WBGO Blog
  • Playdate with Matt Wilson: Preview of Show Four, 2/25/14

    February 24, 2014. Posted by Alex Ariff.

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    Playdate is WBGO's new series of great moments from our archive of live recordings. Tune in Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to hear Show #4 with Michael Brecker, Max Roach, Kurt Elling, Shelly Manne, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Stéphane Grappelli and Bucky Pizzarelli, James Newton, and more!

    Miss a previous Playdate? Head to WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE to stream Show #1, Show #2, Show #3, and explore music extras and stories for every episode.

    We’ve already posted on Wayne Shorter, The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Ruth Brown, Sun Ra, Dorthaan Kirk, Chick Corea with Gary Burton, The "Salsa Meets Jazz" Series, Joe Henderson, and The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.

    This week's first web extra, available now at WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE, comes from a historic performance inside the walls of WBGO.

    In late 1980s, drummer Max Roach fused his working quartet with a string quartet to create a Double Quartet. Hear this group perform Rahsaan Roland Kirk's  “Bright Moments” live in the WBGO studios by clicking here.

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    Portrait of Max Roach, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947. Photo by William P. Gottlieb.

    Roach was one of the most prolific and influential figures in modern jazz. Best known for his work with saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and other bebop pioneers, his use of thematic improvisation forever changed how jazz drummers approach their instrument.

    This week's Playdate, Show #4, begins with a solo drum song by Roach. Our host, drummer Matt Wilson, draws inspirations from Max Roach every-time he sits down at his kit - Wilson has also named one of his sons Max after this great jazz icon.

  • Playdate with Matt Wilson: Preview of Show Three, 2/18/14

    February 17, 2014. Posted by Alex Ariff.

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    Playdate is a new series with highlights from the WBGO archive of live recordings. Tune in Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to hear Show #3 with Mario Bauzá, Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002) playing a breakout arrangement by Jim McNeely of Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing," Kevin Eubanks, Ivan Lins, and much more!

    Miss something? At At WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE, you can stream Show #1 and Show #2, hear extra tracks and read web extras for every episode, so check back all week for more surprises.

    We’ve already posted on Wayne Shorter, The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Ruth Brown, Sun Ra, Dorthaan Kirk, and Chick Corea with Gary Burton.

    To get ready for this week's show, we have posted a bonus audio extra from Mario Bauzá and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, as recorded by WBGO at New York's Village Gate on August 20, 1990.

    This concert was part of the historic “Salsa Meets Jazz” series, which paired guest jazz soloists with featured Latin jazz bands, that ran from the 1970s until The Village Gate closed in 1993.

    (Le) Poisson Rouge, which is now located at the site of the former Village Gate, brought the series back in December 2008, and WBGO's Awilda Rivera was the host!

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    Above, The Village Gate (circa 1970.) Below, the opposite angle, only The Village Gate sign remains (circa 2013.) To the right of the CVS stands (Le) Poisson Rouge.

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    What makes this 1990 concert, which was recorded by WBGO, so special is that it was the first show of trumpeter Arturo Sandoval in the United States after leaving Cuba! Sandoval had already established his reputation - and won a Grammy Award - with the Cuban band Irakere before coming to the U.S. as a political exile.

    “The house was full of trumpet players including most of the brass section from the Chicago symphony,” recalls Bobby Sanabria, who served as Mario Bauzá's drummer (and friend) through the 1980s and 1990s.

    Hear an interview and special drum solo/feature with Bobby Sanabria on Playdate with Matt Wilson tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m., but first you can get a sneak peak Mario Bauzá and his Afro-Cuba Jazz Orchestra, and stream “Mambo Inn” here.

  • WBGO & GATEWAY FREE CONCERT SERIES: The Firey String Sistas on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12pm

    February 11, 2014. Posted by Carmen Balentine.

    WBGO and the Gateway Center invite you to its FREE concert series occurring once a month during lunch time. In March, we celebrate Women's History Month with The Firey String Sistas! They perform on Wednesday, March 5 at Gateway Center Plaza 2, Newark, NJ at 12pm..

    1) Firey String Sistas! Version 2 (October 5)

    This band of female string players is dedicated to promoting the work of female composers in jazz, world music, and beyond. Nioka Workman is the founder, frontwoman and cellist of this spirited group. The core members are Charisa Dowe Rouse (violin), Jennifer Axelson (violin, viola), Riza Printup (harp), and Melissa Slocum (bass). These artists all maintain exciting performance schedules as ‘band’ leaders all year around.

    As Firey String Sistas!, the group successfully mixes jazz, world, folk and new music presenting dynamic and educational performances. The group expands from duo to a 10 piece ensemble for events and the festival throughout the year. They just released their first cd, a lively jazz, blues and new music experience for the entire family.

    We can think of no better way for us at WBGO & Gateway to celebrate and recognize the contributions of women then to have this masterful group perform. So grab a friend or two, bring your lunch, and enjoy live music at 2 Gateway.