Bill Pearce

Music Producer and Host

Bill was born and raised in a sod hut on the Kansas plains.

And then he graduated with a degree in clarinet performance from Simpson College in Indianola. While in Iowa, Pearce worked at a commercial radio station playing pop-like music records and reading news. 

After college, he returned to Wichita and began a career in photography. He worked for KWCH, at a commercial photo studio and later for Cessna. Pearce got back into radio when he found a job at the now-defunct Friends University station. He played classical music during the week and hosted his own jazz show on Saturdays.

For the past eight years, Pearce has read magazines like Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly for the Wichita Radio Reading Service, which is in the same building as KMUW. That’s how General Manager Mark McCain found him. Straight No Chaser features mostly instrumental jazz, from early music to recent recordings. Also listen for the record labels, names of all the musicians involved, and when the recording was made.

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Jazz
3:28 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Mid-Century Jazz: esteemed big band and solo acts on Night Train this week

Bud Shank's big band featured Thursday
Credit Homer D. Clark

Monday, April 14: We'll hear from Gill Evans and his Orchestra, Jack Sheldon, Ahmad Jamal, and the Heath Brothers.

Tuesday, April 15: Featured: Miles Davis, Red Holloway, The Bill Holman Big Band and Freddie Hubbard.

Wednesday, April 16: Teddy Edwards, Bill Evans, J. J. Johnson, and Lou Donaldson.

Thursday, April 17: We wrap up what ended up being mid-century-jazz week with Ray Brown, The Bud Shank Big Band, Ahmad Jamal and the Bob Florence Limited Edition Big Band.

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jazz
1:53 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Jazz trombonist who started a 'musical sea shell' movement, this week on Straight No Chaser

With the lungs of a trombonist, jazzist Steve Turre has perfected the art of conch-shell music making.

Sunday, April 13

On the playlist tonight: composer/pianist Horace Silver, sax guru Zoot Sims, composer/pianist Bob Florence, trombonist and pioneer of 'the musical sea shell' Steve Turre and bebop woodwinds great, composer Phil Woods.

Check out this throwback from Walter Davis, Art Taylor, Doug Watkins and Zoot Sims from 1958:

And here's the Phil Woods Quartet performing with Michel Legrand circa 2001:

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jazz
3:31 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Timeless jazz: Clark Terry and Thad Jones, this week on Straight No Chaser

Sunday, April 6 2014:

Tonight, we've got timeless jazz from Clark Terry and Thad Jones, some of Bruce Barth's newest releases and Beatles tributes by numerous artists.

Clark Terry, whose Grammy and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Awards include: 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, NARAS President’s Merit Award, three Grammy nominations and two Grammy certificates.

jazz
4:05 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Jazz strings and reeds, and more from Wichita native Greg Skaff

American tenor saxist Stanley Turrentine aka 'Mr. T'
Credit Getty Images

Sunday, March 30, 2014:

Tonight, we're back to the library to hear Gene Ammons, Jimmy Ponder, Stanley Turrentine and Buck Clayton.

Plus, more from Kansas native Greg Skaff, who we featured earlier this month:

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jazz
5:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Daniel Smith: Bassoon Goes Latin-Jazz

Daniel Smith, known for bring bassoon to the foreground.
Credit Album Cover Art

Sunday, March 23:

We'll hear the latest release from accomplished jazz bassoon player, Daniel Smith. Smith has successfully segued between genres, from classical to jazz and back. Though it could be argued that Smith is like a dancing elephant – it’s not how well he dances, it’s that he can do it at all – his latest release, Bassoon Goes Latin-Jazz, has received high acclaim and is proving to be Smith's best crossover album yet.  Along with that, we'll hear from Jimmy Heath, Monty Alexander and Eric Alexander.

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Jazz
3:59 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Wichita born-and-raised jazz guitarist Greg Skaff on Straight No Chaser

Straight No Chaser features songs spanning three albums from Greg Skaff.
Credit Jack Frisch - www.gregskaff.com

Sunday, March 16:

Tonight, we feature several CD releases from Wichita's own Greg Skaff. Skaff was born, raised and learned to play guitar in the Air Capitol. He studied music at Wichita State University for three semesters before moving to New York to put his passion into practice. We'll hear from the in-demand sideman's newest CD and two others, all new to our library.

Check out Skaff's website for tour dates, news and some free-to-listen songs.

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Jazz
4:12 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

From the 'Classic' Files: Freddie Hubbard, Tom Peterson's LA6 Sextet

The late jazz trumpet great, Freddie Hubbard
Credit Philippe Levy-Stab/Corbis

Sunday, March 9 2014:

Tonight on Straight No Chaser, we hear jazz from a classic time including Freddie Hubbard, Red Garland, Art Farmer, Tom Peterson's LA6 Sextet, Bob Florence band and Huston Person.

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jazz
1:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

'Bluesy' and 'Soul' Jazz, a Lyricist with a Cello

"Bluesy jazzists" Deep Blue Organ Trio. Left to right, Greg Rockingham, Chris Foreman and Bobby Broom
Credit www.deepblueorgantrio.com

Saturday, March 2 2014:

Tonight, we feature older recordings from the Deep Blue Organ Trio, Jimmy Smith, Gerry Mulligan and Hank Mobley. We'll also hear recent recordings from Rob Derke, Josh Breakstone and Houston Person.

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jazz
5:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Roaring Jazz Vocals and a '20s-Born Bari Sax Legend

Jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell
Credit www.npr.org

On tonight’s Straight No Chaser, it's our usual strange brew of both fresh-off-the-presses music and the old stuff. ‘New’ tunes include the sounds of Pat Metheny, Terrence Brewer, Catherine Russell and the Bill Goodwin Quartet. The ‘old’ include Gerry Mulligan and Carmell Jones.

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Jazz
5:49 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Altoist And Kansas Native Bobby Watson Featured

Sunday, Feb. 16: Tonight, we'll take a lot of trips down memory lane. In anticipation of his upcoming appearance in Wichita, we'll hear from Bobby Watson on the alto sax. We'll also hear tunes from Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, Paul Desmond and Cannonball Adderley.

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