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Hear CCNY's Grad Ensemble Perform Several Originals for Jazz Appreciation Month

Simon Rentner
The Grad Ensemble from City College of New York

Since the Jazz Program at City College began in 1974, distinguished musicians like Jaki Byard, John Lewis, Sheila Jordan and Jimmy Heath have passed through its doors as educators. These days Associate Professor Steve Wilson, a well-regarded jazz saxophonist and bandleader, leads the Jazz Studies program at CCNY, and he brought one of the school's multiple ensembles to perform at the WBGO studios for our Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration.

The Grad Ensemble’s performers are Antonio Ciacca (piano), Steve Lacey (guitar), Moto Kobayashi (bass), Fred Griggs (drums) and Jamile Staevie (vocals). All are grad students except for Moto Kobayashi, who is an undergrad. The group performed Jule Styne’s “Just in Time,” along with three original compositions: “Oscar P” and “Jobim” by Antonio Ciacca, “Nobody’s Soul” by Jamile Staevie.

Hear them on 88.3 or in the playlist 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.