concerts

Ted Rosenthal Trio Holiday Special: "Wonderland"

A holiday special with pianist Ted Rosenthal, who plays selections from his new Christmas CD, Wonderland, with Noriko Ueda on bass and Tim Horner on drums, and chats with host Gary Walker. Enjoy!

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L-R; Rosenthal, Walker, Ueda, Horner

Listen Now: Randy Weston & Billy Harper Live at WBGO

Listen now to pianist Randy Weston and tenor saxophonist Billy Harper perform live at WBGO and talk with WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton about their new Sunnyside CD, The Roots Of The Blues. The duo perform at New York's Iridium on November 26th and 27th. Enjoy!

WBGO part of Endless Arts Month in Newark

Did you know that WBGO is Newark Public Radio? It's not just the station's corporate name, it is part of everything we do. We are proud to be the community radio station for New Jersey's largest city.

This month, WBGO and other Newark arts organizations are teaming up to showcase the amazing cultural richness that exists in Newark. This effort, spearheaded by the Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau is called Endless Arts October.

WBGO activities during Endless Arts October include our partnership with the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, The WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series, Too Heavy for Words, a gallery exhibit at the station featuring works by four New Jersey photographers, which will be part of Newark Art's Open Doors celebration, and of course, our ongoing, award-winning jazz and news programming.

Take a look at the Endless Arts October guide below and start planning your visit to WBGO's hometown!

Tedeschi-Trucks Band Live at NJPAC

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, co-led by wife and husband Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, performed live at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, New Jersey on October 21, 2011. A two-CD set of recent live recordings by the group, Everybody's Talkin', will be released by Sony Masterworks on May 22.

Click here to hear our broadcast of this performance, which will also be heard at 88.3 FM on Michael Bourne's Blues Hour at 3 p.m. today. To hear Michael's interview with Susan and Derek about their NJPAC performance, click here. Enjoy!

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Catherine Russell at Jazz Leadership Society Brunch

Singer Catherine Russell performed for an enthusiastic crowd at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Nico Kitchen + Bar on Sunday, April 22, as part of WBGO's annual Jazz Leadership Society Singers Unlimited brunch, which honors our most loyal and generous supporters. WBGO's Michael Bourne hosts.

Enjoy the podcast and we hope you'll join the Jazz Leadership Society, and join us in person next year!

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WBGO JAM Live: New Jersey City University Art Blakey Combo

New Jersey City University's Art Blakey Combo kicked off WBGO's annual celebration of student ensembles with a live performance in our studios in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month. Listen to audio from this broadcast here. A set list and links to all of our JAM broadcasts are below.

The Art Blakey Combo, coached by Joel Weiskopf, consists of Barry Spatz on piano, Anthony Perez on bass, Darrell Smith on drums, Kris Cardella on tenor sax, Marcell Bellinger on trumpet and Danny Hall on trombone. This group's members performed their own arrangements of Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark," Freddie Hubbard's "The Core," and were interviewed by host Michael Bourne.

Thanks for joining our celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month!

New Jersey City University Art Blakey Combo Set List

1. "Caravan" ( Duke Ellington, Juan Tizol, Irving Mills)

-interview with Joel Weiskopf and Ed Joffe

2. "Shaky Jake" (Cedar Walton)

-interview with Barry Spatz (arranged and featured on "Shaky Jake")

3. "The Core" (Freddie Hubbard)

-interview with Anthony Perez (arranged "The Core")

4. "Hammer Head" (Wayne Shorter)

-interview with Darrell Smith (featured on Hammer Head)

5."Skylark" (Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer)

-interview with Marcell Bellinger, who arranged "Skylark," and Kris Cardella, who arranged and is featured on "Free for All."

6."Free for All" (Wayne Shorter)

WBGO JAM Live Broadcasts 2012

Click to hear the New Jersey City University Art Blakey Combo

Click to hear the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble

Click to hear the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Quartet

Click to hear the NYU Wayne Shorter Ensemble

Click to hear the Berklee Global Jazz Institute

Click to hear the SUNY Purchase Ornette Coleman Ensemble

Click to hear the William Paterson Jazz Sextet

Click to hear the La Guardia High School Senior Jazz Band

Click to hear the New School Swingers

WBGO Live from Berklee with Christian Scott on Thursday

WBGO presents trumpeter Christian Scott in a live video and audio broadcast from Boston, the  first of our new series, The Checkout - Live from Berklee, from The Red Room at the Berklee College of Music's Café 939. Watch the live webcast below.

You can see all of our live concert webcasts, including our monthly broadcasts from the Village Vanguard and the 92Y Tribeca, here.


Watch live streaming video from wbgo at livestream.com

Each month we will present some of Berklee's best young talent, such as Scott, Berklee class of 2006, and saxophonist Seamus Blake, class of 1992, on December 7. The series is a partnership by WBGO with the college and NPRMusic.org.

Scott signed with Concord Records shortly after his graduation from Berklee and his first CD, Rewind That, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Originally from New Orleans, Scott is the nephew of saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., with whom he toured as a teenager.

Christian Scott by Derek Conrad Murray
Christian Scott by Derek Conrad Murray

Seamus Blake has been called an "extraordinary, total saxophonist" by guitarist John Scofield, whose Quiet Band features Blake. Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Blake won first prize in the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition in 2002 and can be heard every Monday night in New York with with the Mingus Big Band.

Seamus Blake
Seamus Blake

The Checkout Live at Berklee: Ricardo Vogt and Leala Cyr

WBGO presents The Checkout: Live From the Berklee College of Music with Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Vogt and singer Leala Cyr. View the set below:


wbgo on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

You can see all of our live concert webcasts, including our monthly broadcasts from the Village Vanguard and the 92Y Tribeca, here.

WBGO Celebrates Black History Month at AMNH

One of the ways WBGO will celebrate black history this month is a partnership with the American Museum of Natural History this Saturday. The event, The African-American Musical Mosaic, will feature performances by artists from jazz to hip hop, gospel and more.

The program takes place Saturday, February 18 from noon to 6:30pm at the American Museum of Natural History located in Manhattan at Central Park West and 79th Street.

NJ's Alan Ferber Leads L.A. Big Band @ Blue Whale

After having such a great time last week in Los Angeles for the last leg of our Toast of the Nation broadcast (listen again here in case you missed it -- a great set featuring the Billy Childs Quartet,) I have been keeping an eye on the schedule at the great new jazz club where we made the recording, The Blue Whale.

Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble
Alan Ferber's Expanded Ensemble

As it turns out, Toast of the Nation producer Becca Pulliam wasn't the only one making a trip out from the East Coast to dig the scene here -- this past weekend, South Orange-based trombonist Alan Ferber brought his book of big band charts to play with a group of LA's top jazz talent. The Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble played to a packed house on Friday and Saturday evenings -- between the enthusiastic crowd and Ferber's fresh charts, the group gave inspired performances on both nights.

Ferber, who played jazz as an undergraduate at UCLA and began his professional career here, could call on plenty of old friends to play his charts. The buzz for this musical reunion was palpable from the start of Friday's first set: anticipation hovered over the band as they worked their way through the first two pieces. Ferber's original tune "Angel's Landing" started things off, its broad opening fanfare giving way to a hard-swinging vehicle for angular solos by Ferber, guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Josh Nelson. The second number, an arrangement of Chris Cheek's "So It Seems," abandoned swing for a relaxed even-eighths vamp and flowing saxophone melody.

Anthony Wilson
Anthony Wilson

Things started to loosen up during the third piece, "Get Sassy," which began with a rambunctious trombone soli that featured all four trombonists -- Ferber, Garrett Smith, Joey Sellers, and Craig Gosnell -- slowly morphed into a slow, blasting 12/8 strut punctuated by drummer Mark Ferber's explosive hits.

Ferber's music is characterized by limited loyalty to the big band genre; the music swings hard when it needs to, but is just as often loosely designed to follow the moods of the improvising soloists. As a result, the pieces develop unexpected branches and surprises along the way. The fourth chart, "Reunion" is a good example: at times, it sounded like a traditional barn-burner, with up-tempo swing and virtuosic bebop melodies, but followed soloists Walter Smith III, Brian Swartz and Tom Barber in surprising directions as well.

Friday's first set concluded with a pair of Ferber originals, "North Rampart" and "Kopi Luwak." The first, a tone poem in homage to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, featured beautiful brass chorale writing and deeply soulful solo by Nelson on piano and Smith on trombone. The closer, named after the coffee bean delicacy harvested from civet feces, featured exciting, metrically serpentine counterpoint and a hard-rocking groove in 15/8. Ferber absolutely tore it up over the vamp, leaving the capacity crowd mesmerized.

Alan Ferber, photo by Eric Schmidt
Alan Ferber

Saturday's set featured many of the same charts, but with additional arrangements including a reworking of Bjork's "Hyperballad," a beautiful soundscape originally written for his wedding called "Wildwood" with a ridiculous flute solo by Katisse Buckingham, and "Jigsaw," which explored everything from free improvisation to frenetic rock, featuring truly wild solos by Buckingham (this time on alto sax) and Mark Ferber on drums.

Mark Ferber, photo by Eric Schmidt
Mark Ferber

So even though the New Yorkers had the Winter Jazzfest to keep their ears busy this weekend, Alan Ferber and his Angelino friends made sure that LA's jazz fans could enjoy more than just the sunny weather.

All photos by Eric Schmidt: www.ericjschmidt.com