WBGO Blog
  • Venezuela's National Jazz Orchestra Returns

    April 30, 2015

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    Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    This year Venezuela celebrates the 40th anniversary of its national youth music education program, known as El Sistema. Part of the celebration is to send one of its newest bands, a national jazz ensemble, on its second tour of the U.S. — where jazz was born. In 2007, drummer Andrés Briceño helped to seed Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz, and has directed its growth beyond the canonical American repertoire to incorporate the work of Venezuelan and other Latin American composers.

    Jazz Night In America visits Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola within Jazz at Lincoln Center to meet the accomplished student musicians of the big band, and the conductor who is central to jazz in Venezuela.

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

  • International Jazz Day Concert 2015: Watch Now

    April 30, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    WBGO celebrates International Jazz Day with the Global Concert in Paris, France on April 30th at 1 p.m. Click below to watch this live webcast.

    Now in its fourth year, International Jazz Day invites schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to host events in their local communities that celebrate jazz and its roots, future and impact, and raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.

    Throughout the month of April, WBGO hosted top school ensembles from the New York Metro area and Boston in our studios and on-air. Click here to explore these sessions.

    The Global Concert, the initiative's capstone event, was hosted at the United Nations in New York in 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 and in Osaka, Japan in 2014. Enjoy this year's broadcast from Paris!

  • WBGO's Sheila Anderson: Carmen's Time

    April 30, 2015. Posted by Sheila Anderson.

    We know many great singers by their first names: Ella, Sarah, Abbey and Carmen (McRae, that is).

    Now we have another  Carmen - Lundy, that is!

    carmenlundy669
    Photo by Mark Hanauer

    Like Abbey, this Carmen is multitalented: a composer, arranger, and actress. She is also painter, whose artwork has been exhibited in New York and Los Angeles.

    Soul to Soul, Carmen's latest album and her fourteenth,  features 13 songs, 11 of which she composed and arranged.

    She plays guitar on all tracks, piano on “Kindred Spirits,” the electric Rhodes piano on “Don’t You Know How I Feel,” and the drums/percussion on “Sardegna” and also provides backing vocals on “Grace.”

    My introduction to Carmen was twenty years ago, when I began hosting “Sunday Morning Harmony.” Her haunting rendition of Victor Lewis’s “Big Girls,” as well as "Moment to Moment" by Henry Mancini, the title track of her third album, grabbed me.

    She has impeccable intonation, loves harmony that makes her very accessible, easy to listen to.

    Carmen is not an imitator, but an innovator, who learned from her influences. From Ella she heard her scatting, range, diction and swing, from Billie, how to sing a lyric and emotion, telling a story and from Sarah, how she dealt with her vocal range.

    We met in the late nineties, soon after she moved from New York to Los Angeles. She had come back to sing at the now defunct Sweet Basil nightclub.

    The club was packed with loyal fans - one of whom I’d become.

    Photo by James St. Laurent
    Photo by James St. Laurent

    What I love about Carmen is her toughness, single mindedness, fortitude, passion, humor and grace.

    For over four decades, she has excelled at being one of the few who mostly sings and performs her own material, much of it autobiographical.

    Her lauded album and DVD combo, Jazz and the New Songbook-Live at the Madrid, is another great body of work where she, with the help of incredible musicians, brilliantly presents her songs.  In this we can see that Carmen is, in the words of Marian McPartland, a luminous, hauntingly dramatic and an enchanting performer.

    4P.1DS.2.QXD Group

    In my opinion, Carmen Lundy is the “real deal,” deserving of wider recognition.  I believe, from soul to soul, that her star will continue to shine!