WBGO Blog
  • 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.

  • Dee Dee Bridgewater Stars in Lady Day - Benefit for WBGO

    August 1, 2013. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    WBGO Benefit Event Brings Exclusive Broadway Experience as
    Dee Dee Bridgewater Stars in Lady Day
    Jessye Norman, Honorary Chair and Hostess

    Dee Dee Bridgewater, photo by Carol Rosegg
    Dee Dee Bridgewater as Billie Holiday, photo by Carol Rosegg

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 7pm
    Times Square’s Little Shubert Theatre
    (422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)


    All proceeds from the September 24 preview performance ONLY benefit
    WBGO and The Actors Fund.

    Tony and Grammy Award® winner Dee Dee Bridgewater brings the essence and spirit of the late, great Billie Holiday to the stage this fall. Told through onstage triumphs and backstage personal trials, Lady Day tells the inspired and heart-wrenching story of Billie's attempt at a final comeback performance. Premium seats to this exclusive event will include a pre-show cocktail reception and post-show talk back.

    TICKET PRICES:

    Seating: $88 Ticket Includes post-show talk back
    BUY TICKETS: Visit Broadway Offers
    and use the code WBGO

    Premium Seating: $250 Ticket Includes premium seating (in first 8 rows of theater), pre-show cocktail reception (5:30pm) and post-show talk back
    BUY TICKETS: Visit
    The Actors Fund Store
    or EMAIL: tickets@actorsfund.org
    When emailing or leaving voice mail, please include name, address, phone, number of tickets, and we will confirm your order.

    *Telecharge service and handling fees will apply to purchases of the $88 tickets unless purchased at the Little Shurbert Theatre Box Office in person.

    CALL: 212.221.7300 ext. 133.  Ticket line hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am - 4:30 pm.

    You can pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, check and money order payments. All sales are final. Please remember that these tickets are solely for the benefit of WBGO and The Actors Fund and tickets cannot be exchanged, refunded or re-sold.

    Jessye Norman (photo by Carol Friedman)

    Just announced (8/28/13) JESSYE NORMAN will be Honorary Chair and Hostess of the evening!

    David Ayers
    David Ayers
    Jim Cammack
    James Cammack

    Ms. Bridgewater will be joined by David Ayers (Wicked and SILENCE!) in the role of "Robert," Billie Holiday's Manager and newcomer Rafael Poueriet in the role of the "Assistant Stage manager."

    James Cammack, veteran bass player for legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, tenor saxophonist Ken Hitchcock, who has played for legendary drummers Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich, Jerome Jennings (performer & drummer for Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins) and Bill Jolly (three-time Emmy Award winning pianist/composer/arranger) complete the acting ensemble  in the roles of onstage musicians.

    Written and directed by Stephen Stahl, the musical will make its New York debut having been produced at the Theatre de Boulogne-Billancourt and Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell in Paris as well as The Donmar Warehouse and The Piccadilly Theatre in London, where it received critical praise and garnered an Olivier “Best Actress in a Musical” Award nomination for Ms. Bridgewater. Produced by Misty Road Productions the show’s creative team also includes Mr. Jolly, who will also serve as musical director.

  • Juilliard Students perform live on WBGO

    April 13, 2013. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble performs live during
    WBGO's JAM Festival on April 16 at 2pm.

    The Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble
    The Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble

    Artist Diploma Ensemble is an elite group of emerging musicians who have already distinguished themselves as exceptional artists. They regularly perform at the Juilliard School, the Blue Note and Jazz at Lincoln Center, often with guest artists such as Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon and Ron Carter. An important aspect of their program at the Juilliard School is national and international touring. They have given workshops, master classes and concerts in Aiken, South Carolina, at the New Orleans and Detroit jazz festivals, as well as in Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, South Korea and Australia among other places. While highlighting the historical connections, they create music that is on the forefront of today’s jazz sound.

    Performers’ bios:

    Chicago based saxophonist Rob Haight attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Western Michigan University and completed his degree in music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Haight has studied saxophone, improvisation and composition with Bill Sears, Trent Kynaston, Rick Holland, Jerry DiMuzio, David Bloom, Scott Mason, Mike Smith, Tom Garling and Mark Colby.

    Rob Haight has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra featuring Patti Austin and Doc Severinsen, Chuchito Valdez, Michael Feinstein, Umphreys McGee, Ann Hampton Callaway, John Fedchock, Ron Hawking, the Elgin Symphony, and the Sabertooth Organ Quartet led by Cameron Pfiffner and Pat Mallinger. Rob is a member of Cameron Pfiffner's Marco Polo, Ian Torres Big Band, guest saxophonist with Spare Parts and performs frequently with Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Rob Haight has had the opportunity to perform with the incredible musicians of this group at various venues in Chicago as well as the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors.

    The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist, composer, and arranger, Christopher Ziemba, is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. After Ziemba made his debut in March 2009 as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed radio broadcast, Piano Jazz, David Lyon of National Public Radio reported: “Ziemba has developed the keen sensibilities and musical awareness of a great musician.” Most recently, in March 2011, Chris was chosen to participate in the Advancing Jazz Improvisation Master Classes with jazz icon Brad Mehldau. Presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, Chris was the only pianist selected nationally, to perform in both the solo piano and trio classes in New York City. In May 2008, Chris was one of three jazz pianists chosen from the Eastman School, to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C and at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. A 2011 graduate of the esteemed Eastman School of Music, where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, Chris has studied jazz piano with Fred Hersch, Frank Kimbrough, Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, and Paul Hofmann.

    John Tate is a bassist residing in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University and has studied with John Clayton, Rodney Whitaker, Kelly Sill, Marlene Rosenberg, and John Floeter. John has performed with Matt Wilson, Bill Carrothers, Von Freeman, Victor Goines, Vincent Herring, Scott Wendholt, and Sean Jones among many others. Currently, John is part of the Josh Moshier/Mike Lebrun Collective (2010 recipient of Chamber Music America’s New Works Grant), and is completing his Artist Diploma studies at The Juilliard School.

    Award-winning saxophonist and composer Michael Thomas has studied music from an early age, starting piano at 5 and saxophone at 10. Thomas’ focus shifted to jazz in high school, and during his senior year, he was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Miami (UM) as a Studio Music and Jazz Major. While at UM, Thomas was a member of the school’s top ensembles, including the Studio and Concert Jazz Bands, and the Frost Jazz Sextet. Upon earning his B.M. in 2008, Thomas moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory, where he received the jazz department’s Presidential Scholarship.

    Thomas’ career has taken him to venues throughout North and Central America, as well as Europe. In 2008, he participated in Betty Carter’s “Jazz Ahead” Workshop, and in 2010 was recognized by DownBeat Magazine in the 33rd Annual Student Music Awards as the winner of “Best Original Song” for his composition Refract.

    As a jazz drummer and world percussionist, Jeremy Noller represents both sides of a rare musical coin. Since his arrival in New York City in 2003, Jeremy has taken full advantage of the city’s diverse music scene, performing with many of the finest jazz musicians, contemporary percussionists, and West African drummers. Originally from Libertyville IL, he began studying percussion at the age of nine. He graduated with honors from the University of North Florida, and went on to complete his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Jeremy has been fortunate to have many great teachers and mentors, including Bunky Green, Kevin Bales, and John Riley. He has performed at many of New York City’s top jazz venues, and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2010, Jeremy released his debut album as a bandleader titled “Music Notes” featuring his original compositions that combine contemporary jazz and traditional West African rhythms. Also an experienced music educator, Jeremy has been actively teaching for over 14 years, and is on faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music in Manhattan. Jeremy is currently finishing his studies as a Jazz Artist Diploma candidate at The Juilliard School.