June 28, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
The singer / pianist / ironist came by the Museum of Contemporary Art, site of the WBGO broadcast booth, to talk with Michael Bourne during Singers Unlimited. In the evening Ben sang and played Bob Dylan Ben's way, at Dylan Different at Club Soda. That's also his latest album with son Leo Sidran on drums.
Besides Dylan, Ben has a Mose Allison heart with a helping of Horace Silver - bop blues and lyrics. And he always has a good story and a unique take on things. Try his autobiography Ben Sidran: A Life in Music.
Sorry I cut off his right hand in this photo; it's important to his keyboard playing!
Click and listen to the conversation.
© 2010 WBGO
May 17, 2010. Posted by David Tallacksen.
Photo by David Tallacksen
Last year when the Jazz Journalists Association named him Pianist of the Year, Jones said the honor was an inspiration to work even harder. That comment summed up his rare dedication. Indeed at the age of 90, he was still practicing, two to three hours a day when he could. And his playing was sublime.
At the end of the summer, he was honored by the Detroit International Jazz Festival. WBGO blogged excerpts of his Jazz Talk.
As always, he graciously answers familiar questions and shares a little of himself. With his music he shares much more. - Becca Pulliam
Click "read more" to view Hank Jones photo gallery.
© 2010 WBGO
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
© 2010 WBGO
January 7, 2010. Posted by David Tallacksen.
Tony Bennett stopped by for a visit with Afternoon Jazz and Singers Unlimited Host Michael Bourne. The two are good friends that share a long history. Listen to the full interview here:
© 2010 WBGO
November 18, 2009. Posted by Michael Bourne.
A Jewish boy looked out the window of his family's home. He saw a parade of Nazis rolling into his city. And there in an open car was Hitler. Theodore Bikel was that boy in Vienna.
Theodore Bikel is an actor I've always enjoyed in the movies -- The African Queen, The Defiant Ones, The Enemy Below, The Russians Are Coming, Zappa's 200 Motels, and more than 150 other movies and TV shows. He's best remembered on Broadway for playing the Captain in the 1959 Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music. He's also played more than 2000 performances as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, the musical adapted from the stories of Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem. Theo is starring now in Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, a play Theo adapted from Aleichem's writings, presented by the National Yiddish Theater at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in Manhattan through December 13th. He plays the author himself and also Aleichem's characters, including Tevye. He also gets to sing, something he's been doing wonderfully around the world for decades.
Theo at 85 is delightfully ageless. When he came to WBGO recently, we talked about the new show, about Yiddish, about acting, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, working with Frank Zappa, and much more.
© 2009 WBGO