Katie Malloch has been a jazz fan since her early childhood, thanks to the eclectic musical tastes of her parents. "We always seemed to have music playing in the house, and from the time I was about five or six, I recall hearing Charlie Christian, Joe Williams, Lester Young, Sarah Vaughan and Duke," says Katie.
Later, at McGill University, she began listening to more contemporary jazz, and took in numerous concerts on Montreal's then-thriving jazz-club scene. "There was a great little club called the Esquire Show Bar, that used to bring in major acts every week: I remember seeing Stan Getz, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard there was never a dry spell!"
Katie began freelancing at CBC in 1972, and became a staff announcer at CBC Montreal in 1975. She hosted the local afternoon radio show until 1980, as well as doing That Midnight Jazz, a program she still remembers fondly. "It was total freedom; I could play whatever I wanted, and I got the most wonderful letters from listeners. It was my first inkling about how enthusiastic jazz audiences could be."
From 1980 to 1983, Katie Malloch hosted Radioactive, a program of francophone music for CBC's English network, and did local television work in Montreal. But the jazz bug was firmly implanted in her system, and in 1983, she and producer Alain de Grosbois teamed up to create Jazz Beat, a network show that combined discs and live recordings, both concert dates and studio sessions. Katie's passion for jazz continues to be heard as the weekday host of Tonic on CBC Radio 2. But in addition, Tonic gives Katie the chance to mingle jazz with some of her other favourite types of music. "The show will also feature latin, soul, movie music, world sounds, everything from Tony Bennett to film noir themes, from Erykah Badu to Dexter Gordon. It can be boppish or funky or very romantic, but it MUST have heart and soul."
Katie is married and has two daughters, whose love of jazz is, says Katie, "on its way! If I can do for them what my parents did for me and expose them to beautiful music, then I will have done my job."
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