WBGO Blog
  • The Legacy Of The Jazz Organ In Philadelphia

    April 22, 2015

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    Rich Budesa was one of six organists to perform. (Image Credit: WXPN)

    In mid-century Philadelphia, dozens of organists reshaped jazz into a popular, swinging, danceable contemporary music. Often in trios with drums and guitar or saxophone, these organ players made church instruments into portable orchestras — a tradition that continues to the present day in Philadelphia.

    Jazz Night In America visits Philadelphia's World Café Live, where WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project organized a tribute to three native sons and daughters of the organ tradition: Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and Charles Earland. Many top local performers help explain what made their city's jazz organ culture thrive.

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

  • Akua Dixon At Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival

    April 22, 2015

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    Akua Dixon. (Image Credit: Jose Iorio/Courtesy of the artist)

    It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.

    Jazz Night In America visits Sistas' Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn — a year-round venue which also helps to present an annual month-long grassroots festival in the heavily African-American neighborhood — to take in Akua Dixon's performance at the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. In addition to the string ensemble featured on her latest album, Dixon is also joined by her two children: vocalist Andromeda Turre and drummer Orion Turre.

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

  • WBGO Jam Live 2015: Berklee "Effortless Mastery" Ensemble

    April 22, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    The Berklee College of Music's "Effortless Mastery" Ensemble, directed by pianist Kenny Werner,  performs live at WBGO for Jazz Appreciation Month. Click below to hear this concert.

    Werner also spoke with Rhonda Hamilton about Berklee's new "Effortless Mastery" Institute, which teaches students holistic techniques for developing and maintaining healthy performance practices.

    All month long in April, WBGO is showcasing student ensembles with vocalists who performed live in our studios for Jazz Appreciation Month. All of these full sets will be available online. Enjoy!

    Click on the image below to see a slideshow from this live in-studio performance.

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    Berklee College of Music "Effortless Mastery Ensemble

    live at WBGO 4/20/15

    Kenny Werner, piano, Long Island, NY
    Vivienne Aerts, voice, Leiden, Netherlands
    Edmar Colon, sax, Coamo, Puerto Rico
    Mao Sone, trumpet, Chiba, Japan
    Max Salinger-Ridley, bass, Boston, MA
    Tiago Michelin, drums, Cambridge, MA