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Interviews with leading musicians on today's scene presented by KIOS music hosts.

Remembering Calvin Keys

 Calvin Keys performing at Jazz on the Green in Omaha, Nebraska.
Chris Cooke/KIOS
Calvin Keys performing at Jazz on the Green in Omaha, Nebraska.

Calvin Keys, an internationally acclaimed guitarist who worked with legends such as Ray Charles and Ahmad Jamal, died on April 14th. He was 82.

The cause of death was complications due to a stroke.

Calvin Keys was born February 6, 1942 in Omaha, Nebraska. Keys began playing guitar as a young boy and started touring as a teenager after moving to Kansas City.

He played with the legends of jazz and music such as Ray Charles and Ahmad Jamal, as well as Donald Byrd, Lou Donaldson, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Bennett, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, and countless others.

Keys moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s and later the Bay area in 1975. He became known for such noteworthy recordings as 1971’s Shawn-Neeq and 1974’s Proceed With Caution.

In later years he was a Wide-Hive Records artist and released a number of fine recordings on that label.

Keys returned to his hometown of Omaha on many occasions and performed at Jazz on the Green and other local venues to appreciative audiences.

KIOS Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke interviewed Keys several times. Click on the link to listen to one of the interviews.

Calvin Keys with Chris Cooke.
Calvin Keys with Chris Cooke.

Chris Cooke has been a voice on radio in Omaha since 1988. While at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he studied radio broadcasting, history and religion. Working at KVNO-FM, Cooke hosted a weekend adventuresome jazz show on the station in addition to duties as an on-air announcer on overnights, weekends and holidays. He also worked at KBLZ (the then student-run radio station) as well as KYNE-TV, and The Gateway as a reporter.
In November 1992, Cooke signed on at KIOS-FM and has been there ever since. He has hosted the Tuesday and Thursday editions of Jazz in the Afternoon since 1996 and has also hosted Last Call since that year. A long time fan of jazz music, Cooke enjoys talking with the musicians who make jazz music. He has interviewed Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, David Liebman, Airto Moreira, Jessica Williams and Karrin Allyson, to name a few. While not at the station Cooke maintains a web design consultancy business that has served a number of non-profit and music clients for over 20 years.