WBGO Blog
  • Esperanza Spalding at J&R Music Fest - Listen Online

    August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Esperanza Spalding at J&R Music Festival

    Bassist, composer, and singer Esperanza Spalding is starting her professional career on a fast upward trajectory. "With a bullet," as the record industry would say. She has plenty of star power, and she's parlayed her recent television appearances into a sideline attraction - putting new faces in the jazz crowd. Check out her set of music from the J&R Music Festival, and you'll see why. She's got skillz.
    Esperanza and the band - Leo Genovese on keys, Ricardo Vogt on guitar, Otis Brown III on drums - added serious panache to the day of free live music in City Hall Park.
    If you missed the show, listen to it now.
    -Josh

  • Roy Hargrove at J&R Music Fest - Listen Online

    August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Roy Hargrove at J&R Music Festival

    Let it be said that trumpeter and flugelhorn player Roy Hargrove is still leading the style competition in jazz. Aside from his really fresh Adidas kicks (see above), Roy brought his highly functional quintet (saxophonist Justin Robinson, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Danton Boller, and drummer Montez Coleman) to close the Friday evening festivities in City Hall Park. Listen to this tightly executed set of music, most of it coming from Roy Hargrove's new release, Earfood. My favorite? The ballad "Never Let Me Go." I've heard Roy play this so many times, I'm beginning to think the song belongs to him alone.
    Check out the set.

    -Josh

  • Studio Session - Singer Melody Gardot

    August 21, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Singer Melody Gardot

    Singer Melody Gardot visited the WBGO studio yesterday, and she brought her entire band with her. Melody's debut release, Worrisome Heart, has generated a lot of attention for both her personal story and her intimate, original songwriting. She intended to play three songs - "Worrisome Heart," "Goodnight," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." But she fell in love with our Steinway piano, and added "Love Me Like a River Does." Check out the session. If you like what you hear, and you want the accompanying visuals, be advised that Melody Gardot is playing tonight at the Blender Theater at Gramercy on East 23rd Street in New York.
    -Josh

  • SMV - Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten - Interview Feature with Eulis Cathey

    August 20, 2008. Posted by .

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    SMV

    SMV, the super group, featuring bassists Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten, recently launched a world tour that continues through the end of October. (They'll be in Huntington, Long island, at the IMAC Theatre on Friday, August 22nd, and in New York City at the Nokia Theatre on Saturday, August 23rd). The accomplishments of these three bass players are simply astounding, and I was able to catch up with them to talk about their new CD "Thunder", the "Thunder Tour," and how they feel about working and recording together. It's obvious that they're not only great musicians, but great friends as well, and there was a relaxed, good natured feeling about the interview. Check it out, and let's hear your thoughts and any musical remembrances you may have about Stanley, Marcus, and Victor... - Eulis Cathey

  • JazzTimes - New Visionaries of Jazz

    August 14, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

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    Kudos to JazzTimes!  In the September issue, the cover story is "The Future Is Now: New Jazz Visionaries."  Let me start by saying that I love the first part of that headline.  I get so tired of hearing about the status of jazz, where is it going, what's going to happen to it, who will save it...you get where I'm going.  My frustration comes from being on the jazz scene and seeing and all of the amazing talent, projects, bands, artists, compositions, collaborative efforts, etc.  and then hearing those statements.  It's like "What are you talking about? Have you checked out a show lately on any given night, at any given venue in the city, for starters?"

    This article covers just a few of the "new visionaries."  Christian Scott, Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding, Marcus Strickland and others.  Each artist has a full page story and photo.  I think this issue was so necessary, and I really give it up to JazzTimes for making the blatently obvious even more obvious - that jazz is alive, well, and thriving. (Now, if cats could only earn the money that the music's worth...but that's another story).

    Check out each of these artists when they're in a city near you.  Both Aaron Parks and Esperanza Spaulding will be performing at the J&R MusicFest next Friday, August 22, and WBGO will be broadcasting it live! Learn more about it by clicking here.

    Check out a live performance of Aaron Parks' "Nemesis" from the WBGO studios.  It's NPR's "Song of the Day" with commentary by WBGO's Josh Jackson.

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    Check out my interview with Marcus Strickland

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