Tony Palkovic (1951 - 2019)

“Tony Palkovic Jazz Show”


Thursdays 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Tony Palkovic was born in Youngstown, Ohio and started playing the trumpet at age 9, first in his grade school band and continuing through high school with the concert and marching band. At the age of 12, Tony became interested in the guitar and played at parties, school dances, and nightclubs throughout his teenage years. Following high school, Palkovic studied music and film at Columbia College in Chicago before transferring to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in composition.

Following his graduation, Palkovic led a jazz-fusion band under his name, which he played with throughout the Midwest, before releasing his first album, Deep Water in 1980. Released to critical fanfare, Deep Water made many top 10 airplay lists on jazz radio stations across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Palkovic moved to the Claremont area in 1983 and continued to record and release albums of original music, including 1983’s Every Moment, 1985’s Born With A Desire, and 2001’s Esoteric. Over the years, Palkovic recorded and toured with world-renowned musicians such as Patrick Moraz, Jimmy Haslip, Ric Fierabracci, Steve Weingart, Doug Lunn, Enzo Todesco, Hans Zurmuelen and Krys Mach; and shared a concert bill with artists like Richard Elliot, Jeff Lorber, Kenny G, The Average White Band, and Weather Report. Palkovic’s playing has also been praised by the likes of Guitar Player and 20th Century Guitar magazine, with Guitar Player commenting, “If you haven't yet heard Tony Palkovic's brand of music, you don't know what you're missing.”

Tony Palkovic began hosting the “Tony Palkovic Jazz Show” on KSPC in January of 1989. Focusing on jazz, the jazz-fusion genre in particular, Palkovic’s show was heard throughout the greater Los Angeles area for nearly 30 years and often featured interviews and live performances with some of the most renowned names in jazz. On Claremont, Tony described the city as, “the last of American culture and that's why I feel at home here." Sadly, Tony passed away on December 16, 2019 at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer. His archived radio shows will continue to be broadcast on Thursdays at noon on KSPC. 

Photography by Althea Sachs