Leigh Kamman

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Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Leigh Kamman

Inducted 2003

Over more than sixty years in broadcasting, Leigh Kamman became synonymous with jazz and with broadcast excellence.

He interviewed stars like Duke Ellington for his school paper, and while still a teenager hosted a late-night jazz show at WMIN Minneapolis/Saint Paul. In 1942 he moved to WEBC Duluth, hosting “Symphony in Riffs” from The Flame nightclub. He joined the US Army during World War II and produced and hosted shows for KOA Denver and Armed Forces Radio. After the war he returned to the Twin Cities, producing “We Call It Jazz” concerts and hosting “The Swing Club” on WLOL.

He moved to WOV New York in 1950, broadcasting live from the Palm Café near the Apollo Theater, and interviewing all the biggest names in jazz. He came back to WLOL in 1956, and later joined KSTP, where he premiered Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Mack the Knife” on his program “Image: The ‘60s.” From 1973 until he retired in 2007 he hosted THE JAZZ IMAGE™ on Minnesota Public Radio. Known for his poetic, scene-setting style and his vast knowledge and sincere love of the music, he was an outstanding broadcaster and a tireless champion of America’s only original art form.

Leigh Kamman passed away Friday, October 17, 2014, at the age of 92.