Bill Evans on Screen at Alphabet City

The documentary Bill Evans: Time Remembered gets a special showing in Pittsburgh, Tuesday March 6 at 7pm at Alphabet City. The film's creator, Bruce Spiegel, is a Pittsburgh native. He's come back to share the film and hold a Question and Answer session afterwards.

Film Director Bruce Spiegel came to his love of jazz early, and recalls times hearing jazz greats at the Crawford Grill and the Hurricane as a youth. Television and film became his career, and he then spent decades in New York City, including many years with the CBS program "48 Hours."

Still, Spiegel had more stories to tell, and the hard-to-know Bill Evans became a mission. 8 years and more than 40 interviews later, Spiegel has shaped a new understanding of one of the most influential pianists in modern jazz. 

As Spiegel told WZUM's Scott Hanley, there were many stories to hear from a wide variety of people in Bill Evans' life, from family to friends to musical legends. Several of those legends have since passed, making some of these insights even more valuable and poignant. 

Paul Motian, Billy Taylor, Tony Bennett, Jon Hendricks, Jim Hall, Bill Charlap, Eric Reed, Bob Brookmeyer, Chuck Israels, Warren Bernhardt, Marty Morell, Gene Lees, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock, and Joe LaBarbera are just some of the people that Spiegel talked with as he learned more of the story of Evans' life, his influence and his great personal struggles.

Alphabet City will host a screening of Bill Evans: Time Remembered, presented by the director of the film, Bruce Spiegel. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director.  

RSVP free tickets at

Joe Policastro brings Screen Sounds to the North Side

Thursday night, March 1, the Joe Policastro Trio comes to Alphabet City for a show to highlight their new release "Screen Sounds" (as heard on WZUM).


Bassist Joe Policastro is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, but has spent the past 15 years in Chicago. He's a much sought after sideman and arranger and composer, too, including a project highlighting the musical legacy of Gerry Mulligan with the Mulligan Mosaics Big Band.

The Trio is a creative, working unit, in residence 3 nights a week in Chicago at the club Pops for Champagne in Chicago, but touring widely, too.

The Joe Policastro Trio features Policastro on bass; Dave Miller, guitar; Mikel Avery, drums and auxiliary percussion. The show at Alphabet City is free, but visit the web site to RSVP.

101.1 FM Maintenance - On Air Interruptions over the next few days

WZUM AM/FM has three different transmitter sites, and they all need tending to from time to time. This week, our newest site for 101.1 FM in Pittsburgh is getting some attention, and that means there may be some times when we are temporarily off the air. We'll be back on as soon as possible. You can still listen via the internet at

Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Mandela, an Audio History, Sunday afternoon at 1 on WZUM


Sunday, February 25 at 1pm, join WZUM for an audio documentary from Radio DiariesMandela, an Audio History is the award-winning radio series documenting the struggle against apartheid through intimate first-person accounts of Nelson Mandela himself, as well as those who fought with him, and against him.

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast, the series weaves together more than 50 first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of rare archival recordings, some of which had never been heard before.

Here a special one-hour version, Sunday afternoon, February 25 at 1pm on WZUM. The complete 5 part series and other materials can be found at MANDELA: An Audio History - The Stories

A Cylon invasion?

Lorne Greene, 1969 Public Domain

Lorne Greene, 1969 Public Domain

In the 1970's, there was the first iteration of the TV series "Battlestar Galactica." It starred Lorne Greene and a number of other fine actors. It also had cybernetic villains called Cylons. They were noted for being mean, and out for no-good for humankind.  

Cylons also had voices that sounded very digitized, warbling and disturbing.  

Today, when audio that uses digital technology starts to have problems - in digital feeds or video conferencing, for example, you may hear sometthing like this digitized warble that some of us in the tech realm call "Cyloning," in tribute, sort of, to that TV show from the times of the Rockford Files and Battlestar Galactica.

Unfortunately, periodically for the past few weeks, and very oppressively today, WZUM has had the CYLON experience with all of our audio. There is a problem one of our vendors for things digital is working to resolve, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience. It has to do with wires and such, and they will fix it for keeps, shortly. 

Lorne Greene, you were a fine actor with a marvelous set of pipes, but we hope to not revisit this part of your career again, ever!

Scott Hanley

General Manager

Broadcasting is about being on the air, and sometimes, in it.

WZUM 88.1 FM, Bethany, had a technical problem that took us of the air for a day.

We are back on, now, but we had to climb to do it.

While we have been developing backup systems for the most reliable service, possible, things can go wrong - even when it is very, very cold.

On a cold week like this one, finding and fixing problems in bad weather at the transmitter site is fraught with challenges. The winds were at least calm, and the sun was shining today, but climbing the tower is a challenge when it the wind-chill index is below 0. 

So, the warm sounds of jazz on the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel have returned to the Ohio Valley. To you and our stalwart technical team, we say, Welcome Home!

WZUM's signal is on at 101.1 FM from Pittsburgh's North Side! 

The Press Release has more details.

This has been a dream, deferred, for many years, brought to life by the board of Pittsburgh Public Media (PPM) and more than a thousand donors and volunteers.

We are Pittsburgh Public Media, here to serve our community with music, information, education and partnerships. There's more connection and community-building to come.  

To succeed, we ask for your advice, your support and your enthusiasm:

  • Share your ideas, questions and thoughts with an email to
  • "Like" our Facebook page
  • Donate as generously as you can
  • If you have connection with a business or nonprofit who'd benefit from on-air messages on WZUM through underwriting, please email us at
  • Check out Jazz Central as we work to bring artists, presenters and performers together.
  • Spread the news of the growing service of the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel!

The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel WZUM can now be heard on 88.1 FM from Bethany, WV, on 1550 AM, Braddock and now on 101.1 FM from Pittsburgh’s north side. Streaming online via

In 1787, on the other side of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin was asked what the Constitutional Convention had just created. He reportedly said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

In Pittsburgh, we've built a new public radio service. With your help, we will keep it and do great things for you and Pittsburgh for many years to come. 

WZUM is the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. Welcome home!

Scott Hanley, General Manager, WZUM

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