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Cephas Bowles, CEO/President of Jazz Station WBGO, Dies at 62

A 40-year career in promoting jazz radio

Joe Lovano (right) greets Lionel Hampton along with Cephas Bowles of WBGO at the Jazz Leadership Society Dinner held at Swing 46, New York City 1999
Cephas Bowles

Cephas Bowles, the president and CEO of Newark, N.J., jazz radio station WBGO, died Feb. 21 at Hackensack University Medical Center, following complications from a stem cell transplant. Bowles, who had been diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and had previously undergone a bone marrow transplant, was 62.

Bowles, who was affiliated with the station for 21 years, grew up in Newark and returned to his hometown after earning a degree in broadcasting from Syracuse University and working for CBS radio in New York and two NPR stations in Arizona. His first position at WBGO was as station manager. As CEO/president, he was largely responsible for establishing the station’s streaming presence on the web, the first jazz station to become available via that medium. Bowles also served on the board of directors of National Public Radio and was active in the Newark community in other areas.

Originally Published