• SFJAZZ Center Opening Night: Live In Concert

    January 23, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

    Chick Corea (piano) and Bill Frisell duet during the opening night concert at the new SFJAZZ Center. (Image Credit: Scott Chernis/Courtesy of SFJAZZ)

    Thirty years after presenting its first concerts in San Francisco, the organization SFJAZZ has built a permanent home and performance venue. The SFJAZZ Center, conceived as the first stand-alone building for jazz in the U.S., opened with a star-studded concert on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. WWOZ, WBGO and NPR Music teamed up for a live radio and online video broadcast of the concert.

    Set List

    Note: A full archive of the concert will be made available pending permissions. Video excerpts will also be available shortly.

    • Percussion Invocation
    • John Santos, Pete Escovedo and ensemble, "Ti Mon Bo" (Puente)
    • Mary Stallings with SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, "I Love Being Here With You" (Lee, arr. Eberhart)
    • Jason Moran & Eric Harland, "Yacht Club Swing" (Waller)
    • Chick Corea & Bill Frisell, "It Could Happen To You" (Van Heusen/Burke)
    • Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, "Alice In Wonderland" (Fain)
    • Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and ensemble, "Blackwell's Message" (Lovano)
    • Regina Carter with SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, "Don't Git Sassy" (Jones)
    • SFJAZZ Collective, "Mastermind" (Zenon)
    • Esperanza Spalding & Eric Harland, "Look No Further" (Rodgers)
    • Joshua Redman and ensemble, "Remember" (Berlin)
    • McCoy Tyner and ensemble, "Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit" (Tyner)
    • McCoy Tyner and ensemble, featuring Bobby Hutcherson, Bill Frisell and John Handy, "Blues On The Corner" (Tyner)
    • SFJAZZ Collective featuring Chick Corea, "Spain" (Corea)


    • Bill Cosby, Master of Ceremonies
    • McCoy Tyner, piano
    • Chick Corea, piano
    • Esperanza Spalding, bass/voice
    • Joshua Redman, tenor saxophone
    • Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
    • Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone
    • Mary Stallings, voice
    • John Handy, alto saxophone
    • Pete Escovedo, timbales
    • Eric Reed, piano
    • Eric Harland, drums
    • SFJAZZ Center Resident Artistic Directors: Regina Carter, violin; Bill Frisell, guitar; Jason Moran, piano; John Santos, percussion; Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone/percussion
    • SFJAZZ Collective: Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone; David Sánchez, tenor saxophone; Andre Hayward, trombone; Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Stefon Harris, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; Jeff Ballard, drums
    • SFJAZZ High School All-Star Big Band: Paul Contos, director.
    Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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  • Is This The New Face of Jazz?

    June 28, 2008. Posted by Amy Niles.

    Nikki Yanofsky

    When a 14 year old says clap and a sold out room of people of every age does so willingly, something is happening. Her name is Nikki Yanofsky and while her audience could have easily been attending a performance of Wicked, they chose to come to the Montreal Jazz Festival. And this kid is choosing to sing jazz. She sings her lungs out. Maybe not her heart, cause quite frankly at 14, she doesn’t have the right to sing the blues, but the audience didn’t care one bit. She reminded me of reading Julie Andrews writing about her life as a 12 year old phenom in England- she could hit every note, but she had years to go before she learned how to sing. I am prepared to wait.
    And then I listened to an audience full of people singing happy birthday to Hank Jones who is about to turn 90 this month. Michael Bourne was with me and he has already eloquently described the Jones and Jones experience. Hank Jones and Oliver Jones treated me to an evening that I may never get to witness again. And Nikki Yanofsky gave me a clue to what I have to look forward to in the future.
    But the shining star of the evening was our divine Dee Dee Bridgewater. Gutsy. Beautful. After her show, watching the line of people waiting to meet her as she signed autographs at Archambault ( the hidden gem of a media store in the Place des Artes), personified the meaning of adoring fans. Dee Dee glowed. They loved her French, her English, her spirit.
    I went to three different concerts. A night of jazz in many forms. And I loved every minute of it.

  • Newark Arena -- Kid's Report

    January 8, 2008. Posted by Grey Johnson.

    WBGO staff were invited to attend a game at the new Newark Arena as guests of the NJ Ironmen. Membership Manager Grey Johnson brought his ten year old daughter and avid soccer player, Georgie. This is her report.

    I went to the Newark Arena last night to see a professional soccer game. Let me tell you something, it was the best night of my life! The teams were the New Jersey Ironmen against the Detroit Ignition. Unfortunately, the NJ Ironmen lost. But the competition was still great! The soccer field was huge but the teams were very good at the passing, goalkeeping and kicking, [they could kick the ball across the whole field with one kick!] I loved this building, everything is so modern! They do concerts, hockey, soccer, and more in this building. When I heard this news, I wondered how they changed the arena from a stage into a soccer field into an ice rink in only two hours! Luckily, I came across a woman who worked at the arena that could tell me the answer. She said that the soccer field was a rug that people roll up after the game is over. Under that soccer field, is a coat of ice, and under the ice is wood. If they want to make it into a stage, they melt the ice and put in a stage. Everyone was very nice to me too.