News

A top New Jersey lawmaker wants to change the state constitution to dedicate $500 million for public transit each year.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the constitutional amendment is necessary to ensure New Jersey Transit has a reliable funding stream and guard against the ebb and flow of annual budgetary priorities.

“If you constitutionally dedicate funding, then they can rely on that funding year after year,” Sweeney said of the agency.

Miles Davis led such a prismatic and changeable career that any attempt at summation is destined to feel incomplete.

The Inheritance
broadway.com

The Inheritance, a new play on Broadway that focuses on the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15.

Theater critic Michael Bourne caught the show just in time. 

Click above to hear his review.

Alexander Kawasaki

DOMi — aka Domitille Degalle, a pianist from Nancy, France — is 19, and set to graduate from the Berklee College of Music in May. JD Beck, a drumming prodigy from Dallas, Tx., is wrapping up his high school studies. Rarely do you see two dynamos so well positioned for stardom.

Radio Golf
Yurik L. Lozano

Obie Award-winning actor and director Brandon J. Dirden (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars) returns to Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J., to direct the theater's sixth production from playwright August Wilson's The American Century Cycle.

Radio Golf is the Cycle's 10th and final play, set in 1997 in Pittsburgh's Hill District. It will run from Feb. 29 through March 22 at Two River's Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater in Red Bank, N.J.

Hubert Williams

In all likelihood, you know the voice of Rob Crocker. A steadfast announcer at WBGO for the last two decades, he has history with our station going back nearly to its inception.

This week, Rob received the Roy Wilkins Black History Month Award from the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NAACP. “They were really gracious,” he says. “I had tremendous appreciation for the honor.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced five legislative proposals Wednesday that would drastically overhaul the state’s ethics rules for government officials, in what he called the first comprehensive reform in a decade.

“These proposals will shine light into the dark corners of our politics and re-instill faith, as best we can, that those elected to serve are there to serve the people, all of the people, not the special [interests] or their own interests,” Murphy said.

Katie Brennan, who accused a former campaign staffer for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy of raping her during the Democrat’s 2017 gubernatorial bid, has recommendations for how to improve the system for victims of sexual assault and harassment.

Brennan, who now works in Murphy’s administration, made the proposals last week in a letter her attorney sent to the Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics, which was recently formed by state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen.

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

For some 60 years, beginning in the early 1950s, pianist-composer Dave Brubeck was one of the most famous jazz musicians alive.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has floated legislation that would crack down on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. He made the proposal as he defended himself over allegations of a toxic atmosphere on his 2017 gubernatorial campaign and after a year-long review of state law on the subject.

The legislation would clarify what counts as a “hostile work environment” in New Jersey law. It would also require all public and private employers to enact policies around harassment and discrimination.

For Aubrey Navarro-Conway, who has Type 1 diabetes, the constant question of how she will be able to afford insulin made her desperate and self-conscious.

“It took me a long time to understand that the only people who should be embarrassed are the pharmaceutical companies that are getting rich off the desperation of me and patients like me,” she said.

People wanting to be anything from an accountant to an acupuncturist in New Jersey need to obtain professional licenses before they can ply their trade.

A proposal in the state Legislature would make certain immigrants living in the state eligible to apply for and obtain those licenses, which supporters said would invigorate the economy and bring some immigrants out of the shadows.

Ask Governor Murphy
WBGO

The next edition of Ask Governor Murphy is tonight at 7 p.m. on WBGO and www.wbgo.org. 

Join host Nancy Solomon of WNYC and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as they talk about such topics as sexaul harrassment in the workplace, Ice deployment to sanctuary cities like Newark, NJ Transit and teacher accountability.

The number to call is 844-677-9283, or on social media with #askgovmurphy.

Submit your questions in advance at AskGovMurphy.org.

Roberto Masotti / ECM Records

Jon Christensen, a Norwegian drummer whose firm yet flowing pulse helped shift the parameters for European jazz, notably as one of the most widely recorded sidemen on ECM Records, died on Tuesday in Oslo. He was 76.

Amazon Music

Including the latest from Reverso, co-led by Ryan Keberle and Frank Woeste.

Grand Horizons
playbill.com

The Second Stage production of Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes on Broadway, stars Jane Alexander and James Cromwell as a disgruntled mother and father.

Click above to hear WBGO's theater critic Michael Bourne's review.

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor is tired of hearing only about the opioid epidemic destroying those who live in wealthy white rural communities.  Antenor says although the numbers show that opioid victims in the black community tend to be fewer than that of white communities, minorities who are addicted to opioids tend to get little or no help in comparison to caucasions with the same drug addiction. 

Click above to hear her commentary.

Bob Max
Bob Max for WBGO News

An impressive military uniform displaying a Purple Heart and other medals of valor, dog tags with the Star of David on them, war-time letters to his parents and pictures chronicling the life an American hero…it’s all part of the new exhibit at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark titled The Long March Home: A World War II Story.

Emra Islek

 

This Saturday night, join John Ellis, Andy Bragen, and me in a pre-concert conversation about their new jazz opera before the 11-piece jazz chamber ensemble performs their Jazz Gallery commission featuring vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Miles Griffith.

manhattan-institute.org

Ang Santos:  Your study looks at data from the years 2014 to 2018 and shows students who enrolled at schools run by Newark’s two largest charter operators saw improved and lasting gains in test scores, what was the process for coming to that conclusion?

Courtesy of the artist

Among the many things Jason Moran has demonstrated over the last 20 years is this: the man knows his way around a love song.

Courtesy of the artist

For many, violinist Regina Carter set the blueprint for genre-blending. With nearly a dozen recordings in her catalog, she has been a major influence for string artists like Chelsey Green, The String Queens, Black Violin, Scott Tixier and more.

One died while commanding troops during the Civil War. The other helped secure women the right to vote by passing the 19th Amendment. Which should be honored in the halls of the U.S. Capitol?

The historical debate was thrown into stark relief Monday as the New Jersey Senate considered a bill that would replace a statue of Brig. Gen. Philip Kearny with one of suffragette Alice Paul in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey is ready to go to court with the Trump administration over the state’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits cooperation between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

On Monday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Murphy administration over the policy, which it says is unconstitutional.

“We will defend our position with great vigor, in particular on behalf of public safety,” Murphy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The other side of the argument does not have the facts on their side.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m., The Checkout presents DOMi & JD Beck in a live webcast from Berklee’s Café 939 The Red Room.

George Burton’s concept for Reciprocity is one of honest and intentional give and take — a fluid exchange of musical ideas that create a positive, energy-shifting vibe.

As I listened to the crystal-clear vocals of Alexa Barchini meld with Tim Warfield’s soprano saxophone during this Afternoon Jazz session, any anxious feelings I’d been harboring instantly fell away.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

Norah Jones, Charles Lloyd, Makaya McCraven and Diana Krall are among the artists set to appear at the 2020 Newport Jazz Festival, Aug. 7-9 at Fort Adams State Park.

The festival revealed these names today as part of a first wave of artist announcements — some 30 acts, spanning a few different generations and stylistic modes.

Some New Jersey lawmakers want college athletes to be able to earn money from their success in sports.

The Fair Play Act, passed by the state Senate on Monday, would allow players to strike endorsement deals using their name, image, or likeness.

“They can absolutely not accept pay. This is only about endorsements. They cannot be paid by the college or any other entity for their service as an athlete,” said Sen. Joe Lagana, D-Bergen, one of the sponsors.

The Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against New Jersey over a state policy that limits law enforcement agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration officials.

In a complaint filed Monday, Justice Department prosecutors said the so-called “Immigrant Trust Directive” violates the U.S. Constitution and should be invalidated.

“Today’s lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, seeks to restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Poll workers across New Jersey could see their first pay bump in nearly two decades, under a new proposal in the state legislature.

Legislation set for a public hearing Monday would raise poll worker pay to $300, up from the $200 daily rate that has been in effect since 2001.

“These people are there looking to do the job the best way possible, and it’s high time we compensate them for that,” said Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, R-Passaic, one of the bill’s sponsors.

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