June 7, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Ubiquitous may be the best word to describe Christian McBride. The bassist, who just turned 40, has already been an integral part of the jazz scene for two decades, with more than 300 CDs and residencies as an artistic advisor with everyone from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
We celebrated McBride's many contributions to jazz with special on-air tributes every day during WBGO's Christian McBride Week. Below you can listen to one of these special tributes, Simon Rentner's interview of McBride and his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker, on the occasion of a tribute concert hosted by Montclair State University and Jazz House Kids, the jazz education nonprofit Walker founded, which also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Enjoy!
© 2012 WBGO
June 6, 2012. Posted by Brandy Wood.
Jazz: Brooklyn’s Beat, a partnership between Heart of Brooklyn and WBGO 88.3FM, is a month-long celebration of world-class jazz in some of Brooklyn’s most cherished cultural venues: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo.
This Saturday, June 9, music lovers of all ages will learn to do the samba alongside Prospect Park Zoo’s own sea lions, Beebe and Stella, at Samba with the Sea Lions. Visitors will dance to the Brazilian beats of NYC’s samba group Samba New York!
Below is a sample from last year's event.
Performances take place at noon and 2:30pm and are FREE with paid admission to Prospect Park Zoo ($5 for youth ages 3-12, $8 for ages 12 and up; FREE admission for youth under age 3), FREE to members of Wildlife Conservation Society and WBGO (one admission per card).
© 2012 WBGO
May 31, 2012. Posted by Thurston Briscoe.
Christian McBride was a teenager when I first met him. Back when folks were still listening to records, WBGO hosted Record Fairs every year at Newark's Gateway Plaza, and Christian and was performing with trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart on saxophone and Greg Hutchinson on drums. These guys were dressed to the nines when they arrived at the gig.
Christian, Roy, Greg and Antonio put on a breathtaking performance, which made clear to me that a new generation in jazz was ready for the main stage. Today we would call them "emerging artists," but at the time they were called "young lions." It was a marketing label they rejected as hype - but it did capture the ferocity, focus and love they brought to jazz.
Christian's warm, humorous personality and diverse musical tastes captured my attention, and have kept it ever since. He, Ray Brown and Ron Carter are my favorite "out-front" bassists: their sound, and their spirit, allow them to step out and become leaders. Plus, I just like him.
Christian still dresses to the nines, is warm and funny, and plays his heart out every performance. And he works hard to pass his passion for jazz on to the next generation of "rising stars."
Today is his birthday. A milestone birthday. So I decided to make this week Christian McBride Week at WBGO.
Thanks, Christian, and Happy 40th!!
© 2012 WBGO