• The Sidrans At Newport: Listen Now

    August 7, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO is proud to welcome new contributors Ben and Leo Sidran. The father-and-son team were our special correspondents at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, July 31 - August 2.

    Leo and Ben reported every day on the sights and sounds of the fest for WBGO-FM, WBGO HD2 and at WBGO.ORG/SIDRAN.

    Click on the links below to hear all of their reports:

    Interview with Newport Founder George Wein

    Newport Preview

    Newport Day One

    Newport Day Two

    Newport Day Three

    Newport Recap


    Ben Sidran is known to many NPR listeners as the longtime host of  “Jazz Alive” and “Sidran on Record.” He’s a free-spirited pianist and author who’s been dubbed “the first existentialist jazz rapper.”

    Leo is a musician and producer whose credits include the Academy Award-winning song “Al Otro Lado Del Rio,” from the 2004 film The Motorcycle Diaries.

    He’s also the host of The Third Story, a podcast series of unguarded conversations with musicians and other creative artists.

    “It’s a perfect match,” says Ben. “WBGO is the flagship jazz station in the world, and Newport is the flagship festival. We’re so excited to be here, together.”

    The Sidrans paid close attention to the festival’s embrace of new and emerging talent, such as twelve-year-old pianist Joey Alexander and the Brooklyn-based band Snarky Puppy.

    "What I really love about the feeling this year is that there’s so much talk about the future,” says Leo.

    Highlights of their Newport coverage include encounters and interviews with Jon Batiste, Jamie Cullum, Bob Dorough, James Carter, Jack DeJohnette and much, much more. We hope you enjoy it!

    Follow all of their future adventures at WBGO.ORG/SIDRAN.

    Welcome, Leo and Ben!

  • WBGO's Best Of Winter Jazz Fest 2015: Listen Now

    December 31, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO brings you the best of the 2015 New York Winter Jazz Fest. Listen to this year's artists around the clock on WBGO HD2, and read previews and profiles of groups at WBGO.ORG/WJF.  Click here for a full schedule of the festival's more than one hundred concerts.

    Winter Jazz Fest turns Greenwich Village into a jazz mecca every January. Now in its eleventh year, the festival holds two marquee concerts on Jan. 8.

    The first, at 7 p.m. at the Quaker Meeting House, features Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Brad Mehldau, Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern, and other top-flight musicians to celebrate 25 years of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    The second, at 8 p.m., features Blue Note Now! at (le) Poisson Rouge with the Robert Glasper Trio, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott and singer José James. All are rising stars of the iconic jazz label, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014.

    The festival's signature event is a two-day marathon, Jan. 9 and 10, of simultaneous concerts by more than five hundred musicians in hour-long sets at ten clubs around Greenwich Village. Friday highlights include celebrations of the music of David Murray and John Lurie. Saturday's concerts include showcases inspired by hot jazz from the 1920s, hip-hop and electronica, and much, much more. A single ticket offers admission to these concerts, more than a hundred in all.

    WBGO is on the scene and behind the scenes, talking with this year's artists and organizers, to bring you the festival's best. Bookmark WBGO.ORG/WJF for our latest updates, and listen on WBGO HD2 starting Jan. 1. Enjoy the best of WJF 2014 with WBGO!

  • WBGO's The Jazz Bee at Winter Jazz Fest 2013

    January 11, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: HD2, the jazz bee

    It's that time of year again, when jazz madness gripped a a six-block stretch of New York's Greenwich Village, in the form of Winter Jazz Fest 2013. Friday and Saturday between six clubs, listeners could take in the more than seventy acts who performed between 6 p.m. and at 2 a.m.

    Anyone with the moxie to take in all - or even a tiny part - of the festival emerged weary but excited by what they heard. And since so many artists chose Winter Jazz Fest to premiere new projects and groups, you came away with a sense of being close to the pulse of jazz's constant evolution, at this moment in time.


    But choosing between so many acts can be daunting, even to true believers: sets were short, and often cryptically-named: if you only have forty-five minutes to spare, should you run to check out Breeding Ground? Hazmat Modine? Or Merger?

    WBGO's new HD2 channel, the jazz bee, was created precisely to help listeners navigate through the expanding universe of jazz creativity. As the festival's official radio partner, we have been streaming a special mix of new music by all of the artists at this year's Winter Jazz Fest, and on the WBGO blog and at NPRMusic.org we posted sneak peeks at some of the new music artists planned to perform.

    To listen to this special stream, click on the jazz bee logo below:


    On Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m., WBGO-FM presents a special broadcast of Gregory Porter and James Carter, two artists who appeared at (le) Poisson Rouge on Saturday evening as part of the festival, with our own Gary Walker as host.

    We hope that you enjoyed all that this year's festival has to offer, and thanks for your support of WBGO-FM and the jazz bee!

  • WBGO's Fall Program Guide Goes Digital

    August 29, 2012. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    WBGO has been mailing out the Upbeat program guide for decades. We recently discovered some gems from the early years and thought we would share a few of those covers here.

    WBGO has been at the vanguard of technology with online streaming of our programs, HD, HD2 (the jazz bee), mobile apps and more. In an effort to keep Upbeat in step with all these forward thinking efforts, we have created a digital version of our familiar program guide, which you can view online, magazine style with embedded links right to further information on our website. Take a test drive of this new service below and let us know what you think.

  • We're Back! The Jazz Stream: WBGO's Showcase For New Jazz

    May 2, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: HD2, Jazz Alive

    The Jazz Stream is back!

    Now online listeners can enjoy our new 24-hour showcase for emerging jazz artists and styles, which has been on the air in the at 88.3 HD2 in the New York Metro area since January. We will introduce you to fresh jazz talent and offer insights into their creativity and inspirations.

    In coming weeks, we'll roll out new features on The Jazz Stream, including exclusive interviews and music every week that you can only hear at WBGO. On the web, we'll have concert and album reviews, columns and special content from invited guests.


    The Jazz Stream plays three tracks by emerging artists, such as vibraphonist Warren Wolf and drummer Kendrick Scott, for each track by a jazz “icon,” such as John Coltrane or Thelonious Monk. We will also feature highlights from WBGO interviews, live broadcasts and studio sessions.

    Pianist Robert Glasper was the first featured artist on The Jazz Stream during our online "sneak preview" back in March. He stopped by our studios to talk with Tim Wilkins about his new album, Black Radio, and his band's original fusion of jazz with hiphop and soul. Your can click here to hear highlights from Glasper's album and our conversation.