Liner Notes: Songs from Cloud 9 is a weekend program bringing happy and relaxing tidings for your afternoon listening pleasure. Three hours of human-curated, tasty tracks aimed at leaving you feeling joyful, revitalized, and uplifted.

Nicole D’Amato is a public and community radio enthusiast. Before volunteering at KMHD as the host of the vocal jazz show, Songs from Cloud 9, she read the news and hosted music shows at KTNA in Talkeetna, Alaska and KBUT in Crested Butte, Colorado. She enjoys biking with friends, picnics, spending time in nature, international travel, hanging with her cat, Stevens, and daydreaming about implementing Dutch biking infrastructure in America.


Follow Nicole @nicolemonade

Learn more about Nicole.

What was your first experience of listening to jazz, and how has your relationship with it evolved since then?

“The first jazz I ever really heard, really absorbed was the release of the 1969 record Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits on CD in 1997. I happened to stumble across this CD randomly as it came with a Buy 1, Get 7 CDs deal that a service called BMG used to promote. I was 16 years old at the time and not sure if I was going to keep it or send it back. I put it in my boombox, plugged my headphones directly in to the boombox and pressed play. My young mind was blown. I hadn’t ever experienced that sensation of how far the sound of improvisation could really go. Or how far the music of jazz could take you while listening. I was hooked on Miles immediately and included Miles Smiles on my next BMG order.”

Without using any musical or genre terminology – without using any words relating to music at all – how would you describe your music taste?

“My taste in music is vast and far-reaching into obsessive little corners of constant repetition that transitions into memorization. Comfortable and delightful, but also challenging and introspective.”

What was your favorite music as a teenager – and which of those artists would you still put on now?

“As a teenager, I was glued to the local alternative radio station. I listened to anything and everything they were playing and went to all the concerts they were promoting with my fellow music-loving friends. Some of my favorite albums of that time were: Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen, Smashing Pumpkins - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes, The Cranberries - No Need to Argue, Blind Melon - Blind Melon, Radiohead - The Bends. If I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll put any one of these albums on for a spin. Music can evoke so many senses and memories just hearing the first guitar strum of a familiar song. I have a place for most of my favorites throughout the years.”

You’ve been with KMHD for many years – and it feels like your love for doing live radio just keeps growing. What personally keeps you excited about music and DJing?

“Sharing the songs, albums, artists of jazz with the audience is the tinder for the fire when it comes to my love of music and DJing. The music itself of course keeps me excited - I am digging and learning more every day. Sharing the music with the listeners is indescribable joy. It’s a celebration we uphold together that keeps me motivated and invigorated as a DJ and music-lover.”