Hometown (and other places lived): Poughkeepsie, NY; Boston, MA; New Haven, CT; Los Angeles, CA.
What would I do for a living if not on air: The other things I already do: composing, performing, teaching.
What do you feel most proud of: My children, Jake and Molly, both of whom are musicians (How did that happen?) and good people.
How do you spend your free time: What is “free time”?
Best thing about living in California: Almost never having to factor the weather into your plans.
Favorite Meal: If I had to pick just one, it’d be that morning my wife and I stood in line for more than two hours at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo to eat the most amazing, delicate, spectacular sushi we’ve ever had. Years later, we still dream about it.
Favorite Piece: Can’t do a favorite piece, but I can give you some favorite composers. Igor Stravinsky, Caroline Shaw, J.S. Bach, Reena Esmail, Gustav Mahler, and Julia Wolfe.
Passion for: Double Stuf Oreos.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why: Antarctica. The photos and videos I’ve seen of it are absolutely stunning, there’s no place like it on earth, and I’d really love to be able to say I’ve visited all seven continents.
Best thing about living in the California: I’m supposed to say, “the weather,” here…and, sure, it’s pretty great. But what I love most about living in Southern California are the people. Los Angeles is the most diverse city in the world and you really feel that every single day. We have so much to learn from one another and living in close proximity to people from so many different cultural backgrounds truly reinforces that we share more than divides us and that we’re all in this together.
Hometown: Oakland, CA.
Quote: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” -Sophia Loren.
Vacation: a summer week on Lake Tahoe.
No one would guess: I hate vegetables.
Jennifer Miller Hammel
Hometown and/or other places lived: I call Virginia Beach, VA my home, but we moved a lot when I was kid since my dad was in the Navy. I also really loved living in Rhode Island and the DC area while growing up.
Favorite Piece: There’s so many! It’s like trying to pick your favorite child. But if I had to pick one that especially resonates with me it would be the Tuba mirum from the Berlioz Requiem. I sang this work my first year in graduate school at Westminster Choir College with the New York Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall, complete with double brass choir. The feeling in my chest when the brass kicks in for the first time is indescribable.
Most unusual prior job (and probably the thing no one would guess about me): I wrote video game reviews, walkthroughs, and conducted interviews with game developers and composers for an online video game magazine for nearly ten years. I even had the opportunity cover the E3 gaming convention in 2005!
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why: I have a passion for ancient archeological sites, like Machu Picchu and the Coliseum. I blame watching Indiana Jones and The Voyage of the Mimi when I was a kid. I would love to do a world tour to visit some of these. There’s something about being able to physically touch an ancient object or building that I find fascinating.
How do you spend your free time: I’m an avid fan of video games, comic books, and the accompanying television shows and movies. My radio and singing careers keep me busy, but when I do find some free time I like to keep up with the latest in pop culture.
What do you feel most proud of: By becoming part of the KUSC family, I’ve been able to blend my love for music and radio. I consider it a huge honor to be part of this community. I still pinch myself every time I head into the studio.
Favorite sport: Baseball.
Favorite meal: Hog dogs during Detroit Tigers games.
Favorite quote: “A ship is being in jail with the chance of being drowned.” (Samuel Johnson) tied with: “A meeting is a dark alley down which ideas are lured then quietly strangled.” (Sir Barnett Cocks)
Most unusual prior job: Chairman of the English Department, Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science.
Best thing about LA: It leaves you alone.
John Van Driel
Home or other places lived: I was born and raised in Edmonton Alberta, the youngest of 6 that emigrated to Canada from the Netherland the same year I was born. I’ve spent the last 38 years in Toronto and moved to California in 2016.
Most unusual prior jobs: As a student I had some rather unusual summer job, working on a pig farm, a sheep farm and a cattle ranch in the Rockies. Eventually I moved on to spend a summer as a garbage man and installing sewer pipes in a new housing development, not glamorous but it paid for college.
Favorite Vacation: 2 weeks on the beach of the Florida Gulf coast, perfect mix of surf, sun and sand.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to try: I’ve always wanted to try skydiving. The thought is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
Best things about living in Southern California: The weather is perfect and the is so much to see and do. Never a dull moment.
Hometown and/or other places lived: Formative years just north of NYC in Hawthorne. Wild and crazy years just west of Woodstock in a town of 300 called Oliverea.
Favorite Quote: Yeats’ The Second Coming: ” The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”
Favorite Vacation: Japan or Fiji
Passion for: SCUBA (former instructor)
Best thing about living in the Southern California: Bird of Paradise plants. They’re everywhere! Like weeds!
Hometown and/or other places lived: I’m a New Yorker with California rising. A city girl with a country heart.
Most unusual prior job: Wardrobe stylist for television commercials
If you won the lottery, what would you do: Dust off my guitar, take voice lessons, write a song a week for a year, and hit the road as a folk musician
What’s something you’ve always wanted to try: Learning lots of languages.
Best thing about living in the California: Music, food…..and hiking. So many miles to cover!
Favorite Meal: I’m partial to Dim Sum.
Favorite Quote: “You know, this is…excuse me…a damn fine cup of coffee” – Agent Dale Cooper
Favorite Vacation: Kauai (South Shore)
Passion for: Kauai (South Shore)
Most unusual prior job: This profession is unusual enough.