WBGO Blog
  • Newark Stories: Dwight Washington

    October 27, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    The history of Newark is full of stories of the many housing projects that came to define the city. It's actually where the city got it's beloved nickname -- Brick City. Most of the projects are now a distant memory, either torn down or boarded up and abandoned. However, the people and the stories remain engrained in the fabric of the city.

    Dwight Washington is one of those people. He grew up in Baxter Terrace, one of the first housing projects -- not just in Newark, but in the country. Built in 1941, BT was at one point the height of WC housing in Newark. It became so much a part of housing history in this country that several parts of the original structure are now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

    This is Dwight Washington's story of what life was like in the now infamous housing projects known as Baxter Terrace.

  • Allan Harris Performs on Singers Unlimited

    October 27, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Allan Harris stops by Singers Unlimited to talk to Michael Bourne about his new album, Nobody's Gonna Love You Better, and share a few songs live in our studio.

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  • Down Home In Treme With John Boutté And Shannon Powell

    October 27, 2016

    There may be no better place than New Orleans to explore the ties of family and tradition in jazz. This episode of Jazz Night in America visits the Crescent City to hear two local musical giants: singer John Boutté and drummer Shannon Powell. The video documentary presents highlights from their shared concert at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, while the radio episode also spends time with each of them at their homes, tracing their familial roots and exploring why they've chosen to stay local.

    Powell was born and raised in Treme, one of the U.S.'s oldest black neighborhoods. He took us down the street to his church, where he grew up with a tambourine in one hand and a Bible in the other. For Powell, the church has always been a place where music and the Holy Spirit are one and the same.

    Boutté, too, says he's Treme to the bone; his large Creole-Catholic family goes back generations in New Orleans. He, like Powell, grew up playing music in the church. Though he went to college for business, he returned to his musical roots when he realized that the human voice was powerful enough to move people to tears of joy or pain.

    Boutté and Powell capture the essence of this music and this city as only two natives can. Each man displays that particularly New Orleans sense of pride and swagger, rooted in the church and combined with a deep sense of family, musical and cultural history.

    PERFORMERS

    Shannon Powell (drums, vocals), John Boutté (vocals, tambourine), Roderick Paulin (soprano sax), Chris Severin (electric bass), Charlie Gabriel (tenor sax), Kyle Roussel (piano), Todd Duke (guitar), Loren Pickford (alto sax, flute), Mark McGrain (trombone), Christopher Kohl (clarinet), Wendell Brunious (trumpet), Herman LeBeaux (drums), Nobu Ozaki (bass).

    CREDITS

    Producers: Alex Ariff, Josie Holtzman, Colin Marshall, Nick Michael; Consultants: Scott Aiges, Paul Maasen; Editors: Claire Collins, Nick Michael; Audio Supervisor: Suraya Mohamed; Production Assistant: Nikki Boliaux; Concert Audio Engineer: Damond Jacob; Concert Mix: David Tallacksen; Videographers: Alex Ariff, Josie Holtzman, Colin Marshall, Nick Michael; Concert Production Manager: Jason Doyle; Host: Christian McBride; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann, Amy Niles; Special Thanks: Paul Siegel, WWNO, WWOZ, The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center; Funded in part by: The Argus Fund, Doris Duke Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Wyncote Foundation

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • Newark Stories: Bill May

    October 26, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Bill May has been photographing the worlds most famous jazz musicians for decades. He also taught music to children in Newark for forty years and retired as the district's Director of Artistic and performing arts.

    He found inspiration early in his life from his father, Boyd Vernon May, a man of faith who was a working man by day, and musician by night.

    Boyd Vernon May died in 1993.

  • Newark Stories: Reverend Louise Scott-Rountree

    October 25, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Perched atop a hill on Martin Luther King Blvd in the heart of Newark’s central ward sits a soaring and powerful remnant of Newark’s rich history as an industrial giant, the famed Kruger-Scott Mansion.

    The 26-room mansion, built in 1887 by German immigrant turned wealthy beer baron Gottfried Kruger, is one of the remaining symbols of the wealth that once permeated throughout the city.

    The mansion, now on the national registry of historic places, was last owned by Louise Scott, a dynamic businesswoman who established a successful chain of beauty salons in Newark, and is believed to have been the city’s first African-American female millionaire. Ms. Scott purchased the home in 1959 and maintained it both as her residence and the location of her Scott College of Beauty Culture until her death.

    Scott’s only daughter, Reverend Louise Scott-Rountree, grew up in the house from the time she was born and recalls what life was like in the now vacant mansion.