For those who don’t know about Denton, its time to find out. It’s a small town about 30 minutes north of Dallas and is home to the nation’s largest, and most distinguished music program – the University of North Texas. Their ‘1-O’clock’ jazz band is world renowned, and truly the gold standard for undergraduate jazz performance.

This music program, which started long ago with a music education focus, has turned Denton into a music mecca. The list of well-known artists that have come from Denton is pretty staggering (if any of you read this, we’d love to hear from you). It of course has a live music scene to match that. I had the pleasure of getting a good taste of the scene.
Spent a great couple hours talking with a group of music students – many thanks to my gracious host, Dr. John Murphy – tenor saxophonist, ethnomusicologist and self-described techie… As always, it’s great to just be around young folks with a passion for music. I hope I have the chance to talk with more college audience on the road trip – it’s like a pit stop… recharges the engines. Paused on my way out at the department’s archive room to load up on the best student ensemble recordings from that last 10 years. Treasure trove of great music discovery for jazz lovers… can’t wait to get that into the Genome.
Drove into town that evening and had a great meetup at the Flying Tomato. Great conversation with Patrick, David, Collin, Beth, Tim, Zev, long timer Mr. Joe and Greg. Thanks to all for coming – got a good tutorial in Denton music history and shared ideas for where we should take Pandora Media Inc. I continue to be struck by the friendliness and warmth around the state.
That evening I was treated to two excellent bands at Dan’s Silver Leaf. Dan is a generous patron of the local music scene, dedicated to providing a venue for new artists and supporting the scene. Oso Closo launched the evening – 5-piece band with some great songwriting and arranging – brought Queen to mind. The headliner, local funk-jazz outfit Snarky Puppy was celebrating their CD release party. All UNT students, 4 piece horn section, backed by a slammin’ rhythm section. It’s a real pleasure to hear fusion music. Some serious chops, but also an effort to write interesting songs. Particularly impressed with the bandleader Mike, on bass. He was all over that thing. They’ll soon be in the genome (as will Oso when their CD comes out… get on it guys).
Left in the early morning hours, ears ringing (again)… but inspired.


  1. Jonathan
    March 27, 2006 at 10:13am
    That's Oso Closo. Also at
  2. K
    March 27, 2006 at 2:15pm
    isn't Denton the Heart of Happiness?
  3. Tim Westergren
    March 27, 2006 at 2:23pm
    Oops, sorry 'bout that. I'll correct it. T>
  4. Senhor abilboalbo
    March 27, 2006 at 6:15pm
    is pandora an marketing weapon working for the record industries?
  5. Tim Westergren
    March 27, 2006 at 11:09pm
    It's definitely a marketing weapon for the record industy... if by the 'record industry' you mean anyone who's ever made a record... T.
  6. Mary
    March 29, 2006 at 1:08pm
    Hey! I'm in Denton. I wish I'd have known y'all were around. Gotta love all the musicians up here! Way to pick a KILLER place to check out the music scene.
  7. shaw
    April 02, 2006 at 12:49am
    zup homies? i wana thank you for giving us free listening 2 ur station. more power and Gobless.. ur da best.
  8. cb
    May 03, 2006 at 4:09pm
    NTSU, as it was known then, had a mildly famous group come out of there, namely Blood, Sweat & Tears. They were the 1 O'Clock lab band back in the mid-60's. The campus radio station, KNTU, plays jazz almost 24/7. Since I'm a real estate appraiser based out of McKinney (30 miles E of Denton) and I spend hours on end in my car, I only listen to KNTU. Great stuff. Glad to hear you had a chance to visit. I'll have to check out the stream when I'm writing up my reports.
  9. Mister Joe
    May 25, 2006 at 7:01am
    Hey, Tim. The Mister Joe CD, Welcome to My Hat, that I mailed in has been lost or tossed. When I ask for it, they don't have a clue. Mister Joe
  10. Rob Jameson
    June 12, 2006 at 7:01am
    In Denton their is a guitarist of virtuoso status by the name of Andy Timmons. If you have not heard of him please take a listen, he is (in my opinion) on the same level as the master, Joe Satriani. Please make it possible for his music to be availiable on this "most wonderful" site you have here. Thanks for the music. Rob Jameson
  11. Robert
    July 10, 2006 at 10:01pm
    The Roches had a great album in 1995 called "Can We Go Home Now?" with the title track and "The Coat" being favorite songs - but I can't find it in your archives to add to a station. Thanks. (Also - might there be a way to make a comment from your "Guide Us" button section?...Also, could you make it easier to "guide you" - right now it takes a lot of clicks. Thanks again.
  12. Christopher Steininger
    July 26, 2006 at 7:40pm
    Denton, Texas. Home of one of the best punk rock bands you've never heard of... The Riverboat Gamblers. They live by the way of Austin now, but you owe it to yourself to see them live. They will be opening for Rollins Band in Houston at The Meridian... Check 'em out... you won't regret it. Much thanks to Jason Gagnon for turning we on to them... and thanks to Pandora for having them to listen to.
  13. Stephanie
    August 15, 2006 at 10:21am
    Denton Rocks! It's one of my favorite cities in the state! Another really AMAZING local band from around here is Autoescape. They are SO very good and the guys are some of the best musicians I've ever met. Check 'em out!
  14. Norma
    December 21, 2006 at 12:34pm
    I live in Denton and am a member of the New Horizons Band at the Senior Center. Our director is from UNT, and she's great. The next time you are in Denton you should check out our band. Norma
  15. Laura
    April 07, 2007 at 12:05am
    Hey! Sorry I missed ya'll I hope you come back soon!!! Btw, Oso Closo's CD Release party is coming up!
  16. linsey
    June 08, 2007 at 4:36pm
    au contraire is a local band in wichita falls they are playing in denton the 13th of july at j&j pizza w/Alex p. Keaton and the Pyramid Scheme. They are a really great band just trying to make it in a small town. You should catch it out if you can.
  17. linsey
    June 08, 2007 at 4:39pm
    catch au contraire at
  18. Terri
    August 17, 2007 at 6:52pm
    Brave Combo has several grammies under their belt and boast Denton as their home! Nuclear Polka ROCKS!
  19. Marissa
    February 19, 2008 at 3:35pm
    That's awesome that you came to denton. I just moved here, so I was wondering if y'all were coming back soon...?
  20. Alyssa
    June 23, 2009 at 12:29am
    I was raised in Denton. Lived there for 14 years. Im glad my town made a positive impression on you. It definately has its own vibe, and its nice to know someone appreciates it.
  21. Carol
    February 09, 2011 at 9:53am
    Greetings Tim, I am a local Denton girl and I just wanted to tell you that i love your radio station and your great spirit in providing such a wonderful service. This little jewel has gotten me through some tough times as of late. Thanks, I just got an Iphone and am looking forward to taking my Pandora mobily..If that is such a word. Thanks tim and Pandora for what you do. Sincerely, Carol

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Please complete all required fields.
Required fields marked with *. No worries, your email address will not be published.
Leave a reply