WBGO Blog
  • Cole...Freddy That Is.

    August 5, 2008. Posted by Alice Stockton Rossini.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Freddy and me after the gig
    Freddy and me after the gig
    The house lights flicker at a low-level dim while the stage lights illuminate the tinting instruments on stage. The crowd cheers as the great Freddie Cole walks to center stage and counts off the band. 1...2...3...4! BAM! The saxophone section hits the opening line with vigor and attitude as Freddy sings the opening lyrics to "It's only a Paper Moon."

    On July 23rd, Freddy Cole--Nat King Cole's younger brother--came to William Paterson university to play with some amazing young musicians. Among them was yours truly. It was an honor to play with a cat like Freddy Cole. Freddy reminds young musicians where the music comes from by primarily performing repertoire from the great American Songbook. Freddy's approach to music contains simplicity, but he accomplishes something that musician strives for- expressing his emotions to the audience through music. That kind of connection had the audience tapping their feet and clapping their hands. After the last number, the audience pleaded for one more number. Cole sat down at the piano and closed the concert with a beautiful ballad. The audience roared as Freddy exited the stage to a standing ovation. It was a humbling experience to play in Freddy Cole's band that night. It reminded me, that at the the end of the day, music comes down to one thing, emotion. No matter the complexity of a Bebop line or accuracy of intonation, if emotion is not present, a musician has nothing.

    I thank Freddy Cole for the opportunity to join him on the bandstand and am indebted to him for reminding me why I started playing music in the first place...Simply put, it's just really fun!

  • A TRIP TO LOST JERSEY AND ELLIS ISLAND'S FORGOTTEN SIDE

    July 31, 2008. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

     When you hop on the ferry to visit Ellis Island, you get a taste of America's immigrant roots. 

     Ellis Island Main Building

    However, only a fraction of the island is open to the public. 

     Ellis Island hospital complex

    The vast hospital complex which covers the south side of Ellis Island has been abandonned for about 50 years and is off-limits to the public, but that's going to be changing. 

    connecting hallway

    Efforts are underway to stabilize and restore these buildings. 

    After an initial trip with a group of Jersey lawmakers six years ago, I had a chance to go back recently to check on the progress that's been made in preserving not only the buildings but the history that goes with them. What I found can be heard in the next feature in WBGO News' Lost Jersey series, which airs on our next WBGO Journal, Friday, August 1 at 7:30pm.

    Andrew Meyer

  • WBGO and NPR at the 2008 JVC Newport Jazz Festival

    July 31, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Earlier this summer, WBGO launched NPR's first concert series of live jazz webcasts, "Live at the Village Vanguard," which offers monthly shows from the legendary New York City venue. Next weekend, August 9 and 10, WBGO and NPR Music are teaming up to live webcast main stage acts from the JVC Jazz Festival Newport. On the bill are legendary pianist Herbie Hancock; producer, performer and Jazz Festival founder George Wein; guitarist Howard Alden; along with rising jazz stars Esperanza Spalding and Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos. I'll be your host. Should be fun.

    Check out one of my favorite performances captured at Newport.