KRTU Host Spotlight: Mark Stewart

 

Mark Stewart is the host of the Blues Review and an avid jazz fan. Mark was a Technical Communicator and is currently retired. He likes to spend his time doing volunteer work, cycling, reading, gardening, and playing guitar. In his childhood, his parents inherited an old Victrola record player stocked with 78rpm records. He grew familiar with big jazz labels and artists when he was young by sorting his parents records by label name. Those records introduced Mark to the art of jazz, with the talents of Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby, and Tex Ritter. He has been collecting vinyl since then. Whenever he travels or comes across a record store he likes to pick up a record and listen to something new. 

In 1961 he saw Dizzy Gillespie perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. This was the first time he was exposed to jazz. “Dizzy’s performance likely influenced [his] decision to begin playing the cornet in grade school band” and consequently his interest in jazz music. Mark began to play the guitar in 1968 and quickly developed a particular appreciation for blues guitar. His experience with music when he was younger cultivated his musical taste and current radio program. Currently, Jimmy McGriff at the Apollo (Sue Records) is queued on his turntable. 

Mark first discovered KRTU’s Jazz programming in 2003 either during a morning or evening work commute. He read about the station in the newspaper earlier that year, but only tuned in occasionally for classical music. After a few years of sustained listening he decided to volunteer to host his own show in June of 2006.  He was interviewed for the spot by Aaron Prado, former KRTU music director and Ryan Weber, former KRTU station manager. He hosted the first Blues Review on June 11th 2006.

Tune in for “two hours of the best of the blues, past and present”. Mark often plays classic blues from the 1930s and 1940s era. He is particularly fond of acoustic blues artists Son House, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. In contrast, he plays a variety of newly released blues recordings while programming his show with classic and new content appealing to all types of blues fans or new listeners. Tune in to the Blues Review, hosted by Mark Stewart on Sundays from 4pm – 6pm.

 

“In addition to great music programming, I support KRTU because they operate as a non-profit organization and provide a wide and diverse range of non-commercial programming for the cultural and educational benefit of the community and Trinity students.” – Mark Stewart

“It’s our specialty shows on KRTU that offer a treasure trove of recordings from the personal collection of local enthusiasts and music presenters. Every Sunday from 4-6pm on the Blues Review, KRTU host Mark Stewart reminds us (to paraphrase a quote from blues master Willie Dixon) that the blues are the roots and all other styles of music are the fruits.” - Kory Cook

 

Friday, July 31, 2020