Festival Host’s Career Archived for Library of Congress

Dyana Williams, co-host of the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, is one of 39 Black female radio broadcast pioneers who are having their careers documented and archived in the Black Women in Radio-The Distinguished Inaugural 30 – Library of Congress National Historical Collection. It is in partnership with the Library of Congress Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF).


Historically, little is mentioned about women’s contributions in radio, and even less mentioned about minority women. Black Women in Radio (BWIR) is a professional organization that exists to recognize the contributions of Black women in the radio industry.  For the first time in American history, Black women are included in archival history, and their voices will be preserved in the National Black Women in Radio Historic Collection and Oral History Project curated by BWIR Founder, Felèsha Love. Williams is included in the first class of esteemed broadcasters.

Dyana Williams has had a storied career in radio which began in Washington, D.C. at WHUR-FM. She was the first Black female rock DJ at a station WRQX-FM; worked at WBLS-FM in New York, and finally settled at WDAS-FM, Philadelphia where she laid the foundation for her legendary broadcast reign with that station. 


Dyana Williams is the co-founder of Black Music Month. She, radio DJ Ed White and ex-husband Kenny Gamble, the acclaimed Philadelphia International Records songwriter and producer, collaborated to bring it to fruition. Williams, alongside Congressman Chaka Fattah, executed a lobby campaign and co-authored House Concurrent Bill 509- a White House proclamation, to give credence to the contributions of African American music as a viable cultural and economic entity. Today, June is heralded as African American Music Appreciation Month.

She is a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the National Association of Black Female Executives in Media and Entertainment (NABFEME) and serves on the board of governors for the Philadelphia chapter of NARAS (better known as The Recording Academy or the Grammys organization). She also serves on the board of Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music.

As CEO of the media consulting/artist development firm Influence Entertainment, Dyana Williams has helped artists at the start of their careers develop the skills to manage media and control their image across the digital environment. She has had an equally powerful impact on television as a producer and writer. Also, she has been an integral contributor to the award-winning series “Unsung,” providing commentary drawn from her extensive industry and music knowledge.

Dyana Williams has elevated the stature of hosting the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival (JCIJBF) to equal that of the virtuosic musicianship presented by the artists she introduces. She draws from her comprehensive knowledge of jazz and R&B music combined with a fifty year media career. 

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Blog

Share This