WBGO Blog
  • Broadway By The Year

    February 18, 2010. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    Scott Siegel is the producer and host of an extraordinary series of concerts at The Town Hall in New York. "Broadway by the Year" celebrates musical theatre year by year with some of Broadway's best singers and dancers. This season is Siegel's 10th anniversary and begins February 22nd with the musicals of 1927, including the first great dramatic musical, "Show Boat." March 22nd spotlights musicals of 1948, including the first Tony-winning Best Musical, "Kiss Me, Kate." May 10th features musicals of 1966, including "Cabaret," "Mame," and "Sweet Charity." Siegel's season finale on June 14th will be that much more special, presenting one song from one musical each of the last 20 years, plus Scott's choice of a song from the Broadway season happening now.

    We talked about "Broadway by the Year" for the February 19th WBGO Journal, but this blog special includes our continuing conversation about our favorite shows, plus songs from four of Scott's previous "years" at The Town Hall.

    -- Michael Bourne

  • Christian McBride: The Movement Revisited at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit

    February 17, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    JD Steele & Christian McBride .. Courtesy Det Intl Jazz Fest, Photographer Jeff Forman
    JD Steele & Christian McBride .. Courtesy Det Intl Jazz Fest, Photographer Jeff Forman

    DETROIT – Bassist Christian McBride and his quintet, narrators representing four icons of the Civil Rights Movement, J.D. Steele and the Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices, the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, and more than 2,000 people gathered in one mega-sanctuary Sunday night for The Movement Revisited, McBride's jazz opus, presented for free by the Detroit International Jazz Festival for Black History Month.

    The first reading was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s opening address "On the Importance of Jazz." for the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival with the theme that “This is triumphant music." Anthony L. Brock Jr., a student at the Detroit School of the Arts, delivered it -- short and meaningful. (Link to text below)

    Following the “Freedom / Struggle” overture, poet Sonia Sanchez spoke words of Rosa Parks, whose refusal in the mid 1950s to move back in a city bus launched the 381-day boycott in Montgomery, AL. Parks later lived in Detroit. Willis Patterson, Emeritus Professor of Voice from the University of Michigan, spoke Malcolm X's words; Malcolm Little grew up in Lansing, became known as Detroit Red. Dion Graham from The Wire spoke Muhammad Ali's words; Ali now lives near here. Bishop Edgar L. Vann II of Second Ebenezer re-created the "I Have A Dream" speech. King delivered the first known version at Cobo Hall on June 23, 1963. According to the Civil Rights Timeline in the printed program, 125,000 people marched on Woodward Avenue that day. The organizer was Rev. C. L. Franklin, Aretha's father.

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  • Better Get It In Your Soul .. Mingus at St. Bart's

    February 15, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    s artworkThe low ceilings of several New York basements have put a lid on Mingus's music for a long time now. But this past Saturday night it was quite the opposite as the 11-piece Mingus Orchestra played music that stretched over a big footprint and soared into the domed cathedral of St. Bart's Church. As the concert progressed, it sounded better and better.

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