Jim Gallert was chosen by “the music” during a Sun Ra performance in 1968. He began broadcasting jazz on WDET-FM, Detroit's NPR outlet, in 1972. He hosted Jazz Yesterday for twenty-one years, and produced Detroit Jazz Alive, a live Jazz show, for three years. He’s been affiliated with the Detroit Jazz Festival since its inception as MC and writer. Jim and his longtime friend, Lars Bjorn, produced and hosted the Jazz Talk Tent at the Festival for nearly thirty years.
Gallert realized that oral histories were vital parts of a musician’s art, and he began interviewing Detroit musicians both on and off the air.
He and Bjorn started collaborating, interviewing musicians and collecting memorabilia. Their thirty years of effort culminated in “Before Motown: A History Of Jazz in Detroit 1920-1960, by Lars Bjorn with Jim Gallert, published in 2001.
He’s written many features on Detroit musicians that are available at www.detroitjazzhistory.com.