WBGO Blog
  • 5 New Projects At Winter Jazzfest 2013

    January 11, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

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    Mark de Clive-Lowe, a DJ and keyboard player, will present his CHURCH ensemble. (Image Credit: Eric Coleman/Courtesy of the artist)

    Unpredictability is the active ingredient of New York's annual Winter Jazzfest. This year, fans will meander around six nearby clubs and take their pick of simultaneous shows. Choosing from among so many acts will be difficult.

    Many of the bands are new, paced in rapid succession and often cryptically named. If you only have 45 minutes to spare, do you check out Breeding Ground? Hazmat Modine? Merger? 40Twenty? 10^32K?

    Which band, led by an Israeli clarinet ace, will play Indonesian folk songs this year? Which tuba and harmonica ensemble will play its biggest Siberian hits? Which great bebop harpist, beloved to hip-hop fans, will be honored this year in a DJ-driven set?

    I've been finding out the answers for the jazz bee, WBGO's new HD2 stream for emerging artists, which is currently hosting a preview mix of music by all of the groups at Winter Jazzfest. With more than 70 acts set to take the stage this Friday and Saturday, here's a sneak peek at five acts who will present new music this year.

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  • 'Treme' Ep. 31: To Call It Quits

    November 27, 2012. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

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    The Lambreaux family meets with New Orleans city planners concerning a national jazz center. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    At the end of Treme's season three, with only an abbreviated season four to come, we find many characters walking away from opportunities. Spoiler alert for what follows.

    Lt. Colson leaves his job with an emphatic physical statement. The Lambreaux family walks away from the national jazz center project in Congo Square. Janette tries to leave her own restaurant. Antoine seems to be accepting that his calling is more in teaching than performing. Davis calls it quits on his music career. Annie is on the verge of quitting on Davis. Everett leaves town, his story done but with lasting change unresolved. Even LaDonna, among the most willfully determined characters in the show, isn't prepared to file a civil suit to follow up on the mistrial of her rapist.

    To help recap the soundtrack of the action, here once again is WBGO's Josh Jackson.

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  • 'Treme,' Ep. 30: Doing One Thing Right

    November 19, 2012. Posted by WBGO.

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    Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) and his student Robert (Jaron Williams) take a minute with trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, playing himself, at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    Nearly three seasons in, the character Davis still puzzles many of us who watch the show Treme.

    He certainly cares. Whether leading historical tours or launching R&B operas for royalty-abuse awareness, or throwing himself into various protests, he has a winning drive to do right by his hometown. Davis lives to participate in the New Orleans music community, and the earnest charm of his homerism isn't lost on other characters around him.

    At the same time, he's a whiny brat. He's uncomfortable with the privilege of his upbringing, yet moans when its largesse can't rescue his schemes or buy him acceptance. He aspires to work with the top tier of musicians in town, but clearly isn't on their level, and doesn't put in the effort to fix that. And as a boyfriend, he's so self-absorbed as to take Annie's presence for granted, even meddling drunkenly in her successes — not to mention cheating on her. It is implied, though never stated, that he's a tiny bit jealous of Annie's success.

    We heard his intrusion as Annie's Bayou Cadillac band tracked "This City" in the studio. Then we hear him working out an angry new song called "I Quit" at his piano. For the rest of this episode in music, here's Josh Jackson of WBGO.

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