WBGO Blog
  • WBGO's Playdate: Preview Of Show Two, 2/11/14

    February 10, 2014. Posted by Alex Ariff.

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    Playdate is a new series hosted by drummer Matt Wilson with highlights from the WBGO archive of live recordings. Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., we'll broadcast a new show on WBGO-FM. You can also hear the show on demand, hear extra tracks and read web extras for each episode at WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE, so check back all week for more surprises.

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    Tomorrow night, we’ll debut Show #2. Tune in to hear saxophonist Clifford Jordan (1931-93) at The Village Vanguard, the bandleader and arranger Chico O’Farrill (1921-2001) at Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing, bassist Bill Lee and the Natural Spiritual Orchestra celebrating a New Year's Eve at the WBGO performance studio, pianist Stanley Cowell in both Jordan's and Lee's groups and solo, and - from the Paul Robeson Center at Rutgers-Newark - the Vibration Society playing and singing a piece by Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

    As a sneak preview on WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE, we're streaming “Armando’s Rhumba” by Chick Corea, with by Corea on piano and Gary Burton on vibes, at Buffalo State College in 1985. The full tune can be streamed here.

    Missed Show #1? Never fear, you can hear it in its entirety right here.

    From Show #1, we’ve also posted web extras on Wayne ShorterThe Mel Lewis Jazz OrchestraRuth Brown, and a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the Playdate theme.

    Thank you for joining us on Playdate With Matt Wilson!

  • “Meredith Willson's The Music Man” In Concert

    February 5, 2014. Posted by Carmen Balentine.

    Join WBGO Travel & Events for a matinee performance of Meredith Willson’s beloved Broadway musical, The Music Man in concert on Saturday, March 15, 3pm at Two River Theater Company, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. A special private pre-show reception for WBGO guests is at 2pm. MUSICMAN TITLE

    Isaiah Johnson will play Harold Hill and Stephanie Umoh will play Marian Paroo. Johnson has appeared on Broadway in Peter and the Starcatcher and The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino. Umoh played Sarah in the 2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime. The show is directed by NAACP and Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara with music direction by Kenny Seymour (Broadway's Tony Award-winning Best Musical Memphis) and is a collaboration between New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Two River Theater Company.

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    The Broadway classic (winner of Best Musical at the 1957 Tony Awards) is re-imagined with an African-American cast and tells the story of con man Harold Hill, who falls for piano teacher in the summer of 1912 as he bamboozles the townsfolk of River City, Iowa into financing a marching band. It is based on historical accounts of black communities established by former slaves after the Civil War and features a live six-piece on-stage band.

    Enjoy this "behind-the-scenes" trailer with the cast leads Isiah Johnson and Stephanie Umoh. )

    Prior to the 3pm performance, WBGO hosts a private reception for our guests in the theater's brand new Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library, a space that is normally reserved exclusively for theater members. Enjoy a special peek behind-the-scenes at the reception, along with music, and hors d'oeuvres provided by The Cheese Cave and Siam Garden.

    John Dias, Artistic Director of Two River Theater, says "Robert O'Hara brings to life the too-often-untold stories of African Americans in ways that are dynamic and highly theatrical. We are excited to see this great American classic through his inimitable lens."

    Come and enjoy this special musical performance at one of the best regional theaters in New Jersey and in the country. Two River Theater Company is wheelchair accessible.

    Tickets are $75 for WBGO members and $95 for non-members. Participation is limited so purchase your tickets today. For more information, call 973-624-8880 extension. 283 or email at events@wbgo.org

    Book your Tickets:

    WBGO Member price per person: $75
    Non-Member price per person: $95
    All tickets will be picked up at the theater.


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    For questions or reservations call 973-624-8880 x283 or email events@wbgo.org

  • Guillermo Klein Live From Berklee 1/29: Watch Now

    February 3, 2014. Posted by Chris Dennison.

    Argentine composer Guillermo Klein’s stateside visits have been rare treats since 2000, when he left New York for his homeland and beyond. Klein is back – enjoy this video of Klein's performance, from our live audio and video broadcast of the event on January 29.

    Klein peformed music he wrote to perform for this homecoming with members of his signature large ensemble, Los Guachos, which includes fellow Berklee alums trumpeter Richard Nant and bassist Fernando Huergo, as well as saxophonist Bill McHenry and drummer Jeff Ballard. They were joined by current Berklee students, whom Klein coached over Skype, to form a 14-piece group.

    Klein combines elements of Argentinean folk traditions with contemporary jazz and an attitude that embraces freedom. He draws from a sonic palette which may surprise the jazz ear: these include effects-laden guitars, unexpected combinations of human voices, and even whistling, as on his piece “Fiu” from his 2005 album Una Nave.

    Klein’s ability to compose fluid pieces with changing time signatures is particularly striking: he utilizes unpredictable rhythmic elements and odd meters, which he traces in part to his childhood in Argentina, where the hemiola, or “3 against 2” pattern, is a common element.

    This tension in time can be heard on “El Rio” from Una Nave, and also on “Miula,” from the 2008 album Filtros. Even when a piece has a straightforward organization of beats, Klein’s interlocking polyrhythmic phrases create emotive tensions and releases. However, his pieces generally maintain consistent grooves, making them sound natural and highly accessible despite their rhythmic complexity.

    While the rhythmic elegance of Klein’s music is remarkable,  his range in melody and harmony are equally impressive: he composes energetic, jagged, angular piano lines, as on “Argentina” from Una Nave, as well as passages of rich, subtle beauty, as in the restrained melody of “Yesu” and the  harmony of “Louange à l'éternité de Jésus,” both from Filtros.

    With so few performances stateside in recent years, Guillermo’s Berklee homecoming this Wednesday is not to be missed. Enjoy, and join us for our live broadcasts of the best new jazz from Berklee's Café 939 in Boston every month!