When WBGO Membership Director Roslyn Turner asked me to write a letter to our listeners, I told her immediately that I'd be glad to do it. Funny thing is, I've been intensely pondering for the past few days the words I would offer. What message would I send to you at a time like this?
Since moving from Nashville to become the new host of Jazz After Hours, I've hit the ground running. Being on the air with you every weeknight, contributing to wbgo.org, establishing and rekindling relationships with musicians in the NYC area, seeing the sights and getting around to various music venues before my shift and on weekends has kept me on the go. Until mid-March, there was always something to look forward to. Additionally, the warm welcome that I've received from many of you, our global members and friends, has eased my transition and relocation immensely.
Then the pandemic happened. It feels as if the universe has pressed the pause button. This sudden halt, with its necessary social distancing, has rocked our entire arts scene to its core. To have the means and resources to produce anything of value and consistency during these times is exceptional. Many arts groups and individuals are fighting to maintain their basic needs, and this requires a new level of sensitivity and responsibility for sustaining our scene.
As New York and New Jersey have been hit the hardest, more than one person has asked me if I think I made the right decision to move here during this time. My unequivocal answer is that I'm glad to be here.
There is a resilience and a triumph over adversity emanating from this area that I've observed for years. It is infectious and instructive. The music that we celebrate and broadcast on WBGO mirrors this feeling. I can tell you firsthand that our station is an amazing arts outlet for award-winning music and news that you can feel comfortable in supporting. Even with the adoption of automation and broadcasting from home during this season of quarantine, our staff has bonded to ensure that we remain safe, and that content is delivered to you in excellence. WBGO is truly exceptional.
By choosing not to remain silent, our giving is a celebration and commemoration of life itself. If we rally to support artists and arts outlets, we can reflect in the months and years to come on our efforts that created a new benchmark for success and sustainability. WBGO exists because of your support and love for our content. I look forward to sharing more music with you during Jazz After Hours. Thank you for all that you've done and continue to do for WBGO.