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John Ellis Quartet’s album ‘Bizet: Carmen in Jazz’ featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play January 29 – February 2

John Ellis
Emra Islek
John Ellis

Can an Opera become a Bopera? For saxophonist & clarinetist John Ellis the self-imposed challenge was to take Georges Bizet's Carmen and twist and turn it into something new. With the talents of pianist Gary Versace, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Jason Marsalis along for the dance, Carmen's fiery Gypsy appetite shows up in the creation, with the listener Don Jose, following along wantingly to see what happens next.

From Monday, January 29 through Friday, February 2, one cut from the Bizet: Carmen in Jazz album will be featured each morning on the New Day, New Play spotlight on my Daybreak show.

Preview “Habanera” from Bizet: Carmen in Jazz, above.

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosted the morning show each weekday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.