KMHD officially starts broadcasting from OPB

Posted on by pdxjazz

KMHD logo

Today at noon, OPB held a party at their Southwest Portland building to celebrate the changeover, finalizing the move of KMHD from the Mt. Hood Community College campus to the OPB studios.  The event was attended by both OPB and KMHD staff, journalists, JSO volunteers, leaders in the jazz community, and others.

For the first hour or so, guests chatted and networked while enjoying the music of George Mitchell, Israel Annoh, and Phil Baker.

George Mitchell, Israel Annoh, Phil Baker at the KMHD/OPB merge party

Soon, we were moved into one of their larger rooms where we heard statements from Steve Bass (CEO and President of OPB) as well as Matt Fleeger, who was just brought in from San Antonio to run KMHD.  Steve talked a bit about OPB’s plans to bring more publicity to not only KMHD but also MHCC through the many outlets at OPB’s disposal.

Matt Fleeger speaks at the KMHD/OPB merger(Matt Fleeger speaks to the crowd)

The party was closed with a concert of duets from trumpeter Farnell Newton and vocalist Shirley Nanette.

Farnell Newton and Shirley Nanette perform at the KMHD/OPB merger


KMHD has been a great resource for the Portland and Northwest jazz scenes.  It is amazing that they have managed to stay a dedicated jazz/blues station for 25 years relying primarily on volunteers and community donations.

That being said, the station has also been hampered by infrastructure, personnel, and political issues that have kept it from being an even better resource and content producer.  I truly believe that the merge with OPB will open many doors and avenues that could bring more attention to recorded jazz and blues as well as the music that is being performed in our community by local musicians every day.

I know that I can’t wait to see what Matt Fleeger has up his sleeve for KMHD.  But, it’s not his job alone – KMHD is still a community-supported organization, and being part of OPB will not suddenly make it some sort of corporate entity.  It’s our job as community members and jazz supporters to voice our opinions (both criticisms and praise) to help the organization grow and evolve.

- John Nastos

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