Dennis Owsley | St. Louis Public Radio

Dennis Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Host

Dennis Owsley has broadcast a weekly jazz show for St. Louis Public Radio since April 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and is a retired Monsanto Senior Science Fellow and college teacher. His show, Jazz Unlimited, airs every Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. The show has the largest jazz audience in St. Louis and was named Best Jazz Radio Show in St. Louis for the years 2005-2007 and 2009 by the Riverfront Times. In celebration of his 25 years on the air, January 24, 2008 was proclaimed Dennis Owsley Day" in the City of St. Louis. He is the 2010 winner of the St. Louis Public Radio Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award. Dennis is also a noted photographer, and his exhibit, In the Moment: Photographs of Jazz Musicians, ran from September 23, 2005 to January 21, 2006 at the Sheldon Art Gallery. He is a lifetime student of jazz history and teaches short courses on the subject. Dennis is the author of the award-winning book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis 1985-1973, published in 2006.

Ways to Connect

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On the Sunday, December 23 edition of Jazz Unlimited, we celebrate the return of the sunlight and some of the celebrations around the Winter Solstice.  Specifically, the music will reflect the Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza traditions.  The artists on the show include Pieces of Eight with Debby Lennon, Herbie Mann, Jess Stacy, Don Byron, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Randy Weston, The Jim McNeely Tentette, Count Basie, John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, The Kronos Quartet.  A special feature is the reading of the Clement Moore poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Loui

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Due to music recording copyright laws, the music from this show is no longer available. Music is posted for two weeks after a show airs.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Due to music copyright restrictions, the music from this show is no longer available. Music is posted for two weeks after a show airs.

>> Playlist

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On December 2, 2012, our series on jazz recorded in left coast clubs continues with part four.  The featured artists will be Lester Young, Oscar Peterson, Joe Williams, Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Haden, The Capp-Pierce Orchestra with Ernie Andrews, The Chico Hamilton Quintet, Les McCann, Ltd., the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, The Jazz Crusaders, the Don Ellis Orchestra, Nat Adderley, Joe Henderson, Bill Evans, Joe Zawinul, Weather Report and Max Roach.  Featured clubs inclide "The Haig" in Los Angeles, "Shelly's Manne Hole" and "The Bit" in Hollywood, "The Tradewinds" i

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On November 25, 2012, we will play something unusual.  String quartets in jazz are usually reading ensembles doing transcriptions or supporting soloists.  A few do improvise.  The Keys and Strings Hour feature on string quartets will feature the Kronos Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Beaux Arts String Quartet, and the Zapolski String Quartet, along with soloists Jim Hall (guitar) and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  The second and third hours of Jazz Unlimited will feature new music by Joe Newman, Keith Jarrett, Art Pepper, Dena DeRose, Bill McHenry along with two rare recordings by

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On Sunday, November 18, Jazz Unlimited presents "Jazz from Clubs on the Left Coast-Part 3" with music mainly from the Los Angeles area.  Much of the music was recorded at The Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach.  Such Artists as the Lighthouse All-Stars, Cannonball Adderley, Curtis Amy, the Jazz Crusaders, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey with Keith Jarrett, Gene Harris and the Three Sounds, Joe Henderson and Elvin Jones.  The Renaissance Coffee House in Hollywood will have music by the Red Mitchell Cello Quintet with Jim Hall, Ben Webster, Jimmy Witherspo

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The Sunday November 11 Jazz Unlimited show features the following jazz artists who have major birthdays in July,  They are: bassist Howard Rumsey (95),  pianists Joe Turner (105), Ralph Sutton (90), Teddy Wilson (100), Willie "The Lion" Smith (115), Dick Wellstood (85) and Paul Bley (80), vocalist-pianist Mose Allison (85), vocalist Chris Connor (85) trombonist Jimmy Knepper (85),  saxophonist Gigi Gryce (85), drummer George Wettling (105) and guitarist Ed Bickert (80).  Musical highlights range from a 17 minute "Jam Session at Commodore" recorded in 1940, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Sta

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On Sunday, November 4, Jazz Unlimited will present part 4 of our series on frequently recorded jazz originals.  The time period of the recordings spans 80 years  from 1926 to 2006.  Some of the music includes Benny Moten's "South," the Original Dixieland Jazz Band's "Tiger Rag," Duke Ellington's "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge," Nat Adderley's "Work Song," and Miles Davis's "Milestones."  Photos of some of the artists heard on this show can be found on the accompanying slide show.  Some of the other artists heard on the show will be Horace Tapscott, Thel

The Left Coast over the years has been the host to many great jazz clubs.  The October 21 show presents jazz recorded in clubs in San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Seattle.  Some of the clubs are The Jazz Workshop, Yoshi's, Keystone Corner and the Blackhawk in the San Francisco Bay area and Jazz Alley and The Penthouse in Seattle.  We feature such musicians as the Ray Brown Trio, the Yerba Buena Jazz Band, Shelly Manne, Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Henry Threadgill, John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders.

Dennis C. Owsley / copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On Sunday, October 28, the Jazz Unlimited Keys and Strings Hour will present music by 11 of my favorite jazz singers accompanied by groups without horns.  The singers are Patricia Barber, Betty Carter, Kurt Elling, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hartman, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Judy Niemack, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Cassandra Wilson.  The second and third hours of Jazz Unlimited will present music by some of the real heavyweights in current and past music: Kurt Elling, Keith Jarrett, Joe Lovano, Teo Macero, the Fred Hersch Trio, Ran Blake, the Kronos Quartet, Anat Cohen, the Brubeck B

Jazz and Money

Oct 19, 2012

Money makes the world go 'round. This episode of Jazz Unlimited will feature Duke Ellington, Muggsy Sprecher, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and others with tunes about money.

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This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 26, 2011 - In 1971, then President Richard Nixon declared a "War on Drugs." This war has been fought unceasingly for 40 years and it has failed, according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

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