WBGO Blog
  • WBGO Says Goodbye To Amiri Baraka

    January 9, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: josh jackson, RIP

    WBGO says goodbye to Amiri Baraka, who died today at 79. The author, activist and Newark native made indelible contributions to literature and music criticism, in particular through Blues People, his groundbreaking 1963 collection of essays which traced the evolution of African-American music.

    "He was one of the most insightful and brilliant observers jazz has ever attracted," said jazz writer Paul de Barros, upon learning of his death. "Part of a time when the context for jazz writing was so much broader and more connected -- in Baraka's case, to poetry, drama, social criticism and politics."

    Many of us at WBGO had the good fortune to know Amiri, and his urbane, incisive and unrepentant wit. Most recently, WBGO's Josh Jackson sat down with Baraka to talk about Blues People on the 50th anniversary of its publication. We'd like to share the conversation with you again now.

    Thank you, Amiri, and rest in peace. WBGO's condolences are with Baraka's family and many friends.

    The Wake
    Friday, January 17, 2014
    4:00pm to 9:00pm
    Metropolitan Baptist Church
    149 Springfield Avenue
    Newark, NJ 07103
    973.642.2267
    www.mbcnewark.org

    The Funeral
    Saturday, January 18, 2014
    10:00am
    Newark Symphony Hall
    1020 Broad Street
    Newark, NJ
    973.643.8014
    www.newarksymphonyhall.org

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  • WBGO Says Goodbye To Sax Master Yusef Lateef

    December 23, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO says goodbye to multi-reed master Yusef Lateef, who died Dec. 23 from prostate cancer. This "Gentle Giant" of the tenor saxophone, one of the first to bring non-Western instruments into his recordings and compositions, was named a NEA Jazz Master in 2010, the nation's highest honor for a jazz musician.

    Lateef sat down with WBGO's Josh Jackson to celebrate that occasion, and we'd like to share that conversation with you again now. Thank you, Yusef, we will miss you!

    Yusef_Lateef

  • Farewell To Guitarist Jim Hall: Concert & Interview

    December 10, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    We say goodbye to our friend Jim Hall, who passed away in his sleep Dec. 10, one week in to his 84th year in music.

    Jim was revered by fellow guitarists, and rightly so. He was a gentleman's gentleman, too.

    We were fortunate to enjoy many moments with Jim over the years, and would like to share some with you now.

    In 2004, Jim shared some wonderful stories with WBGO's Sheila Anderson on the occasion of his being honored as an NEA Jazz Master, the nation's highest honor for a jazz musician.

    We were with him at the Newport Jazz Festival this August, where we broadcast his heartbreakingly beautiful guitar duet with Julian Lage, as well as Steve Colley on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. This is one of Jim's last recorded performances.

    Farewell Jim, we will miss you!

    Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR
    Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR