WBGO Blog
  • Farewell to Trumpeter Clark Terry

    February 22, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Add new comment | Filed under: RIP

    WBGO says goodbye to trumpeter, educator and NEA Jazz Master Clark Terry, who died from complications of diabetes Feb. 21, 2105.

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    Born Dec. 14, 1920 in St. Louis, Terry was a key player in the ensembles of Duke Ellington and Count Basie in the 1950s, and he broke barriers by becoming the first African-American staff musician for the NBC television network, and was a longtime member of the Tonight Show Band.

    Terry was an exceptional educator, and shared unstintingly of his knowledge with younger trumpeters, including Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Most recently, Terry took Justin Kauflin, a young, blind piano player, under his wing - Terry's teaching methods and mentorship of Kauflin inspired the 2014 documentary film Keep On Keepin' On, directed by Alan Hicks, which Jones produced.

    Jones spoke with WBGO's Gary Walker last year about the film and Terry's legacy. We'd like to share the conversation again with you now:

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    Kauflin visited WBGO just last month, and also spoke with Gary about what Terry meant to him. Here's that conversation:

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    Thank you Clark, for your indomitable spirit, which shone like a beacon through your teaching and your music!

    Reverend Calvin Butts will lead the service for Clark Terry, Saturday, February 28 at 10am at Abyssinian Baptist Church, located at 132 W 138th St, New York, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Jazz Foundation of America which has helped over the years to make sure that Clark's needs were met.  Please note when making donations online that they be noted "In Honor of Clark Terry" to help them continue this lifesaving work: http://jazzfoundation.org/memory_honor

  • How To Turn A One-Man Band Into A 10-Piece Orchestra

    February 19, 2015

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    Henry Butler (left) and Steven Bernstein. (Image Credit: NPR)

    When trumpeter and composer/arranger Steven Bernstein first met the virtuoso pianist Henry Butler, he says he was floored. "This is it," he recalls thinking. "This is like the music that I always imagined. Everything you ever loved about music, all being in one place, but now it's all coming from one person." Decades later, when they two finally began to work together, Bernstein started to study Butler's playing — and realized there were more than a few licks that set Butler apart.

    Now that Butler and Bernstein co-lead a band called the Hot 9, they break down just how they built an ensemble around one man's signature style.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Elio Villafranca on "Cinque Suite": Listen Now

    February 19, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Pianist Elio Villafranca talks with Michael  Bourne about "Cinqué - Suite of the Caribbean," a new work he premieres at Jazz At Lincoln Center Feb. 20 and 21. The suite explores the legacy of rhythms from the Congo in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Enjoy!

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