• Sarah Vaughan Finalist Teira Church With Rhonda Hamilton

    November 7, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Singer Teira Church talks with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton about her participation in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and her inspirations, including Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson.

    Church is one of five finalists who perform November 10 at 3 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater for this year's "Sassy" Award, named for jazz singer and Newark native Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan.  Hamilton will present this concert, which is part of the TD Bank James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival.

    Like what you hear? Click here to let us know, and bookmark WBGO.ORG/SASSY for all the latest festival updates.


  • Christian McBride on 2013 James Moody Jazz Festival

    November 5, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Bassist Christian McBride talks with Gary Walker about the 2013 TD Bank James Moody Jazz Festival, held at NJPAC from Nov. 5 through 10th. McBride is the festival's artistic director. Enjoy!


  • Singer Billy Vera With Michael Bourne

    November 5, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Billy Vera talks with Michael Bourne about his experiences over four decades as a singer and songwriter, and his new album Big Band Jazz. Enjoy!


  • Singer Cyrille Aimee With Rhonda Hamilton

    October 21, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Singer Cyrille Aimée talks with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton about her recent recordings and performance with the Christian McBride Big Band in the "Sing, Sing, Sing!" concert at NJPAC on November 9. The concert is part of the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, and Aimée is the 2012 winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, which is also part of the festival. Enjoy!


  • Melissa Aldana: The Crash Trio's Jazz en Español

    October 9, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana makes "jazz en español" with The Crash Trio, her group with Chilean bassist Pablo Menares and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. The group performed live for a WBGO broadcast from the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 on Wednesday, October 9.

    "Our way of relating with one another - our body language, and our jokes - are different," says Aldana, who won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. "Latin Americans are very heartfelt, open, and tactile; that's what we're like, and it's a big part of what keeps the group together."

    Aldana visited the WBGO studios ahead of this broadcast and spoke with Tim Wilkins - en español - about jazz in Chile, her early experiences in music and the group.


    The daughter and grandaughter of jazz saxophonists, Aldana grew up in a house filled with music in Santiago, Chile, where she blew her first notes on an alto sax at age six.

    She moved to Boston in 2006 to accept a Presidential Scholarship at Berklee. Mela was teaching there at the time, and Menares joined the group after she moved to New York in 2009.

    While jazz legends like Wayne Shorter and Don Byas rank high on Aldana's list of influences, she also highlights Chilean folk musicians like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and even "chinchineros" -  the musicians who play drums and dance for spare change on the streets of Chile.

    "In downtown Santiago, it's very common to see chinchineros with drums on their back, as they play Andean rhythms while they spin around," says Aldana. "Pablo (Menares) wrote a song for The Crash Trio that incorporates these rhythms; that's one of the ways we're trying to bring these influences in to jazz."

    For more of The Crash Trio, check back for archived audio from WBGO's broadcast of the group, and review the chat below from during the show. Enjoy!