WBGO Blog
  • Dinah Washington at Newport 1958

    August 9, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    The Newport Jazz Festival, the king of American music festivals, starts today. Tune in to our broadcast from the 54th Annual Newport Jazz Festival starting tomorrow at 11:30am. In the meantime, enjoy a 50 year old timeless performance from the Queen, Dinah Washington.

  • A TRIP TO LOST JERSEY AND ELLIS ISLAND'S FORGOTTEN SIDE

    July 31, 2008. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

     When you hop on the ferry to visit Ellis Island, you get a taste of America's immigrant roots. 

     Ellis Island Main Building

    However, only a fraction of the island is open to the public. 

     Ellis Island hospital complex

    The vast hospital complex which covers the south side of Ellis Island has been abandonned for about 50 years and is off-limits to the public, but that's going to be changing. 

    connecting hallway

    Efforts are underway to stabilize and restore these buildings. 

    After an initial trip with a group of Jersey lawmakers six years ago, I had a chance to go back recently to check on the progress that's been made in preserving not only the buildings but the history that goes with them. What I found can be heard in the next feature in WBGO News' Lost Jersey series, which airs on our next WBGO Journal, Friday, August 1 at 7:30pm.

    Andrew Meyer

  • WBGO and NPR at the 2008 JVC Newport Jazz Festival

    July 31, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Earlier this summer, WBGO launched NPR's first concert series of live jazz webcasts, "Live at the Village Vanguard," which offers monthly shows from the legendary New York City venue. Next weekend, August 9 and 10, WBGO and NPR Music are teaming up to live webcast main stage acts from the JVC Jazz Festival Newport. On the bill are legendary pianist Herbie Hancock; producer, performer and Jazz Festival founder George Wein; guitarist Howard Alden; along with rising jazz stars Esperanza Spalding and Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos. I'll be your host. Should be fun.

    Check out one of my favorite performances captured at Newport.

     

  • Live Blog - Village Vanguard 7.1.08

    July 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Uri Caine at the Village Vanguard

    Join the live chat.
    Check out some photos from today and tonight.

    9:00pm Opening with "Loose Trade." This may or may not lead into Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." We'll see.

    9:03pm Lorraine Gordon, the Vanguard owner, just arrived. She's gracious enough to allow us to be here at the Vanguard. That, and she lets me set up shop in her office.

    9:06pm I seem to be having an issue with the Chat Room. Bear with me.

    9:11pm I saw this trio here in 2003. I was captivated by the improvisation of it all. When I looked onstage, I saw all of the high quality microphones, and realized that the show was being recorded. It's a great record.

    9:13pm That last song premiered tonight. Simply called "1." Originally it was called "Vanguard 1." Not sure if this title will stick...but that's what it is tonight.

    9:15pm "Foolish Me." Beautiful and quiet.

    9:20pm You'll find this one, "Snaggletooth," on that Live at the Village Vanguard recording from 2003

    9:25pm This is "Interloper." Uri named it tonight, while he was picking the set list. Originally, it was "Vanguard 2."

    9:31pm This is "Othello," if I remember correctly.

    9:38pm "The Axis of Evil" Suite Three songs that clearly identify Uri's political leanings.
    They are "Stuff Hapens," "What Have They Done" and "BushWhack."

    9:42pm You can also clearly detect Uri's comedic side on this music. He's a funny guy.

    9:43pm I've yet to join the chat. All apologies. I'm having a problem reaching it, but I know that Patrick Jarenwattananon at NPR is holding down the fort. For those visiting the chat, you're in safe hands. I'm afraid that Iwon't be joining tonight. Too much going on. But check out the photo. Link is above.

    9:50pm "What Have They Done" This is an abridged title. You might be able to figure out the rest. I'm not saying. For the record, is was a bit of self-censorship on Uri's part. That's why we have a disclaimer...

    9:53pm I hope you all are enjoying the show. Let us know.

    9:55pm Some flourishes a la McCoy Tyner. Uri and McCoy both from Philadelphia.

    9:57pm There are more than 25 photos from today and tonight's experience at the Village Vanguard. Check them out.

    10:00pm I hear the subway rumbling beneath Uri talking.

    10:01pm "Smelly" is another Uri original.

    10:02pm The Village Vanguard and its acoustics are really the perfect setting for a piano trio. The Vanguard website has a list of commercially available recordings from the club. You'll find quite a few great piano trio recordings. Lots, in fact.

    10:04pm And I think that the Cuban legend Bebo Valdes is releasing a duo w/ bass album in early September. I'm getting off topic, though...

    10:05pm  We've finally moved to Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." Uri and the trio are caling options at this point.  We're past the set list that he gave me earlier.  Unchartered territory for thebroadcast, but the band knows this song well.  Also on their Vanguard recording.

    10:07pm  Gotta go for now.  Will be back.