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We're in this together

Larry Blumenfeld

A couple of years ago — in February 2020, just before the phrase “social distancing” entered our lexicon — the two of us, Greg Bryant and Nate Chinen, got together to hear some music.

Greg had recently moved up from Nashville to become the host of Jazz After Hours on WBGO. Nate, WBGO’s editorial director, suggested catching a set someplace before the overnight shift, which is how we found ourselves at the Jazz Standard for the Ravi Coltrane Quartet.

The vibrant energy of that evening lit a spark, one that we decided to pursue a few months later, in the depths of our first pandemic summer. Working from our respective homes with a producer friend from WBGO, we started Jazz United, an ongoing conversation about the music we love and the world in which it unfolds.

We've been through many ups and downs since, and covered a lot of ground — everything from Keith Jarrett to Kenny G. We even caught a couple of operas, including some straight Fire from Terence Blanchard. (That's us above, in our Sunday best.) And we're proud that in our first year of eligibility, Jazz United won "Podcast of the Year" in the JJA Awards, from the Jazz Journalists Association.

Don't worry, we've got a lot more coming. But as a product of WBGO Studios, from Newark Public Radio, this podcast relies on contributions from our listeners. So with WBGO now in the midst of a Winter Fund Drive, we wanted to ask for your support. Make a tax-deductible contribution now, and you'll be helping not only the world's' greatest jazz radio station, but also our favorite jazz podcast (and maybe yours).

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Greg Bryant has been a longtime curator of improvisational music. At the age of 3 in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, he was borrowing his father’s records and spinning them on his Fisher Price turntable. Taking in diverse sounds of artistry from Miles Davis, Les McCann, James Brown, Weather Report and Jimi Hendrix gave shape to Greg's musical foundation and started him on a path of nonstop exploration.
A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, and a regular contributor to NPR Music.