WBGO Blog
  • Oris Concert Series

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    luther-guitar1.jpg
    The 11th Annual Oris Sprit of Jazz Concert Series kicked off yesterday.  Good times.  Blues guitarist Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson performed and was a total crowd pleaser.  I think for me, with the passing of Bo Diddley, a true Rock 'n Roll pioneer and father, it was really fitting for some reason. 

    The Oris concerts will take place every Tuesday in June from 12 PM - 2PM.  Soulful saxophonist Houston Person brings his quartet on June 10, pianist Eric Reed and his quartet are on June 17, and we wrap up the series with trombonist Steve Turre and his quintet on June 24.

    Each year, Oris also presents a retrospective exhibit to accompany the live music series.  Past exhibits have honored jazz legends such as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and others.  This year, Oris is celebrating America's original art form, with an exhibit simply titled The Blues. Visit the Tourneau TimeMachine Exhibit Hall, where you can view rare and never-before-seen blues memorabilia, photos and more.  The exhibit will be on display the entire month of June. Exhibit hall viewing hours are 10:00 AM-6:00 PM on Mon - Wed; Fri and Sat. 10:00 AM-7:00 PM on Thursdays and from 11:30 AM-5:30 PM on Sundays.

    Learn more about the series

  • Bassist Butch Warren

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    A couple years ago, I had heard that bassist Butch Warren reappeared onstage in DC.
    I remember thinking to myself, "Where the hell has he been?"

    The answer was that he had been to hell and back.
    Chances are you have a record with Butch Warren. The bassist was a prolific session man for Blue Note Records in the early 1960s. That groove on "Watermelon Man," from Herbie Hancock's debut? Yeah, that's Butch. Dexter Gordon, Sonny Clark, Grant Green? Yeah, that's Butch.

    Warren was quite the anchor for those studio dates, yet he lived a life largely unmoored. He spent years on and off the streets. That kind of living has clearly taken its toll, but Warren still plays, scuffling for work and staying on his feet. I generally have mixed feelings when nationally televised networks show people the world of jazz. More often than not, it's an all too familiar tale of drug abuse, homelessness, institutionalization that catches the whim of an editor.
    Believe it or not, there are a few happy endings in jazz.
    Here's to Butch Warren finding his.
    -Josh

  • At Home With An Urban Cowboy

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    Urban Cowboy
    I recently stopped by the Piscataway home of Miles Dean to talk about a little trip he just got back from. The Newark teacher spent six months crossing the country on horseback.
    It's a remarkable story which you can hear more about in the WBGO Journal archives. After I was done with the interview, we continued to talk on tape about this and that, including his love of horses and, in particular, the horse he relied on during his cross-country journey. I also brought along my camera to get some shots and video of Miles and his horses which you can check out in a short film I produced.
    -Andrew Meyer