The Jazz Deli

Every Saturday 10:00AM - 12:00 Noon Live - HD2 - Eastern Time


(Image courtesy ~ Judy Kirtley)

Russ is very excited to launch “The Jazz Deli with Russ Kassoff” on WFDU HD2. He is a lifelong student of all things. Growing up his radio heroes included all the personalities that brought you what is now known as the Great American Songbook on WNEW AM 1130 in NY and later WQEW 1560. These hosts included Steve Allen, William B Williams, Jim Lowe, Stan Martin, Ted Brown, Klavin and Finch, Al “Jazzbo” Collins to name a few. Today his radio gurus are Jonathan Schwartz, Michael Bourne, the entire WBGO cast of jazz hosts and of course our very own Lise Avery here at WFDU who maintains the most eclectic all-encompassing, fun music program of all - Anything Goes!

Russ plans to share his recordings going all the way back to childhood and beyond, some no longer in release, recordings of performers both instrumental and vocal who he is somewhat connected to, bring you new discoveries, play his own specially recorded live piano versions of songs you know and many you don’t, and have live performances and interviews with folks in his unique world who otherwise aren’t heard on the radio very often.

Each week Russ will include Frank Sinatra, and there will often be a dedication or two. His main goal is to bring some laughter into your hearts, minds, homes and cars through his music, and provide a joyful positive start of your Saturday mornings to help carry you through the weekend!!!

Russ Kassoff is an accomplished jazz pianist, conductor, composer, orchestrator, and arranger, whose varied talents are much valued and on display in the music world.  Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra by request from '80-'91 including "The Ultimate Event Tour" ('88-'89) featuring Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli with whom he toured for 18 years ('82-'01). On Broadway he was MD/Conductor for Twyla Tharp's "Come Fly Away"  (2010) and was conductor/pianist for Charles Aznavour in concert (’98). Currently he serves as music director to Rita Moreno. Russ has appeared with Tony winner Debbie Gravitte since 2001 and in 2012 was music director for a touching gala event for the Pasadena Symphony & Pops in tribute to and in memory of Marvin Hamlisch. Russ will perform with his trio for the 11th annual JazzPA music festival on July 25 in Bellefonte, PA featuring Master Guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Russ has served as music director of this festival throughout its history. In 2007 Russ appeared as a featured guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR as a result of the release of his critically acclaimed CD “SOMEWHERE”. In addition to being music director of numerous events, he has accompanied Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Charles Aznavour, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Vic Damone, Carly Simon and Luciano Pavarotti in a lifetime career of spectacular concerts, to name a few. In the jazz world he has enjoyed a 30+ year association with Bucky Pizzarelli and has recorded with the likes of Red Norvo, Chris Connor, Mimi Hines, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and Sylvia Syms. He currently can be heard several times a year at the Knickerbocker in NYC with various personnel and leads his own Big Band - The RKBB - in concert annually at the John Birks Gillespie auditorium in the Bahai Center, and at Midday Jazz at Saint Peters in the Citicorp Center - all in NYC. His current CD "BIRD FLY BY" was in the top 10 for 52 weeks and achieved #1 status in 2010 on the Jazz channel of Music Choice. In the words of the Chairman of the Board, “You are the best.” - Frank Sinatra, ‘87

Please visit for additional bio information and please visit the Celebrity Deli Wall of Fame!

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Latest from WFDU General Manager, Kenny O'Boyle

Hello everyone! 

I hope you and your loved ones are safe, healthy and managing okay during these unprecedented times.

I wanted to give you all an update, but unfortunately there is not much to update you on. The question I get more than any other from our staff and listeners is, “When will WFDU be able to resume normal, live programming?” Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to this question. Logically, I would have to assume that WFDU Staff will not be allowed back inside the station until the government stay at home restrictions are lifted. Who knows when that will be? Even when those restrictions are lifted, it’s still ultimately up to the university.

What can we do and what are we doing?

We are now accepting new material and recordings of past shows for our programs on HD2 and will begin airing those ASAP 

I speak on behalf of the entire staff and I’m sure many of you too when I say we all can’t wait to return to normal. We all miss doing our shows and most of all, interacting with you! Please be patient. We all have to be. 

I very much appreciate all of the listeners that have reached out via email, phone or Facebook. Overwhelmingly, the messages are positive and appreciative that WFDU is still on the air even in this limited capacity. It warms my heart to hear that WFDU can be a source of comfort during all of this.  

If you would like to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns, please do.

Phone: 201-692-2806 (Leave a message)

Keep listening and thanks for supporting WFDU!


- Kenny