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After years of hosting Hot Jazz Saturday Night, Rob Bamberger still shakes his head in admiration over the last long notes: "An exquisite rendering by Louis Armstrong of 'Love, You Funny Thing,'" he says into the microphone. He unleashes his next offering, a lively number that has him snapping his fingers and tapping his toes. If Bamberger's listeners are half as pleased with the music as he is, then there is joy in the land.
How does a senior policy analyst for the Congressional Research Service -- a guy who spends his days studying fuels and minerals -- find happiness in the world of vintage jazz? "I'm a record collector and love the music I collect," he says. "And, like many of the music hosts at WAMU, I'm also a historian who's interested in the society and culture in which this music developed and flourished."
WAMU listeners enjoy the fruits of this lifelong passion. Bamberger says he spends about 12 hours a week planning his show. On Saturday afternoon, he stacks his recordings on a luggage cart and makes his way across the river to WAMU and what he calls his perch in studio four. From 8 until 11 p.m., the air is filled with some of the most exuberant, inventive music ever recorded.
The program is also heard internationally on NPR WORLDWIDE, the American Forces Network, and in Japan on the USEN-440 cable. Hot Jazz Saturday Night is the only local show produced at an NPR affiliate to be included in the NPW WORLDWIDE schedule.
For additional information on picking up the program outside the United States, contact Jeff Rosenberg at NPR WORLDWIDE.