Kari Njiiri

Senior News Reporter/Jazz Safari 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

A CTrail train seen at Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Frederick J. Gore / Special to The Republican / masslive.com/photos

If you don’t have a car, getting around in western Massachusetts and Connecticut can be tricky. More trains now carry daily passengers between Springfield and Connecticut cities. But the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is raising bus fares and threatening service cuts. There's a cycle to this: Low ridership can mean weak economic investment near transit stations. And that means even fewer people ride. 

An armed officer outside Sidney High School in Sidney, Ohio.
'G is for Gun' / Kate Way / Julie Akeret

One of the most controversial responses to the spate of deadly school shootings in the U.S. has been the idea of arming teachers. The idea has become a reality in some 13 states.

A car drives past the Mount Ida College sign on Carlson Avenue in Newton, Massachusetts.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

UMass Amherst is defending its move to take over the campus of Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. The small college last month abruptly announced it would close after this semester.

Progress continues on the MGM Springfield casino project as they look to the grand opening in five months. This is the view along Main Street looking south.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

A new survey from Western New England University finds a majority of Springfield, Massachusetts, residents continue to support the MGM casino project downtown, 61 to 26 percent.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz in a PBS NewsHour video from October 2017.
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is visiting western Massachusetts, starting Wednesday, to discuss Puerto Rico's future and ongoing challenges seven months after Hurricane Maria.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles.
Matthew Pandolfe / Courtesy Sarah Elizabeth Charles

Jazz vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, a native of western Massachusetts, has been making a name for herself nationally.

Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula California.
Harold Litwiler / flickr.com/photos/a_little_brighter / Creative Commons

Plans for a California college to expand to western Massachusetts are on hold until next year.

Khalif Neville performs with Branford Marsalis at an event honoring Charles Neville.
Julian Parker-Burns / Laudable Productions

Pianist Khalif Neville is heir to one of the most prominent musical families to come out of New Orleans. Khalif is the son of Charles Neville, of the legendary Neville Brothers, who have been performing together since the late 1970s.

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Julie Jordan Scott / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/juliejordanscott

Smith College says a student diagnosed with bacterial meningitis over the weekend is receiving appropriate care at a local hospital.

Steve Hoffman, chair of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, in a file photo.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Marijuana regulators in Massachusetts are inching closer to finalizing regulations for the state's new industry. 

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