WBGO Blog
  • Delfeayo Marsalis on AMNH Premiere: Listen Now

    February 27, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Trombonist and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis talks with Glenn Crespo about "From The African Village To The Urban Village," a work he debuts Sat., Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at New York's American Museum of Natural History, and his new album, "The Last Southern Gentleman."

    The concert, with youth performers from Harlem and New Orleans, is part of the museum's "Here We Stand: Honor Black History" series. Enjoy!

    delfeayomarsalis669

  • WBGO Says Farewell to Cephas Bowles

    February 25, 2015. Posted by Amy Niles.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Amy Niles, RIP

    It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Cephas Bowles, the recently retired President and CEO of WBGO-FM, Newark Public Radio.

    Cephas_Bowles

    Cephas was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia approximately 2 years ago and underwent a bone marrow transplant in November of 2013 in hopes of altering the course of the disease.

    Cephas was born and raised in Newark, and WBGO could have had no better champion for our city and its music. He loved Newark, and was born of its culture - especially its tradition of organ music.

    When he was tapped to return to Newark to assume leadership at WBGO after working at public media station KUAT in Tucson, he joined the board of trustees of NPR and was very vocal in his campaign for diversity within the public radio system.

    Cephas was a very private man, but certain elements of his life he wouldn't mind sharing- his commitment to Newark, yes. This music, most definitely. But also his other main passions-  his connection to Syracuse University, where he got his start in radio and his love of his family, most importantly his wife Linda.

    We can find no better way to honor Cephas than to steadfastly champion his mission to keep WBGO thriving. He would want nothing more than to know that the his work that he began at WBGO has a strong future and lives on through the next generation.

    Over the next few days, you will hear dedications of music in his memory and our hope is that we are all able to take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we all are to have been touched by his great spirit.

    Visitation will be held at Fountain Baptist Church, 116 Glenside Avenue, Summit, NJ, on Thursday, February 26, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 27, at Fountain Baptist Church with internment immediately following at Evergreen Cemetery, 1137 N. Broad St., Hillside, NJ.

    To read WBGO's press release on Cephas's passing, click here.

  • Cephas Bowles Remembered

    February 24, 2015. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Cephas Bowles at the Newark Arts Council's Art Parade
    Cephas Bowles at the Newark Arts Council's Art Parade

    Cephas Bowles, a proud Newark native with a notable reputation in public radio, is being remembered for his 20 years of leadership at WBGO. Cephas passed away on Saturday, February 21, after a lengthy illness. He was 62.

    WBGO could have had no better champion for our city and its music. A graduate of Newark’s Barringer High School, Cephas loved his home town, and was born of its culture - especially its tradition of organ music. All of us at WBGO know that it was jazz in all its forms that sustained him, and throughout the week, our announcers have played and will continue to play musical tributes in his honor.

    A staunch advocate for public radio both locally and nationally, Cephas’ contributions to the viability and growth of WBGO led to the station becoming the leading jazz radio station in the United States, and arguably the world. Under his leadership, WBGO became the primary jazz content producer for NPR. Cephas led the charge for capital improvements to the station’s headquarters in Newark,  as well as the Signal Improvement Project, which involved installing a new transmitter and antenna atop 4 Times Square in New York City.  He significantly grew WBGO’s financial and human resources, and is remembered by all who worked with him as a consummate professional.

    Cephas’ career in radio spanned over 40 years, beginning at CBS News in New York City in 1974 as Assistant Producer for Spectrum.  In 1978, he moved to Tucson, Arizona to work for KUAT, ultimately serving as the Radio Station Manager there from 1983 through 1990, as well as the University of Arizona’s Acting Director of the Division of Media Studies.  Cephas also served on a number of policy and programmatic committees and advisory boards for the City of Tucson, the University of Arizona, NPR, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He was a co-founder of Blacks in Public Broadcasting, and a longstanding committee member of the Tucson Community Foundation. Cephas relocated to Newark in 1993 taking over as General Manager at WBGO, and was named President and CEO in 2009.

    Cephas served on the board of directors of National Public Radio, Inc. where he was the Chairman of the Investment and Administration/Finance Committees.  He served as a longstanding member of the Newark Regional Business Partnership Board of Directors, and was a board member of the Syracuse University Jazz Appreciation Society.  Bowles also offered his expertise to various community Boards, including the Newark Arts Council, Dover Zoning Board of Adjustment, State of NJ Martin Luther King Committee and National Jazz Museum of Harlem.

    Bowles was the recipient of countless other awards including a Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalists of America (2014); the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Ryan Community Service Award (2013); WBGO Champion of Jazz Award, (2013); Syracuse University Jazz Leadership and Alumni Jazz Appreciation Society awards (2012). Other honors included Recognition Award from NPR (2007); Associates in Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Inc. Executive Leadership Award (2006); Newark School of the Arts Shining Star Award (2006); Eller MBA Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Arizona's Karl Eller Master of Business Administration Program (2004). The Star-Ledger named him one of New Jersey's most influential arts leaders (1998) and the City News tapped him as one the 100 Most Influential people (1997).

    Cephas was never far from a radio. "As we spent our last few hours together, Cephas was comforted by the sounds of jazz wafting throughout the room," said Linda Bowles, his wife of nearly 18 years. "He bobbed his head and tapped out the beats with his finger while his beloved WBGO played to the very end."

    Bowles is survived by his wife, Linda Arrington-Bowles, and five siblings: Carey Bowles Jr., Ruth Hall (Jerry), Paul Bowles, Elizabeth Gaskin (Orrett), and Deborah Bowles; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Carey C. Bowles, Sr., mother, Sarah Rosa Bowles and sister Sarah Wilson.

    Visitation will be held at Fountain Baptist Church, 116 Glenside Avenue, Summit, NJ, on Thursday, February 26, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 27, at Fountain Baptist Church with internment immediately following at Evergreen Cemetery, 1137 N. Broad St., Hillside, NJ.