WBGO says farewell to NEA Jazz Master Gunther Schuller, who died today at age 89. The composer sought to combine jazz and classical music in his seventy-year career, and coined the phrase "Third Stream" to describe this style.
In 2008, he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation's highest honor for jazz musicians and advocates. WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton was on hand for the occasion, and we'd like to share their memorable conversation with you again now.
Thank you, Gunther, and rest in peace!
Schuller began his career as a French horn player in the early forties, and recorded with trumpeter Miles Davis and other jazz musicians while also principal hornist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman were among the jazz artists whose works he championed at this time.
In 1959, he left performance to concentrate on scholarship and composition. He served as president of the New England Conservatory for twenty years, and as artistic director for the Tanglewood Music Center for fourteen. His two volumes on "Early Jazz" and "The Swing Era" are foundational texts of jazz musicology.
Guitarist Steve Khan talks with Rhonda Hamilton about songs written by his father, Sammy Cahn. Cahn won four Academy Awards for his songs, which include many jazz standards and hits for Frank Sinatra, Broadway and Hollywood. Enjoy!
Bassist Carlos Henriquez talks with Awilda Rivera about the legacy of Tito Puente and Machito, and concert tributes to the Latin bandleaders he hosted at New York's Jazz At Lincoln Center June 12 & 13th. Enjoy!
Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater talks with Gary Walker about her performance with trumpeter Theo Croker at the Newark Museum's Jazz In the Garden on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m. The concert celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the series. Enjoy!
Vocalist Kurt Elling talks with Michael Bourne about his album "Passion World," which features him singing love songs from around the world in English, French and Portuguese. Elling celebrates the album's release at New York's Birdland jazz club June 10 - 13. Enjoy!
Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider talks with Gary Walker about her album "The Thompson Fields." The ArtistShare album is the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra's first in seven years. Enjoy!
Amy Wright talks with musicians, friends and family members about guitarist and inventor Les Paul, and the centennial celebration of his birth on June 9, 2015.
Happy Birthday Les, and thank you!
Vibraphonist Joe Locke talks with Gary Walker about his Motema album "Love is A Pendulum." Locke's group celebrates the album's release June 9 & 10 at New York's Jazz Standard at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Enjoy!
Singer Janis Siegel talks with Michael Bourne about The Manhattan Transfer's "Summit" concert with Take Six at New York's Town Hall on Thursday, June 11 at 8 p.m. Enjoy!
Trombonist Steve Davis talks with Gary Walker about "Say When," his tribute to J.J. Johnson. Davis performs music from the album June 4 at The Side Door jazz club in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and June 5-7 at Smoke in Manhattan. Enjoy!