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Forrest Bryant is a jazz journalist and radio dj based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I can't say for sure when I first became interested in jazz, but I can pinpoint the precise
moment when it moved from an interest to a passion. I was 25 years old, and it was my
first day as a resident of New York City. I began searching for a decent radio station by
turning my FM dial all the way to the left and working my way to the right. The first station
I found was WBGO, out of Newark, New Jersey. Morning DJ Gary Walker was
spinning Poinciana, by the Ahmad Jamal Trio. I was hooked: the setting on that radio did
not budge for the next four years.
When I came to the San Francisco Bay Area, I found a jazz community that was much smaller than the one in New York, but also one that was more intimate and friendly. And I soon found that this community has a beauty, diversity, and willingness to experiment that reflects the well-earned reputation of its cities.
Within a few months, I found a niche on the radio at KZSU-FM (broadcasting from Stanford University), where I have been ever since. I began writing soon afterwards, for AAJ and on a freelance basis. I now serve on the board of directors of the Jazz Journalists Association.
I write and broadcast because I feel that jazz is an incredible gift. I need to share that gift with others and give something back to the musicians and supporters who first gave it to me. Although I still have a day gig, this is my real career.