WBGO Blog
  • WBGO's Lezlie Harrison Remembers Dale Fitzgerald

    April 1, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO says goodbye to  jazz advocate and friend Dale Fitzgerald, who passed away March 20 at age 72. WBGO's Lezlie Harrison knew him well - she and Dale created The Jazz Gallery with trumpeter Roy Hargrove in 1995, and worked side by side for more than two decades. She offers this heartfelt remembrance. Farewell Dale, and thank you!

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    Photo courtesy of Ingrid Hertfelder

    It's been just over a week since my hip, cool, smart, dapper, funny, daring, stubborn, generous, complex, ride-or-die friend, of 26 years,  Dale Kelley Fitzgerald, Executive Director of The Jazz Gallery,  physically departed this earth.

    Our friendship was founded on our love for jazz music, art, and culture. We turned that love into creating The Jazz Gallery.

    We jokingly called The Jazz Gallery our child. When we first acquired the space on Hudson Street, it was used to give trumpeter Roy Hargrove a space to rehearse. Dale was also Roy's business manager and often had to assuage Roy's neighbors who complained about his late night trumpet playing. It was there that The Roy Hargrove Big Band was created. The Gallery  eventually  morphed into an art gallery that showcased jazz related art work, with music as background. In 1995 we officially opened our doors in August with an exhibit that celebrated the extinct jazz club, the Tin Palace.

    Over the last twenty years I have worked with and supported his efforts to establish a home for the youngest generation of jazz musicians to create and showcase their artistry. This year our baby turns 20 and our fearless Founder is gone.

    When I returned to WBGO last June as a part time on-air announcer,  he was thrilled. He was always “taking notes” to give me after each show to improve on the listening experience. In writing this, I really miss him as he was also a great editor and he I am sure he’d have me make changes somewhere!  He was my champion. I will miss him dearly Though my heart is heavy, love remains.

    Plans are underway to honor Fitzgerald with a celebration at The Jazz Gallery soon.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to an education fund for his young son, Gabriel.

  • WBGO JAM Live 2015: Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble I

    March 31, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    The Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble I performs live at WBGO for Jazz Appreciation Month. Click below to hear this concert, and tune in to 88.3 FM to hear this group featured on air during the first week of April. A full set list is below.

    Every week in April, WBGO-FM will showcase a different student ensemble with vocalists who performed live in our studios for Jazz Appreciation Month. All of these full sets will be available online. Enjoy!

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    The Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble I

    live at WBGO 3/6/15

    Conrad Herwig, director

    "Deed I Do" (by Fred Rose with lyrics by Walter Hirsch, arranged by Ernie Wilkins)

    "Let’s Do It" (by Cole Porter)

    "Easy Living" (by Ranger & Robin, arranged by Marc Stasio)

    "The Song Is You" (by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, arranged by Gerald Wilson)

    "They Didn’t Believe Me" (by Jerome Kern and Herbert Reynolds, arranged by Dave Burger)

    Vocals on all songs by Champian Fulton

    Jimmy Merchant, Sax-Alto
    Oliver Santana Rivera, Sax-Alto
    Sam Tobias, Sax-Bari
    Abraham Burton, Sax-Tenor
    John Donathan, Sax-Tenor

    Guest sax on “The Song Is You” and “They Didn’t Believe Me” by Stephen Fulton

    Gregory DeAngelis, Trombone
    Matthew Echols, Trombone
    Timothy Rechen, Trombone
    Ben Weisiger, Trombone

    Devenny Bennett, Trumpet
    Shawn Edmonds, Trumpet
    Anthony Fazio, Trumpet
    Yi-JIUN Kao, Trumpet
    Joshua Orr, Trumpet

    John Morrison, Guitar
    John Nunez, Guitar
    Michael Bernabe, Piano
    Luciano Minetti, Piano

    Ross Garlow, Bass
    Christopher Smith, Bass
    Kyle Duppstadt, Drums
    Daniel Giannone, Drums

  • WBGO in South Africa 5: Tee Up!

    March 29, 2015. Posted by Rhonda Hamilton.

    Yes, WBGO golfs. And when we found out we were just minutes from one of the best courses in the world - Sun City's Gary Player Country Club - the golfers on our trip couldn't pass up the opportunity to play. We were in for a few surprises, to say the least!

    Look how excited Simon and I are to tee off!

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    We’re used to seeing deer on the fairway in New Jersey. In South Africa, that's not a deer - it's an impala.

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    The animal that rules the green in South Africa is the mongoose - they are too cute!

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    This is strictly a walking course. Since no golf carts are allowed, each of us is assigned a caddie. My caddie, London, turns out to be a jazz fan who listens to a weekly South African jazz radio show.

    Lucky for me, he is also an excellent reader of the greens. Here he is, helping me avoid an ibis!

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    The resort has a second Gary Player-designed 18-hole course, the Lost City. It's famous for the 38 crocodiles in the water at its 13th hole.

    I'm pleased to say we didn't play anywhere near those beasts.

    But... playing golf in South Africa! I kept having to pinch myself.

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