WBGO Blog
  • 30th anniv of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

    April 16, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Tuesday night, Dizzy's at Jazz @ Lincoln Center was packed, and pianists spottable in all directions. With one long break, the celebration ran past midnight. Marian listened from her dressing room as Bill Charlap opened with “While We’re Young,” a tip of the hat to her long friendship with composer Alec Wilder, who hosted the forerunner of Marian’s celebrated series, Piano Jazz. Bill made that melody sing. He’s with the Blue Note 7 at Birdland for the rest of the week. Be there.

    Renee Rosnes joined Bill – they were married at Dizzy’s – for the first two-piano presentation of the night. Fun! Then Renee continued with “Chelsea Bridge” (Strayhorn) – love the harmony. Grady Tate sang two with pianist John Di Martino. JoAnne Brackeen stepped up to play her own composition, then Taylor Eigsti put her feet to the fire on a two-piano “Giant Steps.” I really enjoyed that duo, am sure it was their first time together. Marian played “Easy to Remember (and so hard to forget),” and she seemed in synch with every note. Karrin Allyson sang “Twilight Time” with Marian, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, just right.

    The Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller two-piano closer was the apotheosis of the evening. Read more

  • Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz turns 30

    March 27, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Marian McPartland
    Since April 1979, legendary pianist Marian McPartland has welcomed a stellar line-up of jazz artists for one hour of conversation and improvisation on her Peabody Award-winning program. Each week, McPartland, with her engaging personality and improvisational savvy, hosts a variety of performers in her radio living room. You can hear Piano Jazz on WBGO Thursdays at 6:30pm.

    Like WBGO, Piano Jazz is turning 30 this April. To celebrate the anniversary, Ms. McPartland returns to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on April 14th. "The Grande Dame of Jazz" will be joined by some of the music world's most radiant performers. Musical guests will include Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Bill Charlap, Cyrus Chestnut, Kurt Elling, Mulgrew Miller, Arturo O'Farrill, and Randy Weston.  That's the short list.

    Additionally, Marian McPartland will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from the "Worshipful Company of Musicians" of England during the evening's festivities. The award will be presented by fellow "WM of M" honoree, pianist John Escreet. For more information, check out www.wcom.org.uk.
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    For event information, visit Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

    Marian McPartland's PIANO JAZZ website

  • Dr. King 40 Years Later

    April 4, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    mlk_jr_slaying.jpg

    Sigh...

    Today marks 40 years since one of the greatest civil rights leaders and humanitarians was gunned down and taken away from us.
    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions.

    I wasn't even born when Dr. King was assassinated, but I can only imagine the heartbreak that people felt upon first getting that worst piece of news.
    It breaks my heart to think about it as I write this post. Time flies, and many people I talk to can hardly believe its been 40 years.

    For me, it's important to really think about and help others to realize that King was not a man who was a dreamer as the media loves to portray. Yes, he was a man of unparalleled vision, and hope. But he was also a leader through action, and the hardest of hard workers. I would ask that on this day, you would read or listen to Dr. King speak about opposition to war, or why it is important to vote, for example. Not only was he ahead of his time but he is timeless. Take the time to really dig into King - the man, not just the dream.