WBGO Blog
  • WBGO Airs Two Tributes to Prince This Weekend

    April 22, 2016. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    WBGO remembers The Purple One, The Artist – Prince - with two tribute programs this weekend, Saturday on Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez (10AM-2PM) and Sunday on The Checkout (7-8PM).

    In describing Prince’s influence, Rhythm Revue host Hernandez said, “The impact of Prince's artistry on popular music is immeasurable. Early in his career, Prince blurred the lines between rock and R&B at a time when the divide between the genres seemed ever widening. He earned the respect and praise of musicians from every field, to say nothing of critics and the public, with sales of over one hundred million recordings to his credit. Like his genre-bending predecessors Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, David Bowie, to mention a few, Prince brought together elements of all types of music to create art that was always fresh, daring and popular, a rare accomplishment.”

    This Sunday at 7PM, The Checkout will pay tribute to Prince, by featuring a variety of jazz artists performing Prince’s music, as well as presenting an interview with Thelonious Monk Institute Award winning bassist Ben Williams. In December, Williams presented a program of new arrangements of Prince songs at Harlem Stage. Williams discovered Prince as a kid by way of the very adult film Purple Rain. On Sunday’s episode, he tells that story plus shares one of his favorite Prince compositions.

  • The Legacy Of The Benny Goodman Quartet

    April 21, 2016

    In the late 1930s, a bespectacled white man who played the clarinet was a teen idol. That was Benny Goodman, and he got to be that way from leading a quartet with Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa — one of jazz's first racially integrated bands. In a special stage show written by Geoffrey Ward and narrated by Wendell Pierce, a young band (Christian Sands, piano; Joel Ross, vibraphone; Sammy Miller, drums) with a rotating cast of clarinetists (Will Anderson, Peter Anderson, Patrick Bartley and Janelle Reichman) tells the whole story at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    Jazz Night In America learns about the history of the Benny Goodman Quartet onstage from The Appel Room.

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • Prince, Musician And Iconoclast, Has Died At Age 57

    April 21, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

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    Prince performs at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, Calif., in 1985. (Image Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

    Prince — the Purple One, who reeled off pop hits in four different decades — has died at age 57. The shocking news was confirmed by Prince's publicist after reports emerged that police were investigating a death at his Paisley Park estate outside of Minneapolis.

    Reporting from Paisley Park Thursday, Andrea Swensson tells Minnesota Public Radio that she was among a few dozen people who had gathered at Prince's estate after hearing of a death there — and that "even the journalists are hugging each other" after hearing that Prince has died.

    She added that no word has yet emerged about a possible cause of death.

    Swensson, who had met Prince and spent time with him as a part of a retrospective about his film Purple Rain, described his as being "shy, sensitive – and flirtatious."

    News of Prince's death emerged after police said they were investigating a death at his estate in Chanhassen, with the Carver County Sheriffs' Department saying that deputies were on the scene.

    Citing the musician's recent health problems, TMZ reports:

    "The singer — full name Prince Rogers Nelson — had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu."

    Prince was just 19 years old when he released his first album, putting out For You in 1978. In the decades that followed, he went on to develop a unique sound and style that endeared him to generations of audiences – all while exploring new ground as an artist.

    His fifth album, 1999, exploded onto America's music scene. Released in 1983, it included hits like "Little Red Corvette" and "1999." It also set the stage for Purple Rain, the 1984 soundtrack album packed with songs such as "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" that became fixtures on the radio and established Prince as a pop culture icon.

    As Swensson wrote for MPR about Purple Rain for the film's 30th anniversary in 2014, "it grossed $7.7 million in its opening weekend, beating out Ghostbusters — and racked up comparisons to movies like the Beatles's Hard Day's Night and Citizen Kane in glowing reviews from major media outlets."

    Prince also won two Grammys and an Oscar (for Original Song Score) for Purple Rain. In 2007, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, for "The Song of the Heart" from Happy Feet.

    From 1985 to 2007, Prince won seven Grammy awards — most recently for "Future Baby Mama."

    Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

  • Win tickets for The Art of the Duo at Sheen Center

    April 21, 2016. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Broadway's Alexander Gemignani joins forces with jazz arranger Tedd Firth to bring the Sondheim catalogue alive. Paul Gemignani, Sondheim’s longtime collaborator will be a special guest for the evening. Event details.

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  • WBGO JAM 2016: Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Quintet

    April 20, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Manhattan School of Music's Jazz Arts Quintet stops by for an in-studio performance and interview, bringing with them two original tunes and an arrangement of a Herbie Hancock classic.

    Hear this group and other top student ensembles featured on 88.3 FM throughout the month of April.

    Keep watching the blog for more complete JAM sessions all month long.

    msm jam 2016
    MSM Jazz Arts Quintet, directed by Justin DiCioccio

    1) Penn Station (Eitan Gofman)
    2) Reflections in the Water (Shai Golan)
    3) One Finger Snap (Herbie Hancock, arr. Shai Golan)

    Shai Golan, Alto Saxophone
    Eitan Gofman, Tenor Saxophone
    Holger Marjamaa, Piano
    Adrian Moring, Bass
    Andreas Svendsen, Drums