essentially the same, the costs,  slightly higher.

The rumors became true, late in the summer, when I got an email from Live365, inviting me to reopen Curt’s Cafe Noir. My heart wanted to jump in that day. My head told me to do a little number crunching first. I had set a goal of getting back on the air, sometime during the 2nd Quarter of 2018.  It was going to be a long wait, but I was willing because it was worth it.

While talking to my queen (aka the world’s greatest wife) over the weekend, I mentioned my plans. She then told me, “Well…actually, I had planned to give you station as a Christmas present. I know how much you love to do your Christmas show, so why don’t you just start now. Merry Christmas!”

Click the link below, to stream the new CURTJAZZ RADIO. It’s 100% Free.

I was immediately speechless, and then grateful, to my family and to God for the chance to do what I love, again, and even more quickly than I had planned. I also knew that I had my work cut out for me, because all of a sudden, the 2017 JAZZMAS Party was on.

Mike hackett

I also did something I had wanted to do for a while, which is change the station name. Curt’s Cafe Noir, was a name that I came up with back in 2004, when I envisioned the station as an amalgam of many musical styles. As jazz became our identity, I never found an opening to make the switch. Now is that time.

So, the station formerly known as Curt’s Cafe Noir, will now be known as CurtJazz Radio. I’ve become known by that moniker, so I figure it will be easier for new fans to remember and for old fans and friends to get used to.

Nicci Canada 1

We kicked off the new CurtJazz Radio, on Sunday, December 10. Almost thirteen years to the day, that we started Curt’s Cafe Noir. Since it’s the Holiday Season, we will start programming with one of our most popular features on the old station, the 24/7 JAZZMAS Party. Wall to wall, Christmas and Holiday-themed jazz vocals and instrumentals – some familiar and some rare. This will go on, 24 hours a day, until December 27. On that date, we will switch to playing tracks from the best jazz albums of 2017, which we will do through mid January. After that, it will be what you know us for – straight-ahead jazz, mostly by living, working artists.

If you’re a fan of Curt’s Cafe Noir, we welcome you to CurtJazz Radio, with open arms. If you never heard Curt’s Cafe Noir, we’d love for you to give CurtJazz Radio a try. I think you’ll like it.

We ask for your support and we appreciate every minute that you spend with us.

The link below, will take you to the party!


JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz – Thursday, 12/1: JazzMas Begins with Buff Dillard

Posted in Charlotte Community Rado, Holiday Jazz, Jazz in Charlotte, JazzLives! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by curtjazz

Buff Dillard

In the same way that we used to on Live365’s Curt’s Cafe Noir, we will celebrate the Holidays throughout December on JAZZ LIVES with CurtJazz on Charlotte Community Radio. And we will kick off our “JazzMas” celebration in fine style, during our show on Thursday, December 1, with our special guest, trombonist Buff Dillard, who will join me from 7pm – 8 pm (ET).

Born into a musical family, Buff exhibited an interest for singing, drums and playing brass instruments at an early age. By the age of twelve, the trombone had become his passion and he decided to focus on mastering the slide. As a student of Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia PA, his gift allowed him to attend the Philadelphia All-City Jazz Academy. While there, he performed with the Philadelphia All-City Jazz Band, Pieces of a Dream, and the legendary Count Basie Band. He was also able to attend jazz workshops instructed by the celebrated jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.


As a solo artist, Mr. Dillard has released a total of 8 independent projects, including his latest album, Mr. Bonejazz and his Holiday themed EP Christmas Moments. Buff is endorsed by Conn/Selmer/King Instruments and continues his career as a trombonist, performer, independent international recording artist and CEO of Buff Dillard Music LLC.

During JAZZ LIVES!!! on December 1, Buff Dillard will join me during the 7 pm hour of the show. We will talk about his music, his influences, his current projects and we will play a few tracks from Christmas Moments that will help to get us all in the mood for the Holiday Season.

Be sure to join Buff Dillard and me as we prove that there’s nothing better than “Bone for the Holidays’, on JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, Thursday, December 1; from 6 pm – 9 pm (EDT); on CLTCRadio.

JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, airing LIVE every Thursday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm via OR use the Mixlr app where you can listen and chat with our hosts and guests alike.





New Holiday Jazz Albums 2015

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2015 by curtjazz

When I first started featuring Christmas and Holiday Season Jazz on my web station, Curt’s Cafe Noir, in 2005, it took a bit of work to find sufficiently diverse jazz content to allow the station to run all Holiday music. Now, ten years later, there’s so much music to choose from, from so many different sources, that I can program 24 hours of Holiday Jazz and afford to be selective.

From Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra’s Joyful Jazz, “Merry Christmas John Coltrane”

And this season has brought another crop of strong and varied Christmas Jazz Albums. Here are samples from a few of my favorites that you’ll hear on Curt’s Cafe Noir’s 24/7 JazzMas Party, through December 26. As an extra bonus, we have the album that is my favorite new seasonal offering, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, in an exciting live version, recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, in New York City.

From the Count Basie Orchestra’s A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! “Good Swing Wenceslas”

Enjoy the samples, pick up a copy of the full albums, if you dig the tracks and tune in to Curt’s Cafe Noir WebJazz Radio, for great Christmas Jazz.

From David Benoit Trio’s Believe; “The Christmas Waltz” (feat. Jane Monheit)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC; trumpeter Etienne Charles with a concert version of his new album Creole Christmas


“So…What do you serve in your Cafe?”

Posted in The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , on November 2, 2009 by curtjazz

Hi Y’all!

Thank you for coming this far with me.  Perhaps you’ve heard my web radio station “Curt’s Café” and wanted more information about what you heard there.  Or, maybe you’ve read my reviews or my column “Browsing the Bins” in Jazz Inside Magazine (formerly JazzImprov). Whatever brought you here, I’m grateful for your time and attention and I’ll try to make it worth your while. 

 The title of this first post comes from a question I’ve been asked by people online, who hear the music and then assume that my “café” has four walls and a kitchen.  Though I do know my way around a stove, the plan is for my café to remain a virtual one.

I’m not fond of talking about myself, but I know that a little exposition is needed in any story, even a blog, so here goes.  I’m a native New Yorker (Bronx and Long Island), who has lived in Charlotte, NC since 2000.  I’m married, for almost 20 years, to a beautiful, brilliant and creative woman, who is still yet to realize how remarkable she is.  We have one son, age nine, who is already a jazz fan and keeps us both on our toes. 

My love for jazz started also before I was ten, as curiosity about my older brother’s record collection. It blossomed during my college years, as I worked in the campus music library. It came to fruition in the late ‘90’s as I worked in terrestrial jazz radio and began to write.

Curt’s Café Noir (or Curt’s Café) has been on the air since November 2004. I’d listened to a few Web based radio stations for about a year before that and finally decided to try it myself.  It was originally a mix of jazz, soul, classic R & B and Gospel Music.  We found the jazz segments to be the most popular, so we went all jazz in 2006.

That’s enough about the past.  We “jazz people” spend more time than we should there, which is one of the myriad reasons that jazz is in the fix that it’s in now; but that’s a rant for a future post.  Curt’s Café the blog and the web radio station, will devote a major portion of airtime and blog space to the present and future of jazz.  Please understand that I love the history of this music and I have a deep, abiding respect for those from the past, who created much of what we still listen to regularly.  You will hear much of their work on the station.  However, there’s a lot of great music being made today, by artists who deserve to be heard and must be supported by the jazz loving public, if jazz is to have even the hope of a viable future.  So half of our prime listening hours are devoted to playing music made solely by living and working jazz artists, and not just those named Marsalis, Burrell and Rollins.  I hope that you will listen to these musicians and then support them, by buying their CDs or their legal music downloads.  I then hope you will take the next step and go out to see these artists in a live, paying performance.  While free concerts are nice for the public, they generally don’t pay the artists enough to even cover expenses.  So let’s dig a little bit into our pockets jazz fans, and pay to see the artists that we say we love, so they might see playing jazz as more than just a wallet draining avocation.

For those of you new to the station, we stream 24/7 through  In addition to the living artists, we play a good deal of the classics and rare tracks.  We also stream programs devoted to special interests, like the catalogs of Blue Note, Verve and Original Jazz Classics records.  We have two streams; a commercial stream, for which there is no charge, but like terrestrial radio, does include ads.  We also broadcast an ad-free stream, for which listeners pay a monthly fee and in return, they hear programming without commercial interruption.  The choice is yours. Either way, I promise to bring you great jazz. Our programming is traditional for the most part, but not to the point where you can’t hear the young innovators who are the art form’s future, like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Christian Scott.  You can listen right now, by clicking on the link on my homepage or direct, through Live365 at 

This blog will be an extension of the station.  I will post a new article at least once a week. Sometimes freeing my “mind” so “the rest” can follow; sometimes posting an interview or discussion with some of the cool jazz peeps who I think you’ll find interesting. Additionally, I’ll post short, but useful CD reviews, that will always be candid but never cruel.  Several times a week I will keep you up to date on new tracks that have been added to the playlists and, in a nod to my pop radio origins, a list of the most popular tracks currently heard on Curt’s Café.  Where possible, I’ll also provide links to my past reviews and articles in JazzImprov and Jazz Inside.

Well, now that we’ve met, I hope you won’t be a stranger and that you’ll visit often.  Believe me, I’ve got a lot on my mind about jazz and I plan to share a lot of it with you in this forum.  I don’t promise that you’ll always agree with me, but I hope that you’ll find it interesting enough to keep reading.  I also hope that this won’t be a one way conversation and that you’ll share your thoughts and opinions with me as well.  Feel free to leave your “comments” after each post.  Many of us met on Twitter, so let’s all feel liberated by having more than 140 characters to express ourselves. 

                Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll see you next time, until then, as always, the jazz continues…

If they post blogs in Heaven, Mom and Dad, I love you and I hope you liked this. Say “hi” to “Dr.” Woods for me.