March 4, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO broadcasts vibraphonist Warren Wolf's Wolfpack live from the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 in Boston on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. Bookmark this page to watch live video and chat with hosts from WBGO and NPR, or listen on WBGO 88.3 FM.
Every month, WBGO brings Berklee alumni back to their alma mater to present the fruits of their labor. This concert features Wolf on vibes and marimba, Tim Green on saxophone, Alex Brown on piano, Kris Funn on bass, and Billy Williams Jr. on drums.
Wolf has always been something of a wunderkind - he started in music at age three on piano and drums in his native Baltimore, where he attended the Peabody Institute's preparatory program and the Baltimore School For The Arts, where he concentrated on classical music.
He graduated from Berklee in 2001, and by 2003 was teaching at the school. In addition to leading his own ensembles, he plays in the "Inside Straight" band led by bassist Christian McBride, who first took notice of the talented teenager a jazz camp in Colorado.
© 2014 WBGO
October 9, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana makes "jazz en español" with The Crash Trio, her group with Chilean bassist Pablo Menares and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. The group performed live for a WBGO broadcast from the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 on Wednesday, October 9.
"Our way of relating with one another - our body language, and our jokes - are different," says Aldana, who won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. "Latin Americans are very heartfelt, open, and tactile; that's what we're like, and it's a big part of what keeps the group together."
Aldana visited the WBGO studios ahead of this broadcast and spoke with Tim Wilkins - en español - about jazz in Chile, her early experiences in music and the group.
The daughter and grandaughter of jazz saxophonists, Aldana grew up in a house filled with music in Santiago, Chile, where she blew her first notes on an alto sax at age six.
She moved to Boston in 2006 to accept a Presidential Scholarship at Berklee. Mela was teaching there at the time, and Menares joined the group after she moved to New York in 2009.
While jazz legends like Wayne Shorter and Don Byas rank high on Aldana's list of influences, she also highlights Chilean folk musicians like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and even "chinchineros" - the musicians who play drums and dance for spare change on the streets of Chile.
"In downtown Santiago, it's very common to see chinchineros with drums on their back, as they play Andean rhythms while they spin around," says Aldana. "Pablo (Menares) wrote a song for The Crash Trio that incorporates these rhythms; that's one of the ways we're trying to bring these influences in to jazz."
For more of The Crash Trio, check back for archived audio from WBGO's broadcast of the group, and review the chat below from during the show. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO
September 19, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO congratulates Melissa Aldana, the 2013 winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute's International Jazz Competition. A 24-year-old tenor saxophonist from Santiago, Chile, Aldana is the first woman and first South American to win the competition in its 26-year history.
WBGO will feature Aldana's group, The Crash Trio with Pablo Menares on bass and Francisco Mela on drums, in a live broadcast and webcast from Boston at the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 on October 9 at 8 p.m., the first in our fall series of live concerts from Berklee.
Can't wait? Aldana visited the WBGO studios in 2008, when she was a twenty-year-old member of Berklee's Blue Note Ensemble, and performed live in our Studio B as part of our annual in-studio festival of student ensembles for Jazz Appreciation Month every April.
Click here to hear Melissa's chat on that occasion with Midday Jazz host Rhonda Hamilton, in which she describes picking up an alto saxophone at age six to accompany her father, saxophonist Marcos Aldana:
Click here to hear Melissa perform with the Blue Note ensemble:
Congratulations Melissa, and see you in Boston on October 9!
© 2013 WBGO