• Great live music, one story at a time

    February 4, 2009. Posted by Thurston Briscoe.

    Arturo and Travis

    I love live music! It is invigorating to watch the musicians interact with one another as they play. It is as much fun to observe the audience get into the music as it is to listen myself. That is one the exciting parts about broadcasting live from J&R Music World. For the past six years we have showcased numerous musicians debut their new CDs. I have produced the whole series and this has given me the opportunity to get to know the regulars. That is one of the unique privileges of working at a radio station being in the community. You get to interact with the listeners. They tell you what they like and don’t like. The listeners also get to know the artists and each other.

    The very first concert we presented 6 years ago featured Grammy nominated pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill. From the beginning, a young and eager 10 year-old named Travis Wolcott was one of two boys who would sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the stage. When the series first started, we held drawings for door prizes and Travis would help pull the winner’s names out of the box. His participation became a part of the show.

    Travis and his brother Thomas, along with his dad Tom continued to attend the broadcasts and we became friends. My birthday or a holiday never came without a card from the Wolcotts. But the one constant reminder of how much a part of our lives this family has become was the sight of Travis each month in the front row as we presented artists at J&R.

    Travis sat and watched and listened to every note and that he depended upon us made this all especially significant. Travis and Tom were on site early January 17 this year for our last scheduled broadcast from J&R, not coincidentally featuring Arturo’s sextet. Travis picked his familiar place on the floor and Tom and I reminisced about the drawing days.

    People say you never think of the good time you are having as “the good old days”. But the Saturdays (and a few Tuesdays) we spent at J&R gave us wonderful memories, and a more great live music.

    But then, the music ended. The series ended.

    Our friends at J&R made it possible to bring the new music to our listeners and to special fans like Travis.

    We won’t let him down. That’s why we ask for your support. Jazz88 is about giving our listeners music!


  • Arturo O'Farrill Sextet @ J&R Music World 1.17.09

    January 22, 2009. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Arturo O’Farrill at J&R Music World
    Photo by David Tallacksen

    Listen to our final concert from J&R Music World.

  • Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel's electronics

    January 6, 2009. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Kurt Rosenwinkle electronics

    We're soundchecking Kurt Rosenwinkel at the Village Vanguard for his live broadcast tomorrow on WBGO and NPR Music.org. I think he brought in just as much gear as we did to record him! He got everything connected then stood up and commented, "you know, after all this, it still sounds like a guitar." A great one at that. Join us tomorrow night, 9pm EST. And afterward, you can download the set. Stay tuned.

  • Toast in New York!

    December 31, 2008. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    The New York segment of NPR and WBGO's Toast of the Nation comes to you from the Jazz Standard in Midtown Manhattan. The Jazz Standard is in the basement of a smokin' barbecue joint called Blue Smoke.

    Blue Smoke front window

    Earlier today we soundchecked the Mingus Big Band. And big it is, with a full complement of saxes and brass including tuba! Trombonist Kumba Frank Lacy is also doing some vocal work:

    Frank Lacy

    Those are two important elements in making a live broadcast such as this happen. Keep reading for the others.

    Read more