WBGO Blog
  • Happy Birthday, Matt Wilson... Coming To WBGO In 2014!

    September 27, 2013. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    NEWS FLASH: Coming this winter, PLAYDATE WITH MATT WILSON brings you the drummer's choice of music from WBGO's amazing secret stash.

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    In the 1980s, WBGO produced "Big Apple Jazz" live from Sweet Basil, the Jazz Forum and Fat Tuesday's, and uplinked it via the NPR satellite (new technology at the time).

    Next, the "American Jazz Radio Festival" -- hosted by Al Pryor and later, Michael Bourne -- presented bands on stages across the country for TWO hours every week. Yes, two hours.

    Then in 1992, we launched "JazzSet with Branford Marsalis." Branford handed the host mic to Dee Dee Bridgewater in 2001.

    And there is more. We ran marathons. Early on, WBGO became known for live Jazzathon fundraisers and our all-night, coast-to-coast New Year's Eve specials.

    Now the music from 1980-2000, and the great musicians who happily played it for WBGO, will be the source for PLAYDATE WITH MATT WILSON, an eight-week series curated and hosted by Matt (a/k/a M@) with producer Alex Ariff.

    Besides the PLAYDATE radio shows, there will be extra Bright Moments of music on the WBGO blog. Coming in February. Stay connected for more information.

    Funding for PLAYDATE WITH MATT WILSON is coming from the National Endowment for the Arts: Art Works!

  • Live from the Village Vanguard: Ethan Iverson, Ben Street & Tootie Heath

    August 22, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Check out footage of drummer Tootie Heath with Ethan Iverson on piano and Ben Street playing Live at the Village Vanguard.


    Watch live streaming video from wbgo at livestream.com
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  • Topsy Turvey: Bebop Redux a la Matt Wilson via Lost Jazz Shrines

    June 1, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Last Friday night, I attended and loved this concert at the Borough of Manhattan Community College! The music had roots, it left them behind, it was a generous night.

    Musical Director Matt Wilson calls the music "pre-bop," small group material from the 1940s by Neal Hefti, John Lewis, John Kirby, Tiny Grimes, Tiny Kahn, NEW arrangements for the occasion by Oded Lev-Ari. Matt assembled an improbable and wonderful band, below. Each player projected, each piece was a gem. Coming out of intermission, Matt gave us a "collision of songs," "a mashup," from an affecting trio arrangement of his "No Outerwear" (a/k/a "Out of Nowhere" and maybe "OON" is written on "Honeysuckle Rose?" .. help me here) to surprise walk on's by the rest of the group, vocalizing; things progressed unpredictably from there. If only I'd taken some legible notes. The smaller theater at BMCC worked beautifully for this; I saw Vijay's hands at work better than ever I've seen them before. Photos of 52nd Street a/k/a Swing Street were the backdrop.

    Lost Jazz Shrines is Willard Jenkins' continuing series, and this Spring is the first time Willard has brought in a Musical Director. On Friday, June 3, see conguero Candido -- born in Havana, came to NY in 1946 -- with Matt's quintet Arts & Crafts. I wish we were recording these great nights for JazzSet!

    L to R: Vijay Iyer, Curtis Fowlkes, Mary Halvorson, Kirk Knuffke, Chris Lightcap, Tia Fuller, Jeff Lederer, drummer Matt Wilson at the BMCC Tribeca PAC .. photo by Nathan Turner for the Litchfield Jazz Festival
    L to R: Vijay Iyer, Curtis Fowlkes, Mary Halvorson, Kirk Knuffke, Chris Lightcap, Tia Fuller, Jeff Lederer, drummer Matt Wilson at the BMCC Tribeca PAC .. photo by Nathan Turner for the Litchfield Jazz Festival

    Luckily I was sitting near a good photographer! BTW, Matt Wilson is also the Artist-in-Residence at this summer’s Litchfield Jazz Festival in Kent, CT.