WBGO Blog
  • JazzSet Presents Randy Weston's African Rhythms

    October 14, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Listen to JazzSet Sunday, October 16, at 6 p.m. for NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston and African Rhythms, in  concert from last winter at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. And if you miss Sunday's broadcast, there's a rebroadcast on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

    As always, you can visit our show page and hear this week's show any time on demand.

    Click here to hear a 30-second preview from host Dee Dee Bridgewater:

    Weston, who turned 85 in April, is having a banner year. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received honors from the King of Morocco at FIAF (photo above) in New York, and more honors this past weekend from The Jazz Ministry of Saint Peter's Church at All Night Soul . Weston made appearances in support of his memoir, African Rhythms, published by Duke University Press in late 2010.

    And tonight at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, Weston will be honored yet again, sign copies of his book, and perform. It's part of a special Jazz Vespers Service with Carla Cook and Houston Person from 4 to 10 p.m.

    Stay tuned to JazzSet -- for future broadcast, we are recording Roy Haynes and his Fountain of Youth Band this weekend at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

  • 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.

  • Randy Weston's Birthday Celebration Weekend Is Now

    April 9, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Randy WestonIt's Randy Weston's 84th birthday, and the celebration is at the Jazz Standard. Last night, I enjoyed the first set. For the opening minutes (at least five minutes), Weston's hands didn't venture above the middle of the keyboard. That powerful low piano goes straight to your center. The vibration is strong enough to make you a resonator! As Randy Weston says, "In the African tradition, we are all musicians. Your heart is your drum and your voice is your sound."

    As the set unfolded from the processional "Blues to Africa" through "Saucer Eyes," "African Sunrise" for Dizzy Gillespie and Machito, "Hi Fly" and "Berkshire Blues," I felt as if I'd died and gone to heaven (or Sunside, a Paris club which for some reason came to mind). Love yourself. Go see Randy Weston.

    Here's a clip of "African Sunrise" from the same quintet, as heard on JazzSet in 2004.