Since 2009, the Lobero has partnered with independent radio station KCSB-FM 91.9, striving to bring quality programming and events to the Central Coast.
The two organizations work to bring members of the 805 together to enjoy esoteric and educational experiences, engage with their local arts community, and provide cultural and artistic enrichment.
KCSB’s story began in the cramped, stuffy dorm room of UCSB sophomore Bill Harrison. In quintessential college student fashion, he and his friends decided to procrastinate their studying and tinker with the creation of an AM radio transmission. This transmission, which they fondly named “Navajo Radio” after their second-floor dormitory hall, would later blossom into a full-fledged FM radio station, to be licensed by the FCC in 1964. In the following years, the station would relocate to cozy studios that lie underneath the iconic Storke Tower and provide students and community members alike the opportunity to become FM radio deejays. The station began reeling in creatives and intellectuals from the surrounding community, rapidly expanding its repertoire of radio show hosts and broadcasting 24 hours-a-day. Designated as a noncommercial, educational radio station, KCSB sought to provide quality programming which was alternative, enriching, and inclusive – a mission that still drives the station today.
A freeform radio station, KCSB prides itself on giving its programmers the creative freedom to take their shows to their imagination’s limit. Deejays have two hours to, essentially, do with what they want, given that they follow FCC Guidelines and the station’s Mission Statement. One such deejay is Stanley Naftaly, whose show, “Jazz Straight Ahead”, became a KCSB-FM mainstay for twenty-seven consecutive years on the air. A jazz junkie, Naftlay quickly became a regular at the Jazz at the Lobero series shows and forged friendships with both patrons and staff of our beloved venue. He interviewed several performers on his radio show, chatted with artists for the Lobero blog, and was even brought on stage before a concert to share anecdotes and tales about jazz! Acting as a representative for KCSB-FM, he and Executive Director, David Asbell, decided to have the station act as a media sponsor for the theater. Of the partnership, Stanley commented, “Jazz is one of the most organic art forms – which makes it fitting that it helped form a relationship between the Lobero and KCSB-FM. It all happened very organically, through a mutual passion for music, the arts, and jazz”.
To this day, KCSB-FM remains a media sponsor for the Lobero Theatre. Together, the two organizations work to co-promote one another’s events to a broader audience, creating the space to engage with the 805 community and form a more robust coalition of nonprofit arts organizations. The station also gives its listenership the opportunity to win free tickets to exclusive Lobero concerts and events! Through such opportunities, KCSB is able to provide its’ audience with the opportunity to attend events that align with their programming and do so in a way that makes these events accessible to all listeners. More broadly, however, the two cultural institutions work diligently to bridge the gap between the downtown Santa Barbara arts community and that of the UCSB campus.
Aside from collaborating on the promotion of events, KCSB-ers are active attendees of Lobero shows and even help spin tunes at our events. Several deejays have helped us kick off the party at Lobero LIVE VIP receptions, such as Ted Coe, host of “Freak Power Ticket” (Mondays 11 AM-12:30 PM) and Darla Bea, host of “Rock It Properly” (Sundays 8-10 PM). Other KCSB-FM radio show hosts have simply been introduced to the theater via their involvement at the station, and can frequently be spotted taking advantage of staff passes to Lobero concerts and events.
Around the time that I started working at KCSB, I went to a few shows at the Lobero and became really interested in making the Lobero my “spot”. It’s such an intimate venue, the acoustics are so great, it’s such an aesthetically beautiful setting to have a show, the artists seem to love it, and the caliber of talent was blowing my mind. Why go anywhere else? – Greg Brown, host of “American Roots Radio”, Saturday 9-11 AM
Did you know?
KCSB is the only licensed radio station in U.S. history to be shut down by police. The station was ordered off the airwaves after they were said to be causing “civil unrest” due to their reporting on the 1970 Isla Vista riots. Student activists gathered to protest the Vietnam War, slum conditions, over-policing, anti-corporatism – which would end in the historic burning of the Isla Vista Bank of America branch. The shutdown was found to be illegal and was soon rectified, but it remains a testament to KCSB’s dedication to free speech and to serving their community.
Pictured below: (1) KCSB Advisor Jennifer Kiser (left) and DJ Greg Brown (right) enjoy backstage perks with Bayou soul artist Marc Broussard (center). Brown also interviewed Broussard on his radio show “American Roots Radio”.
(2) Greg Brown (right), KCSB-FM deejay, enjoys a Lobero LIVE VIP pre-show reception with friends.
(3) Jesse Felix (left) chats with Latin soul icon Poncho Sanchez (right) after his debut on the Lobero stage. He later interviewed Sanchez on his radio show “¡Muévelas!”, on KCSB-FM 91.9 Tuesday mornings from 6-8 AM.