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Sam Wisman

Assistant Producer

Sam started listening to jazz on his local NPR affiliate when he was just 13 years old, and his life as a musician and radio guy continues to intertwine. Son of a merchant and a classical musician, he came to Kansas City to attend the UMKC Conservatory. During school, he shelved a lot of records and played “drop the needle” at The Marr Sound Archives, working with KCUR’s own Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix. After graduating Cum Laude with a degree in Percussion Performance, Sam became a versatile fixture in Kansas City’s music scene. He has hosted Jazz Afternoon on 90.1 FM KKFI for over 10 years as well as working behind the scenes as a producer, data & traffic specialist, and community marketing representative. Sam lives with his family in Roeland Park, and has yet to measure the volume of his kids with a decibel meter…but he has thought about it.

  • This week, we'll discover more fascinating music from the incredible pianist and composer Percy Grainger. We’ll hear works for piano, orchestra, chorus, and band that explore every emotion. And we get a peek into Grainger’s compositional process via his love for folksong.
  • This week, hosts Michael Stern and Dan Margolies explore a diverse program evocative of nature, the outdoors and nocturnal adventure. We'll hear the Kansas City Symphony perform works by Haydn, Smetana, Schoenberg, Milhaud, Ives and Ginastera.
  • Dan Margolies speaks with Scott Steele, executive director of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, about their composition contest. Joining Scott are two of the contest winners, Akshaya Avril Tucker and Ben Stevenson. We'll hear their music as well as music by local high school student Andrew Schnake, one of the winners in the student division.
  • Australian/American composer and pianist Percy Grainger was an eccentric genius, and a true original. We’ll hear his music and Grainger himself at the piano for a performance of Edvard Grieg's concerto.
  • This week, hosts Michael Stern and Dan Margolies take a look back and a look forward with a program commemorating anniversaries — including the launch of 91.9 Classical KC a year ago. We'll hear music by Bernstein, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, as well as a performance of Chen Yi's "Fountains of KC" from the Kansas City Symphony's opening subscription concert in Helzberg Hall nearly a decade ago.
  • We'll enjoy wonderful Russian music this week, with gems like an exotic tone poem by Alexander Borodin, a whirling waltz fantasy by Mikhail Glinka, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s valedictory masterpiece
  • Cellist, composer and singer Helen Gillet speaks with Classical KC about her classical influences and training, composing through improvisation, and developing her unique electrified sound. We'll hear her original music as well as a life-changing performance of a Shostakovich string quartet.
  • Classical KC speaks with Jackie Lee, artistic director for the Heartland Chamber Music Festival, about the origin of the festival, keeping talented local students in the area, and various community outreach programs. Joining Jackie is Hez Leung, violist with the award winning Rolston String Quartet - featured performers at this year's festival.
  • Hosts Michael Stern and Dan Margolies welcome renowned conductor David Zinman for a program of Bernstein, Prokofiev, Debussy and Schumann. David and Michael recount their many musical and personal connections, and David shares some humorous trash talk between two legendary figures —conductor Pierre Monteux and choreographer and dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.
  • The third in the series “Themes and Variations” features music by Max Reger, Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvořák – proving that variation is also the spice of musical life.