WBGO Blog
  • Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra on the bandstand at Cachaca

    May 21, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive, Notes

    Trombonist and singer Pete McGuinness teaches at New Jersey City University and arranges for the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Recently, he has put together his own band, and my friend Emily Ginsberg -- just out of college, new in New York and looking for good music -- caught them on Monday night. Here's her report. - Becca Pulliam

    Looking for a new big band to check out? Perhaps a band to book for your next party? The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra might be able to fill that order. With a beautiful full sound that never diminishes, the entire orchestra goes big, from the first note to the last note. The syncopated rhythms give the orchestra a great kick and personality, and that was my favorite element of the show. Nothing sounded forced, or off.

    This band can do it all, from ballads to crooning to get-up-and-dance, and they did it with style and Cachaca's great sound. I could actually hear the lyrics when Pete sang!

    Big band lovers, this is a must-see for you. Music lovers, it is definitely worth your time to check these guys out. Bring a dancing partner, because you will want to shake it on the dance floor after the first note. - Emily Ginsberg

  • Ben Sidran & Mike Mainieri Talking Jazz

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Why had I never heard Mike Mainieri up close? What a pleasure to finally do so! At Jazz Standard last night, the New York vibist joined Ben Sidran & his trio, and the music & talk were totally absorbing. In the first set, we learned that boy-Mainieri's mom went to work to buy him a set of vibes, boy-wonder-Mainieri worked with Paul Whiteman, youth-Mainieri joined legendary Buddy Rich. They spent three weeks in Kabul (JFK's State Dept sponsored this), then went on to India, where Rich split suddenly, leaving behind his drums and young band behind to finish the tour. Years later, in the US, an Indian man came up to Mainieri and said "I was living in New Delhi, and I knew you were not Buddy Rich." Ben is truly onto something, to feature his peers and those slightly ahead of him telling stories that -- up til now -- Ben has enjoyed privately. I love this format. Thank you! Come back soon!! By the way, Ben says Talking Jazz is radio, narrowcasting to the room. I hope he can extend its reach.

  • Studio Session - Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    Whenever you hear young performers from Berklee College of Music, you are hearing the future of music. WBGO presented the Berklee Blue Note Ensemble on Midday Jazz today. For a decade, Berklee students with strong jazz creds make an annual trek to the Blue Note in Note in New York. Bill Pierce has been a Berklee faculty member for more than three decades. He directs the student ensemble. They are:

    Melissa Aldana - saxophone (Santiago, Chile)
    Jeonglim Yang - bass (South Korea)
    Michael Palma - piano (Dallas, Texas)
    Dan Pugach - drums (Raanana, Israel)
    Jeremy Sinclair - trumpet (Dallas, Texas)
    Nadia Washington - vocals (Dallas, Texas)

    Listen to the session. Remember the names.
    -Josh