WBGO Blog
  • WBGO Jazz Leadership Society Brunch with Simone!

    April 21, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Simone sings at Theater Square Grill during WBGO's JLS burnch 4/19/09

    The crowd was enthusiastic and the performance fantastic on Sunday, April 19 when over 125 of WBGO’s most loyal and generous supporters turned out for the Singers Unlimited Brunch at NJPAC's Theater Square Grill. The annual event, which honors members of WBGO’s Jazz Leadership Society, featured a concert by Simone, the daughter of legendary singer Nina Simone. Backed up by her quintet of veteran jazz players, Simone sang for the delighted Jazz Leadership Society members in a concert broadcast worldwide through WBGO Jazz88 and via the internet on wbgo.org.

    Listen to the full broadcast here!

    WBGO’s weekday morning host, Gary Walker emceed, filling in for WBGO’s Michael Bourne, currently on the mend from knee surgery. Gary led the audience in a chorus of “Hurry Back Michael” chants to cheer up Michael, WBGO’s long-time weekday afternoon announcer and host of the popular Singers Unlimited program. Between songs, Gary and Simone bantered about her career and growing up as Nina Simone’s daughter. Simone was wonderfully gracious and patiently autographed her CD Simone on Simone for dozens of grateful Jazz Leadership Society members in attendance.

    Prior to the live broadcast, WBGO’s General Manager Cephas Bowles and Chairman of the Board of Directors Tim Porter welcomed the Jazz Leadership Society members and thanked them for their support.

    Jazz Leadership Society (JLS) members receive a number of exciting benefits including insider access to the world of jazz, such as the annual Singers Unlimited Brunch. Basic JLS membership begins at the $1,000 annual gift level, with additional benefits available at the Silver ($2,500) and Gold ($5,000+) levels. For example, on March 23rd, Silver and Gold members were invited to an intimate evening with legendary jazz impresario George Wein.

    For more information about how you can become a member of the Jazz Leadership Society, please contact Vincent Bochis at 973-624-8880, ext. 285 or at vbochis@wbgo.org, or visit the JLS page on WBGO.org.

  • It's Green, It's Slimey, And It Stars Nancy Opel!

    April 20, 2009. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    You never know what might serve as the inspiration for the next big musical in New York!

     The Toxic Avenger, a B-movie from the 80's with a tremendous cult following has found its way to Off-Broadway as  The Toxic Avenger Musical following a successful run at the George Street Playhouse.  One of the stars of the show, Nancy Opel stopped by our studios recently to talk about "Toxie" with our resident theater guru, Michael Bourne.  Listen in to this web exclusive as they talk about the new show as well as some of Nancy's past appearances on Broadway!

  • 30th anniv of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

    April 16, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Tuesday night, Dizzy's at Jazz @ Lincoln Center was packed, and pianists spottable in all directions. With one long break, the celebration ran past midnight. Marian listened from her dressing room as Bill Charlap opened with “While We’re Young,” a tip of the hat to her long friendship with composer Alec Wilder, who hosted the forerunner of Marian’s celebrated series, Piano Jazz. Bill made that melody sing. He’s with the Blue Note 7 at Birdland for the rest of the week. Be there.

    Renee Rosnes joined Bill – they were married at Dizzy’s – for the first two-piano presentation of the night. Fun! Then Renee continued with “Chelsea Bridge” (Strayhorn) – love the harmony. Grady Tate sang two with pianist John Di Martino. JoAnne Brackeen stepped up to play her own composition, then Taylor Eigsti put her feet to the fire on a two-piano “Giant Steps.” I really enjoyed that duo, am sure it was their first time together. Marian played “Easy to Remember (and so hard to forget),” and she seemed in synch with every note. Karrin Allyson sang “Twilight Time” with Marian, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, just right.

    The Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller two-piano closer was the apotheosis of the evening. Read more