The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, April 20, 2017, Page 4, Image 14

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Pam Trenary hosts her evening jazz show every first and third Wednesday at Coast Community Radio in Astoria.
ASTORIA — Few things
touch the heart of a commu-
nity like a local radio sta-
tion, and Astoria’s KMUN
— the oldest broadcast on
Coast Community Radio —
is no exception. On the air
since 1983, KMUN arose
largely through the work of
One such pioneer of the
local air waves was Pam
Trenary, of Astoria, who has
volunteered at the station
since its inception, and hosts
“Evening Jazz” from 6 to
8 p.m. the first and third
Wednesday of every month.
Trenary never imagined
she would have a radio
show. After the station was
born, however, she began
treating listeners to jazz —
hot, cool and everything in
Jazz history
When she initially took
on the DJ job, she had, at
best, a cursory knowledge
of the genre. But Trenary —
who grew up in Northeast
Portland and now lives in
Astoria with her husband,
Hampton Scudder — came
from a musical family.
“My grandmother played
the piano and actually
supported the family (with
it) during the Depression,”
she said.
Trenary’s mother also
enjoyed jazz, and mother
and daughter would go to
concerts in Portland — on
one occasion seeing Dave
Brubeck, the great jazz pia-
nist, perform.
Trenary also listened
to jazz while attending the
University of Oregon, and
got to know some of the
local musicians who played
in Eugene’s jazz clubs.
“Jazz was coming to
the universities then. I saw
Count Basie there,” she said.
“Going (to U of O) really
opened up my world.”
She admits to having
been an indifferent student
until she became interested
in civil rights. While pre-
paring her fledgling KMUN
jazz show, she drew on that
interest, but Trenary also
steeped herself in jazz.
“I read a lot, listened
and hung out with people
on KMUN’s development
committee,” she said. “They
all had terrific personal jazz
libraries that pretty much
covered the spectrum.”
Her knowledge of jazz
came by listening to others,
and by reading music biog-
raphies and black history.
“Jazz reflects the social
history of this country and
its race relations. You can’t
say it’s a truly black art form
… but we wouldn’t have it
without their contribution,”
she said. “It’s really a fusion
of Western-Euro and African
music traditions which
came together down in New
Personal favorites
The dedicated DJ tends
to play early jazz on her
program. “I tend toward
the swing and blues sides.
Mose Allison’s ‘In My Own
Backyard’ is a favorite, for
example,” she said. “ I’m
also partial to jazz vocals,
often by females, and love
Another favorite is the
American jazz singer Betty
Carter (1929-1998). “She
was a rebel, and I liked the
fact that she had her own
label,” Trenary said, adding:
“Anyone who sings scat
doesn’t like her much. Her
voice is too pretty.”
Not long ago, Trenary
opened her show with The
Manhattan Transfer and Pink
Martini. “I’m also partial
to jazz piano,” she said.
“Actually, I like it all except
for bebop.”
One big challenge of pro-
ducing her show: “Coming
up with listening experienc-
es for people. It takes time to
put a coherent show together
— roughly three to four
hours. I like to have it flow
and feature selections that
tie it all together,” she said.
“I also try not to talk much.”
With featured artists, she
will sometimes offer back-
For Martin Luther King
Jr.’s birthday, for example,
Trenary found a speech
the reverend gave at the
International Jazz Festival
in Munich. “Then I talked
jazz a while and why it’s
culturally important — tried
to give a context to things,”
she said.
So expect Trenary to treat
listeners to great jazz and
share informed insights into
America’s jazz heritage.
Her monthly playlists can
be found at www.coastradio.