September 24, 2013. Posted by Carmen Balentine.
WBGO and 2 Gateway Center invite you to a free lunchtime concert, hosted by WBGO's Gary Walker.
The Brandee Younger Quartet will perform at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2 at Gateway Center Plaza 2, Newark, NJ.
This quartet has the ability to feature the harp in genres of music where the instrument is often absent.
Band members are Brandee Younger (harp), E.J. Strickland (drums), Dezron Douglas (bass) and Stacy Dillard (tenor sax).
Come and join the fun. It's FREE!
© 2013 WBGO
September 22, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.
WBGO says farewell to our dear friend Margarett Cooper, who passed away Friday at age 99. Margarett was a true member of the WBGO family, and lived so many things the rest of us can only read about. As we remember her, we'd like to share audio from the unforgettable hour she spent with us on the air in 2010. Farewell Margarett, we will miss you!
Margarett Cooper hosted an hour with me in the spring of 2010, a gift from WBGO supporter Gordon Davis. 96, she was, at the time. Everyone kept mentioning her age, but her spirit belied her age.
I especially enjoyed hearing stories about her hearing performances of Art Tatum and the other jazz greats she wanted to play as a guest DJ. She said she was nervous, but her hour was sweet and swinging -- like Margarett Cooper herself.
She was planning her next host-an-hour when she passed away. one month shy of her hundredth birthday. For us, she is ageless.
- Michael Bourne
© 2013 WBGO
September 20, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.In a conversation aired on WBGO, Jessye Norman credits the study of jazz with her understanding of song interpretation. (Image Credit: Carol Friedman/Courtesy of the artist)
Jessye Norman's commanding soprano voice makes her the quintessential operatic diva for many listeners. But she frequently draws inspirations from jazz: She ranks singers like Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer and Sarah Vaughan high on her list of influences.
"I love singing jazz," Norman says. "I don't like the idea that classical music should be over here and jazz should be someplace else. It's all wonderful, and we should be open to enjoying it all."
Early in her career, Norman says, hearing singers like Holiday taught her that interpretation is as important as a written score. In her view, this applies to opera as much as it does to improvised music.
"One has to draw upon one's own musical thoughts, and one's own musical acumen, and not to be afraid to let that come into one's work," she says. "Perhaps that comes with more experience, but perhaps it also comes with daring, and believing that you should."
Norman sat down recently with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton to play some of her favorite jazz records, and to discuss her musical inspirations.
"We singers have a different level of responsibility from other musicians," Norman says. "We have words that we must convey; we have meanings that we must convey through these lyrics."
Jessye Norman also hosts a special performance in New York on Sept. 24 of the musical Lady Day, which stars singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, to benefit WBGO. The musical opens at Broadway's Little Shubert Theater on Oct. 3.Read more
© 2013 WBGO