November 14, 2008. Posted by Michael Bourne.
The Town Hall was built in the 1920's for orators, and musicians also discovered that the acoustics are superb. None of today's audio tech existed back then, but no mics are ever needed there. "Broadway Unplugged" is an annual concert that gathers some of Broadway's best singers performing without mics and sounding that much more real. I've attended the last two years and I've been thrilled hearing (and feeling) all these beautiful voices, not amplified through speakers, but directly from the throats (and the hearts) of the singers.
Scott Siegel is the producer and host. In this interview, we talked about the upcoming 5th annual "Broadway Unplugged" -- Monday the 17th at 8 at Town Hall -- for tonight's WBGO Journal. And we kept on talking, including listening to highlights from last year's show: Max von Essen and Sarah Jane McMahon singing "Tonight" from West Side Story, Lorinda Lisitza singing a heartbreaking "Surabaya Johnny" from Happy End, Marc Kudisch singing "I'm Still Here" from The Glorious Ones, and Bill Daugherty singing a show-stopping "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls.
© 2008 WBGO
November 13, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Toots Thielemans turned 86 years young last April (He certainly does not behave as if he's 86). His choice instrument -- the chromatic harmonica -- is not only unconventional, but also unusual that his artistry and musical contribution is too often overlooked in the jazz community (I know I've neglected to pay attention). Not any more. On October 17th, The National Endowment for the Arts crowned him the highest honor: Jazz Master. In this interview with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton -- conducted on November 26th, 1991 -- Thielemans speaks of his early American influences while growing up in Belgium, and his role in jazz as a premier guitarist and whistler. Also hear a music feature with Toots, which WBGO produced for the live broadcast of the 2009 Jazz Master Award Ceremony. The complete ceremony broadcast will be available on-demand in April 2009. - Simon Rentner
© 2008 WBGO
November 12, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
It's been a week since our nation's historic election. One of the most artful methods of election coverage was The Naked Campaign, a series of videos featuring New Yorker illustrator Steve Brodner. As a project, the Naked Campaign demonstrates that all the tools of drawing, painting, writing, and filmmaking can be utilized to create a distinct point of view. You don't necessarily have to agree with that point of view, but if you're a jazz fan, you'll certainly appreciate this final installment of the series. Jon Faddis is the trumpeter. Considering that Faddis is the protege of Dizzy Gillespie, who ran for president in 1964, it is a coda indeed.
© 2008 WBGO