News

It’s not all about the trains.

A survey of people who regularly take New Jersey Transit buses found they often show up late because of heavy traffic, and that bus stops frequently lack amenities that protect riders from the elements.

The survey of 250 bus riders was released Tuesday by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transit-advocacy nonprofit focused on New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

WBGO

Bassist Dezron Douglas has established himself as a Musician’s Musician.

Since moving to New York several year ago, he has performed and recorded with a staggering array of jazz artists, including drummers Louis Hayes, Al Foster and Michael Carvin; pianists George Cables and Cyrus Chestnut; and saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Kenny Garrett and Vincent Herring. 

Tatiana Rodriguez emigrated from Uruguay when she was a child, but she is not covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which means she cannot legally get a driver’s license in the state of New Jersey.

The Elizabeth resident said, during a hearing in the state legislature on Monday, that the inability to drive has put a strain on her family.

“I have a six-year-old boy who asks me every day why I can’t drive him to school, why we can’t drive to his doctors appointments, why I cannot be behind the wheel to take him to his soccer games,” she said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The food court is closed at Jersey Garden’s Mall, it’s hours before shoppers start filing in for the holiday rush.  But hundreds of people are in the building chatting with coffee, some take in carbs, others are stretching.

Pete Dawkins
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 2019 Army-Navy Game marks the rivalry's 120th meeting and 89th time played in Philadelphia. 

The Army-Navy Game pits the U.S Military Academy at West Point (Black Knights) against the U.S. Naval Academy (Midshipmen) at Lincoln Financial Field on December 14.

In 2012, former Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins  and author Mark Beech joined SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about the game and the book When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football.

Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

New Jersey could ban all plastic and paper bags as well as polystyrene containers, in a move lawmakers say will address environmental and public health concerns associated with those materials.

While discarded plastics and polystyrene end up in waterways, littering beaches and harming marine life, humans can also ingest small pieces in the environment.

“When they get into your body, because you’re ingesting them, they also bring with them organic chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic,” said state Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex. “This is a public health crisis.”

Have you broken the seal on Christmas music yet? Because we sure have.

Two of Newark’s most prolific political minds have come together to edit and publish a book about Newark’s first African-American Mayor. A Mayor For All The People: Kenneth Gibson’s Newark, provides an assessment of Gibson’s leadership and his legacy, from the perspectives of the people who were deeply immersed in 1970s and 80’s Newark politics: city employees, politicians, activists, journalists, and mayoral colleugues like the first African-American mayor of New York City David Dinkins. WBGO’s Alexandra Hill recently sat down with Richard W. Roper and Robert C.

Before her show at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, Bettye LaVette stopped by WBGO to talk to Gary Walker.

Their conversation touched on her early days in Detroit, the influence of her old producer Jim Lewis, and the evolution of her career. Listen below, and scroll down for an edited transcript.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Dozens of high school, college, and community environmental advocates skipped work and class Friday, protesting NJ Transit’s proposed power plant along the Hackensack River in Kearny.

“We want to be in school, we want to be working, we want to be participating in our everyday lives, but it’s about disrupting those everyday patterns to make a statement,” said 16-year-old Ananya Singh of Morristown, a facilitator of the ‘North Jersey Climate Strike.’

“In 20 years of being in the legislature, I find this bill the most confusing,” said state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex, during a Trenton hearing Thursday.

Yet just a few hours later, she and other lawmakers on the Senate Labor Committee voted 3-1 in favor of legislation that critics say would take money out of the pockets of some freelance workers and put others out of business altogether. Greenstein said she hoped additional amendments would address their concerns.

Jagged Little Pill
broadway.com

Recently, almost as often as popular movies have become Broadway musicals, popular singers and songs have inspired new shows on Broadway. Theater critic Michael reviews a new show adapted from a 1995 groundbreaking album from Alanis Morrisette, Jagged Little Pill.

From Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody (Juno) comes an original story of suburban subversion inspired by Morissette’s Grammy-Award winning album.

Jagged Little Pill is running at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Click above for Michael Bourne's review.

Dr. King
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D. is a visionary choral conductor, new music advocate and master teacher who has been thrilling audiences in New York and New Jersey for many years. 

Her semi-professional choral ensemble Ember of Schola Cantorum on Hudson is presenting a concert "An Ember December" this Sunday, December 8 at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church at 94 Pine Street in Montclair, New Jersey.

The famous conductor also leads the choir of the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township and is the host of public radio's Sounds Choral.

New Jersey’s top law enforcement official said a new set of rules will improve accountability and transparency among police officers and prosecutors in an era when the criminal justice system is under increased scrutiny.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal laid out the changes in a handful of directives released Wednesday that he said were unprecedented.

“These documents reflect the most significant restructuring of policing practices certainly during my tenure as attorney general, and perhaps in the history of the Office of the Attorney General,” Grewal said.

Mainstream Records

Buddy Terry, a saxophonist who worked in a broad array of styles and situations — making his most enduring contribution in the realm of soul jazz, and on the ground in Newark, his hometown — died on Nov. 29 in Maplewood, N.J. He was 78.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Rutgers announces Greg Schiano’s return just a week after it seemed negotiations had fallen apart.  There was dispute over several contract requests made by Schiano, including family travel perks, and his 8-year $32 million salary.  But leaders at Rutgers University agreed Schiano is the best option for the football team.

“He will rebuild this program to the standard of excellence he set when he was here.  He will exceed those past successes and we will all celebrate together,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs.

Tayla Nebesky

Marta Sánchez — a pianist from Madrid, now based in New York City — is celebrated for her inventive use of counterpoint and rhythm, as displayed on her radiant new album, El Rayo de Luz (Fresh Sound New Talent).

New Jersey prisons and jails may have to offer blood testing for hepatitis B and C to all incarcerated, under a proposal scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

The state Department of Corrections has come under fire from some criminal justice and public health advocates who say its policy of targeted screening for the virus falls short.

“Hepatitis is a scourge. There is no denying that. But thanks to breakthroughs in medicine, it is now a curable scourge,” said Dr. Aakash Shah, an emergency room physician and the medical director of the nonprofit New Jersey Reentry Corporation.

Bright Family
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Michael C. Bright, who is the President and CEO Of the YMCA of Newark, is a member of the Bucknell University Athletics Hall of Fame. 

Bright set numerous school and conference records as a member of the Bison basketball team, including most three pointers made in a career with 206 and most steals in a career.  He was the Patriot League player of the year as a senior in 1993. 

Chris Tobin / WBGO

When Lioness stopped by Morning Jazz, this all-female ensemble came loaded with all the agility, bravery and musical alpha pride you’d expect from a group with this name.

OVR
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

Virtual Reality headsets are used to give gamers the experience of a virtual word using video and sound. Now three different companies are coming out with an add-on that adds scent to the VR experience.

This is light years beyond the failed Smell-O-Vision technology of the 20th Century.  WBGO's Jon Kalish reports on a Vermont start-up whose device will soon be used by psychologists treating veterans with PTSD.

Click above to hear Jon's feature on OVR.

George Lederer / WBGO

Seeking holiday inspiration? We’ve got you covered.

Here is an array of covetable boxed sets, books and special editions for the jazz, soul, blues or gospel fan in your life — at various price points, covering a range of eras and styles.  

November is national Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  In New Jersey, advocates say 68 percent of residents know someone who has or had Alzheimer’s or other dementias. WBGO’s Ang Santos spoke with one of the Garden State’s leading advocates for Alzheimer’s awareness.  

Ang Santos:  In founding Alzheimer’s New Jersey, was it a personal experience with one affected that got you into this work?

Renée Taylor
George Street Playhouse

Renée Taylor is an Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning writer and actress who also loves jazz.  Taylor co-wrote and stars in the autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET through December 15 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In the one-woman show, Taylor looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets.

Delphine Diallo

Thought provoking. Conscience awakening. A call to action. Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science’s new album, Waiting Game (Motéma), is a direct response to the current sociopolitical climate in America.

Legislation introduced at the very last second. Public hearings starting hours late. Lawmakers refusing to let audience members speak.

New Jersey advocacy groups say the public is increasingly shut out of the political process in Trenton, as state lawmakers continue “chipping away” at democratic norms that used to be standard practice in the statehouse.

Keanna Faircloth / WBGO

Samara McLendon took first place in the eighth annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, also known as the Sassy Awards.

John Rogers / Courtesy of the artist

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes a call to gratitude. 

So in this Take Five, we offer reasons to be thankful.

Courtesy of the artist

After placing third in the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Christine Fawson returns this year with renewed energy and focus.

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