• Jazz on the Mountain 2011 -- Mohonk Mountain House

    January 20, 2011. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Photo by Sam Calello
    Photo by Sam Calello

    Mohonk was again a great success, especially musically. Mohonk Mountain House was sold-out Saturday and close to full Friday and Sunday, including this year more than two dozen WBGO supporters who booked through the station. Our supporters enjoyed a special dinner with the artists on Saturday evening, and plenty of WBGO listeners came up to me through the weekend to say how much they listen to and love Jazz 88.

    John Pizzarelli played guitar and sang opening night, joined by his brother, bassist Martin Pizzarelli. John was as funny telling stories as the brothers were swinging, playing especially Nat Cole, Duke Ellington, and bossa nova favorites. John's climactic solo on "Lady Be Good" was as virtuosically plectral as I've ever heard him.
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  • Billy Taylor at WBGO

    December 31, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    "Dr T" came to try out the station's new Steinway. I think he likes the piano. He runs through the entire keyboard! This comes from the late 1980s.

    I hope you can listen to Toast of the Nation at 9pm Fri 12/31 and 3pm Sat 1/1 for a 30-minute remembrance of Dr Billy Taylor (1921-2010), hosted by Rhonda Hamilton. Dr Taylor invited Rhonda to host a live New Year's broadcast on NPR in 1979. She speaks about how much that meant to her, and we hear clips from some of his many NPR shows.

  • Slices of Toast: New Year's at the Green Mill 1993

    December 27, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.


    At 12:15am ET New Year's morning, Toast of the Nation will be live from The Green Mill, the famed speakeasy of old Chicago.  And it won't be our first time there.  On 12/31/1993, we broadcast Reginald Robinson and John Weber playing two pianos behind and above the bar.  Very dramatic.

    Reginald Robinson composes ragtime piano pieces.  Jon Weber recently has guest-hosted several editions  of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.

    From New Year's Eve 1993, here is Robinson's "The Strongman," back-announced by Weber.  Hear that happy Green Mill crowd then and again this Friday night/Saturday morning, ringing in 2011 Central Time.

    10 10 27 Green Mill Lounge

    For more, click below for some "slices" of our previous toasts:

    Clark Terry

    James Moody

    Betty Carter & JD Allen

    The Bad Plus (JazzSet)

    And tune in to your local NPR station for this year's broadcast!