Dan is an award-winning saxophone player originally from Kansas. He has performed jazz, Latin jazz, salsa/merengue and R&B music throughout the Midwest in a variety of groups and venues.
He studied at the University of Kansas and has degrees in Liberal Arts and Accounting. Dan also has a background in Kansas college radio at both 88.1 KBCU and 90.7 KJHK and has spun salsa music for many of Salsa Central Denver’s events in years past.
A native of Colorado, Bernie Brink is an accomplished jazz pianist and has been performing and teaching music for over a decade. Bernie received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Colorado College, and his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. He has performed in several cities and groups across the U.S., and since returning to Colorado Springs has appeared with many local groups and musicians, including the Hennessy 6, and is currently forming his own groups.
“As a kid, I fell in love with jazz for its syncopation and rhythmic interest, as well as the rich harmony,” says Bernie. “As a practitioner, I love the sense of history and interconnectedness that is inherent in the music. It’s also very demanding in terms of musical understanding, knowing how all the various elements and permutations of melody, harmony, and rhythm fit together and interact. But the beauty is that this leads to a world of possibility on the bandstand and opens new modes of communication between musicians and listeners.”
Bernie is excited to share his understanding and passion with everyone at Jazz 93.5. He says, “I’m thrilled that Colorado Springs has a great jazz station now, Jazz 93.5 is among the best I’ve heard and they offer a great variety of music. It’s an excellent platform for listeners of all stripes to hook in and discover music that they love.”
Chantil studied jazz piano from a young age and graduated from the University of Miami in 2014. Chantil stayed in Miami for 4 years after graduating; performing at many different locations around the South Florida region including South Beach, Miami Proper and Key Largo.
Tony Exum Jr hails from Colorado Springs but was raised in Germany, Biloxi, Mississippi, New Orleans and Phoenix due to his military upbringing. Tony is a national recording artist who began the saxophone at the age of 11.
KCME Weekday Late Afternoon Host and Jazz 93.5 On-Air Host Special Program Host: The King of Instruments, Sunday 7:30 p.m. Simon Jacobs was born in Cornwall, UK, and has lived and worked in the United States since 2007. He holds a Master of Music from Cambridge University, UK, and a masters in Choral Conducting from Yale University. Beginning his forays into radio as a child, he would tape his own “radio shows” and play them during mealtimes to “delight” his family. He has a lifelong love of the medium, and is honored to be working for both stations, presenting great music to the community.
John hails from west-central Ohio, where he was placed into formal classical piano training at the age of four as a constructive diversion from playing video games. He studied Communication at the University of Cincinnati, and also enjoyed coursework in the College-Conservatory of Music’s Electronic Media Department there.
Jeff was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1961. His family moved to Colorado Springs when he was two months old, so he is as close to a native as he could get. He went through school in District 11, graduating from Palmer High School in 1979.
Jeff has his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and his Masters Degree in Voice Performance (with a secondary emphasis in Choral Conducting and Literature) from the University of Northern Colorado (Go Bears!!). He has been conducting choirs in the public schools for almost 34 years. Jeff is currently the Director of Choirs and Performing Arts Department Chair at William J Palmer High School in the heart of Colorado Springs.
Jeff has been fortunate enough to receive the Rotary Diamond Award, and the Colorado Springs Chorale Society Peak Educator of the Year award. His award-winning choirs have performed in Elitch's, California (Disneyland), New Orleans, and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He sings and plays keyboard, guitar and bass. Jeff is also a published composer/arranger. He is currently chair of the Colorado High School All-State Jazz Choirs, and has worked with members of The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, True North, Kate Reid, and other nationally and internationally known vocal jazz singers/educators/clinicians.
Jeff is also on the board of the Colorado High School All-State Choirs, and the Colorado Music Educator’s Association.
Jeff is married to Kristi, and has two amazing children - Ethan and Mackenzie.
Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, JJ Sechan began his musical studies with jazz saxophone at the age of ten. After switching to bassoon in high school, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School and an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Judith LeClair and George Sakakeeny. JJ moved to Colorado in 2016 to perform with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic, and Opera Colorado orchestras. Recent season highlights included a tour to the Kennedy Center for the Shift Festival of American Orchestras, a performance Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain with Nicholas Payton, and a solo appearance with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.
In addition to performing, JJ is intensely dedicated to reshaping the landscape of music education in Colorado Springs. He recently created a socially distanced, convenient, small ensemble program called Chamber Music Days. Since its launch July, the program has grown to safely host 15 ensembles and provide a much-needed sense of musical normalcy to more than 60 participants.
Through his faculty positions at UCCS and CSU-Pueblo, JJ premiered pianist Reggie Berg’s jazz-inspired Bassoon Sonata in 2019, which lead to his wonderfully unlikely position as a radio host at Jazz 93.5. Later that year he also began hosting KCME’s Strike Up the Band, airing Fridays at noon.
When not playing bassoon, teaching, or making radio shows, JJ likes to run, bike, and cook. He has tried making the perfect Jewish brisket for the holidays four times previously and is pretty darn confident that THIS time he will get it right.
Keith Simon, a native of Southeast Texas, moved to Colorado Springs with his wife, Melissa, in 1997. A graduate of Lamar University with a Bachelor’s Degree is Mass Communication, Keith landed his first radio job in 1984 and has been hooked on broadcasting ever since.
Robyn is an experienced leader and broadcasting executive who loves to see the transformative power of music in the community.
Born in St. Louis, Robyn has lived internationally and throughout the US, moving with her husband as he served as an officer in the US Air Force, landing them in Colorado Springs. Robyn and her husband Chris, have 3 sons and 1 precocious Yorkie, enjoying life in beautiful Colorado Springs.