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Jennifer York: Musical View

Jennifer York

Many jazz musicians do an assortment of things to keep away the ol’ wolf, such as teach, write, etc. Still, probably few if any have a “day gig” like bassist Jennifer York, who leads an all-female, Los Angeles-based quartet. She’s a wisecracking, eagle-eyed helicopter traffic reporter for KTLA-TV’s top-rated Morning News program. On most weekday mornings, she can be seen whizzing around, doing two-minute blips from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., guiding viewers through Southern California’s snarling maze of freeways-and the state’s out-of-control fires.

Starting work around 5:15 a.m. is pretty tough for almost anyone, but for a musician who works Thursday through Saturday nights, with occasional gigs on Tuesdays and Sundays, it’s absolute murder. There are rehearsals one night per week and individual practices too. Despite the grueling schedule, which normally affords York three to four hours sleep on a good night, she’s quite used to it. “That’s what’s so sad about it, I guess,” she laughs from the helicopter hangar office, after finishing her shift. “I’ve been doing this kind of schedule since about ’88.

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