October 16, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO says goodbye to singer Gloria Lynne, who passed away in Newark Oct. 15 at age 81. Best known for her 1964 hit "I Wish You Love," Gloria won first prize in the "Amateur Night" at Harlem's Apollo Theater at age fifteen. She also wrote lyrics to Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and performed with, among others, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte Billy Eckstine, Quincy Jones and Ella Fitzgerald. Among her many honors, she received an International Women in Jazz Award and a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 1995, New York City proclaimed July 25 "Gloria Lynne Day."
A memorial service for Gloria will be held at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 Odell Clark Place (138th Street) in Harlem, on Monday, October 28th at 1pm.
Last month, Lynne sat down with with WBGO's Michael Bourne to talk about about her career and performances at 54 Below in New York on August 27 as part of the nightclub's WBGO Jazz Series. We would like to share this interview with you again now. Farewell, Gloria, we will miss you!
© 2013 WBGO
October 9, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana makes "jazz en español" with The Crash Trio, her group with Chilean bassist Pablo Menares and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. The group performed live for a WBGO broadcast from the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 on Wednesday, October 9.
"Our way of relating with one another - our body language, and our jokes - are different," says Aldana, who won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. "Latin Americans are very heartfelt, open, and tactile; that's what we're like, and it's a big part of what keeps the group together."
Aldana visited the WBGO studios ahead of this broadcast and spoke with Tim Wilkins - en español - about jazz in Chile, her early experiences in music and the group.
The daughter and grandaughter of jazz saxophonists, Aldana grew up in a house filled with music in Santiago, Chile, where she blew her first notes on an alto sax at age six.
She moved to Boston in 2006 to accept a Presidential Scholarship at Berklee. Mela was teaching there at the time, and Menares joined the group after she moved to New York in 2009.
While jazz legends like Wayne Shorter and Don Byas rank high on Aldana's list of influences, she also highlights Chilean folk musicians like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and even "chinchineros" - the musicians who play drums and dance for spare change on the streets of Chile.
"In downtown Santiago, it's very common to see chinchineros with drums on their back, as they play Andean rhythms while they spin around," says Aldana. "Pablo (Menares) wrote a song for The Crash Trio that incorporates these rhythms; that's one of the ways we're trying to bring these influences in to jazz."
For more of The Crash Trio, check back for archived audio from WBGO's broadcast of the group, and review the chat below from during the show. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO
October 8, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO congratulates Teira Church, one of five finalists in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition (SVVC): Click here or on the image below to hear her sing.
Along with four other finalists, Teira was chosen from hundreds of singers from around the world to perform November 10 at 3 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater for this year's "Sassy" Award, named in honor of legendary jazz singer and Newark native Sarah Vaughan, and prizes of up to $5,000. She will sing for judges Al Jarreau, Janis Siegel, and Gretchen Parlato, WBGO music director Gary Walker and JAZZ ROOTS producer Larry Rosen.
A native of Los Angeles, Teira is a senior at UCLA, where she studies jazz voice in the Herb Alpert School of Music's ethnomusicology department. In 2007, she placed second in the National Association for Negro Musicians' Scholarship Competition, and the following year enrolled at Hamilton High School's Music Academy where she joined its award-winning vocal jazz ensemble. Teira was the only female popular music vocalist in the nation selected for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts' Young Artist 2010 competition. She received the Bronze medal in the popular voice category and was a semi-finalist for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
WBGO will interview Teira on-air before the competition.
Like what you hear? Click here to let us know, and bookmark WBGO.ORG/SASSY for all the latest festival updates.
Congratulations, Teira and see you in November!
© 2013 WBGO