The Sunday Magazine

Remembering broadcaster Ken Nordine's late-night fusion of spoken word and jazz

For more than 40 years, Ken Nordine hosted a late-night public radio program that blended jazz, spoken word poetry and sound design.
A broadcast of jazz, improvised poetry and sound design drew listeners to Ken Nordine. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

This past month, a radio legend passed away. 

For more than 40 years, Ken Nordine hosted a late-night public radio program called "Word Jazz."

It was a mix of spoken word, poetry and sound design, and Nordine's smooth baritone and unusual way of looking at the world built a small but passionately loyal following.

Nordine died on February 16, at the age of 98.

To honour him, we are replaying a conversation with "Word Jazz" fan and linguistics professor Jack Chambers. 

The Sunday Edition's host Michael Enright spoke with Chambers in 2011, at a time when Nordine was beginning to convert a new generation of fans thanks to the internet. 

Click 'listen' above to hear the interview.


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