Steve Hart – the host of Just Jazz
Steve Hart edits the Just Jazz site and is the host of the Just Jazz radio show that’s broadcast by dozens of FM, DAB, and digital stations worldwide every week.
Steve’s career in the music industry started as a club DJ in 1980. However, by the end of the decade he had developed a passion for writing and began contributing music reviews to his local newspaper. He was soon taken on as a news reporter, and for a while he was a mild-mannered reporter during the day, and beat mixing club DJ by night.
“It was a surreal existence,” says Steve. “I was reporting on local politics, crime, courts, and inquests during the day, and then working three or four nights a week as a fun-loving club DJ winding up the dance floors at top UK venues across Essex, Kent, and London.
“I loved the music, and I loved my job reporting the news. But something had to give, and so by the time the 90s came along I had reduced my DJ commitments, and concentrated on climbing the newsroom ladder to become an editor.”
In the background was 10 years as a volunteer at his local hospital radio station, reading news for the blind – on cassette tapes back then – and there were stints in local radio. First as a tech op for a late-night phone-in show, and then as a news reporter working for both BBC Essex and commercial station Essex Radio.
In addition he hosted breakfast at Basildon Radio “getting up at 6am was no fun”, he was a popular Radio Top Shop announcer for five years, and was heard on some London pirate stations too.
Underneath it all though, was a love of jazz.
“I have always enjoyed listening to jazz, even when I was into house and garage,” says Steve. “I’d buy random CDs of jazz music at HMV – because I didn’t know what to buy – and slowly built up a wide collection. I read books on the history of jazz, and when internet radio came along I saw my opportunity…I started a pre-recorded radio show and offered it to broadcasters.
“I like jazz because for the main part it is unpredictable, real instruments played by real musicians. I particularly enjoy listening to the piano and sax, and my interest ranges from old school boogie-woogie to smooth jazz.
“Right now I am in a sweet spot where my weekly show is heard on almost 100 stations, I get to hear great music from established and emerging artists, and I enjoy sharing their work both on air and on the Just Jazz site.”
Steve was born in the UK, lived in New Zealand for 22 years, and is now based in Melbourne, Australia.