• 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.

  • Kenny Barron Quintet: Live At The Village Vanguard

    June 5, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

    Kenny Barron. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Among jazz musicians, especially in New York City, pianist Kenny Barron is considered an institution. He spent years in bands led by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef and Stan Getz, and brings that wisdom to every note. He's put out dozens of albums, continues to write new music, and turns up in classrooms and on concert stages throughout the city. And he continues to play brilliantly, with clarity and ebullience alike — his latest album pairs him with an all-Brazilian band.

    For his 70th birthday week, Barron's band is playing another jazz institution: the Village Vanguard. Included in the repertoire are songs by the late Mulgrew Miller, another pianist of gentle temperament and profound capability. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live video webcast and radio broadcast of the Kenny Barron Quintet.

    Set List

    • "5/4 Blues" (Barron)
    • "Second Thoughts" (Mulgrew Miller)
    • "Mariposa de Sueño" (Samora Pinderhughes)
    • "Rain, Rain" (Barron)
    • "DPW" (Barron)


    • Kenny Barron, piano
    • Vincent Herring, alto saxophone
    • Brandon Lee, trumpet
    • Kiyoshi Kitagawa, bass
    • Lee Pearson, drums
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  • Miguel Zenón Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard

    May 15, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

    Miguel Zenón. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Ever since he started becoming one of the best alto saxophone players in the world, Miguel Zenón has drawn influence from his upbringing in Puerto Rico. Folk melodies, forms and rhythms have inspired many of his technically astounding yet immediately gratifying works. So it makes sense that he's giving back. He's launched an initiative called Caravana Cultural, presenting free jazz concerts and lectures on the island. His latest album Oye!!! was recorded live in San Juan with Puerto Rican musicians. And his newest book of compositions was based on interviews with Puerto Ricans living in New York.

    Zenón too lives in New York, and his stunning U.S-based quartet has supported his every move for 10 years now. It's been invited to play a prestigious home date: It visits the Village Vanguard for a week in mid-May. It's the first time he's led a band at the Vanguard, and he brought his new tunes with him. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live video webcast and radio broadcast of the Miguel Zenón Quartet at this page.

    Set List

    All compositions by Miguel Zenón.

    • "Identities Are Changeable"
    • "My Home"
    • "Same Fight"
    • "Second Generation Lullaby"
    • "First Language"


    • Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone
    • Luis Perdomo, piano
    • Hans Glawischnig, bass
    • Henry Cole, drums


    Host and Producer: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Josh Webb. Recorded May 15, 2013 at The Village Vanguard in New York, N.Y.

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  • Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds: Live At The Village Vanguard

    April 10, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

    Jeff Ballard. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    The drummer Jeff Ballard has a band called Fairgrounds. Well, he doesn't have a band as much as he has lots of bands, and knows lots of people to fill them — which might be expected of someone who has been a drummer for Chick Corea, Ray Charles and Brad Mehldau. With the Fairgrounds project, he gets to play a little fantasy baseball, mixing and matching sounds and musicians for his own ends.

    When this sideman-of-choice gets to headline a week at the Village Vanguard — a half-year after his first run was foiled by Hurricane Sandy aftermath — he brought together musicians from different locations and generations. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live video webcast of the Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds in concert.

    Set List

    • "1974 Blues" (E. Harris)
    • "Run To The Sun" (K. Hays)
    • "Freegrounds" (group improvisation)
    • "Lady B" (Ballard)
    • "Sweet Stuff" (H. Silver)
    • "Cryin' Blues" (E. Harris)
    • "Days Fly By [With Ruby]" (J. Parker)


    • Jeff Ballard, drums
    • Eddie Henderson, trumpet
    • Kevin Hays, piano
    • Jeff Parker, guitar
    • Larry Grenadier, bass
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  • Tom Harrell's 'Colors Of A Dream': Live At The Village Vanguard

    March 27, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

    Tom Harrell at the Village Vanguard. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR)

    At 66, the jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell is as busy as ever: His current band has released five excellent albums since 2007 alone. (It performed for this concert series in 2009.) He's so prolific that he's been writing and arranging music for other ensembles all the while. Last year, Harrell presented a nine-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and he's been at work on a new, piano-less project. That band, called Colors of a Dream, supplements most of his working quintet with new additions — saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding.

    A veteran of bandleaders like Horace Silver and Phil Woods, Harrell visits the Village Vanguard to present the next step in his now-hefty solo discography. WBGO and NPR Music featured Colors of a Dream in a live online video webcast and radio broadcast.

    Set List

    All compositions by Tom Harrell.

    • "State"
    • "Phantasy In Latin"
    • "2013 Blues"
    • "Sail Away"
    • "Sunday"
    • "Nite Life"


    • Tom Harrell, trumpet/flugelhorn
    • Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone
    • Wayne Escoffery, tenor saxophone
    • Esperanza Spalding, bass/vocals
    • Ugonna Okegwo, bass
    • Johnathan Blake, drums
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