WBGO Blog
  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Guy & Dave Play The Blues

    February 10, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    This is the second of several highlights from this year's Jazz On The Mountain festival.

    One of my Mohonk regulars a decade ago, guitarist Dave Stryker, came back and opened this year’s JOTM on Friday evening.

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    Dave brought his Eight-Track group -  that's Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums. They were joined by the seriously funky Steve Nelson on vibraharp.

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    They played pop songs of the 70s,  - Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman/Superfly," Glenn Campbell's "Wichita Lineman," "Aquarius" from the musical Hair, and more from their great album, which we previewed on WBGO's RADAR last year.

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    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith

    Stryker's next album is a tribute to saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, one of the stars he first played with when he came to New York, and at Mohonk he played one of Mr T's hits, "Salt Song."

    Stryker also worked early on with Jack McDuff, and for Brother Jack he played some climactic blues.

    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith
    Photo by Cynthia Davis & Byron Smith

    When singer Guy Davis came to WBGO for an interview on the Blues Hour, I asked him if he'd ever do a show for kids. He said yes - I said Mohonk - and Guy's show for kids and former kids on Saturday morning was sensational.

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    Guy told a story about a fellow escaping a chain gang, running from the hounds, crossing a river, and jumping on a train, all with his voice and harmonica.

    He conducted the kids of all ages in a singalong about "The Chocolate Man."

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    He played a 100-year-old banjo. He was great fun, and he'll be back to Mohonk.

    Coming up next - more Mohonk-y fun with Martin Wind, Scott Robinson and more!

  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Better Than Ever

    February 9, 2015. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    This is the first of several highlights from this year's Jazz On The Mountain festival.

    I was afraid I was jinxing myself, as I got ready for this year's JOTM at the Mohonk Mountain House.

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    This year's line-up looked to be one of the best I've emceed, performed at, and "curated" - more like "fantasized" - at Mohonk in 16 years. Almost too good to be true.

    But this year’s JOTM turned out to be, indeed, one of the best.

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    L-R: Amy Niles, Michael Bourne, Guy Davis. Photo: Cynthia Lewis & Byron Smith

    This year’s Jazz On The Mountain was enjoyed by more WBGO’ers than ever before.

    About half of Mohonk’s enormous castle on the lake was filled with folks who'd come on the WBGO trip package, and something like 140 folks attended the Saturday evening dinner with the artists.

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    L-R: WBGO Dinner with Terry Dawson, Rita Annan-Brady & drummer Dennis Mackrel

    Kudos to the indefatigable WBGO travel troupe: Amy Niles, John Newcott, Carmen Balentine, and Jennifer Spiegler.

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    WBGO's Jen Spiegler

    My mantra about the artists I invite to Mohonk is that "they don't come to play a gig, they come to play!"

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    The Butler-Bernstein Hot Nine On Parade

    And the artists who get into the spirit of the jazzfest, in their own shows and often joining in other shows, while also enjoying being with their loved ones in the  Mountain House - we call these artists "Mohonk-y."

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    L-R: Scott Robinson, Martin Wind, Helen Sung, Dennis Mackrel

    And about that Mountain House… it was built in 1869, and it always looks beautiful!

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    Photo: Carmen Balentine

    Coming up: more on our favorite Mohonk-y moments and musicians, including Dave Stryker, Martin Wind, Scott Robinson and Catherine Russell, so stay tuned!

  • Trumpeter Eddie Allen: Listen Now

    October 29, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Trumpeter Eddie Allen talks with Michael Bourne about his CD "Push," big band and WBGO Kids Jazz concert Nov. 1 at 12:30 p.m. at the Cicely Tyson School of the Performing Arts in East Orange, New Jersey. Enjoy!

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