Fest Five: Alisa Clancy, KCSM

Back to blog

 If you listen to jazz on your morning commute, chances are you know Alisa Clancy’s voice well. As the weekday host of KSCM’s A Morning Cup of Jazz for more than 20 years, her tenure as your drive-time curator makes her a Bay Area jazz institution.

Clancy first found her passion for jazz while in junior high band, where she played drums and piano. She combined her love for jazz with interests in pop culture, theatre, classical music and film while working at WKYU in Bowling Green, Kentucky during undergrad, then at WFDD at Wake Forest University while earning her Master’s Degree. Clancy worked in professional theater for several years before moving to the Bay Area in 1987. Soon after, jazz and broadcasting took precedence, which she’s continued ever since.

While she still teachers jazz history, theater and film when she can, the mother of two spends much of her time with her children. Clancy pulled from her extensive musical knowledge to offer a short list of Summer Fest acts to keep on your radar.

Catherine Russell

She’s the daughter of big band leader and Louis Armstrong mentor Luis Russell, and bassist Carline Ray. Cat knows some fabulous gems from the 30’s and 40’s songbook that you never hear and she’s a great singer and performer. I always hear new things when I see her.

Snarky Puppy 

This band is a full-on experience – complete immersion.  They like to play around with the audience, so their performance becomes a very visceral experience. Excellent musicianship covering jazz, funk, and world music – they won a surprise Grammy® this year!

Soul Rebels

I love the young New Orleans bands – and this is one of the best. They use the Brass Band tradition and turn modern pop and jazz upside down. You can’t help but shake what your mama gave you!

CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

It’s Summer Fest!  You must get your Blues and Zydeco on. CJ is the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. I want to see what he’s been up to.

Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express


Tune into KCSM Jazz 91.1 weekdays from 6-10am to hear Alisa Clancy on “A Morning Cup of Jazz.” Send us your Fest Five picks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #sjzsummerfest. If you haven’t already, purchase your Summer Fest passes by clicking here.