WBGO Blog
  • Two PBS programs focus on Blues and the Jazz Age

    September 29, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    PBS has two programs in the coming week that focus on New Orleans Blues and the Jazz Age.  This Friday, September 30 at 9pm (Eastern), British actor Hugh Laurie showcases his musical side in a Great Performances episode filmed in New Orleans.  October 2-4, 8-10pm nightly, brings Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's Prohibition, about the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution and its effect on (or creation of) the Jazz Age.

    Laurie says he finds his greatest satisfaction and inspiration from the mixture of blues and jazz that grew out of New Orleans at the beginning of the last century. This Great Performances, "Let Them Talk," includes documentary and interview segments during Laurie's travels around the city.  The program features his performances with blues legends Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, as well as a fellow countryman Sir Tom Jones. With concert sequences filmed at the historic Latrobe’s building in the French Quarter, the musical selections include New Orleans blues standards along with some forgotten and neglected gems.

    Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson
    Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson

    On Friday at 6:30pm, tune into WBGO for the WBGO Journal as TV Guide's Bruce Fretts stops by to preview Prohibition.  Ken Burns will also be a guest on Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio on WBGO Jazz88.3FM on Monday, October 3 at 6:30pm.

    Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works
    Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works
  • When MB Met Fred

    November 9, 2010. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    The Brooklyn Museum is showing a retrospective of artist Fred Tomaselli now through January 2nd. Tomaselli’s work involves a collage of mixed media: painting, photographs, and a variety of images that have become Tomaselli signatures. Birds. Bugs. Leaves. Beads. Even actual pills that he sticks onto the pieces. One of his most amusing works shows a colossal baby trampling a cityscape like Godzilla. It’s Tomaselli’s son, and as you look closer you see that the cityscape is actually a jumble of toys. One of his most spectacular pieces shows Adam and Eve driven out from a burst of eyes and teeth and creatures, a Big Bang of life’s miscellany. He’s also done works that look like intimate close-ups of chemical elements or human cells. Microcosms. Macrocosms. And sometimes both all at once. I talked with Fred Tomaselli at his Brooklyn studio for the 11/12/10 WBGO Journal. You can hear the entire interview as a web extra, and you can see here a slideshow of Tomaselli’s works in the show at the Brooklyn Museum.

    -Michael Bourne

  • 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