Saturday, July 17, 2010

Howard “Flagga” Duperly plays reggae on Florida’s serious jazz radio

Howard “Flagga” Duperly plays strictly reggae on his highly popular three -hour slot, The Reggae Ride, heard on Florida based, mostly jazz, radio station. WDNA 88.9 FM, a non-profit, no commercial radio station, is widely known throughout its reaches as South Florida’s premier jazz station, attests to by its designate, ‘Serious Jazz”.

With its foundation set on jazz, WDNA FM’s programming, however, targets, in the main, habitants of multinational, multi-cultured South Florida in airing a melting pot of music that includes Latin, Brazilian, Indian, Afro pop, and other public-centric genre.

Kingston,Jamaica born Howard Duperly is the Sales and Marketing director at WDNA 88.9FM and he being the main man among colleagues responsible for bringing diverse and innovative programs to the station. One such innovation is the Fine Arts Concert series that couple jazz with photographic and art exhibition, the most recent concert presented Dr. Kathy Brown Trio (Desi Jones, Dale Brown) alongside acclaimed photographer Howard Moss.

The monthly Fine Art concert brings art and jazz lovers together as WDNA radio exhibits artists rarely seen in South Florida.

Reggae Ride

Reggae being one of the multicultural music on the WDNA 88.9FM schedule, “Flagga”, one of reggae’s most knowledgeable personalities, stakes a claim that The Reggae Ride, which he hosts every Saturday, 12-3pm, plays “Reggae the way it ought to be, and music you don’t hear on the average station – if ever.”

A product of the 1960s music, Flagga brings a wealth of first-hand experience to his now worldwide audience. With his ‘old school’ groundings, the radio jock firmly believes that to effectively promote reggae it must be presented in all its forms – ska, rocksteady, roots, and lovers rock – such is The Reggae Ride show, which, he avers, ignores quick profit fluffs that uses rehashed rhythms, lewd and violent elements as a ploy.

Duperly is a graduate of the University of Miami and has spent his career in sales and marketing as an account executive for a number of South Florida radio stations whose formats included big band, classical, jazz, news, R&B, and adult contemporary. He also worked as a print media journalist contributing to several international publications including Caribbean Today where he served as Music and Entertainment Editor.

Except for its recent staging, Flagga, for the past 3-4 years, leads a team of WDNA FM personalities to broadcast their daily, weekly shows live from the Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival.

Flagga believes that WDNA 88.9 FM, the ‘Serious Jazz’ station, draws about 100,000 listeners each week, even as Arbitron, the radio ratings service, estimates the station's audience at closer to 90,000 a week. Additionally, WDNA attracts regular listeners as far away as Moscow, London, Toronto and in Jamaica through its webcasts.

Potentially, "We here in Miami are seeing increased enthusiasm” [for jazz], he says. "In our opinion, we've only started to scratch the surface." Consequently, the non-commercial WDNA 88.9FM, which plays much jazz and a sweep of multi-ethnic music, including reggae, is poised to grow bigger numbers among its South Floridian and International listenership.

Jimmy Cliff unplugged session at NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Jimmy Cliff, Jamaican reggae legend with a mighty stage presence is all gentleness appearing eleven minutes unplugged on the Tiny Desk Concert at the National Public Radio (NPR) Music office in Washington, DC.

Cliff who brought reggae music to millions worldwide is revered for his legendary songs on the soundtrack to the 1972 hit film The Harder They Come He was honoured with an Order of Merit from the Jamaica Government and this year inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Watch Jimmy Cliff on NPR!