WBGO Blog
  • Two PBS programs focus on Blues and the Jazz Age

    September 29, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    PBS has two programs in the coming week that focus on New Orleans Blues and the Jazz Age.  This Friday, September 30 at 9pm (Eastern), British actor Hugh Laurie showcases his musical side in a Great Performances episode filmed in New Orleans.  October 2-4, 8-10pm nightly, brings Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's Prohibition, about the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution and its effect on (or creation of) the Jazz Age.

    Laurie says he finds his greatest satisfaction and inspiration from the mixture of blues and jazz that grew out of New Orleans at the beginning of the last century. This Great Performances, "Let Them Talk," includes documentary and interview segments during Laurie's travels around the city.  The program features his performances with blues legends Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, as well as a fellow countryman Sir Tom Jones. With concert sequences filmed at the historic Latrobe’s building in the French Quarter, the musical selections include New Orleans blues standards along with some forgotten and neglected gems.

    Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson
    Versatile British actor Hugh Laurie, an American favorite for his role in the hit TV series “House,” showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed in New Orleans. Photo courtesy Michael Wilson

    On Friday at 6:30pm, tune into WBGO for the WBGO Journal as TV Guide's Bruce Fretts stops by to preview Prohibition.  Ken Burns will also be a guest on Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio on WBGO Jazz88.3FM on Monday, October 3 at 6:30pm.

    Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works
    Female dancers performing the Charleston, 1926. Credit: ©Scherl / Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / The Image Works
  • The Checkout: Live

    July 6, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Last month, The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca made its debut.  The first performance in this new series featured Dan Tepfer and Noah Preminger.  You can hear excerpts from that performance during The Checkout on July 19, 6:30pm on WBGO Jazz88.3FM and online at wbgo.org.92Y562-WBGO-logo-07The next installment takes place Tuesday, July 19 at 8pm with Ben Williams Sound Effect and Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra

    “By definition the bass player is a pivotal figure in jazz, a steward of tonality as well as tempo. Determining a good one can require close listening: that quality reveals itself in the cohesion of the band as well as in the handling of line and phrase. All of this was accounted for in Mr. Williams’s set, which also involved a pair of harmonically sound original compositions and a balance of tradition and novelty.” -Nate Chinen, New York Times

    Ben Williams (Photo Credit Jati Lindsey)

    Washington, DC-born, New York-based bassist Ben Williams’ is celebrating the release of his debut album State of Art out on Concord Jazz. The album is a result of Williams’ first prize in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Competition for double-bass. Recently, Williams has been touring with vibraphonist Stefon Harris & Blackout, a R&B and hip-hop-tinged group, which calls on Williams’ unique connection with go-go, from his native Washington, DC to inform its sound and pianist Jacky Terrasson’s Trio. State of Art marks Williams’ first album as a leader and features tenor/soprano saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardist Gerald Clayton, drummer Jamire Williams (who also appeared with the bassist on Terrasson’s Push) and percussionist Etienne Charles, joined on three tracks by alto/soprano saxophonist Jaleel Shaw.

    “An opulent listening experience of modern, orchestral jazz, brimming with passionate improvisations, deliberate contrapuntal melodies and plush harmonies.” — John Murph, DownBeat Magazine

    Pedro Giraudo

    Since his arrival in New York in 1996, Pedro Giraudo has performed and recorded in a wide variety of musical projects and prominent ensembles, ranging from tango to jazz, in addition to his own Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra. He has collaborated with 9-time Grammy® award winner Paquito D’Rivera, Grammy® award winner Pablo Ziegler, Latin American icon Ruben Blades, as well as with Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Regina Carter, among many others and has performed in venues such as The Blue Note (Japan & USA), Birdland (Austria & USA), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Iridium, Jazz Standard, Jazz Gallery, Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (NYC). His latest CD, his fifth, is titled Córdoba — the name of his home city and province in Argentina— released in June 2011 on the ZOHO Music label.

    Tune in, log on , or stop by to listen.

  • Your vote can help WBGO win a Chase Community Giving grant!

    May 4, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    WBGO is in the running to win a Chase Community Giving grant - a program created by Chase to give to small and local charities. Through the Facebook app, Chase Community Giving, people with a Faceook account can vote to help determine which small and local non profits will receive donations totally $5,000,000 from Chase's philanthropy funds this spring.

    Update: Voting ends in less than 10 hours. We are currently ranked at #101 and we need your help to get back in the game. Please do the following as soon as you can:

    1. Vote
    2. Tell your friends. Copy and past this message into your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media status:

    Please support WBGO Jazz88 in the #chasegiving competition which ends at 11:59pm tonight. Vote here http://bit.ly/dPt0Af

    (please feel free to add your own personal touch)
    3. Email friends about the contest & WBGO!
    Read more