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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Click here for full show archives

Spencer Ostrander

What’s the opposite of sampling when constructing a great loop? Kassa Overall has some ideas.

Frank Stewart

Pianist-composer Myra Melford isn’t one for dogmas.

Whether she’s checking out the boogie-woogie of James P. Johnson, the fractured concepts of Cecil Taylor or Gnawa trance ceremonies in Morocco, openness guides the way she navigates life and music.


Courtesy of the artist

Reza Khota is a guitarist and composer from South Africa — born in Johannesburg, based in Cape Town — and he joins us for another edition of My Music on The Checkout.

By soaking in the sounds of Igor Stravinsky and John McLaughlin, and combining them with his own rich musical Indian upbringing, Khota gives a voice to the subaltern.

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Godwin Louis has been on a quest to trace the roots of jazz.

In the last couple of years, the saxophonist has traveled to over 100 countries in study of the African musical diaspora. His findings inspired Global, a far-sweeping and personal debut album, which could also be seen as a manifesto. Louis believes we are all more connected throughout the Americas than we may realize.

Sara Anke

Last summer, the Slovenian-born, Amsterdam-based pianist and composer Kaja Draksler was bestowed the Paul Acket Award at The North Sea Jazz Festival — one of the highest honors given to a contemporary jazz artist deserving of wider recognition.

On this edition of The Checkout, Draksler shares new music from her octet of forward-thinking musicians trained in Baroque, new classical, and European free-jazz traditions.

Stella K

Andrew Bird is mostly known for his tightly crafted and intricately layered pop songs. But this violinist also thrives in extremely loose and often chaotic environments — settings that favor unpredictability and ample space for improvisation — as we learn on this episode of The Checkout.


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Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music grabs a lot of attention for its innovative use of synths and sampling, along with its next-level rhythmic designs. But Guiliana, a groundbreaking drummer, drum programmer and composer, frames the whole project in terms of human connection.


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Kurt Rosenwinkel might be the preeminent jazz guitarist of his generation. He’s also an artist who has taken some unexpected turns in an already fascinating career. Once a stalwart on New York’s jazz scene, he left to pursue musical opportunities in Europe. Then he made a new creative shift, pointing his laser-like focus to another realm of possibility: the music of Brazil.


Nicolas Joubard

Dan Tepfer is a jazz pianist whose newest project, Natural Machines, brings virtual reality and algorithmic learning into the realm of the concert hall. He appears next Tuesday at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, where his audience will join him in an immersive audiovisual saga.

For the last decade, drummer Mark Guiliana has had a powerful outlet in Beat Music, an underground electronic project that has made periodic appearances outside his New Jersey basement lab.

This Friday night, Beat Music performs at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, and you can watch live right here, and at The Checkout's Facebook page, starting at 9 p.m. EST.

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Moonchild consists of three self-professed "jazz school nerds" from Los Angeles, but their music is where silky-smooth R&B meets engrossing dream pop. 

They met while playing together on tour in a horn section. Then, one luminous night, they were stargazing on a friend’s lawn and decided to form their own trio, which required each member to become a multi-instrumentalist.

 


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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.


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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.

  

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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. 

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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.

 

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