Category Archives: The Best Ambiance

Live Video: Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

It was an appropriate swan song for long-time KEXP DJ Jon Kertzer, host of the beloved African music show The Best Ambiance, that Femi Kuti & The Positive Force should be the final in-studio on his show. Jon, who now resides and teaches in Edmonton, Alberta, started The Best Ambiance over 25 years ago andRead more…

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Tonight, bid Jon Kertzer adieu as he departs The Best Ambiance

Tonight KEXP bids farewell to one of our founding fathers. Thirty years ago, Jon Kertzer was hired as the station manager of KCMU (as we were known then) and over the next several years founded our continuing programs Audioasis (1982), our Northwest music show, The Best Ambiance (1984), focusing on music from the continent ofRead more…

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Live Video: Khaira Arby

Beginning at the age of 11, Khaira Arby, cousin to the late great Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, started singing… and singing well! It was then that the Tombouctou-born “Nightingale of the North” rose to popularity quite quickly, performing in 1970 in Mali’s biannual music competition, which features a number of talented traditional and modernRead more…

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Live Video: Aurelio

Despite a history of displacement and hardship, the Garifuna people of Honduras (or, as they call themselves, the Garinagu) have not only survived but have maintained a strong and rich cultural identity. Through all of the turmoil — taken from their homes in Nigeria as slaves, shipwrecked in the Caribbean, uneasily assimilated into island lifeRead more…

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2010 Top Ten List Spotlight: Jon Kertzer

When it comes to albums released in 2010, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s pored over them more intensely than a KEXP DJ. So, what were their favorites? Which CDs did they reach for the most, or, uh, “click on” the most in their iTunes players? Find out as KEXP looks at each DJ’sRead more…

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Live Video: Nneka

Hailing from Warri, in the Delta region of Nigeria, Nneka first began singing as a student in Hamburg, and as a result her songs bridge the divide between the continents. One listen to the songs on her first US release, Concrete Jungle (she has two previous albums), and you’ll immediately hear a blend of hip-hop,Read more…

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Song of the Day: Grupo Fantasma – El Consejo

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection is “El Consejo”Read more…

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Live Video: The Best Ambiance 25th Anniversary with King Sunny Ade

The Best Ambiance, KEXP’s African music show on Monday nights, is continuing its long run into its 25th this year, and host Jon Kertzer celebrated the anniversary with one of the artists who started it all for him, King Sunny Ade. The Chairman, as he is known, is now in his sixties but continues toRead more…

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The Best Ambiance 25th Anniversary: Interview with Jon Kertzer

interview by Ken Frye The special 25th Anniversary of The Best Ambiance at the Triple Door in Seattle, tonight, June 29th: featuring King Sunny Ade and the African Beats, in their first Seattle appearance in eight years, and the first performance in Seattle by the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International. Two shows at 7PM andRead more…

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KEXP’s Year in Review: Jon Kertzer, the Best Ambiance – Best of 2006

Ali Farka Toure, courtesy of retorta net My Best Ambiance program on Monday night, December 25th, was a special show that focused on my top recordings of 2006, and the final hour featured favorite songs from live in-studios over the past year. Here’s a few comments about the selections. 1) AFEL BOCOUM / Niger /Read more…

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