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Where There's Music, There's Hope: A Letter From Keanna Faircloth, Host of Afternoon Jazz

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Before I moved from my hometown of Washington, D.C., I would constantly spot New Jersey license plates almost daily as I rode in my car. This went on for about two years prior to the first major move I’ve ever made.

Since moving here in October 2019 to host Afternoon Jazz, so many "firsts" have happened for me. Never would I have imagined spinning at the legendary Apollo Theater, finding myself in The New York Times, or living alone in a new city in the midst of a global pandemic!

Through it all, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so blessed to have the privilege to do what I love most on a station that I have always considered to be the Mecca of jazz radio. Just before transitioning to WBGO, I celebrated 16 years as a volunteer on-air Host at D.C.’s station for “jazz and justice,” WPFW 89.3 FM, while simultaneously working at least three other jobs. Although I loved radio, I wondered whether I should continue pursuing my passion. I was at the point of giving up when I found out that I would be joining the WBGO family. 

Even though things have drastically changed for all of us, I realize that there’s no time like the present. More than ever, the services that WBGO provides are an essential part of our collective emotional health. I couldn’t be prouder to do my part in providing some level of comfort over the airwaves. Although many of us are alone, it’s good to know that we are alone together — and have always had music as a trusted companion during times of both strength and strife.

It is truly an honor to share personal space in the homes of so many people during this period. I thank you all for your supportive words of encouragement and gestures of appreciation by contributing to WBGO. If I’ve learned anything over the past seven months, it is to never give up. Being able to live my dream — spinning the music I fell in love with as a child, listening to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue — continues to blow my mind, and serves as a constant reminder to not throw in the towel.

I encourage you all to use this time to support one another, and to take care of yourself by nurturing your own dreams. In the words of our beloved Dorthaan Kirk, there are “Bright Moments” at the end of the tunnel... just follow the music.

Sincerely yours,

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Keanna Faircloth

Keanna Faircloth is a Washington, DC native and comes to WBGO getting her start on-air at WPFW 89.3 FM in 2003, most recently as the host of Late Night Jazz: The Continuum Experience. She is a graduate of Howard University having majored in Music History with a minor in Classical Piano. Keanna has written for NPR Music, and worked for Radio One as an on-air personality, producer and voice-over talent. She is also the creator and host of Artimacy Podcast, where she has interviewed artists like Wynton Marsalis, Matthew Whitaker, Jonathan Butler, and Dionne Warwick. As a result, she was recognized by Radio Ink Magazine as a 2019 African American leader in radio.