WBGO Blog
  • Horace Silver Memorial Service: July 7 at 7 p.m.

    July 1, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    A memorial service will be held Monday, July 7 at 7 p.m. for pianist and composer Horace Silver, at the Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church at 290 Henry Street in Manhattan, NY, 10002.

    Attire is casual, and the family requests flowers not be sent to the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to:

    Horace Silver Foundation

    20 Emerson Point

    New Rochelle, NY 10801

    Silver passed away June 18 at his home in New Rochelle from cardiac arrest.

    Born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1928, Silver got his first big break in 1950. when saxophonist Stan Getz heard the pianist's group in Hartford and invited them on tour. Moving to New York in 1951, he recorded many memorable sessions for the Blue Note Records and remained with the label until 1980.

    Silver, who was honored as an NEA Jazz Master in 1995, will be remembered for his soulful hard-bop performances and compositions, which include "Peace," "Song For My Father," "Sister Sadie" and "The Preacher."

    WBGO says goodbye to this dear friend and master musician. Our condolences go out to Jemela, Greg, other family members and the countless others he touched over the years.

    Thank you, Horace, and rest in peace!

    Horace_Silver_by_Dmitri_Savitski_1989
    Photo by Dimitri Savitski

  • Pheeroan AkLaff on Dolphy Tribute: Listen Now

    May 29, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Drummer Pheeroan AkLaff talks with Sheila Anderson about "Freedom Of Sound," a two-day celebration of saxophonist Eric Dolphy at Montclair State University May 30 and 31. Enjoy!

    pheeroanaklaff1

  • Happy 100th Arrival, Sun Ra! Listen Now

    May 22, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Playdate, RIP

    It's the 100th anniversary of afrofuturist Sun Ra's "Arrival" from the planet Saturn, by way of Alabama, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Listen to his Arkestra perform "Space Is The Place," as recorded by WBGO on April 21, 1991:

    sunra396130

    Sun Ra was born Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, and developed his persona and approach to music, which combined imagery from Egyptian mythology, Freemasonry and space travel, while based in Chicago in the 1940s.

    His big band, the Arkestra, embodied this vision in sound and dress, and performed his sophisticated arrangements, which incorporated psychedelia, traditional African folk songs and bebop. His live shows were spiritual, and made a profound impression on those who saw them.

    “When I saw Sun Ra on the banks of the Hudson in the late 1980s,” recalls JazzSet producer Becca Pulliam, “it was a long summer evening, the sun was setting, and he had a little electric keyboard. I wonder what powered it. He and the musicians were singing "We travel the space wa-aves .. from pla-net to pla-net .."

    Show #2 of our series Playdate With Matt Wilson celebrates Sun Ra with more highlights from the Arkestra's performance in 1991 for WBGO. To learn more about Sun Ra and his centennial, click here.

    To celebrate Sun Ra's centennial, former Arkestra drummer Michael D. Anderson has digitally remastered and released more than twenty albums from the first half of his career, from 1957 through 1972, many of which have never been available in digital form. For more information, visit iTunes.

    Happy anniversary, Sun Ra!