WBGO Blog
  • WBGO Jazzy Teacher Award

    June 17, 2008. Posted by .

     

    What an exciting honor to take part in the 2nd annual Jazzy Music Teacher contest, sponsored by NJEA, The New Jersey Education Association. This year's winner, Mrs. Tamah Freni, was overjoyed to be honored for her creative efforts in bringing music to life for her students. These inspiring kids joined in a collaborative effort to submit their essays. I snapped pictures and video along the way to capture each moment of how the effort promoted the educational mission of both NJEA and WBGO.

    Also receiving honorable mention was Mr. Milt, of The Deron School in Union, NJ, for his efforts in keeping music alive for his special needs students, which received a visit from WBGO news reporter Jen Poyant, to cover the story for our news department, to be featured soon on WBGO Journal. Debbie Kirkland, storyteller, was able to help the children tell their story in an essay that capture judge's attention, along with drawings that included Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis.

    I have created a playlist of three special videos which capture the excitement of these special educators. Two are of the winning concert given by Mark Gross and his band at Union Valley Elementary in Sicklerville, NJ. I hope you enjoy the bebop dance contest as much as we did...and Mr. Milt and his class, breaking out unexpectedly in song, while Jen Poyant captures all on tape for her soon to come story. Enjoy!
    -Vickie Smith

  • Live Blog - Rodriguez Brothers at Gracie/JVC

    June 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Rodriguez Brothers at JVC

    Well, the weather in New York is cooperating enough. We're live at Gracie
    Mansion with the Rodriguez Brothers.

    6:17 And we're off! The first tune was a blazing number called "Rowdy Rod."

    6:24 Vibraphonist Joe Locke has joined the rest of the ensemble on stage.
    They are Robert Rodriguez on piano, Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, Ricardo
    Rodriguez (not one of the brothers, however) on bass, and Johnathan Blake
    is the drummer.

    6:25 "Like Joe," with Joe Locke.

    6:31 Gary Walker just informed me that this band also plays with Joe Locke
    as the leader. The group changes their name to Force of Four. And if you're
    in Newark on June 26th, you can catch Force of Four at the Newark Museum
    for the Jazz in the Garden Series. WBGO's Sheila Anderson is the host. Go!

    6:39 "Sundance," featuring Joe Locke soloing. Also a nice solo from Michael
    Rodriguez on flugelhorn. His choice of notes reminds me of Woody Shaw.
    And this song also has that kind of vibe, too.

    6:50 This one called "Rude Awakening." As the title implies...
    Yet another tune for the absolutely effortless mastery of Johnathan Blake,
    one of the young masters/monsters on drums.

    6:57 Wow. What a piano solo.

    6:59 The skies have gotten AWFULLY DARK. Uh oh...
    We might be ending this very soon.

    7:01 Everyone in attendance has huddled underneath the tent. And the band
    is trading fours.

    7:04 Due to extremely bad weather, this show is OVER.
    -Josh