• Stevie Wonder opens the Montreal festival

    July 1, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2009

    The 2009 FIJM (Festival International du Jazz de Montreal) presented the Festival Spirit Award to Stevie Wonder, and last night he returned the love with a free outdoor concert that drew tens of thousands of people downtown to the Place des Arts. That audience estimate may be far too low. There were people in all directions as far as one could see.
    Imagine, in New York, a concert at Lincoln Center and an audience that packs them in as far away as Columbus Circle..

    Stevie opened with “I Can’t Help It,” his song that Michael Jackson recorded and Quincy Jones produced on MJ’s Off the Wall album, then rocked out with more Jackson tunes – reggae, disco, “Shake Your Body” – then stopped on a dime and launched “Michelle” by the Beatles but in this case it was “Michel.” Singing French lyrics in Montreal was a beautiful extra connection. The vocal line from SW to MJ is straight and short, do not pass go, and the emotional line as well. For a very good report on Stevie’s heartfelt, thoughtful comments about MJ at the press conference earlier in the day, jump to today's Globe & Mail.

    In summary, Stevie says the life is over, the love is not, don't be tainted by the toxic media coverage, celebrate the music, the dance, the legacy.
    Read more

  • Montreal Jazz Festival 2009 Coverage Begins

    July 1, 2009. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2009

    The WBGO crew arrived in Montreal yesterday and hit the ground running: within a few hours we were interviewing two of Jazz's finest: Canada's Oliver Jones and composer Maria Schneider. Listen for those interviews today along with others scheduled: Kool and the Gang, Baptiste Trotignon, The Bad Plus and Enrico Rava.

    Lots more content will be coming your way on this blog, and of course listen today through Friday from 2pm-6:30pm EDT, as well as 10am - 2pm Sunday for Michael Bourne live from FIJM - the Montreal Jazz Festival.

    We're posting all our photos on flickr, check them out here:

  • WBGO and SummerStage

    June 30, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Ledisi at SummerStage 6.28.09

    On Sunday, June 28, WBGO's Josh Jackson hosted a great concert at Central Park SummerStage. The performance began with New Orleans pianist Jonathan Batiste, who paid homage to the late Michael Jackson in both song and attire. Bassist Esperanza Spalding followed with a set that ran the gamut of funk to soul to Ella inspired scat.

    Closing the performance was rising star of soul and jazz, Ledisi (LED-ih-see as she pointed out several times from the stage and in cards handed out after the show). If the pronunciation of her name is a little confusing, there is no confusion what so ever about her voice or her command of the stage.

    There are a great number of WBGO partner events this summer, many of them at no cost. Please visit the WBGO Events page for full details.