Jazz + Popular Music
Ken Poston not only teaches in the Music Department at CSULB but he is also the Director of the Los Angeles Jazz Institute. Ken's musical career began in his native Kansas City where he attended the nearby University of Kansas to study music. After graduation he was named the Executive Director of The Kansas City Jazz Commission with the mission to preserve the city's jazz heritage and promote its future. In this role he started a local jazz magazine (JAM), initiated a Kansas City jazz oral history project, began teaching jazz history at local universities, hosted a weekly jazz radio program on KCUR-FM, and produced a number of jazz concerts and festivals.
In 1987 he relocated to Los Angeles and joined the nationally recognized KLON as the Director of Concert Productions. During his eleven years at KLON, he produced well over 100 concerts and festivals including a 50th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, a 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Lighthouse All-Stars, the Back to Balboa-Stan Kenton Celebration, Jazz West Coast, Blowin' Up A Storm, Central Avenue Revisited, The Jazz Composers Workshop, and the annual Long Beach Blues Festival and Jazz and Blues Club Caravans.
In addition to his concert production activities, Ken was also an on-air personality, hosting the popular Portraits in Jazz program, which became a Saturday morning mainstay on the Los Angeles radio dial. In addition to Portraits in Jazz, he also hosted a program for EuroJazz radio that was broadcast throughout Europe. He has also written and produced many programs for national broadcast in the United States.
Recognized as one of the foremost concert producers presenting jazz today, he has also served as the Artistic Director of the Hollywood Arts Council's Jazz Pilgrimage and has produced numerous events throughout the Los Angeles area including the Early Autumn Woody Herman Celebration, Modern Sounds, A celebration of the Great Jazz Arrangers, Jazz West Coast II, Way Out West, Groovin' High, and Cool and Crazy. Ken has also produced various jazz events throughout the US and in parts of Europe, most notably a Jazz West Coast celebration at London's famed Royal Albert Hall. He has also served as the Director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival and produced events in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis, and San Francisco. Poston is also recognized as a jazz historian and an authority on the history of jazz on the west coast.
He has taught and lectured widely and is also currently an instructor at UCLA. He has produced several recordings and written numerous liner notes for a variety of projects. Poston also collaborated with the late Gerry Mulligan on his soon to be published autobiography.