• WBGO's Awilda Rivera to be honored by City Lore

    November 30, 2012. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    On December 2nd, City Lore, the nationally acclaimed not-for-profit organization devoted to preserving New York’s urban culture, will usher in a handful of New York City’s most beloved and enduring radio DJs, representing some of the most familiar letters on the radio dial, into the People’s Hall of Fame. The celebration takes place at the Museum of the City of New York this Sunday, December 2, from 3 pm to 7:30 pm.

    Held in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York on Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, this, the 12th People’s Hall of Fame awards ceremony and dance party, is a public acknowledgment of the important role played by these six New Yorkers; even in the current climate of international conglomerates, satellite radio, and podcasts, these local DJs anchor communities and offer lifelines for their fellow New Yorkers seeking musical worlds that transcend the work-a-day.

    Inductees are

    Kiss FM’s DJ Red Alert, who put hip hop on the radio;
    WFUV’s Kathleen Biggins, whose reels and jigs anchor the city’s rich Irish music scene
    WNYC’s Oscar Brand, the folk DJ with a record-setting six decades on the air;
    WBAI’s Bob Fass, who, in an age of rigidly formatted shows, invented free form radio;
    WBGO’s Awilda Rivera, who brings Latin rhythms into New York and New Jersey homes;
    WKCR’s Phil Schaap, a walking encyclopedia of jazz and an activist for the art form.


    A keynote address by acclaimed rock journalist Billy Altman, a panel discussion and short theater piece called The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll by playwright Richard Schotter pay tribute to the city’s legendary DJs including the great Alan Freed, Bruce Morrow (“Cousin Brucie”), Murray Kaufman (“Murray the K”), Hal Jackson, and Pete Fornatale.

    “While we tend to think of radio as a national media, from its inception, broadcast radio has maintained a strong local component, one anchored by local personalities who often promoted regional musicians and community events,” notes Ray Allen, from the Hitchcock Institute for American Music at Brooklyn College and host for the afternoon program. “Even here in New York, the capital of commercial music, radio has played a strong role in nourishing local music cultures.”

    “What is being lost with satellite and web-based radio,” said City Lore director Steve Zeitlin, “is the local DJ who can anchor local musical communities.”

    City Lore has honored scores of New Yorkers since the first People’s Hall of Fame in 1993. This year’s crop joins the members of The Bronx Old Timers Stickball League; Dick Zigun, founder of the Mermaid Parade and Coney Island USA; Cleve Jones and Bob Wilson, organizers of the AIDS Quilt; Gerald Menditto who walked the tracks of the Cyclone roller coaster to keep it safe for New Yorkers; and Tariq Hamid from Shaheen Foods and Sweets in an illustrious roster of New Yorkers who make our city distinct.

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