Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP, is Columbus' 24 hour jazz radio station and number #1 low-power FM (LPFM) community radio station in Ohio, serving over 1.1 million residents in Central Ohio. This website is the official radio station website for Jazz 98.5 FM.
In November 2013, the Columbus Jazz Alliance (formerly SEMM Foundation) applied to the FCC for an LPFM license to create a 24 hour jazz format station to provide educational content and broadcast services to the community in the absence of having no jazz radio station in Central Ohio, as well as to replace the previous time shared, twelve hour pilot jazz programming SEMM Foundation created on a separate station.
SEMM Foundation was granted a Construction Permit to build the station on October 10, 2014. On, January 12, 2017, the FCC granted SEMM Foundation a license to broadcast as Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP. Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP, is a listener supported, non-commercial radio station, owned by the Columbus Jazz Alliance (formerly SEMM Foundation), a 501 (c3) non-profit organization. We serve and support the educational and music needs of the Columbus area and communities in which our signal is received. We rely on donations and underwriting announcements from our listeners and community to meet our operational costs.
We offer a variety of great jazz music programming 24 hours each day, including the music of our own Homegrown local musicians that you will not find anywhere else with the same regularity. Our younger listeners have discovered that jazz music is not just the music of their mothers, fathers and grandparents. We invite you to discover the music and discover the new Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP.
Our thanks to you for supporting us, telling others about us, and more importantly, for allowing us to come into your home, office, your vehicle and life.
The mission of the Columbus Jazz Alliance (formerly SEMM Foundation) and Jazz 98.5 FM is to keep the art of jazz music alive through education, promotion and support of our students, community, musicians, venues, listeners and supporters.
More Jazz 98.5 FM Facts
Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP is committed to supporting community events, music education, musicians and the music that has been overlooked or under represented by other radio media. We rely on the work of volunteers for our operations and administration.
Individuals interested in volunteering, please click here.
Financial donations and gifts of property or broadcast equipment are welcome. Underwriting opportunities are available to individuals, businesses and other organizations. For more information regarding donations and underwriting only, please contact us here .
A Word About Our Programming
We asked listeners to play a role in selecting the types of jazz they like most. In short, we asked how you'd like your jazz brewed. There are over 30 different names given to describe jazz and the sub-genres that have grown out of the various styles that have developed over the years. Listeners completed a survey selecting the various forms of jazz they would like for Jazz 98.5 to play and below are the results.
We gave listeners a choice of 30 styles to choose from with the ability to add a version not listed. Although debated, from a novice's viewpoint, many styles closely resemble each other and because some names actually refer to describing the same sub-genre, we combined the styles into three basic groups. We grouped the various styles together if we believed them to be somewhat similar. The styles were grouped into what some refer to as CLASSIC JAZZ, SMOOTH/CONTEMPORARY JAZZ and the remaining styles into an OTHER JAZZ category.
More importantly, the survey helped confirm our idea to develop our Live Hosted jazz music shows and programming around the different sub-genres. We invite and encourage you to tune into the different hosted shows throughout the week to enjoy jazz brewed just the way you like it and also tune into other shows to allow us to brew another style we're confident you'll discover and enjoy.
Our approach is not any more scientific than we've described. In only one response we received, there was the suggestion that we not play a certain sub-genre ... Don't play this jazz or that jazz, etc. We hope listeners will enjoy the whole jazz experience, be receptive to listening to other styles without condemning the others.
Here's the breakdown of what Columbus prefers
Classic Jazz Styles
Smooth/Contemporary Jazz Styles
Other Jazz Styles Combined
Do the results above mean that Columbus and Central Ohio is a Smooth/Contemporary Jazz kind of town?
You be the judge!
Don't worry, we play it all!
Thank you for discovering us and allowing us to come into your home, car and life.
Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX