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.

Ways to Connect

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. 

Springfield, Massachusetts, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood pins a badge on Florissa Fuentes at a July 2019 graduation ceremony of the Springfield Police Academy.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

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 / Creative Commons / National Dance Institute / flickr.com/photos/90613332@N02

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. 

Adolfo's Ristorante was raided by FBI agents on October 23, 2019.
Greg Saulmon / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

An FBI raid on an Italian restaurant in downtown Springfield last week has apparently shuttered the business for good. Adolfo's Ristorante was one of two establishments raided by federal agents and state police on October 23. 

At the New England Air Museum, a panel in the lobby exhibit about the 1979 tornado.
Kari Njiiri / NEPR

Forty years ago this month, the strongest tornado ever to hit Connecticut ripped through Windsor Locks and surrounding communities without warning. The F-4 storm occurred just before three o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, October 3rd, 1979.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Niyantha Shekar / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/niyantha

All Veterans Administration health facilities nationwide will officially become smoke-free as of October 1. VA officials in Massachusetts, however, say the policy will not be strictly enforced — for now.

Courtney Williams of the Connecticut Sun.
Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/11020019@N04

The WNBA semifinals get underway Tuesday night with the Connecticut Sun, who are the No. 2 seed, hosting the Los Angeles Sparks and a best-of-five series.

Tim Brennan.
Jerrey Roberts / The Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The agency tasked with thinking big about transportatoin, environment and other challenges in the Pioneer Valley will soon undergo a leadership change. After more than four decades, Tim Brennan is retiring from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission at the end of September.

Felipe Salles.
Courtesy UMass

“The New Immigrant Experience” is the latest work by saxophonist Felipe Salles. It’s a multimedia project on a subject very much in the news.

Frances Crowe in her home in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Kari Njiiri / NEPR

Frances Crowe, the longtime peace activist and anti-nuclear campaigner, recently celebrated a milestone. She turned 100 years of age in mid-March.

pixabay / Public domain

A Westfield State University student and her professor attempted to find out how fluent people are in emoji — those smiles and icons used in texts and on social media.

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival
Kari Njirri / NEPR

Kari Njiiri, NEPR, spoke with saxophonist Jane Bunnett following a performance with her all-female band from Cuba, Maqueque, at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. 

Methodist Pastor Becca Girrell.
Courtesy of Becca Girrell

Leaders of the United Methodist Church voted this week to uphold restrictions prohibiting gay clergy and same sex weddings.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/joegratz

Five more Springfield, Massachusetts, police officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly beating four civilians at a city bar four years ago. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno in February 2018.
Dave Roback / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Massachusetts Democrats will hold their annual convention in Springfield this fall, but the city's Democratic mayor will apparently not be at the event.