WBGO Blog
  • WBGO at the Portland Jazz Festival: Part 1

    February 25, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    thara esperanza
    Photo by Michael Bell

    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.

    Although the Portland Jazz Festival is *technically* halfway over, with five days of local and national acts having blown through town, things really started to heat up yesterday. Not only was clarinetist Don Byron in town to play an eclectic set of jazz-infused klezmer music inspired by the late singer/comedian Mickey Katz, but the city's local hero, media darling and consummate musician Esperanza Spalding (pictured) made her first public appearance at Portland State University. Read more

  • Please Take Action to Support Public Broadcasting

    February 12, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    In 2010, Americans rated public broadcasting as an “excellent” use of taxpayer dollars, second only to defense spending. 80% of those polled said funding for public broadcasting is money “well spent.” *

    170MA

    Federal funding is the “lifeblood” of public broadcasting, providing critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations, which then leverage each $1 of federal funding to raise over $6 from local sources -- a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment.  Federal funding provides the margin of revenue needed by local stations to produce quality local programs and to make a market for national producers.

    Federal funding provides essential support for public broadcasting’s mission to ensure universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens, and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and minorities.  This is particularly true for WBGO which uses this funding to ensure that we have adequate staff and other critical support for the New York/New Jersey market’s only full time jazz radio station.

    Congressional efforts to eliminate federal funding are likely to begin this week with the House's consideration of legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Continuing Resolution (CR), approved during last fall's lame duck session, expires on March 4th.  We expect the House Appropriations Committee will recommend a CR extension that includes a provision eliminating all funding for public broadcasting.

    Please act today to send a clear message to Congress: Funding for public broadcasting is too important to eliminate.   Click here to send a letter to your Representative.

    *2010 Roper Opinion Poll

  • 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.