WBGO Blog
  • Join WBGO for Michael Bourne's 17th Year at Jazz on the Mountain

    May 11, 2015. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    WBGO is excited to extend a special invitation to our 6th annual "Jazz on the Mountain" at the historic, award winning Mohonk Mountain House January 15th-18th in the stunning Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York.

    Celebrating his 17th anniversary at Mohonk, WBGO's Michael Bourne will host this stellar program: a 4 day musical extravaganza over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.  Come find out why this event sells out every year! See photos from the 2015 trip.

    Mohonk Mountain House

    This year's performance schedule:

    Friday
    9PM Mohonk All Stars - Scott Robinson, Helen Sung, Martin Wind, Dave Stryker

    Saturday
    11AM Guy Davis
    3PM Dave Stryker
    9PM Duchess

    Sunday
    11AM Helen Sung
    3PM Ed Palermo and Rob Papparozzi
    9PM Antonio Hart

    Monday
    11AM Parlor Games Jam Session
    Scott Robinson, Helen Sung, Dave Stryker, Ed Palermo and Rob Papparozzi, Antonio Hart...

    Also included:

    • welcome reception on Friday evening
    • private dinner with Michael Bourne, musicians and WBGO guests on Saturday
    • WBGO/Mohonk Mountain House scavenger hunt on Sunday afternoon

    Location: Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark located just 90 miles north of New York City at 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561

    Rates*:
    Three (3) nights Single Occupancy: $1,585
    Three (3) nights Double Occupancy: $2,285

    Additional guest nightly rate: Under 4 – Stay Free; 4-12 yrs. old - $110.00; 13 & over - $196.00

    *These rates are inclusive of a 12% service charge. Tax is excluded for WBGO guests only.

    Whether you are planning a trip for the entire family, a romantic retreat for two, a weekend with good friends or treating yourself to a getaway, the Mountain House has something for everyone! The WBGO package includes: lavish breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets-or dinner as a traditional served meal with afternoon tea and cookies and all associated gratuities.  Guests receive amenities such as wireless internet access, ice-skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and use of the indoor heated swimming pool and comprehensive fitness center. Whether you choose to stay inside the Mountain House or venture out for some winter fun, this is sure to be an unforgettable weekend you'll mark on your calendar for years to come!

    Reservations: Please call WBGO Travel & Events at 1-973-624-8882 or events@wbgo.org. A $500 deposit is requested upon booking. Check payable to WBGO/Newark Public Radio, Attn: Travel & Events, 54 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102, or by credit card. Full payment will be due December 15.

    Cancellation policy:

    Please note there is a 14 day advance notice of cancellation in order to receive a full refund, less a $125 fee per room, non-refundable.

    Cancellations within 14 days will result in a forfeiture of one night’s stay.

  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Winds Of Brubeck

    February 12, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    This is the third of several highlights from this year's Jazz On The Mountain festival.

    Bassist Martin Wind is one of my most regular regulars at JOTM.

    Last year, he played one of the most beautiful concerts ever at Mohonk - a tribute to Bill Evans Turn Out The Stars, which I previewed for WBGO's RADAR when it came out as an album (with an Italian orchestra) last year.

    Photo by Merwin Grossman
    Photo by Merwin Grossman

    For this year, we talked about him playing what he calls "Bass Talk" -  solos, duets, and other groups playing music composed by the great bass players. As he worked on this music, a band evolved with Dave Stryker, Scott Robinson, and drummer Dennis Mackrel.

    windgroup2

    They started with a Sam Jones tune, ended with a Paul Chambers tune, and a beautiful highlight was "What's New?" by bassist Bob Haggart.

    Bassist Chris Brubeck was also slated to perform at Mohonk this year, but could not play. He'd fainted and fallen in the spa. He's okay, but spent the night at the Vassar hospital for tests.

    "Chris Brubeck & Friends" was how the group was advertised, and the "Friends" played on, with Martin Wind filling in on bass.

    windgroup1

    I'd heard the Brubeck Brothers play a great concert in Montreal with Chuck Lamb playing piano. He lives in Denver but was able to come, and he was, as I wanted, spectacular.

    chucklamb1

    They played Dave Brubeck classics (for me the tune that turned me on to jazz, "Strange Meadowlark") and originals of Chuck's and guitarist Mike DeMicco's, especially a highlighting song Chuck composed for his lady that danced from his fingers. Scott Robinson joined in on tenor sax for "In Your Own Sweet Way" and on bass sax for "Take Five."

    brubeck1

  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Guy & Dave Play The Blues

    February 10, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    This is the second of several highlights from this year's Jazz On The Mountain festival.

    One of my Mohonk regulars a decade ago, guitarist Dave Stryker, came back and opened this year’s JOTM on Friday evening.

    STRYKER1

    Dave brought his Eight-Track group -  that's Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums. They were joined by the seriously funky Steve Nelson on vibraharp.

    STRYKERGROUP1

    They played pop songs of the 70s,  - Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman/Superfly," Glenn Campbell's "Wichita Lineman," "Aquarius" from the musical Hair, and more from their great album, which we previewed on WBGO's RADAR last year.

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    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith

    Stryker's next album is a tribute to saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, one of the stars he first played with when he came to New York, and at Mohonk he played one of Mr T's hits, "Salt Song."

    Stryker also worked early on with Jack McDuff, and for Brother Jack he played some climactic blues.

    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith
    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith

    When singer Guy Davis came to WBGO for an interview on the Blues Hour, I asked him if he'd ever do a show for kids. He said yes - I said Mohonk - and Guy's show for kids and former kids on Saturday morning was sensational.

    GUYDAVIS4

    Guy told a story about a fellow escaping a chain gang, running from the hounds, crossing a river, and jumping on a train, all with his voice and harmonica.

    He conducted the kids of all ages in a singalong about "The Chocolate Man."

    GUYDAVIS5

    He played a 100-year-old banjo. He was great fun, and he'll be back to Mohonk.

    Coming up next - more Mohonk-y fun with Martin Wind, Scott Robinson and more!

  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Better Than Ever

    February 9, 2015. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    This is the first of several highlights from this year's Jazz On The Mountain festival.

    I was afraid I was jinxing myself, as I got ready for this year's JOTM at the Mohonk Mountain House.

    bournehost1

    This year's line-up looked to be one of the best I've emceed, performed at, and "curated" - more like "fantasized" - at Mohonk in 16 years. Almost too good to be true.

    But this year’s JOTM turned out to be, indeed, one of the best.

    amybournedavis669
    L-R: Amy Niles, Michael Bourne, Guy Davis. Photo: Cynthia Lewis & Byron Smith

    This year’s Jazz On The Mountain was enjoyed by more WBGO’ers than ever before.

    About half of Mohonk’s enormous castle on the lake was filled with folks who'd come on the WBGO trip package, and something like 140 folks attended the Saturday evening dinner with the artists.

    dinner2
    L-R: WBGO Dinner with Terry Dawson, Rita Annan-Brady & drummer Dennis Mackrel

    Kudos to the indefatigable WBGO travel troupe: Amy Niles, John Newcott, Carmen Balentine, and Jennifer Spiegler.

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    WBGO's Jen Spiegler

    My mantra about the artists I invite to Mohonk is that "they don't come to play a gig, they come to play!"

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    The Butler-Bernstein Hot Nine On Parade

    And the artists who get into the spirit of the jazzfest, in their own shows and often joining in other shows, while also enjoying being with their loved ones in the  Mountain House - we call these artists "Mohonk-y."

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    L-R: Scott Robinson, Martin Wind, Helen Sung, Dennis Mackrel

    And about that Mountain House… it was built in 1869, and it always looks beautiful!

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    Photo: Carmen Balentine

    Coming up: more on our favorite Mohonk-y moments and musicians, including Dave Stryker, Martin Wind, Scott Robinson and Catherine Russell, so stay tuned!

  • Bourne's Mohonk: Jazz on the Mountain, Day Four

    January 29, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    This is the last of four posts on this year's Jazz on the Mountain Festival.

    Jazz on the Mountain always ends on Monday morning with what I call the Parlor Games, a mixing and matching of the artists, sometimes playing my musical fantasies (a bass solo or a bass and bass sax duet, Joe playing a cappella, and the like) or whatever feels like it'll be fun.

    This year ended with a grouping I called the Mohonk Nuclei: Anat, Scott, Joe, Martin, Matt. We quickly sketched out a program, and then let the games...happen.

    Photo by Beth Lasoff
    Photo by Beth Lasoff

    "Solar" for starters, and then a trio of Anat with M&M. They'd enjoyed playing together so much last year that they recorded together, and they played a whimsical piece inspired by a rutabaga festival.

    Photo by Jeff Riman
    Photo by Jeff Riman

    Joe told a story about being inspired early on by a record of Jimmy Scott, and about the thrill years after of recording with Jimmy. Joe played, alone at the vibes, his tribute to Jimmy, "Sword of Whispers."

    I (or the mostly dormant actor in me) usually join in the Parlor Games. I'll "act" some lyrics or poems with the cats playing along. Last year: a jigsaw of Stephen Sondheim. This year: a shuffling of Cole Porter I called "Cole Slaw."

    Photo by Jeff Riman
    Photo by Jeff Riman

    I performed shards of Porter's lyrics with the players improvising counterpoints or playing some of Porter's melodies. Especially beautiful were a Joe Locke solo of "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" and a duet of Matt's drums and Scott's bass sax playing "You Do Something to Me."

    Photo by Beth Lasoff
    Photo by Beth Lasoff

    I called up an actual singer, Amy Cervini, to sing some Blossom Dearie songs. Martin, with Joe and Scott, played the aptly-titled Hank Jones tune called "Sublime."
And, as the jazzfest began with a Monk tune, we ended with a Monk tune, "Rhythm-a-ning."

    mohonk-sunday morning 11
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    I always enjoy when Matt Wilson goes nuts at the drums, as when, mid-solo, he leaped up, threw open the door to the balcony, and hurled a drumstick onto the ice of Lake Mohonk.

    Photo by Jeff Riman
    Photo by Jeff Riman

    Rather like tossing a penny into the Trevi Fountain for the promise of a return to Rome, Matt's drumstick was the promise of a return to JOTM 2014 at the Mohonk Mountain House.

    --Michael Bourne