WBGO Blog
  • Behind Wynton Marsalis' Afro-Cuban 'Ochas' Suite

    October 9, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Percussionists Clemente Medina, Román Diaz and Pedrito Martinez perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    To open its 2014-15 season, Jazz At Lincoln Center welcomes the world premiere of a work by managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis. Ochas, for big band and Afro-Cuban percussion, features special guests in the commanding pianist Chucho Valdés and percussionist, vocalist and Santería priest Pedrito Martinez. With the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, they blend jazz with the traditional folkloric and religious music of Cuba.

    Jazz Night In America explores how the new suite of music came to be.

    Copyright 2014 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • JAZZ NIGHT IN AMERICA COMING TO WBGO ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12

    October 9, 2014. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Christian McBride (photo by Anna Webber)

    Weekly Public Radio Show With Host Christian McBride
    Airs Sunday at 6pm and Wednesdays at 6:30pm
    New Digital Platform & Video Series
    Debuts October 15

    Newark, NJ – Beginning on October 12, WBGO will offer the newest jazz program available for public radio: Jazz Night in America. The weekly show – produced in a collaboration between NPR, Jazz at Lincoln Center and WBGO – will air locally on Sundays at 6pm, and repeat on Wednesday at 6:30pm on WBGO Jazz 88.3FM and WBGO.org, with a webcast video series and more available beginning October 15.

    Each week, the Jazz Night in America radio broadcast presents some of the best live jazz performances happening around the country and the stories behind them. With multiple Grammy Award-winning musician Christian McBride as host, the one-hour radio show features hand-picked performances from across the country, woven with the colorful stories of the artists behind them.

    “Public radio has a long history of presenting jazz music and storytelling on the radio; now we’re making sure it’s threaded through every platform, device and experience we’re creating for our audiences,” says Anya Grundmann, director and executive producer of NPR Music. “In this fragmented media landscape, it’s important to have great partners, and we have them in our collaboration with our longtime producing partner WBGO, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and clubs, musicians and stations all across the country.”

    “Incorporating the strengths of three hugely significant jazz curators into one project is truly a gift. We’re excited to be traveling across the country to showcase the best of today’s thriving jazz scene,” WBGO President and CEO Amy Niles says of the project.

    "Jazz at Lincoln Center is committed to entertaining, enriching and expanding a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy,” says Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center. “We are excited to join forces with our longtime friends and collaborators NPR and WBGO – institutions that have been dedicated to jazz and represent the highest standards of broadcasting excellence. We eagerly anticipate showing the world what we can accomplish together through this exciting program. Jazz Night in America will tell the stories of our music in new and innovative ways, engaging and inspiring our loyal public radio family with the current explosion of talent and creativity across the spectrum of jazz and related musics.”

    In its first week airing on WBGO, Jazz Night in America takes listeners to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2014-15 season opening night, featuring a new work of Afro-Cuban Jazz by Wynton Marsalis with Pedrito Martinez, Chucho Valdés and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

    As host of Jazz Night in America, Christian McBride draws on his distinguished career to introduce audiences to a roster of voices - resonant musicians, historians, artists – who will uncover the musical and personal stories at the heart of the genre. A bassist, bandleader and composer, McBride has been a leading presence in jazz for more than 20 years. He has recorded with many of the most illustrious figures in jazz – Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny – and has crossed into nearly every genre through collaborations with the Roots, D'Angelo, Queen Latifah, Sting, James Brown and Chaka Khan among others. He was a guest host for Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and continues to host Sirius XM’s Conversations with Christian.

    The radio show is the centerpiece of this multiplatform Jazz Night in America initiative, which showcases today’s vital jazz scene while also underscoring the genre’s storied history. Online, Jazz Night in America will also offer a season of 26 signature concert video-casts from clubs and festivals around the country, on-demand video and audio performances, and interviews from today’s great jazz artists. Jazz Night in America has been funded in part through the generosity of long-standing supporters of public media and the arts - the Argus Fund and the Wyncote Foundation, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

    Here's what the press is saying about the new program:

    Wall Street Journal

    New York Times

    NPR's Blog Supreme

    JazzTimes

  • Trumpeter Hugh Masekela: Listen Now

    October 7, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Trumpeter Hugh Masekela talks with Gary Walker about South Africa, his homeland, and experiences with Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. Masekela headlines Carnegie Hall's monthlong Ubuntu: Music And Arts Of South Africa festival on Oct. 10.

    This audio feature was guest-produced for WBGO by Jenna Ipcar and Kyle Eagle. Thanks to South African Tourism for their support of the festival and the station.

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