Meredith M. HairstonContent Manager / Announcer / "Evening Jazz" Host
Born and raised in the City with Soul, Jackson, Miss., Meredith Hairston is the new Content Manager for "cool and current" WJSU-FM. Affectionately known as Meredith Michele both on air and on stage, the Evening Jazz host attended Murrah High School and went on to study at Tougaloo College before leaving abruptly to become a full time caregiver to her mother, Kaaren. In 2019, she received her Associate of Arts at Hinds Community College and is currently pursuing a degree in Speech Communication at THEE Jackson State University.
In May 2010, WJSU recruited Meredith to fill in for the Evening Jazz host for the summer. She graciously accepted the call to volunteer for the station, and as cliche as it sounds, the rest is history! Although jazz was the farthest thing from her mind at the time, she already had a genuine appreciation for "America's true art form." She credits that to her father, Robert Hairston. "Daddy played his Miles Davis records and Coltrane cassettes nearly every weekend. I remember him spending countless hours in front of his stereo system."
Quickly learning the ropes of using her voice to reel in jazz lovers all around, it was not long before Meredith Michele added Smooth Jazz host to her repertoire. In 2012, Evening Jazz became syndicated after being picked up by Mississippi Public Broadcasting. In addition to on-air shifts, Meredith helped with station pledge drives and emceed local music events. In June 2015, she officially joined the JSU family when she was hired as WJSU's music manager. During that time, she has increased the station's library by over 7,000 songs and increased the station's social media presence. She has trained dozens of students who have come through the university's Journalism and Media Studies Department. Over the years, she has interviewed countless jazz artists, such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lorraine Feather, Mark Whitfield, Lisa Hilton, Cory Weeds and Ramsey Lewis. In April 2022, the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters awarded her second place in the category of Radio Personality of the Year.
In February 2022, in conjunction with a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Meredith was promoted to Content Manager of WJSU's new Urban Alternative station. While in this position, Meredith will be responsible for the overall sound and image of both the urban and jazz formats. She welcomes the change and hopes to awaken a new generation of public radio listeners.
Her most important position, however, is "Mommy" to her son, Keiston, and daughter, Brinyn. In her limited spare time, she takes the stage as Meredith Michele performing around the state and surrounding areas as a lead singer with her blues/soul/funk band, Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers.