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Youngbloods, Vibes: Joel Ross, Sasha Berliner and Simon Moullier

Youngbloods 2023 vibes, from left to right: Joel Ross, Sasha Berliner, Simon Moullier
Graphics: Jackie Lay for NPR
Youngbloods 2023 vibes, from left to right: Joel Ross, Sasha Berliner, Simon Moullier

In 2022, we introduced our first installment of Youngbloods, a new class of jazz artists paving their way, and more importantly, pushing the music forward.

Our inaugural class featured five exciting artists, all under the age of 30. For our second season, we spotlight six artists divided between vibes and brass, presented amongst their peers.

This episode, we tell the story behind three trailblazing vibraphonists: Joel Ross (28), Simon Moullier (29), and Sasha Berliner (25) .

Surprisingly, all three mallet swingers got their start banging on drums before moving over to aluminum plates. We trace their individual trajectories toward jazz stardom; Ross from Chicago, Moullier from Nantes in France, and Berliner from the Bay Area.

Coming up, a brass-centered Youngbloods program featuring three fiery horn players: Giveton Gelin, Kalia Vandever, and Summer Camargo.

Set List:

  • Joel Ross, "Kingmaker" (Joel Ross)
  • Joel Ross, "Prayer"  (Joel Ross)
  • Simon Moullier, "Lush Life" (Billy Strayhorn)
  • Simon Moullier, "Pfrancing" (Miles Davis)
  • Sasha Berliner, "Polaris"  (Sasha Berliner)
  • Sasha Berliner, "Jade" (Sasha Berliner)


Sarah Geledi and Trevor Smith, writers and producers; Ron Scalzo, episode mix; Nikki Birch and Mitra Arthur: video producers; Suraya Mohamed, project manager; Keith Jenkins, vice president of visuals and strategy at NPR Music. Anya Grundmann, executive producer; Christian McBride, host.

Copyright 2023 WBGO. To see more, visit WBGO.

Sarah Geledi left her job in advertising in Montreal to pursue a career in music in New York City. She fulfilled that mission, producing content for the JAM Festival at WBGO, segments for The Checkout, and programs for WWOZ and PRI's Afropop Worldwide. She also served as a producer for NYC Winter Jazzfest before landing the "job of her dreams," producing radio for Jazz Night in America.
Trevor has been listening to WBGO for nearly half of his life. The station has remained near and dear from the first time he tuned in via a portable radio on a bus from his home city of Hartford to New York.