Institute alum Tyralucia joins KJAZZ 88.1 FM as newest morning host

The Institute congratulates vocalist, pianist, composer and actor Tyra “Tyralucia” Dennis on her recent selection as the newest morning host on KJAZZ 88.1, the premier jazz and blues radio station in Los Angeles and the #1 full-time jazz and blues station in the country.

While a student at George Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, Dennis participated in the Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom and BeBop to Hip-Hop music education programs, where she studied with renowned artists including DJ Khalil, Dontae Winslow and Yo-Yo. While in BeBop to Hip-Hop, Dennis performed alongside Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and other acclaimed jazz musicians as part of a BET television documentary on the program.

Drawing on the fundamentals she learned from Institute programs, Dennis brings a wealth of experience as a musician and performer to her work as a member of the on-air staff at KJAZZ. She has performed with Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, George Bohannon, Stevie Wonder, Ali Woodson of the Temptations, Jackson Browne, Ray Charles and Slash from Guns N’ Roses, to name a few. She appeared at the Playboy Jazz Festival and in the feature film Dreamgirls, starring Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx.

Dennis can be heard on KJAZZ every Monday through Friday from 6-8 am Pacific, joining a lauded roster of hosts and presenters that includes Mitch Glickman, David Benoit, Gordon Goodwin, John Pizzarelli, and Steve Tyrell. Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff hosts the weekly KJAZZ program ExcursionsRadio, billed as the world’s only jazz and hip-hop radio show.


Widely regarded as Los Angeles’ top jazz and blues radio station, KJAZZ has been broadcasting jazz since 1981. Programmed and supported by the California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation in partnership with Global Jazz, Inc., the station is committed to the promotion and preservation of the rich cultural heritage of jazz and blues through engaging, inspiring and informative programming that satisfies the most dedicated music aficionados, while attracting newcomers of all ages.

About Jazz in the Classroom

The Institute’s worldwide, highly regarded Jazz in the Classroom programs help elementary, middle, high school and college students develop an understanding of and appreciation for jazz music. The initiative shares the positive aspects of jazz with young people who would not otherwise have opportunities to learn about this great national treasure. Through Jazz in the Classroom, the Institute has reached millions of students, teachers, and families, many of whom are experiencing jazz for the first time.

About BeBop to Hip-Hop

BeBop to Hip-Hop is one of the nation’s most innovative public school music education programs. Begun in 2004 in Los Angeles, it brings together jazz and hip-hop students under the direction of professional jazz musicians and hip-hop artists to create original work that incorporates elements of both genres. Aspiring young artists study the latest recording technologies and software, musical dynamics of both jazz and hip-hop, and the historical influence of jazz on hip-hop. They also learn how to produce a professional-level hip-hop track from the ground up – all while absorbing and building upon the rich traditions of Black American music. Jazz students learn to produce cutting-edge sounds, construct beats, and incorporate the hip-hop groove into jazz, while hip-hop students learn how to create and record in a live environment and gain technical skills in music.