afternoon jazz

Michael Bourne's Favorite Interviews

What are Michael Bourne's favorite interviews from his three decades at WBGO? We asked the host of Afternoon Jazz, Blues Hour and Singers Unlimited to share these with us, as we prepare to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Enjoy!

I've interviewed countless musicians and others through my going-on-30 years as a jock on WBGO.  Maybe a thousand?  Maybe two thousand -- if you count the 25-a-day I've sometimes talked with at conferences or festivals we've broadcast from.  I've loved especially broadcasting from my favorite festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

This year being FIJM's 35th and WBGO's 35th, you can expect a more exciting broadcast than ever as the world's best jazz festival (sez me) and the world's best jazz radio station (sez everybody) celebrates together.

Who've been my favorite interviews for WBGO?  So many of my favorite artists:

Bourne Bennett

Tony Bennett at WBGO, parts 1 and 2

Tony in Montreal

Dave Brubeck, at his home in Connecticut

Paquito D'Rivera

Cleo Laine & John Dankworth

Claire Martin

Diana Krall

Ian Shaw

Manhattan Transfer

Barbara Carroll

Robert Klein

And from the Blues Hour:

Marcia Ball

Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

Other greats come to mind from before our era of on-demand everything - Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gatemouth Brown, Little Milton...

Several generations of jazz artists have come along in the years since WBGO came on the air.

We're still (and always will be) playing Ella and Sarah, Dizzy and Miles, but in this last 35 years along came some new one-name-only singers and players: Kurt and Cassandra, Wynton and Branford -- and they're now an older generation.

Our annual JAM-fest (Jazz Appreciation Month Festival) in April is a spotlight on the newest generation, some of the best and brightest newcomers from schools in NJ, NY, and down from Boston.

When you hear them playing live on WBGO, you're hearing the future of jazz… and of the station.

Kenny Garrett: Live at J&R Music World 10.11.08

Kenny Garrett

Kenny Garrett visited Afternoon Jazz this weekend, as he celebrated his recent release, Sketches of MD, on Mack Avenue Records.  Kenny brought a young group to the Iridium last week, and to J&R Music World on Saturday:  Cory Henry on Hammond B-3 organ; electric bassist Kona Khashu, and drummer Justin Brown.  Monifa Brown hosted the concert and interview.  Click here to listen.

A bonus photo from WBGO's Thurston Briscoe after the jump.
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The J&R Stage for Kenny Garrett
Here's a photograph of the very crowded J&R stage for Kenny Garrett. Thanks to the WBGO production team for the lovely stagecraft.

FIJM Interview: McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner and Michael Bourne

Any time McCoy Tyner drops by is a good time. He visited Afternoon Jazz today, as we broadcast live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Listen to McCoy Tyner with Michael Bourne.

Next Generation JAM - WBGO Studio Sessions

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and it's been a busy time in the WBGO Performance studio. The next generation of jazz players from metro area music programs has been visiting Michael Bourne on Afternoon Jazz. Here are some highlights:

First up, the SUNY-Purchase Jazz Endeavor came to WBGO on April 9th. The group features recipients of the James Moody Scholarship.
Hear them play.

Today, we featured the students from Manhattan School of Music.

Manhattan Scool of Music

Check out the Manhattan School of Music Ensemble.

The New School, tutored by bassist Reggie Workman, came to WBGO.
The New School

Listen to The New School Jazz Ensemble.

Tune in Wednesday, April 30th at 8pm. I'm your host for a performance of Combo Nuvo, featuring faculty and students from the NYU School of Music.
This is a collaboration between WBGO and the Clive Davis School for Recorded Music at NYU. Special thanks to Jim Anderson and Dave Schroeder.
And finally, on May 20th, WBGO presents students from the Berklee College of Music on Midday Jazz with Rhonda Hamilton. So much for just one month of jazz appreciation. WBGO loves this music year-round. And you?
-Josh

Toast of the Nation New York - The Crew

Since you may miss the litany of names at the end of the New York segment, meet the folks who bring you 2008. Remember that while you're binging on champagne, we usually drink ours at 12:15, when the show is over.

Becca Pulliam is our uber-producer. She coordinates each of the locations for Toast of The Nation (DC, Boston, NY, Minneapolis, Denver, and SF) into a mosaic of live music from coast to coast. Becca makes this whole party possible. Oh, and "listeners like you."

Michael Bourne is our host. You may remember him from such hit shows as - Afternoon Jazz on WBGO for the last 20+ years. Or 20+ years on Toast of the Nation. That's committment. Everything I can say about Michael, I've already said to him personally - usually while I'm helping him connect home audio devices, changing light bulbs in his apartment, or eating Cantonese specialties with him (too infrequently) at Phoenix Garden.

Steve Remote at Aurasonic is our guy for audio. He brings his 24 foot GMC truck, affectionately know as "The Breadmobile," to the gig. As you can imagine, jazz clubs in New York are short on space. That means you have to build a recording studio outside, and connect it to what's happening onstage. No small feat. Steve Remote and his band of merrymen do it with aplomb. Robert Carvell manages stage tech, and Jon D'Uva will assist the recording engineer in the truck. Jon is a vegetarian. I have no idea what he's planning to eat for dinner at the barbeque palace upstairs, Blue Smoke.

Jim Anderson is the Recording Engineer tonight. He possesses both sartorial splendor and golden ears. He will make tonight sound so good for listeners. In Jim's spare time, he's active in the New York chapter of the Audio Engineering Society. He's also the Chair of the Clive Davis School for Recorded Music at New York University. He gets some of the best drum sounds I've heard on jazz records. He also reads great books.

David Tallacksen is the Technical Director and Codec Jockey. He's the youngest member of the crew. He is responsible for the audio transmission via codec to NPR, among other things. We don't trust that job to just anyone. David also shows a tremendous amount of patience with Verizon, who installs our ISDN circuits to transmit that audio. David has tested these lines over and over and over. Two of the three circuits work, as of 12:30pm on the broadcast day. Verizon has assured us they will fix the problem with our backup transmission lines today. Fingers crossed.

Katie Simon is our Stage Manager. She makes sure the trains run on time, because I'm barking in her ear the entire show. Katie can blame her first job in public radio on WBGO. Now she's hooked. She's a producer for Storycorps, producer David Isay's oral history project for public radio. You may have heard the stories on Morning Edition every Friday. Guaranteed to make you a little teary-eyed., if you're just a wee sensitive. Michael Bourne nicknamed Katie "Supergirl" because she's just...super.

Martin Goodman is operating the house sound for Jazz Standard. He will be making sure that the artists have their sound on the stage and in the club. Martin also interfaces with our broadcast in a big way, because we share all the same microphones used on the stage.

I'm your humble field producer and director for the show. You can blame me if something goes wrong.