Briene Lermitte

Maria Schneider Reflects on 'Winter Morning Walks,' Before Several Concerts by the NJSO

Maria Schneider’s acclaimed classical composition Winter Morning Walks began with a scrap of poetry, which reached her ears before she encountered it on the page.

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Michael Woodall

Joey DeFrancesco has spent the last 30 years as a reigning Hammond B-3 organ hero, building on the rich tradition we know as soul jazz. What that means in practical terms is variable: DeFrancesco has led trios and larger combos; worked with his heroes, including Jimmy Smith; and even collaborated with Van Morrison.

Renato Nunes

Anniversaries can be a time for reflection, and taking stock of where we’ve been. So in celebration of WBGO's 40th anniversary, this episode of The Checkout dips into the archives, recalling the era when it was hosted and produced by its founder, Josh Jackson.

OKeh Records / Sony Music Masterworks

When we last heard from saxophonist Branford Marsalis, he was touring behind Upward Spiral, a 2016 collaboration with Kurt Elling. That album featured Elling’s vocals out front, with Marsalis and his quartet playing a strong backing role.

The band — a longtime unit with Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass and Justin Faulkner on drums — is poised to reclaim the center spotlight with a new studio album, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. Due out March 1 on OKeh Records, it will the first Branford Marsalis Quartet release in nearly seven years, since the rather less loftily titled Four MFs Playin’ Tunes.

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WBGO News

Gov. Phil Murphy looked back in time during his first annual State of the State address to New Jersey voters Tuesday, emphasizing a recent audit his administration released of the state’s generous tax break program that was expanded under his predecessor, former Gov. Chris Christie.

But in a speech short on new ideas, Murphy also reiterated his hopes that the Legislature would send him bills to hike the minimum wage to $15, legalize recreational marijuana, and offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

New Jersey charges a 90-cent fee per line on every resident’s phone bill each month, and the revenue is meant to go toward maintaining and upgrading the state’s emergency 911 system.

In 2017, the state collected nearly $122 million from these fees, but only one quarter of it went toward the state’s 911 system, according to a recent report by the Federal Communications Commission.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is set to deliver the annual State of the State address Tuesday, capping off the Democrat’s first full year in control the Legislature and the executive branch.

Murphy said he will outline his plans to make New Jersey affordable for middle-class families, but observers noted that the speech also follows a year marked by some blunders for the first-time politician.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Principal Akbar Cook of Newark’s West Side High School gained national recognition for taking action after noticing students being bullied for dirty clothes.  He installed five pairs of washers and dryers in the school so kids could do their laundry. WBGO’s Ang Santos stopped by West Side High to talk with Principal Cook, who says there’s been no shortage of support since the story aired on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Ang Santos:  That must have been some moment for you?  The $50,000 check.

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