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The NYU Wayne Shorter Jazz Ensemble Kicks Off Jazz Appreciation Month at WBGO

Isaiah McClain
The NYU Wayne Shorter Jazz Ensemble, led by Dave Prieto (far right), during a visit to WBGO.

In 2001, The National Museum of American History designated April "Jazz Appreciation Month" (JAM).

Of course, jazz appreciation is a year-round pursuit for WBGO and our listeners — but we'll acknowledge the nationwide JAM celebration this month with a focus on the emerging generation of jazz artists. Tune in each weekday to hear an array of student musicians from across America and around the world. 


Under the direction of saxophonist Dave Pietro, an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at New York University, this student ensemble performs the compositions of Wayne Shorter — who is not only a lodestar of modern jazz but also a Newark native and an NYU alum. 

The group currently consists of alto saxophonist Sun Hyun Yoo (Daejeon, South Korea), trombonist Gabe Fraivillig (Doylestown, Pa.), guitarist Franklin Rankin (Freeport, N.Y.), pianist Andrew Andron (New York, N.Y.), bassist Luis Nunez (San Juan, Puerto Rico), and drummer Beau Cadigan (Daly City, Calif.). They visited our performance studio at WBGO to perform four compositions, spanning the entirety of Shorter's illustrious career — from his early stint with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to his iconic years with Miles Davis and Weather Report, and up to contemporary recordings like "Alegria."

Listen for these songs throughout the day on 88.3 FM, or play them below.

Carolyn's career in radio spans well over two decades, most of which have been spent wrapped up in the world of Jazz. It always seems to start with college radio, and for Carolyn that was no exception. Little did she know then that the music she was being introduced to at the University of Wisconsin campus station would remain a near constant in her life. Upon moving to New York City in 1993, it just so happened that a temp agency placed her in a very sweet spot - at WQEW-AM where she worked in the programming department under the tutelage of Program Director Stan Martin and alongside Jonathan Schwartz and other legendary radio hosts. It was there where her love of jazz vocalists began, not just on the radio, but also by seeing many perform live.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Williams brings a rich and extensive background in media to WBGO with a reputation as a creative, people-centric, and data-driven leader. He has held key leadership roles at top media organizations across a diverse range of markets including Cincinnati, Detroit, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New York City, and most recently Seattle. Williams is also a nationally recognized authority on best practices for jazz radio programming, research, marketing, and administration and content production. A jazz aficionado, Williams previously served as Director of Programming for WBGO.