WBGO Blog
  • John Mosca And Doug Purviance Of The Vanguard Orchestra Celebrate Fifty Years With Gary Walker

    February 8, 2016. Posted by Josh Landes.

    Two veterans of the Vanguard Orchestra stopped by WBGO to talk about the band's foundational mantra, the withering stare of co-founder Thad Jones, and the experience of playing to James Coburn and Miles Davis at the height of their fame. John Mosca and Doug Purviance speak with WBGO's Gary Walker on Morning Jazz.

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  • Josh Jackson Named WBGO's New VP of Content

    August 19, 2013. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    NEWARK, NJ, August 19, 2013 - Josh Jackson has been named to the newly-created position of Vice President of Content of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, it was announced today by Amy Niles, the station's Acting President and CEO. Jackson, who continues as host of WBGO's hour-long music magazine, The Checkout, was previously Special Projects Producer.

    Josh Jackson
    Josh Jackson, WBGO VP of Content

    "I am pleased to name Josh as our Vice President of Content," said Niles. "This new position reflects the evolving nature of WBGO as both a creator and distributor of content for our communities of Jazz and News. Josh has a keen understanding and respect for the past, present and future of jazz. He is the personification of WBGO's mission to continue the vibrancy of this music as a cultural art form and his enthusiasm for broadcasting is contagious."

    Jackson began his radio career at WWOZ in New Orleans, moved to New York to become the associate producer of Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and joined WBGO in 2001. He has created three multi-platform concert programs, Live at the Village Vanguard, The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca and The Checkout: Live at Berklee, all in partnership with NPR. Jackson has produced award-winning documentaries and hundreds of live concert recordings while at WBGO. He is the co-founder of Joyride Media and the 2010 and 2012 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association's Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.

    Jackson's recent programming initiative is WBGO Radar - a discovery service for new music. Jackson and WBGO Music Director Gary Walker review new recordings and consider them for exclusive debuts at WBGO.org/RADAR.

  • Live from the Village Vanguard: Ethan Iverson, Ben Street & Tootie Heath

    August 22, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Check out footage of drummer Tootie Heath with Ethan Iverson on piano and Ben Street playing Live at the Village Vanguard.


    Watch live streaming video from wbgo at livestream.com
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  • Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Anticipates the Fourth of July on JazzSet

    June 26, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

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    Thanks to our colleagues at WBGO and NPR Music, this week JazzSet brings you a treasure of a band. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has achieved dazzling longevity, assembled a huge book of charts, and features one of New York's finest and bravest in every chair. Check this out:

    Of course in 46 years, there have been personnel changes beginning with the singer. Host Dee Dee Bridgewater launched her career at The Vanguard with the original Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra from 1970-74. No one has replaced her. Thad had a nickname for her; she reveals it on JazzSet.

    Celebrating their anniversary, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra plays compositions by Jones and Bob Brookmeyer, Thad's successor as Musical Director. They wrap up waving the flag with a number Jones wrote for the Bicentennial, 7/4/76.   "My Centennial" has an irresistible melody led by the trumpets, with fireworks.

    Listen at 6:30 tomorrow evening, Wednesday, June 27. Or click here for JazzSet on demand. Happy Fourth!

  • JazzSet in October

    October 3, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater is celebrating ten years with Dee Dee as host, and nearing our 20th anniversary on the air with live music every week. You have two chances to catch this week's show on WBGO Jazz 88 - Sundays at 6pm, Wednesdays at 6:30. Miss a show? Listen on demand. We're in Surround Sound. Here's our early fall line-up:

    THIS WED, OCT 5, HEAR 2012 NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, born October 3, 1923

    We knew Freeman was born and stayed in Chicago, but until earlier this year, everyone including the man himself thought his birth year was 1922. Howard Reich of The Chicago Tribune suspected it was 1923, and writes here about how he corrected Von Freeman history. On this JazzSet from New Year's Eve, 2010, at the Green Mill, he dukes it out in a mock battle with fellow tenor Ed Petersen .

    Freeman by Jimmy Katz
    Freeman by Jimmy Katz

    Yotam, courtesy of the artist
    Yotam courtesy of the artist

    SUN, OCT 9, AND WED, OCT 12, DISCOVER Ben Williams & Sound Effect and the Yotam Silberstein Quartet .. two new talents from the KC Jazz Club

    Williams from the DC area won the Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition; now he leads a fresh-sounding quintet with Marcus Strickland on sax and Christian Sands on piano, to name just two. Guitarist Yotam from Tel Aviv made a great first impression on Kennedy Center audiences in the sold-out Ella! concert (as broadcast on JazzSet), and in Yotam's quartet you'll hear his boyhood friend from Israel, Roy Assaf on piano.

    NEXT, WE REPRISE TWO ALTERNATE ROUTES CONCERTS FROM NJPAC:

    SUN, OCT 16, AND WED, OCT 19, NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston & African Rhythms
    For pianist Weston, jazz is not a genre. It's home, celebrated in music from the opening "African Rhythms" to his long-time theme, "Love, the Mystery Of."

    SUN, OCT 23, AND WED, OCT 26, Danilo Perez AND Poncho Sanchez, Back to Back
    Danilo from Panama plays emotional, colorful, storytelling music from his album Providencia. Poncho from southern California and his long-running Latin jazz band (two dozen albums, one a year) party with the Newark audience, including some of his own family.

    SUN, OCT 30, AND WED, NOV 2, NEA Jazz Master Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner at the Kennedy Center - broadcast premiere of a concert from March, 2010
    Toots holds the harmonica to his lips, the mic to his harmonica, and the music seems to come straight from his heart, with Guggenheim Fellow Kenny Werner on piano. The music comes from Belgium, the US and Brazil.

    Toots Thielemans by Jos Knaepen
    Thielemans by Jos Knaepen

    Hargrove by John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com
    Hargrove by John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

    SUN, NOV 4, AND WED, NOV 7, The Second Set: Trumpeter Roy Hargrove Quintet at the Village Vanguard

    The first set aired Live from the Village Vanguard on WBGO and NPR Music. Here's the second set - all music, not a word from the stage. At the end, the audience claps for three minutes straight for Justin Robinson, alto; Sullivan Fortner, piano; Ameen Saleem, bass; Montez Coleman, drums; and Roy Hargrove. The sweetest tone in town.