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WWFM Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler Goes Exploring “Between the Keys”


WEST WINDSOR –Jed Distler, the first ever artist-in-residence at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) WWFM the Classical Network, has enjoyed a distinguished career as a composer, pianist, writer, lecturer, and curator. Yet one ambition went unfulfilled – until now.

“I wanted to have my own radio show since I was six years old,” Distler said. “I feel like it is a way of sharing my observances, and a way to invite people into my studio and home.”

Distler launched his radio show “Between the Keys” on WWFM in the spring with a special broadcast celebrating the 330th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach with what he calls a “refreshingly inauthentic style” featuring electronic Bach, jazzy Bach, new age Bach, deconstructed Bach, and Romantic Bach. Distler’s debut on WWFM was in every way indicative of his unique approach to music, drawing upon his long and multi-faceted experience as a composer, pianist, reviewer, presenter, and voracious listener.

Jed Distler

New York City-based composer and artist Jed Distler is artist-in-residence and the host of the show "Between the Keys" on WWFM The Classical Network.

“My show is like a controlled free association,” Distler said. “It’s taking a fusion of production values to give the illusion of free-form radio. It’s like jazz – very free, but very strict.”

Distler said his love affair with radio dates back to the 1960s, during the golden age of free-form programming. At the age of 14 he unexpectedly filled in for an absent host at a local college radio station. During the 1990s, Distler frequently appeared as a guest on WFMU in Jersey City, and WNYC and WKCR in New York to play and talk about music. He also helped launch the keyboard music show, “Hammered!,” on New York Public Radio’s Q2, where he was a guest programmer and occasional host.

On WWFM, Distler expects to draw on these experiences to share what he has learned to a wider audience through “Between the Keys.”

“I am pleased and excited to embark on this new adventure,” Distler said. “To share and showcase my work, my passions, my discoveries and my obsessions with a wide, international audience is a dream come true.”

David Osenberg, Music Director for WWFM and host of the program “Cadenza,” said that Distler is an excellent fit with the programming and mission of the station – making classical music more accessible, and in ways that encourages a deeper understanding of the genre.

“Jed will be able to do what WWFM tries to do: make WWFM a bigger part of the arts community,” Osenberg said. “We want to give listeners the music they love, music they don’t know, and to get them exploring. Jed is the artist-in-residence. He can go anywhere he needs to, moving across traditional borders.”

While “Between the Keys” may not be the typical classical music radio program, there is no denying its classical roots. Distler notes that the keyboard has always been central to music and its evolution, and it is his goal to explore that in-depth, and in a way that evokes thought and discussion.

“It’s a show about keyboard music with a very wide range of repertoires and ideas,” Distler said. “The harpsichord, piano, electronic music – it’s my keyboard world as a performer, composer, and reviewer.”

“Between the Keys” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on WWFM The Classical Network. The program can be heard in central New Jersey, the Jersey Shore, and eastern Pennsylvania on 89.1 FM, and in New York City and Philadelphia on 89.9HD2, and worldwide via live streaming at www.wwfm.org. Visit Distler’s website at www.jeddistler.com.

Located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, WWFM is New Jersey’s only 24-hour classical music station and was recently named one of the nation’s top 50 college radio stations by bestcolleges.com.




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