WBGO Blog
  • Live at the Village Vanguard Concert Series

    June 6, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD
    WBGO, VILLAGE VANGUARD AND NPR MUSIC JOIN FORCES FOR NEW MULTI-MEDIA LIVE BROADCAST SERIES

    MONTHLY SERIES FEATURING TOP ARTISTS FROM PREMIER JAZZ VENUE
    BEGINS JUNE 11; FIRST CONCERT WITH GUILLERMO KLEIN Y LOS GUACHOS

    WBGO/Jazz88.3FM in Newark, NJ and NPR Music will webcast and broadcast a concert series from the legendary New York City jazz club, The Village Vanguard. The Live at The Village Vanguard series begins next week and will offer monthly concerts for live, free streaming at WBGO.org. Concerts in the series will also be broadcast live NPR Music at www.NPR.org/music.

    The Village Vanguard is arguably the Mecca of jazz performance venues. Well into its seventh decade, the Vanguard is revered around the world for its rich history, its continued commitment to jazz, and its near-perfect acoustics. Next spring, WBGO/Jazz 88.3 FM celebrates its 30th anniversary as the premiere jazz broadcaster in the country. Last fall, National Public Radio (NPR) launched the highly anticipated NPR Music site - a free, comprehensive music discovery destination, featuring content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, which include WBGO. Now, this trio of music producers and presenters have come together to create a jazz experience that melds new media, technology, and of course - jazz.

    Live at the Village Vanguard is a newly launched monthly series from WBGO, The Village Vanguard and NPR that presents jazz programming in a completely fresh way, using multi-platform media to heighten the jazz experience. “WBGO is a public media institution. We are natural communicators, and our mission is jazz. Social media platforms give us the opportunity to build on our foundation, to find and create new fans, and to reach out to people with a real-time connection to music made in the moment,” says WBGO Special Projects Producer, Josh Jackson.

    Music and social media is the core of this project along with the fundamental notion shared by all involved that jazz is not an exclusive genre on the margin of the vast and expanding media trends and experiences. Beyond your typical live broadcast radio experience, the concerts will be hosted by Jackson, who will be blogging and web-chatting during the performances, in real time from inside the club, on the WBGO Blog: Jazz & Beyond (WBGO.org/blog). The WBGO broadcast team will create exclusive content to connect personally with the public, such as an online photo gallery created live during the concerts that visitors can check out using Flickr, an online photo management and sharing application gallery.

    Live at The Village Vanguard begins on June 11 with Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos, the Argentine pianist and composer and his 11-piece band. On June 18, WBGO, NPR and the Vanguard present a live show with innovative jazz drummer Brian Blade, in performance with the Fellowship Band. Other scheduled concerts are the Uri Caine Trio on July 1; the Kenny Barron Quintet on August 27; Paul Motian, Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano on September 3; the Bill Charlap Trio on October 8; the Ravi Coltrane Quartet on November 19; and the Cedar Walton Quartet on December 17.

    Jazz content currently accounts for 15 percent of the music on the NPR music site, and NPR believes this is an exciting way to reintroduce the genre to its overall audience. Live at The Village Vanguard is the first jazz concert series to be live webcast by NPR Music and the latest addition to the site’s popular “Concerts” section, which features hundreds of regional and national web concerts and adds more than 15 new performances each month. The series continues NPR Music’s long tradition of presenting live performance jazz on air and online.

    The Village Vanguard continues to blaze the trail when it comes to live performance. Vanguard owner Lorraine Gordon did not hesitate when she was approached with the idea of a broadcast collaboration. "It’s an honor and a pleasure to work with WBGO. [W]BGO is a part of the structure of jazz today and the scene…very necessary."

    Live at the Village Vanguard Schedule
    Join us at the Village Vanguard, or from your living room for any of the following dates:

    Wed. June 11th – Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos
    Wed. June 18th – Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band
    Tues. July 1st – Uri Caine Trio
    Wed. August 27th – Kenny Barron Quintet
    Wed. September 3rd – Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano
    Wed. October 8th – Bill Charlap Trio
    Wed. November 19th – Ravi Coltrane Quartet
    Wed. December 17th – Cedar Walton Quartet

    • Live Meebo chat room: www.wbgo.org/villagevanguard

    • Live blogging: www.wbgo.org/blog

    • OR, get it the next day at WBGO.ORG/ONDEMAND and NPR.ORG/MUSIC.

  • At Home With An Urban Cowboy

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    Urban Cowboy
    I recently stopped by the Piscataway home of Miles Dean to talk about a little trip he just got back from. The Newark teacher spent six months crossing the country on horseback.
    It's a remarkable story which you can hear more about in the WBGO Journal archives. After I was done with the interview, we continued to talk on tape about this and that, including his love of horses and, in particular, the horse he relied on during his cross-country journey. I also brought along my camera to get some shots and video of Miles and his horses which you can check out in a short film I produced.
    -Andrew Meyer

  • 2009 NEA Jazz Masters Announced

    June 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Jazz MastersThe National Endowment for the Arts today announced the recipients of the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters Award-the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. The six recipients will each receive a $25,000 grant award, and will be publicly honored in an awards ceremony and concert on Friday, October 17, 2008.
    The six 2009 NEA Jazz Masters are:
    George Benson (vocalist/guitar)
    Jimmy Cobb (drums)
    Lee Konitz (saxophone)
    Toots Thielemans (harmonica and guitar)
    Snooky Young (trumpet)
    Rudy Van Gelder (rec. engineer)

  • 2009 IAJE Conference Canceled

    April 20, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Sigh.  What a drag.  I was just talking to a friend and about this yesterday.  He was telling me that IAJE is where he first met mentors like Kenny Garrett, and the peers that he works with today.  It's sad for the jazz community at large, and for all it means to the young upcoming musicians.  A personal sense of loss for sure.  Details are below...


    Friday, April 18, 2008

    American jazz gathering, planned for Seattle, is canceled

    By Paul de Barros

    Seattle Times jazz critic

    The most important American jazz gathering of the year, scheduled to take place in Seattle in January, has been canceled because its presenter is declaring bankruptcy.

    In what is being described as a "perfect storm" of bad luck, unchecked growth, fundraising and management failures, the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) - an important link to Seattle's successful school jazz-band scene - has collapsed.

    According to IAJE's legal counsel, Alan Bergman, it will go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy and be turned over to a trustee, its assets parceled out to creditors.

    A letter from the group's president, Chuck Owen, is scheduled to go out to members as early as today, announcing the bankruptcy - and essentially the dissolution - of the 40-year-old organization.

    "It's a dark day," said band director Clarence Acox, whose award-winning Garfield High School jazz band has performed at IAJE's gathering four times.

    "It's one of the best jazz events in the world, for the performances by great musicians, clinics, meetings, a place for people to network and exchange ideas. It was the one event when all the people in jazz could get together and have fellowship."

    Roosevelt High School band director Scott Brown, whose band has played the conference as well, agreed.

    "I'm bummed," said Brown. "We had hoped to perform, but it's way more global than that. It's exposure to so much music that's going on around the world, to information about the business, networking, clinicians."

    IAJE meets in different cities each year, but often in New York.

    It began in 1968 as a modest professional gathering of jazz-music teachers, holding its first conference in 1973.

    In 1997, the conference embraced an "industry track," absorbing another convention previously sponsored by JazzTimes magazine, which brought in record companies, agents, managers, radio professionals and high-profile performers such as Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones.

    Since then, the organization has formed chapters worldwide and has become the site for the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards ceremony; commissions of new works; an academic conference; programs to promote women in jazz; and a wide array of other programs, including a teacher-training institute.

    In a good year, the conference attracts 7,000 to 8,000 people, a must-attend for anyone involved in jazz.

    Rumors that the organization was in trouble surfaced after this year's dramatically underattended conference in Toronto, down 40 percent.

    In a March 25 letter to 8,000 members, Owen announced the suspension of IAJE's magazine, its search for a new executive director, its scholarship programs and its summer retreat.

    The letter also explained that the organization's ambitious capital campaign had spent more money in startup costs than it took in.

    Owen asked members to donate $25 and netted about $12,000 from 250 donors, according to Bergman. Greg Yasinitzy, IAJE's Northwest division coordinator, said he had been told IAJE liabilities exceeded $1 million.

    Bergman said he felt the organization's rapid growth had outstripped the expertise of its founders.

    "A bunch of jazz musicians formed this organization and it grew into a multimillion-dollar operation with a huge convention and a big staff and big journal, but it was still run by a volunteer board elected by the membership that met twice a year."

    Though the conference in Seattle has been canceled, there is already talk of a regional conference that may take place instead.

    Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

  • Marcus Strickland on We Insist: Jazz Speaks Out

    April 4, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    clermont1.jpg

    Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing a dear friend and an overwhelmingly talented musician.  Marcus Strickland, winner of the 2006 Jazz Times Reader's poll for Artist of the Year, is a unique and special artist.

    On this episode of We Insist: Jazz Speaks Out, we discuss the role of jazz in the "X" generation, and the new roles jazz musicians have to take in being proactive int heir careers, in the ever-evolving record business.    Marcus talks about his new album Open Reel Deck his work with musicians outside of the jazz community and how hip-hop is influencing his music more than ever.  He also discusses the idea of "young lions" in jazz, and how it's really not so different from Charlie Parker, and Trane.  This was a great interview.  Check it out.
    www.wbgo.org/weinsist