Ang Santos / WBGO

Veterans Day 2018 marked the centennial anniversary of the end of WWI. 

“It was 100 years ago today on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month that guns fell silent and the first world war came to an end,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy addressing dozens of veterans.  “Of course, no one knew then when the bells tolled that it would be the first world war.  It was known only as the great war.  Some called it the war to end all wars.  How we wish they were right.”

Gloria Coino says members of her family served in every American war.  

university of california press

Dexter Gordon was an indisputable jazz legend when he died in 1990, at 67.

Debating Poetry with Newark Author Jasmine Mans, on the New Podcast 'art & isms'

18 hours ago
Photo courtesy of the artist

On this episode of art & isms, Jasmine Mans — an internationally known poet and author from Newark, N.J. — recites and explains a poem, talks about her relationship to the city of Newark, reflects on what she learned on the speech and debate team in high school, and explains one of her most controversial poems, “Footnotes for Kanye.”

Mans is hosting free poetry workshops for teens and young adults at the Newark Public Library through Dec. 5. 

Girl from the North Country
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Dysfunctional families have been a mainstay of playwrights since the Greeks. Parents and children, Husband and wives, and even communities at odds. All of the above are on stage lately.

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews Apologia, The Ferryman, Mother of the Maid, Girl from the North Country.

Andy Biskin
Anja Hitzenberger

The late Alan Lomax was an ethnomusicologist, record producer, radio host and academic. Lomax is credited with bringing Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Lead Belly to a wider audience. 

Andy Biskin, a New York clarinetist who worked for him in the 1970's has taken some of the classic folk songs Lomax documented and re-interpreted them for a brass and woodwind ensemble.  Theresult is something jazz fans will appreciate.

Click above to hear the feature on Andy Biskin.

King Hedley II
Two River Theater for WBGO

The year is 1985. King Hedley II has returned from prison looking to rebuild his life, save some money, plant a backyard garden, and start a family.  This production is the halfway mark of Two River Theater presenting the 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle.

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle chats with two of the stars of King Hedley II, Harvy Blanks (Elmore) and Charlie Hudson III (Mister).

Obie Award-winner Brandon J. Dirden (A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s Jitney) directs.

Benoit Rousseau

While the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have shaped the debate in the United States, our neighbor, Canada, is going through its own cultural awakening and moment of reckoning. Rising stars like Jeremy Dutcher are giving its mistreated indigenous population a voice through music.


Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill he says is the country's strongest ban on so-called ghost guns.  

The law prohibits selling, manufacturing or owning firearms without a serial number.  New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says that includes guns made with a 3D printer, 


James Francies has a love affair with the piano. It’s apparent when you hear him play. We had that opportunity when he visited Afternoon Jazz to promote Flight, his debut album, recently released on Blue Note.  

Ang Santos / WBGO

Many New Jersey voters encountered long lines and malfunctioning machines at the polls yesterday.  

A lot of voters who mailed in ballots in 2016 had to use provisional ballots at the polls this time. That’s because a new law signed by the governor this year that automatically lists them as mail-in voters.  It caused problems at the polls, but Murphy says it expanded voter participation.

“While it may have brought some confusion, four hundred thousand people, over four hundred thousand people voted by mail, a third of them we believe are new voters.”

Associated Press

Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey is heading back to the Senate for his third term.

The two-term incumbent faced tough competition from his Republican challenger.

Former drug company CEO Bob Hugin ran against Menendez self-funding his campaign and blanketing the airwaves with T-V ads about Menendez’s corruption trial.

The federal case ended in a mistrial last fall when a jury couldn’t reach a verdict. In his victory speech last night Menendez pledged to win back the support of residents.

Alexandra Hill / News

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is pushing back against reports of elevated levels of lead and other toxins in the city’s water supply amid comparisons to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, by the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Baraka says Flint's water crisis, which was caused by the city's failure to apply corrosion control treatment is incomparable to that of Newark, adding that they became aware of the issue in October after a self-commissioned report.


Trumpeter and composer Roy Hargrove, who died tragically on Friday at 49,  is best known for his unflappable command in small-group settings, including his sterling quintet. But he was also a connoisseur of the big band — leading his own, on and off, through most of his career.

The Roy Hargrove Big Band released a single album, Emergence, in 2009. Around the time of the album’s release, he brought the 18-piece ensemble to WBGO for a session on Afternoon Jazz. Highlights from that session were later featured on The Checkout, then hosted by Josh Jackson.


The seventh annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival kicks off this weekend at NJPAC in Newark. Alexandra Hill sits down with WBGO’s own Gary Walker for an exclusive preview. You can get more information and

see the entire schedule for the festival here

When the federal corruption trial surrounding Democratic Senator Bob Menendez ended in a hung jury, he sent a shot out against those seeking his seat.

“To those who were digging my political grave so they can jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won’t forget you,” he said during a press briefing after the trial.

Republican Bob Hugin has spent close to 30 million dollars to remind voters that Menendez was on trial.  Still the democrat says that a jury of his peers didn’t find him guilty.

Michael Bourne
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne checked out two new Broadway plays this week, The Lifespan of a Fact and The Waverly Gallery.

Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, Tony Award winner Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale of Third Watch and Boardwalk Empire fame, return to Broadway to star in the world premiere of The Lifespan of a Fact,

Click above to hear his review of both shows.

Marek Lazarski

Andrew Cyrille, a drummer and composer who has stood near the center of the jazz avant-garde since its origins in the 1960s, will be the Vision Festival’s next lifetime achievement honoree. He’s due to receive his honor during the 24th annual edition of that event, at Roulette in Brooklyn next June.

Courtesy of the artist

The Other Side of the Story is drummer Matt Kane’s third release as a leader, but the first to showcase his talent as a composer.

Kane was born and raised in Hannibal, Mo., and since moving to the New York/New Jersey area in 1997, has established himself as a highly accomplished drummer as well as a skillful and effective educator. From the first track here, you know you’re in for a tuneful, upbeat experience.

Flor De Liz Perez
T. Charles Erickson

Flor De Liz Perez makes her George Street Playhouse debut in the world premiere of The Trial of Donna Caine. Perez plays the role of Marine Staff Sergeant Donna Caine.

Perez came into the WBGO studios to talk to News Director Doug Doyle about the show and her career.


For years, Justin Brown has been a drummer in high demand, constantly on the road with the likes of Thundercat and Ambrose Akinmusire. At the same time, he’s been carefully writing his own compositions, and plotting his debut as a bandleader.

He released his debut album, NYEUSI, in June — and heralded its arrival with a show jointly presented by WBGO and Revive Music.

Carmen Balentine
Carmen Balentine for WBGO News

Former WBGO employee Carmen Balentine is running his first NYC Marathon this Sunday, November 4th.

Balentine now works as a Major Gifts Officer at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research in New York City.  He came into the WBGO studios to talk to News Director Doug Doyle about his training and passion.  Balentine is running in support of the New York Urban League.

Balentine says his goal is to simply cross the finish line.

Balentine is also a big music fan who loves to dance.

Click above to hear the entire interview.

Ang Santos / WBGO

A moment of silence was held in commemoration of the lives lost when a man drove a truck onto a bike path a year ago today, killing eight people and injuring a eleven others.  

“There’s been an extraordinary sense of solidarity from New Yorkers for all of the families that lost loved ones," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.  "That day could have gone very differently.  It could have been much worse had our first responders not done their jobs so extraordinarily well, so bravely.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded New Yorkers for staying brave in the face of terror.

Bertrand Guay / Getty Images

The seventh annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival begins this weekend at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and as usual it presents a broad view of the modern jazz mainstream. 

Running from Nov. 3 to 18, the fest takes place almost entirely at NJPAC — though its kickoff event, featuring the Jon Faddis Quartet, is a Jazz Vespers service this Saturday at Bethany Baptist Church. The concluding event, according to tradition, will be the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is calling on the legislature to introduce more measures that would tighten New Jersey’s already strict gun laws.  He calls the package of bills ‘Gun Safety Package 2.0.’

“These latest bills will focus on gun trafficking, tightening the regulation of ammunition, speeding the accessibility of smart gun technology, and expanding community-based violence intervention,” Murphy said.

Kenny Vance had a front-row seat for the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era, in New York City during the late 1950s. “It was very frenetic in those days,” he tells Bob Porter on Saturday Morning Function, “because it was a brand-new thing, and nobody really knew what to do.”

Popcorn Falls
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne thoroughly enjoyed the new off-Broadway comedy Popcorn Falls.

James Hindman's new play makes its off-Broadway debut, directed by Christian Borle.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

Ezequiel Garcia
Doug Doyle for WBGO

72-year old Ezequiel Garcia is running in the New York City Marathon in November.  Garcia has been a donor family member since his son passed in 2011 and became a tissue donor.  He will run his third marathon in support of NJ Sharing Network and in honor of his late son Rey. 

Ezequiel Garcia and the President and CEO of the NJ Sharing Network Joe Roth joined WBGO News Director Doug Doyle for an interview about Garcia's love for his family and his new passion for running.

Dr. Indira Etwaroo
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Dr. Indira Etwaroo is the Executive Director of the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn.  The newly renovated theatre at RestorationArt has launched its new season with the Colman Domingo play Dot.

WBGO's News Director Doug Doyle sat down with Dr. Etwaroo recently at the Billie Holiday Theatre to talk about her amazing career as a producer, educator, artist and scholar.

Click above to hear the entire interview.