“Keep Austin Weird” is the unofficial slogan for Austin, Texas but Austin Community Radio, KAZI (88.7) is keeping Black music on the air with a mix of R&B, Soul, Hi-Hop, Jazz, Gospel, Blues, Reggae and Zydeco.
A staple of the community for the past 32 years, the station is a listener-supported, non-commercial community radio station, staffed mostly by volunteers. KAZI receives operating expenses solely from donations from the public and commercial sponsors.
In addition to a playlist of national artist, KAZI also supports and promotes local artist and small indy labels. General Manager Steve Savage has been with KAZI for 28 years.
“We are able to program what we want to,” says Savage, commenting why he has opted to stay at KAZI. “I don’t have to call New York to see if I can play a record. Savage said when Erykah Badu was in town, the cross-town rival had to call to get permission to drop by the station. “We told Erykah to come hang out with us,” he said.
Savage says his biggest challenge is getting the financial support from the community. The station currently has more than 30,000 listeners who stream their “live” programming.
“We are a strong force in Central Texas and the Austin community,” he says. “Austin is the Capitol of Texas and the home of the University of Texas. We play an active role here and are part of the South by Southwest Music Conference.”
Shout out to Def-Jam SW Rep L.C. who is on top of his game and supports the station with music and other promotions. Savage said he needs service from other labels and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com