WBGO Blog
  • 'Treme,' Ep. 22: 'Dem Songs Is Gonna Stand, Son'

    September 25, 2012. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

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    Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) plays in a tribute to tuba player Kerwin James. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    If you've been watching the HBO series Treme with us, welcome back.

    If you're new here, welcome in the first place. WBGO's Josh Jackson, a New Orleans native, and I have been watching the music-saturated program set in post-Katrina New Orleans for two years now. After every episode, we try to establish some context for the many musical references and live performances the show features.

    As the show enters its third season, two years after Hurricane Katrina, the story remains much the same: Cultural survival is at stake. Here's the email dialogue Josh and I had.

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  • Heavy Rotation: Chano Dominguez, 'Freddie Freeloader'

    July 5, 2012. Posted by Gary Walker.

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    Chano Dominguez. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary Walker, music director at WBGO in Newark, N.J.

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  • A Cirque Du Soleil For The Senses: Five Jazz Groups From Montreal

    June 28, 2012. Posted by Simon Rentner.

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    L'Orkestre des Pas Perdus' latest album, L'âge du cuivre, was just nominated for a Juno Award. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    C'est la saison de jazz à Montreal! Starting Thursday night and running through next weekend, Francophone Canada's cultural metropolis hosts its grand prix: the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The self-proclaimed "largest jazz festival in the world" casts a musical spell over the city, across 10 outdoor stages, 15 concert halls and clubs galore with more than 1,000 shows.

    Much of the festival's magic comes from its two million attendees. High society in bow ties and evening gowns peacefully intermingles with young fans in high-top sneakers. Toddlers and old folks dance together in the streets. Brass bands battle across intersections. Jugglers, puppeteers, clowns — street performers of all stripes — compete for your attention. Mix in Montreal's wondrous culinary pleasures, and it's Cirque du Soleil for your senses.

    As for the on-stage talent, it comes from everywhere, but many featured performers have a well-known Canadian connection. The singer-songwriter Rufus Wainright will give a free homecoming concert for an anticipated record-setting crowd. Many of the city's local jazz artists are propped up, too. Here are five to catch.

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