WBGO Blog
  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

  • 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 is pleased to extend to you an invitation to Jazz on the Mountain at the historic Mohonk Mountain House, January 16-19, 2015 in the scenic Catskills.

    Celebrating 16 years at Mohonk, WBGO’s Michael Bourne will host this stellar program – a four-day musical extravaganza over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

    Friday, January 16

    9 pm – Dave Stryker - "Eight Track Project"

    Saturday, January 17

    11am – Guy Davis
    3 pm – Martin Wind group
    9 pm – Catherine Russell, LaTanya Hall & Carolyn Leonhart

    Sunday, January 18

    11 am – Scott Robinson Group
    3 pm – Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9
    9 pm – Chris Brubeck Quartet

    Monday, January 19

    11 am – Parlor Games Jam Session ( Michael Bourne & Musicians)

    Performance schedule subject to change.

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

    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 family outing, a romantic retreat, a weekend with friends or a self-exploration getaway, the Mountain House has activities for all! The WBGO package includes: bountiful breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets – or dinner as a traditional served meal, 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.

    Reservations: Please call WBGO Travel & Events at 1-973-624-8880 x269 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 November 21.

    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: 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."

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    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