RADIO GA-GA: Sanctuary for Independent Media’s radio station nominated for national award

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Given the limited range of WOOC 105.3 / Troy and its sister station WOOS 98.9 /Schenectady, you’d think the weeknight show “Jazz Sanctuary” would only garner interest from the neighborhoods surrounding the Hudson Mohawk Radio Network’s respective low-wattage transmitters. However, both the TuneIn app and the mediasanctuary.org live stream put Sanctuary for Independent Media’s singular programming out in the world with everybody else, and people have been noticing.

Adam Siegel, Michael Bisio and Tani Tabbal
Adam Siegel, Michael Bisio and Tani Tabbal, Photo by Rudy Lu

On Thursday, JazzWeek – one of the genre’s major monitors for what’s hot in jazz radio – announced that WOOC was up for the 2019 Station of the Year award for outlets presenting fewer than 40 hours per week of jazz. This happened despite “Jazz Sanctuary” only coming on the air in 2018, and it puts WOOC on the same ballot with longtime jazz-radio staples WGBH / Boston; KJZZ / Tempe, AZ; KXPR / Sacramento, CA; WHRV / Norfolk, VA; and KANU / Lawrence, KS. 

Needless to say, “Jazz Sanctuary” coordinator Susan Brink’s goal to present “100 Years of Jazz” to Greater Nippertown has borne some seriously unexpected fruit. Jazz and Brink have done pretty darn well together at Sanctuary for Independent Media – first with Brink’s booking of outrageous concerts by artists like Melissa Aldana, Myra Melford & Ben Goldberg, the Tani Tabbal Trio, and Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence; and now with the area’s only five-nights-a-week jazz radio show.

The Melissa Aldana Quartet
The Melissa Aldana Quartet, Photo by Rudy Lu

“I am very proud, as well as shocked,” Brink said in a Facebook post late Thursday night. “This is extraordinary, considering we’ve been on the air for a year and a half. Yet I’m aware of how hard we all work to bring all 100 years of this music to our audience. Congratulations to my team and to the other nominees for a job well done.”

The 2019 JazzWeek Awards winners will be announced the week of August 8th at JazzWeek Summit 2019 in San Jose, CA.

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