Seth Jordan will be drawing on years of music journalism and broadcasting experience when he takes to the Bello Winter Music stage to conduct ‘Conversations with Seth Jordan’. He is interviewing local ‘muso-made-good’ Jack Carty, veteran singer-songwriter Jo Jo Smith and environmentalist Tim Silverwood. Seth is excited about having the opportunity to explore their personal stories and careers, with the promise of some musical entertainment from Jack and Jo Jo. “They are all fascinating people, so should be a very interesting chat,” enthuses Seth.
Seth’s earliest days were spent in Kansas City and it was here that his interest in music began, inspired in part by his mother’s musical passions. “My mother studied classical piano at Julliard School in New York when she was young and she listened to a lot of Eastern European folk music too. She encouraged me to start learning classical violin when I was 6, but I gave it up at age 12 for rock’n’roll drums!” However, despite still having the occasional “bash” on his acoustic double bass affectionately named ‘Burt’, Seth describes himself as more a “professional listener.” His earliest career was in radio broadcasting on Community/Public radio stations in the USA in the early 1970’s. Despite many varied career turns since these early days, Seth’s love of radio broadcasting has continued and has provided this ‘professional listener’ with many amazing experiences. “I once had a phone interview with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. I was quite nervous beforehand, but he was totally cool and we ended up gabbing on for a full hour about his career.” Other career highlights as an interviewer include the late Indian Sitar master Ravi Shankar, legendary American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, veteran Native Canadian folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie and African superstar Youssou N’dour. Of course, not all radio interviews always go to script. “The first time I interviewed African singer Angelique Kidjo I initially got off on the totally wrong foot with her by alluding to the fact that some reviewers felt that her music was becoming more European and slick since she always recorded in Paris. She immediately exploded with a torrent of angry expletives and demanded to know the names of those who had said such things about her! But thankfully she settled down after that and was very interesting and charming,” says Seth.
Seth followed his heart and resettled in Australia in 1978. Very soon he ‘discovered’ Bellingen. “A couple of close friends already lived here and when visiting I immediately loved the region, was interested in its history and enjoyed the laid-back feeling of the place. Having grown up in Kansas I’d always felt at home in rural areas, especially when there’s also local interest in the arts from other like-minded people,” explains Seth. His shift to Australia would also afford Seth new career opportunities. “Here in Australia I found myself being one of the few music journalists/broadcasters specialising in World music and jazz scenes. I had gotten to know a lot of the individual musicians and their personal stories,” says Seth. And so began a new career in music journalism.
More recently he was Content Services Manager at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, programming their national Community Radio Network. Fortunately for us, Seth returned to Bellingen in 2015. ” I’d had enough of the frantic pace of city living and my 9-5 job and was ready to return to what still felt like home. But now I’m busier than ever here!” His current broadcasting gig is on 2BBB – ‘The Tiki Lounge Remix’. “The Tiki Lounge Remix is a revitalized version of an award-winning, nationally-networked program that I first developed from 2004-2008. That followed on from my previous long-running program ‘Radio Babylon’ (1993-2003),” says Seth. The Tiki Lounge receives a grant from the Dept. of Communications via the Community Broadcasting Foundation. The program features World, Indigenous and Jazz music, with in-depth feature interviews with Australian and international musicians, producers, festival organizers and the several regular music correspondents. It is broadcast nationally from our own mud-brick radio station in North Bellingen.
Seth is also a music promoter and has brought several wonderful acts to our region. “I select acts very carefully and only bring the creative ones that I really love! My highlights so far have included Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure, jazz trio The Necks, Rajasthani blues quartet Maru Tarang and roots-reggae singer Nattali Rise. My next presentation will be celebrated Egyptian-Aussie oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros at the Memorial Hall on Friday 11th August.” But if it is this professional and passionate music broadcaster/journalist that you would like to see in action, don’t miss ‘Conversations with Seth Jordan’ at the Bello Winter Music, Saturday 8th July, 11.30 am in the Memorial Hall Bellingen.