Todd E. Hill

Host of Café Jazz and Jazz Journal

Todd E. Hill is the Director of Jazz Ensembles at Murray State University. He holds both the BMEd and MMEd degrees from MSU, and an EdD from Boise State University. He held positions in the public schools of Milan, Tennessee, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Boise State University, and University of the Cumberlands, where he served as Director of Bands before returning to his alma mater. He has been guest conductor for concert and jazz honor groups in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

He leads his own well-known (The Todd Hill Quartet and Todd Hill and his Orchestra) throughout the southeast. The Orchestra’s CD Swingin’ and Singin’ Live! was released in 2007 and is presently in its second printing. He has performed with such diverse entertainers as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Gary Morris, Alex Harvey, Denise LaSalle, Mike Snider, Stella Parton, and The Moody Blues in addition to notable jazz artists Wycliffe Gordon, Byron Stripling, Allen Vizzutti, Chris Vadala, Ron Wilkins, Jamey Aebersold, Denis DiBlasio, Buddy Childers and Rich Matteson. He has also been a featured soloist with the Paducah Symphony "Pops" Series.

Hill is included in Marquis’ “Who’s Who in America.” Todd is a member of the Murray Rotary Club, and is the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Murray.

Ways to Connect


Originally aired in the 1980s, The Black Cats Jump celebrates the legacy and expansive repertoire of African American big bands such as Basie, Ellington, and Webb. WKMS, Dr. Todd E. Hill, George Eldred, and original engineer, Mark Welch, join forces to reintroduce Black Cats Jump in the new year.

Back in the 1980s, The Black Cats Jump was a thirteen part series of hour-long programs on big band music with host Bobby Bryan and co-producer Mark Welch. The series featured some of the great black big band leaders, sidemen, vocalists, and arrangers. The first show aired live on Friday, October 3, 1980. Dr. Todd Hill and Mark Welch revisit the series for special airings Tuesdays at 9 p.m. during Cafe Jazz, starting September 17. Cafe Jazz hosts George Eldred and Todd Hill talk about the program and how they re-mastered the series with Mark Welch.

Steve Short, Milan Mirror-Exchange, Milan TN

Director of Jazz Ensembles at Murray State and WKMS volunteer Dr. Todd Hill hosts Café Jazz Tuesdays from 9-11 p.m. Dr. Hill has introduced a new twenty-minute segment during Tuesday’s Café Jazz called “Chuck’s Music Shop.” The segment airs at 9:40 p.m. and the music is drawn from the personal jazz collection of the late Chuck Simons. 

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Here is the impetuous young officer whose miraculous survival in combat half-convinced him that he could not be killed. Here is the free-spending landowner whose debts to English merchants instilled him with a prickly resentment of imperial power. We see the general who lost more battles than he won and the reluctant president who tried to float above the partisan feuding of his cabinet. His Excellency is a magnificent work, indispensable to an understanding not only of its subject but also of the nation he brought into being.

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