WDCB brings back ‘Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis’

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis is in and Rick O’Dell’s “Sunday Jazz Brunch” is out as WDCB FM 90.9 revamps its Sunday jazz lineup for the new year.

Starting January 4, the College of DuPage public radio station will present “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis,” rebroadcasts of the series spotlighting the music of the world’s greatest jazz instrumentalists and vocalists. It will air from noon to 2 p.m. Sundays.

“Anytime we can bring someone of Ramsey’s caliber onboard at WDCB, it’s a big deal,” station manager Dan Bindert said in a statement. “As a musician, on the radio and through his continuing work at Ravinia, Ramsey is one of the most visible and beloved jazz names in Chicago. And his ‘Legends of Jazz’ program has always been an excellent production that allows Ramsey to demonstrate the depth and breadth of his musical knowledge.”

Lewis, the Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer, began hosting the “Legends of Jazz” series in 1997 during his stint as morning personality on former smooth jazz WNUA FM 95.5. The weekly show eventually aired in dozens of cities and was rebroadcast until 2012 on Chicago’s Smooth 87.7FM, the smooth jazz station on the former WLFM LP 87.7.

Rick O'Dell

Rick O’Dell

Leaving the WDCB lineup is O’Dell’s “Sunday Jazz Brunch,” which has been airing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays since last February. Calling it “a difficult decision,” O’Dell said he chose to cease production of the show due to the demands of his new job as operations manager of “The Groove,” a contemporary jazz outlet on 103.9 FM, a broadcast translator licensed to Windy City Broadcasting. O’Dell also continues to own and operate SmoothJazzChicago.net, a 24/7 Internet station.

The final broadcast of “Sunday Jazz Brunch” will be this weekend. As of January 4, WDCB’s Sunday lineup will feature Dona Mullen’s “DCB Jazz” from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis” from noon to 2 p.m.