Dave Becker

Jazz 89.5-2 host

I'm a second-generation hi-fi nut. I can prove this: a picture of me in diapers, listening to my dad's Ampex reel-to-reel tape deck, transfixed by the sounds it contained. My father belonged to the Columbia Record and Tape Club, so the people who recorded for them (Dave Brubeck, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Armstrong, Rudolf Serkin, Benny Goodman, E. Power Biggs) were in my ear from an early age. Somehow I understood and felt the concept of "swing," and once you've got that in your soul it's going to stay there.

So jazz radio made perfect sense. I managed to finesse jazz onto the air in odd, late-night corners of my first jobs. Then I worked at KCCK-FM in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (still the smallest city in the country with a full-time jazz station) and then, in June 1991, to WDUQ as Program Director. Since my time at WDUQ I've been at WOI in Ames, Iowa and KNPR in Las Vegas. In every position I've held I've found a way to finesse some jazz into the matrix.

When this music burrows into your soul it's there for good. The idea that I'm a part of an passion-driven effort like jazz is something that would have been very satisfying to me as a toddler in diapers.