Kari Njiiri

ATC & Jazz Safari Reporter/Producer/Host

Kari is a senior reporter and long-time host and producer of Jazz Safari, a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on New England Public Radio. Born in New York City, and raised in both Kenya and the U.S., Kari first arrived at NEPR as UMass Amherst student fascinated radio's ability to cross geographic and cultural boundaries. Since then, he has worked in several capacities at the station, from board operator and book-keeper, to production assistant and local host of NPR’s All Things Considered.

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A sign directing visitors to the Charles Neville exhibit at the Springfield Museums.
Kari Njiiri / NEPM

“Horn Man: The life and musical legacy of Charles Neville,” which opened earlier this summer at the Springfield Museums, pays tribute to the Grammy-winning saxophonist who died of cancer in April 2018 at age 79.

Theta Chi, a fraternity at UMass, had extensive damage including broken building and car windows, after a September 19, 2021, protest over anonymous allegations of sexual assault at the fraternity.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in front of a UMass Amherst fraternity house Monday for a second straight night following accusations of a sexual assault. The latest protest at Theta Chi was more peaceful than one on Sunday, which resulted in destruction of property at the frat, and two arrests, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Bishop William Byrne is installed as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, in December 2020.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting this week on a range of issues. Among the newer faces at the virtual conference will be William Byrne of the Springfield Diocese.

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Starting in the fall of 2022, new students attending Western New England University's law school will have to pass a course covering anti-racism or cultural competency in order to graduate.

Dr. Mark Keroack is president and CEO of Baystate Health.
Douglas Hook / Masslive / Masslive.com

As the state entered its next phase of reopening this week, the head of western Massachusetts' largest hospital system sounded a note of caution.

Holyoke, Massachusetts, City Councilor Rebecca Lisi attends a meeting on Jan. 6, 2020. Lisi has announced she will be a candidate for mayor in 2021.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Two members of city government of Holyoke, Massachusetts, have announced they're running to replace Mayor Alex Morse.

The incoming bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield, Massachusetts, William Byrne, appeared at an introductory press conference in October 2020.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

On Monday, the Rev. Bill Byrne will be installed as bishop of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese. He succeeds Mitchell Rozanski, who left this summer to become archbishop of St. Louis.

A doctor at a hospital in Italy during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Alberto Giuliani / Creative Commons

Merriam-Webster has released its list of the most looked-up words of 2020, and it’s no surprise that words related to virus and disease figure prominently.

A caravan of trucks, with flags supporting President Trump's reelection, drove on Route 9 in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Nov. 1, 2020.
Nancy Cohen / NEPM

While relatively few believe President Trump's declarations that he's done more for African Americans than any other president with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, a new survey shows broad agreement that the 16th president was the most impactful.

A subway car at the CRRC factory in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The pandemic has disrupted virtually all sectors of the Massachusetts economy, including manufacturing. CRRC, the Chinese company making trains for the MBTA, said the pandemic will further delay delivery of new trains for its two busiest lines.

A mechanic pouring oil into a vehicle.
File photo / MassLive / MassLive.com/photos

One of two statewide ballot questions in Massachusetts, Question 1, would expand how much vehicle diagnostic and repair information is available to independent repair shops and vehicle owners.

Mechanics look under the hood of a car.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

This coming election, Massachusetts voters have two statewide ballot questions in front of them. As we have in past elections, we're bringing you short debates on each ballot question.

Baystate Health CEO Mark Keroack.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Massachusetts officials report the rate of COVID-19 infections in the state has been relatively steady in recent days. But the head of Baystate Health Systems says the number of patients admitted to his hospital has increased slightly during the same period.

A classroom.
Wokandapix / Creative Commons

As public schools across Massachusetts open, a new report paints a stark picture of racial integration in schools. 

Springfield, Mass., City Councilor Adam Gomez (left) is challenging state Senator Jim Welch (right) in the 2020 Democratic primary.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Among the state legislative seats being contested in Tuesday's Massachusetts Democratic primary is the Hampden Senate district, which includes West Springfield, and parts of Springfield and Chicopee.

Outside Fenway Park in Boston.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Mike Noonan has attended every Boston Red Sox home opener since 1968. That is, until this year.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, was just about finished with a $24 million renovation when the virus pandemic hit. 

A police detective in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been fired after sharing a post on social media. According to a report in The Republican newspaper, the Instagram post showed a picture of the detective's niece at a Black Lives Matter event, holding a sign that suggested shooting back at police officers.

Ben James / NEPR

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced legislation last week to create a statewide system for certifying and tracking police officers in the state. The proposal followed recent demonstrations across the country over the police killings of African Americans.

The Springfield City Council is calling for immediate changes to the police department's use-of-force policy in light of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

A sign on the door of Electric EYE Records in Florence, Massachusetts, which is closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sam Hudzik / NEPR

Reactions continue to Governor Charlie Baker's plan to reopen the Massachusetts economy in the midst of the virus pandemic. It was based on recommendations by a 17-member advisory board.

John Paradis speaks at the Northampton Veterans Day memorial in 2016.
File photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

In the past month, 52 residents of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home have died, testing positive for COVID-19. The quick spread of the coronavirus at the state-run facility for veterans has sparked three investigationsmost recently by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dancers with the National Dance Institute perform at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2008 in Becket, Massachusetts.
Angel Gardner, National Dance Institute / Creative Commons

Jacob's Pillow — the country's longest-running international dance festival — is the latest cultural casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks with her presidential campaign staff, including her  Massachusetts state director, Jossie Valentin (second from right).
Submitted / Warren for President

It's been nearly a week since Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren suspended her campaign for the White House following a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday, including a third place finish in her home state. Members of her campaign team are now deciding what to do next.

John Doleva at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Kari Njiiri / NEPR

The president of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield says the death of Kobe Bryant is sure to cast a different light over enshrinement celebrations later this year.

U.S. Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard offer support to those affected by recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico.
U.S. Air National Guard

As Puerto Rico continues to experience a series of earthquakes and aftershocks, a western Massachusetts nonprofit is working to bring much-needed items to the island. 

Mayor-elect Don Humason in Westfield, Massachusetts, on election night in 2019.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Three new mayors are getting sworn in over the next week in western Massachusetts. Among them: outgoing State Senator Don Humason of Westfield, who served in the legislature for 16 years.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner of Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

When Roxann Wedegartner takes office January 2 as the mayor of Greenfield, Massachusetts, it won’t be as a newcomer to city government.

Truvada is one of the HIV prevention drugs known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
Tony Webster / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/diversey

The White House announced this week it will begin distribution of free HIV-prevention medication to people without prescription drug coverage. Taken daily, the pre-exposure prophylaxis pill, or PrEP, costs more than $20,000 a year. 

James Lowenthal is a Smith College astronomy professor.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

SpaceX, the company owned by Elon Musk, launched a rocket last week carrying 60 satellites into space. It was the latest launch of satellites by SpaceX, which has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission to operate as many as 12,000 satellites to beam internet service. 

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