The Checkout

Saturday, 12am - 1am

Hosted by Simon Rentner

Music and interviews featuring cutting edge artists from around the world. Including "Check This Out", which showcases new releases of jazz and related music.

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Courtesy of the artist

What exactly is HighBreedMusic?  Is it a Brooklyn recording studio? A digital music channel? An artist commune? For soul-pop artist Kimbra, tribal hip-hopper Farrah Boulé, and Fender Rhodes aficionado Marc Cary, it’s all of the above. This artist-friendly media platform is a safe place where musicians can find their zone, workshop ideas, and display their musicianship to the world.


Stella K

The GroundUP Music Festival, which just wrapped its fourth edition in Miami, aims to dissolve the barrier between musician and fan.

With a scarcity of VIP badges, famous artists mingling with festival goers, and jaw-dropping curation of unfamiliar international talent, this annual musical gathering cultivates an ethos of inclusivity.

Rog Walker

Multi-instrumentalist Joey Dosik, a 33-year old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, crafts original soul music that draws from the pantheon: Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder. On this edition of The Checkout, we'll get inside some of his sports-themed songs and walk through his autobiographical, L.A.-centered jazz playlist.


Courtesy of the artist

As we reflect on our eighth season featuring distinguished alumni from Berklee College Music, one theme becomes immediately apparent: jazz is flourishing internationally, especially among younger artists.

  

Courtesy of the artist

Butcher Brown — a group of five sophisticated musicians from Richmond, Va. — upholds a self-professed blue-collar approach to music. Stylistically speaking, that music falls somewhere on the spectrum between jazz, rock and funk.


Jati Lindsay

The meteoric rise of James Francies is no surprise to anyone embedded in New York’s thriving jazz scene. 

 

Besides celebrating his auspicious debut, Flight, on Blue Note Records, this multi-pronged pianist keeps an ambitious touring schedule with guitarist Pat Metheny and others. On this edition of My Music, Francies — a Houston native at ease in many settings, from jazz to electronic music to hip-hop — tells his story. 

Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Godwin Louis is a Berklee alumnus, Class of '08. He returned to his alma mater to perform compositions from his new album, Global. The album is inspired from his research in West Africa, New Orleans, and Haiti, where his parents are from.

Renae Wootson

 

Mark de Clive-Lowe, the Los Angeles-based live-electronics pioneer, is half-New Zealander and half-Japanese. He has lately turned his focus to his Japanese heritage — on a new album and on this episode of The Checkout, from the Berklee College of Music.


Jonathan Chimene

Last fall, The Checkout presented Thiefs in concert at Nublu in the East Village. The French-American jazz ensemble with a hip-hop edge takes on some of the concerning issues of today — specifically the rise of racism in Western society. Watch the band perform four thought-provoking compositions, including two song premieres, which are coming to their forthcoming album.

Shervin Lainez

It makes sense that Nellie McKay would find a close kinship with the late NEA Jazz Master Bob Dorough. Despite being separated by nearly 60 years in age, both artists found a niche for their quirky and original songs. The duo made one memorable recording together and also toured the world.

On this edition of The Checkout, Nellie McKay pays tribute to her favorite hipster sidekick, who passed away last April. 

There are many theories as to why jazz is cool again.

Perhaps we’re not giving enough credit to Brainfeeder, the genre-agnostic indie label founded by composer-producer Flying Lotus. Ten years have passed, and one thing is clear: the L.A. based company has been steadily boosting jazz’s prospects and giving the music a healthy makeover. Today we listen back to some of its early recordings, and shine a light on two of its rising stars, Brandon Coleman and Jameszoo.


Renato Nunes

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.

Jonathan Chimene

BIGYUKI performs at the Winter Jazzfest Half-Marathon on Saturday at Nublu.

Courtesy of the artist

Alina Engibaryan is a contemplative singer, keyboardist and composer whose musical roots go back to her childhood in Russia.

 

Her grandfather, Nikolay Goncharov, was a master jazz drummer in an era when jazz was perceived as “the devil’s music.”

WBGO celebrates four decades of jazz and its magnificent diversity on one night, Friday, January 11th, at SOB’s during Winter Jazzfest in New York City.

Deneka Peniston

When Jason Lindner became embedded in New York’s jazz scene in the mid 1990s, he led an underground big band. These days, he's paving the way for a new breed of jazz synth artists, with the same renegade spirit.

On this episode of The Checkout, Lindner — the former keyboardist for David Bowie, trumpeter Avishai Cohen and so many others — speaks about his artistic growth, as expressed on The Buffering Cocoon, his third release with the band he calls Now Vs. Now. 

Jessica Cowles

A few years ago, the Trinidadian jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles released A Creole Christmas, a brilliant musical meld of Christian hymns, Venezuelan parangs, and island calypsos. He brought that festive sound into our studio in 2016, leading a sharp and versatile band.


Isaiah McClain / WBGO

It’s been a decade since pianist Aaron Parks released his debut album, Invisible Cinema, which blurs the line between jazz and rock. After a prolonged absence from that sonic trajectory, he has issued an update with Little Big. He and his band came into our studio this week to perform live on The Checkout.


Michael Crommett

Amir ElSaffar, a Chicago-born jazz trumpeter and composer, incorporates Iraqi musical traditions in his 17-piece Rivers of Sound orchestra.

 

Christie Hemm Klok, Amy Touchette, Bruno Bollaert

Has jazz ever sounded so varied and diverse?

In this Checkout podcast, Nate Chinen — WBGO’s director of editorial content, and the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century — reckons with the music’s current moment and how we got here.


Isaiah McClain

Maurice “Mobetta” Brown ends his late-night residency at the Blue Note Jazz Club on Saturday, and performs on Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square, New York’s largest holiday festival, on Monday.

Nathan West

 

Earlier this year guitarist Julian Lage released Modern Lore, the second album to feature his trio with Scott Colley on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums. The group appears at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Nov. 29.

Lage, a former child prodigy, recently brought the trio to WBGO to play some of the tunes from Modern Lore, and talk about the mentors who have shaped his experience in music: guitar maestro Jim Hall, whom he met at age 11 and later toured with; vibraphonist Gary Burton, who brought him on tour as a teenager; and composer and saxophonist John Zorn, who has been a more recent collaborative influence.

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.

 


WBGO

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.


Bruno Bollaert

All too often, great jazz talent overseas goes underappreciated in the United States. The Checkout spotlights two such figures: guitarist Philip Catherine, a legendary guitarist who once collaborated with Chet Baker and Dexter Gordon; and pianist Fulco Ottervanger, an exciting up-and-comer now making waves. I spoke with both artists onstage at Jazz Middelheim, a summer festival in Antwerp, Belgium.


Yvonne Schmedemann

Mark de Clive-Lowe is a grand pianist and jazz technologist who fuses acoustic and electric sounds. Along with his keyboards and live electronics, his band on tour features Teodross Avery on saxophones, Corbin Jones on bass, and Gene Coye on drums.

Bruno Bollaert

Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth Tour reached New York City on Tuesday, with a stop at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center opening for Florence and the Machine. Over the summer we spoke with the Herculean saxophonist about some of his most important early music influences — from Art Blakey to Busta Rhymes to Stravinksy — during an onstage conversation at Jazz Middelheim in Antwerp, Belgium.


Jill Furmanovsky

You probably know Nile Rodgers for his trailblazing work in disco, and as producer behind some of the 20th century’s most enduring pop songs. Did you also know that Rodgers started out as a jazz musician? At this summer’s North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, author Ashley Kahn sat down with the formidable guitarist, composer, arranger and producer to discuss his jazz roots.


Philippe Levy-Stab

Sarah McKenzie kicked off the new season of The Checkout — Live at Berklee.

 

A young singer, pianist, and composer originally from Melbourne, Austrailia, and now based in London, McKenzie returns to her alma mater in Boston to perform songs from her latest Impulse! album, Paris in the Rain.

 

She was joined by her quartet, featuring guitarist Perry Smith, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Donald Edwards.

 

Valerie Gay Bessette

This past summer the Montreal Jazz Festival featured drummer Mark Guiliana in its Invitation series, presenting three different projects over three nights at the Church of the Gesù. 

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