WBGO Blog
  • Esperanza Spalding at the Portland Jazz Festival

    February 26, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    Add new comment | Filed under: concerts
    Esperanza Spalding started her live show in a similar pose
    photo by Sandrine Lee

    This week, WBGO web producer and Portland, Oregon native Alex W. Rodriguez traveled to his hometown to attend the Portland Jazz Festival. How has jazz in his hometown fared, eight years after he left for the East Coast? Watch this space to find out, as Alex shares his experiences throughout the main festival weekend.

    Last night, bassist-singer-composer-jazz phenomenon Esperanza Spalding made her wildly-anticipated appearance at this week's Portland Jazz Festival. As the main Friday night attraction, Ms. Spalding sold out Portland's 880-set Newmark theater within days of winning the Best New Artist Grammy award earlier this month. She played music from her latest record, Chamber Music Society, and captivated her hometown crowd throughout the 90-minute performance. Read more

  • The Checkout Interviews Wayne Shorter

    February 8, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    Wayne Shorter will be performing this Wednesday at Town Hall -- for more, check out my preview that ran Friday in the Newark Star-Ledger. He'll also be featured on this week's edition of The Checkout. Producer Josh Jackson caught up with him last week from his home in West Hollywood, and suffered a few technical difficulties along the way. Here's his take on what went down: Read more

  • Jason Moran Presents "713 --> 212: Houstonians in NYC"

    January 13, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    2010 was a good year for Jason Moran. He celebrated ten years of music-making with his trio, The Bandwagon, alongside Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits. Their latest release for Blue Note, Ten, received rave reviews and found a place on nearly every jazz critic's "Best of 2010" list. To top it off, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Moran a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, which comes with a cool $500,000 in award money.

    Moran is off to an ambitious start in 2011 as well. This weekend, he has organized a pair of concerts at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street, Manhattan) to feature his fellow Houstonians who are tearing up New York's jazz scene today.

    Tomorrow (Friday), the event features songwriters Bryan Michael Cox, Leron Thomas, Alan Hampton and Josh Mease, backed by Moran and other members of the Houston cadre such as Kendrick Scott, Robert Glasper and Eric Harland. The concert begins at 9:00 p.m.

    Saturday's concert features jazz more prominently, including sets by Billy Harper with Michael Carvin, Jason Moran & Marcos Varela, Kendrick Scott's Oracle with Mike Moreno, Jamire Williams & Erimaj, Robert Glasper & Jason Moran with guests, and an interview with Dr. Bob Morgan, the band director at Houston's High School for Performing and Visual Arts who has mentored most of these musicians. The concert begins at 9:00 p.m.

    If you check it out, stop by and say hello to WBGO's Josh Jackson, who will be recording the concert and will feature highlights on his weekly show, The Checkout, sometime next month.