WBGO Blog
  • International Jazz Day Concert 2015: Watch Now

    April 30, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO celebrates International Jazz Day with the Global Concert in Paris, France on April 30th at 1 p.m. Click below to watch this live webcast.

    Now in its fourth year, International Jazz Day invites schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to host events in their local communities that celebrate jazz and its roots, future and impact, and raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.

    Throughout the month of April, WBGO hosted top school ensembles from the New York Metro area and Boston in our studios and on-air. Click here to explore these sessions.

    The Global Concert, the initiative's capstone event, was hosted at the United Nations in New York in 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 and in Osaka, Japan in 2014. Enjoy this year's broadcast from Paris!

  • WBGO JAM Live 2015: New School Jazz Ensemble

    April 27, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    The New School Jazz Ensemble performs live at WBGO for Jazz Appreciation Month, with vocalist Brianna Thomas. Click below to hear this concert, and tune in to 88.3 FM to hear this group featured on air during the last week of April. A full set list is below.

    Every week in April, WBGO-FM has showcased a different student ensemble with vocalists who performed live in our studios for Jazz Appreciation Month. All of these full sets are available online. Enjoy!

    Click on the image below to see a slideshow from this live in-studio performance.

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    March 25th, 2015
    New School Jazz Ensemble - Live at WBGO

    1) ‘Round Midnight (Thelonius Monk)

    2) All Of Me (written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons)

    3) Smile (music by Charlie Chaplin, lyrics by  John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons)

    4) Bye Bye Blackbird (music by Ray Henderson lyrics by Mort Dixon)

    All traditional arrangements.

    Brianna Thomas, Vocals and Band Leader
    Jochem Le Cointre, Piano
    Alexander Claffy, Bass
    Cory Cox, Drums

  • Bourne's Mohonk 2015: Winds Of Brubeck

    February 12, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

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

    Bassist Martin Wind is one of my most regular regulars at JOTM.

    Last year, he played one of the most beautiful concerts ever at Mohonk - a tribute to Bill Evans Turn Out The Stars, which I previewed for WBGO's RADAR when it came out as an album (with an Italian orchestra) last year.

    Photo by Merwin Grossman
    Photo by Merwin Grossman

    For this year, we talked about him playing what he calls "Bass Talk" -  solos, duets, and other groups playing music composed by the great bass players. As he worked on this music, a band evolved with Dave Stryker, Scott Robinson, and drummer Dennis Mackrel.

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    They started with a Sam Jones tune, ended with a Paul Chambers tune, and a beautiful highlight was "What's New?" by bassist Bob Haggart.

    Bassist Chris Brubeck was also slated to perform at Mohonk this year, but could not play. He'd fainted and fallen in the spa. He's okay, but spent the night at the Vassar hospital for tests.

    "Chris Brubeck & Friends" was how the group was advertised, and the "Friends" played on, with Martin Wind filling in on bass.

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    I'd heard the Brubeck Brothers play a great concert in Montreal with Chuck Lamb playing piano. He lives in Denver but was able to come, and he was, as I wanted, spectacular.

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    They played Dave Brubeck classics (for me the tune that turned me on to jazz, "Strange Meadowlark") and originals of Chuck's and guitarist Mike DeMicco's, especially a highlighting song Chuck composed for his lady that danced from his fingers. Scott Robinson joined in on tenor sax for "In Your Own Sweet Way" and on bass sax for "Take Five."

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  • 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!