Home>Highlight>Thurston Briscoe, WBGO director and partner to Nia Gill, dies at 74

State Sen. Nia Gill and her partner, Thurston Briscoe. (Photo: Senator Nia Gill)

Thurston Briscoe, WBGO director and partner to Nia Gill, dies at 74

By Joey Fox, August 17 2021 5:02 pm

Thurston Briscoe, who was known in New Jersey for his work on WBGO “Jazz 88” in Newark, died on August 16 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. He was 74.

Briscoe is survived by his partner, State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair).

Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Briscoe was involved in the world of music and radio his entire life. After a stint serving in Korea in the U.S. Army, he began hosting his own weekly jazz show at KLCC in Eugene, Oregon, in 1976 before moving to Washington D.C. to work for NPR four years later.

In 1990, Briscoe moved to New Jersey, where he would live for the rest of his life, to become program director of WBGO in Newark, broadcasting jazz, blues, and news. He remained at the station until his retirement in 2013.

In addition to Gill, Briscoe is survived by Gill’s son Bradley and grandson John, Briscoe’s brother Philip and sister-in-law Louise, and several cousins.

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