In his lifetime, Eric J. Chambers has been gifted with many talents and has tasted that triumph Thomas Wolfe spoke about. June 14, 2003 marked his most triumphant day when his nationally televised show, “The Jazzspel™ with Eric J.,” debuted on The Word Network, an urban ministries/gospel music television station.
The Hollywood-based show is an entertainment program that features videos from various smooth jazz and gospel artists. It also offers interviews from some of the entertainment industry’s hottest stars. Within the first few episodes, the show already boasted having such guests as Arsenio Hall, Vivica A. Fox, Beyonce’, The Gap Band, Yolanda Adams, Monica, Holly Robinson-Peete, Kelly Rowland, Fred Hammond, Mo’Nique, Rachelle Ferrell and Magic Johnson.
Before joining The Word Network, for six years Chambers worked as an editor for the CBS2 News in Hollywood, California, where his career was decorated with four Emmy Awards and five Golden Mike Awards.
He began his career on June 22, 1976, as a 13-year-old eighth grade dreamer. That’s when he became a sportswriter for his hometown Slidell (La.) Daily Sentry-News, earning $3.00 per article. His first beat was covering little league baseball. He eventually covered high school and college sports, and professional wrestling for the newspaper.
In January 1982, after a year at Southern University in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, he left school and joined the U.S. Navy. He served as a radioman (communications specialist) and international morse code specialist, with a Top Secret security clearance. He also performed as a sports anchor onboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3) based in San Diego, California, making two Western Pacific deployments. He has traveled to such places as Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Australia and Africa.
In January 1986, one month before leaving the Navy, Chambers began his commercial television career at KGTV10, San Diego's ABC affiliate. He started as a mailroom messenger and weekend telephone operator. In August 1986 he joined the 10News team as a grip (photographer's assistant.)
A year later he became a videotape editor. "Once I became cleared to work with the equipment, I would go in on weekends and practice until my heart was content," says Chambers. In 1992 as a member of the 10News team, the hard work paid off when he became a reporter and also won his first Emmy!
An accomplished documentary filmmaker, Chambers has produced and narrated various projects, including A Man Called Jack: The Jack Kimbrough Story, which chronicled the life of San Diego's first black dentist. The report garnered him a "Best Reporter" award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Other works include Sistahs of Song, profiling the lives of singers Chante Moore, Rachelle Ferrell and Oleta Adams. He also produced and wrote Tried In The Fire, the story of St. Stephen's Church of God in Christ in San Diego.
In August 1993 he took a $10,000 pay cut to become news director and anchor of San Diego radio station Smooth Jazz 98.1/KIFM's morning drive show. In July 1994 he was named the station's public affairs director and host of "Issue & Answers," a respected, prime time talk show.
It was then he began to meet and interview the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Joe Montana, Babyface, Seal, Brandy, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Nikki Giovanni, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Vin Scully, Dan Marino, Marcus Allen, Iyanla Vanzant, Susan L. Taylor, Terrie Williams, President Bill Clinton, Vivica A. Fox, Mamie Till Mobley and Rosa Parks to name a few.
On July 10, 1994 he debuted "The Jazzspel," his very popular gospel music program which currently airs Sunday mornings at six on Smooth Jazz 98.1 KIFM. It remains the only gospel program on a Smooth Jazz station in the nation!
In the summer of 1996 he launched the Club Jazzspel Concert Series in San Diego and Los Angeles. The series featured such artists as Yolanda Adams, Ben Tankard, Allen & Allen and many other esteemed jazz and gospel artists.
In 1997 he became Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of The Jazzspel Journal Magazine, a national jazz and gospel publication which employs eight staff writers and two photographers. The magazine began as a souvenir publication celebrating the third year anniversary of "The Jazzspel™" radio program.
From his earliest days living on welfare in the Desire Housing Projects of his native New Orleans, Chambers dreamed of one day becoming a show host. The pinnacle of those dreams came true with his debut on The Word Network.
From 1993 through 1998 he covered the San Diego Chargers football team, with live post-game reports on KNX1070 news radio in Los Angeles. He previously covered the LA Lakers, LA Sparks, San Diego State Aztecs and the San Diego Padres. Before moving to LA, he served as personal publicist for Tony Gwynn of the Padres.
Chambers is author of an inspirational book entitled "Life Is Per Diem: We're All Day To Day," which is soon to be published by his Who Dat? Publishing Company.
He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, San Diego City College and San Diego State University. He has a degree in Speech Communications.
Chambers resides in Los Angeles, California with Shawna, his bride, Aerica Noelle, his precious daughter and Shaq, their purple Chinese fighting fish.