Bobby Hill interview, 2021-06-05
Scope and Contents
D.C. Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. DCOHC is a project of DC Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, and indexes produced by DCOHC grantees.
- Creation: 2021-06-05
- Hill, Bobby (Person)
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
Bobby Hill is a concert impresario and radio producer (WPFW Jazz and Justice station). He has a long history of radio presentations in the DMV area, counting over 40 years on air. He did four years as a student DJ at St. Mary’s College in Southern Maryland, 33 years at WPFW in the District, and is currently presenting “This! Music” weekly programming on WOWD. When he’s not broadcasting jazz, he’s presenting it on various DMV stages. In 1997, Hill co-founded Transparent Productions, an all-volunteer promotion company that routinely attracts world-class improvisers to area listening rooms by routing every ticket dollar directly to the players. “I love these musicians, and I think they're owed everything,” Hill says. “I love the music and I get to see music that may not otherwise be.” Transparent Productions has been presenting at Rhizome DC in Takoma Park for past five years.
From the Collection: 855 Gigabytes
Bobby Hill talks about being born in Washington, D.C. when the city was predominantly Black. He went to school in Powell Elementary and was interested in basketball and athletics at large. While in St. Mary’s College studying business, he starts to DJ for the student station. After graduating college, Bobby returns to D.C. and starts to go to many jazz events at DC Space, Bohemian Caverns, and other D.C. venues. He soon lands a gig helping at the famous WPFW Jazz and Justice station and this starts his 33-year tenure as a DJ and music presenter at the station. He presented instrumental sounds of Public Enemy, local/ global hip-hop and jazz music. Bobby remembers how Transparent Productions formed after District Curators (with Bill Warrell and others) were phasing out their musical presentations in 1997. Since then, this group presented in various venues around the DMV area and Rhizome DC has been home for those events since its inception in 2016. Bobby talks about the space of Rhizome DC and how its indoor and outdoor spaces provided good landing for jazz presentations and more.