February 19, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
The WBGO News Department was awarded six honors in the 2008 New York Association of Black Journalists Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner. NYABJ recognizes the best in Print, New Media, Radio, Magazine and Television reporting of issues that affect the Black Diaspora. WBGO News Director Doug Doyle led the way for the station's talented department, which received more radio awards than any other radio station.
Doug Doyle wins in the Spot News/General Category for story CorpsGriot
David Cruz, Adele Oltman, Andrew Meyer and D. Doyle win in the Public Affairs Category for WBGO Journal: 40 Years After the Riots
Doug Doyle wins in the Arts and Entertainment Category for Glee Club
Doug Doyle wins the International Category for Going to Ghana
Doug Doyle and Jen Poyant win in the Sports Category for Ring of Honor
Doug Doyle, wins 2nd place in the General Features-Long Category for The Clubhouse
The WBGO News Department has more 35 NYABJ Awards since Doyle took over the news department in 1998.
Special honorees included TV anchorwoman Roz Abrams, the late Gerald Boyd, Alphonso Van Marsh of CNN and Wilbert Tatum of The Amsterdam News. Also honored was Eric Tait, former ABC News and freelance documentary producer and WBGO major donor. Mr. Tait won in the Documentary Category for his program Lift Every Voice & Sing: The Choral Music Legacy of the Historical Black Colleges and Universities.
Way to go, WBGO!
© 2008 WBGO
February 11, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
Like many of you, I was home last night watching the Grammys. I started not to watch it, because often times it's long, tedious, and not very interesting. At least for someone like me who doesn't listen to a whole lot of mainstream music. But it was a Sunday night, and I was routing for a few albums, and so I thought...why not? I ordered up my dinner and plopped in front of the screen.
As I was watching the red carpet special, the E! host caught up with Herbie Hancock. Herbie mentioned to the host that it had been 43 years since a Jazz album won the overall Best Album category. Well, the Grammys have only been around for 50! That really blew my mind. I then began to really think about that and frankly, it truly bothered me. I knew that the lack of well-rounded programming on the Grammys was always frustrating to me and many others, but Herbie's comment really put it into perspective for me. I mean, think about it...I don't think I've ever just seen a quartet or a quintet just burn out on a Grammy stage. Jazz is always packaged in some cheesy, or watered-down package on mainstream award shows. Bad enough that the Jazz categories don't get televised! Then when they DO show jazz-type performances, they are so "Vaudevilled" out, that it's no wonder that the masses (especially a lot of young folks) don't become necessarily interested in Jazz...the representations are all wrong!
OK, now that I'm done venting, let's talk about some of the highlights for me, and the things I'm very proud of about this year's Grammys.
HERBIE HANCOCK WON THE GRAMMY FOR ALBUM OF THE YEAR!
YES!!!! And well deserved. It was not "stolen" as I've read a couple places in the press this morning. I thought it was so commendable on the behalf of the academy to recognize Herbie in this way. I think the young artists - Winehouse, Kanye and the like, needed that. The music industry at large needed that. They needed to see where so much of their inspiration comes from. And that at 67, Herbie is still a giant among giants. You don't have to check out Maiden Voyage or Empyrean Isles to know just how bad this cat is (though I strongly suggest everyone does). He is always one to be contended with because he remains ahead of his time. And River: The Joni Letters, is just a beautiful album.
Another special highlight for me was Terence Blanchard getting the Grammy for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album for his
A Tale of God's Will: A Requiem for Katrina. This album is truly special, and I'm so glad it was acknowledged in this way. I was also happy for the late Michael Brecker to be honored.
I hope that Herbie's high-profile victory will open up the discussion about the importance of Jazz, and spark the programming folks at the Grammy's to consider including more Jazz performances, and exposing the thriving genre to a lot of folks that need to be hipped...and would greatly enjoy appreciate the music.
Congratulations to everyone!
© 2008 WBGO
January 30, 2008
With a little less than three weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the Mets made the move we Mets fans have been hoping for, getting lefty Johan Santana from the Twins for relatively cheap. Pending finalization of the plan (which we all expect shortly) the Mets will have solidified the team's pitching and made several of us here at Jazz 88 very (VERY!) happy.
On Day 1 of our Jazz with Heart Fund Drive it's good to know that someone's got cash to spare. And while we're not asking you to pledge a Johan Santana-like amount, we do hope that you'll do your share to keep this great music alive on the radio 24/7. Did you know that Johan Santana is from Venezuela? He is. And we just happen to have a great Latin Package that features "A Taste of Cacao: Latin Jazz with a Venezuelan Flavor." It's available, along with "Putumayo Presents Latin Jazz" for a pledge of $125. That makes you a part of the family, which you will come to appreciate immediately. Now, repita por favor: Let's Go Mets! Let's Go Mets! - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
January 25, 2008
As we roll into the meat of the primary season, I was overtaken by a sense of nostalgia for the bygone day when one journalist (Dan Rather) inserted himself into the 1988 presidential primary by going mano a mano with the leading Republican candidate (George H. W. Bush).
It was on this date two decades ago that this TV confrontation between Rather and Bush over the Iran/Contra scandal (and what G.W. knew or didn't know about it) became part of presidential political lore, and perhaps got George W. thinking about how he could pay Dan-O back, which he kinda did now that I think of it. (see Rather's report on the president's Vietnam service and the fallout thereafter.) It seems tame when compared to today's shock jock aesthetic, but it still probably makes the current George Bush mad as hell. Enjoy! - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
January 22, 2008
New Jersey's Senate Minority Leader wants the state Attorney General to investigate the arrest of former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. Tom Kean, Jr. wants to know if Lonegan's first amendment rights were violated when a state trooper ordered his arrest outside Middle Township High School in Cape May County where Governor Jon Corzine was holding a town meeting.
Lonegan was taken into custody after he refused to remove signs from outside the school. Kean said "the right to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances is the foundation of U.S. democracy." He suggested that the Corzine administration was trying to intimidate opponents into silence.
The governor has been holding town hall meetings on his proposal to raise tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as a means to bring down the state's debt and pay for infrastructure upgardes. But he has been criticized for requiring audience members to pre-register to attend. Here's what happened to the usually contentious Lonegan last week. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO