WBGO Blog
  • Join WBGO for Michael Bourne's 16th Year at Jazz on the Mountain

    April 18, 2014. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    For our fifth consecutive year, WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM is pleased to extend a personal invitation for Jazz on the Mountain at the historic Mohonk Mountain House resort, January 16-19, 2015 in the beautiful Catskills.

    Sig-MMH-winterLight
    Mohonk Mountain House

    Celebrating 16 years at the Mohonk Mountain House, WBGO announcer Michael Bourne will once again host this stellar program – a four-day jazz extravaganza over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend – with a lineup of jazz greats.

    WBGO Travel & Events is offering a unique package including:

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

    Whether you are planning a family outing, a romantic retreat, a weekend with friends or a self-exploration getaway, the Mountain House has activities for all!

    DATES: January 16-19, 2015

    LOCATION: 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561

    Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark located just 90 miles north of New York City.

    RATES*:

    • Three (3) nights Single Occupancy: $1,525
    • Three (3) nights Double Occupancy: $2,225

    Children’s 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.

    Checks and credit cards are payable to WBGO.

    Please note: WBGO rates include bountiful breakfast and lunch buffets with dinner as a traditional served meal, afternoon tea and cookies and all associated gratuities. Also included is the welcome cocktail reception (Friday evening) and exclusive private dinner with Michael Bourne, musicians and WBGO guests (Saturday evening) and a musical Mohonk scavenger hunt (Sunday afternoon). Guests also 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.

    RESERVATIONS: To take advantage of the exclusive WBGO rate, you must place your reservation with Mohonk by calling 1-800-772-6646 and you MUST mention WBGO.  Once you make your reservation, contact WBGO to make your deposit, 973-624-8880x269 or email WBGO

    Please call 973-624-8880x269 or email WBGO with any questions.

    We hope you can join WBGO for this very special jazz event and look forward to seeing you on the Mountain!

    Photos from Jazz on the Mountain January 2013

  • 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

  • Bourne's Mohonk: Jazz on the Mountain 2013, Day Three

    January 28, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    This is the third of four posts on this year's Jazz on the Mountain festival.

    Incapable of being anti-climactic, Scott Robinson stole the jazzfest on Sunday morning. He played mostly with Martin and Matt, but Frank and Fred also joined in.

    mohonk-sunday morning 5
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    He was funny, telling stories about his dad. He was dramatic, playing a harrowing theme from his album inspired by pulp hero Doc Savage. He played a growling bass sax and more of his heartful tenor sax. He remembered playing with Chet Baker and played "But Not for Me" on a cornet.

    Photo by Marilyny Catasus
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    Scott's finale featured a clarinet-like Hungarian instrument called the tarogato. He inherited the brown-ish horn, somewhat chubbier than a clarinet, from Joe Muranyi, clarinetist with Louis Armstrong. He remembered his friend with "The Old Miss Blues." Scott's concert was a favorite of the Mohonk multitude, and he sold more CD's than any artist ever at the jazzfest.

    mohonk-sunday afternoon 7
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    I've always wanted Fred Hersch to play what I think of as the "Horowitz slot" on a Sunday afternoon. He played several of his most evocative pieces. "Whirl" -- which it does. "Stuttering" -- which bounces like a ball down stairs. "At the Close of the Day" from his setting of Whitman's "Leaves of Grass."

    mohonk-sunday afternoon 4
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    Anat Cohen joined in a lively and lovely duet.
 Anat's album called "Claroscuro" and Matt's album called "An Attitude for Gratitude" were my favorite albums last year.

    mohonk-sunday night 10
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    Matt's Arts and Crafts group featured Mike Rodriguez on trumpet, Gary Versace on piano and organ -- "He forgot the accordion," said a teasing Matt -- and Martin Wind playing on Sunday evening.

    Photo by Marilyn Catasus
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    Goofy and swinging, they played a musical kaleidoscope. Gary was especially edgy, sometimes with one hand on the piano and the other playing an organ that sounded like a sci-fi soundtrack. Martin's "Cruise Blues" was especially lyrical.

    mohonk-sunday night 16
    Photo by Marilyn Catasus

    Matt's "Bubbles" was inspired by (and included him touchingly speaking) a poem of Carl Sandburg. And along with a call for the audience to join in Matt's mass-sway, Anat, Scott, and Joe joined Arts & Crafts for a fireworks finale of Duke's "Blue Pepper."

    ...Michael Bourne

    Up next: Monday highlights with Parlor Games and the Mohonk Nuclei