April 27, 2009. Posted by Grey Johnson.
Nearly 100 WBGO Members piled into the Blue Note jazz club in New York City, Wednesday evening, April 22, for a set by the fiery Dominican jazz pianist, Michel Camilo and his trio. Midday Jazz host Rhonda Hamilton mingled and led the foot-stomping to Camilo’s incredible sound, and then jumped up onstage to interview the still-sweating pianist. Michel expressed his love for WBGO and talked about his non-stop touring schedule—Japan, Europe, the Canary Islands. Rhonda took questions from the audience. “Will Camilo have a big band album out?” “Soon,” said the pianist. “The band plays so tightly; how long have they been together?” “The bassist, Charles Flores, has been with me for 6 or 8 years, and the drummer, Cliff Almond, since 1989.” “Will you play just one more tune!?” “Yes,” and Camilo launched into an incredible solo that somehow combined all the melody, all the passion and all the syncopation shifts of the evening. Though you sometimes couldn’t actually SEE Michel’s hands on the piano, they were moving so fast, we could all FEEL what came out.
Thanks to the Blue Note Staff who were so gracious and made it all seem easy, to WBGO staff—Assistant General Manager Amy Niles who got the deal rolling, Program Director Thurston Briscoe who made the Camilo connection, down to helping organize autograph seekers in Michel’s dressing room, to our Membership staff David Rosenak and Rita Keith without whom we simply would not be able to accomplish a Members Night. And thank you members for all of your support and for joining the fun on this night. More Members Nights ahead. Stay tuned.
© 2009 WBGO
April 21, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.
The crowd was enthusiastic and the performance fantastic on Sunday, April 19 when over 125 of WBGO’s most loyal and generous supporters turned out for the Singers Unlimited Brunch at NJPAC's Theater Square Grill. The annual event, which honors members of WBGO’s Jazz Leadership Society, featured a concert by Simone, the daughter of legendary singer Nina Simone. Backed up by her quintet of veteran jazz players, Simone sang for the delighted Jazz Leadership Society members in a concert broadcast worldwide through WBGO Jazz88 and via the internet on wbgo.org.
Listen to the full broadcast here!
WBGO’s weekday morning host, Gary Walker emceed, filling in for WBGO’s Michael Bourne, currently on the mend from knee surgery. Gary led the audience in a chorus of “Hurry Back Michael” chants to cheer up Michael, WBGO’s long-time weekday afternoon announcer and host of the popular Singers Unlimited program. Between songs, Gary and Simone bantered about her career and growing up as Nina Simone’s daughter. Simone was wonderfully gracious and patiently autographed her CD Simone on Simone for dozens of grateful Jazz Leadership Society members in attendance.
Prior to the live broadcast, WBGO’s General Manager Cephas Bowles and Chairman of the Board of Directors Tim Porter welcomed the Jazz Leadership Society members and thanked them for their support.
Jazz Leadership Society (JLS) members receive a number of exciting benefits including insider access to the world of jazz, such as the annual Singers Unlimited Brunch. Basic JLS membership begins at the $1,000 annual gift level, with additional benefits available at the Silver ($2,500) and Gold ($5,000+) levels. For example, on March 23rd, Silver and Gold members were invited to an intimate evening with legendary jazz impresario George Wein.
For more information about how you can become a member of the Jazz Leadership Society, please contact Vincent Bochis at 973-624-8880, ext. 285 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the JLS page on WBGO.org.
© 2009 WBGO
March 25, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.
WBGO Music Director, Gary Walker, interviews jazz impresario George Wein.
© 2009 WBGO