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Looking Ahead, and To the Cosmos, with Guitarist and Composer Kurt Rosenwinkel

Renato Nunes
Kurt Rosenwinkel

Anniversaries can be a time for reflection, and taking stock of where we’ve been. So in celebration of WBGO's 40th anniversary, this episode of The Checkout dips into the archives, recalling the era when it was hosted and produced by its founder, Josh Jackson.

Back in 2012, Josh sat down with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, who had just released his 10th album, Star of Jupiter. Kurt says that this album closely resembles the sound he’ll create tomorrow night, with Taylor Eigsti on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jason Brown on drums.

After their conversation about Star of Jupiter, Josh playfully compiled a Jupiter-themed playlist for Kurt to respond to — ranging from Mozart to Jimi Hendrix to John Coltrane. But as Kurt noted at the time, the name of the album, which came to him in a dream, was “not meant to be taken as a literal entity but rather a philosophy.” He adds: “The Star of Jupiter was given to me as a key to transcend the cycles of form, illusion, and fear which exist on this earthly plane of existence.”

Rosenwinkel has always kept his own orbit, and his music has traveled to new places since 2012. Notably, Brazil: his incredibly expressive album Caipi, released last year, embraces that country’s rich samba, jazz, and rock influences. Stay tuned for more Kurt Rosenwinkel on The Checkout: a new podcast highlighting Caipi and a forthcoming release with the young Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Pedro Martins.

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For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.