WBGO's 7th Annual Coat Drive

Coats display

WBGO's 7th Annual Coat Drive begins Monday, December 8, 2014! Donate your clean, new or used coats for infants, children or adults in need this winter. Drop off locations and times are:

12/8/14 thru 1/16/2015:

WBGO: Monday - Friday, 10AM – 4PM

54 Park Place, Newark, NJ

Christoffers Flowers: Monday - Saturday, 9AM – 5PM
860 Mountain Avenue
Mountainside, NJ

NAI DiLeo-Bram Company
Corporate Real Estate Services
1315 Stelton Road
Piscataway, NJ

WBGO Coat Drive

Coats will be distributed to charities within Essex County.

WBGO Celebrates Blue Note's 75th Anniversary

WBGO Presents: Our Point of View in their only East Coast Appearance
December 12 at Le Poisson Rouge


To commemorate WBGO’s 35th anniversary year, we are teaming up with Blue Note Records at the close of their 75th anniversary year to present the only East Coast appearance of the supergroup, Our Point of View. With a limited number of engagements in Monterey, Paris, London and New York City, the December 12, 2014 performance in support of WBGO will be the only opportunity for fans in the jazz capital to experience this historic group.

Created in honor of Blue Note’s anniversary, Our Point of View celebrates the vitality of the label by looking ahead and bringing together the leading young artists on the Blue Note roster who steadfastly continue to move jazz forward. Featuring keyboardist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, guitarist Lionel Loueke, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and bassist Derrick Hodge with drummer Kendrick Scott, the band’s repertoire draws from each of these artists’ own remarkable catalogs as well new spins on Blue Note classics.

The creative young voices of jazz have been the lifeblood of Blue Note Records since its formation in 1939—from Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock, to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson—all of whom made their debut albums for the legendary label. Since WBGO’s inception in 1979, the station has been at the forefront of many brilliant jazz careers, including the members of this group, each of whom has performed in WBGO’s studio in Newark.

Our Point of View
Our Point of View

December 12, 2014 ι Le Poisson Rouge

In 2009, WBGO launched an innovative program entitled, The Checkout, which brought each of these musicians into our Newark studios to perform as band leaders and discuss their music. Two years later, veteran record producer and musician Don Was joined Blue Note as Chief Creative Officer and soon became its president, renewing its dedication to the original label vision, articulated by Blue Note founder Alfred Lion that “any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression.”

Checkout the members of Our Point of View on WBGO:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Robert Glasper on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Ambrise Akinmusire on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Marcus Strickland on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Derrick Hodge on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Lionel Loueke on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="131" caption="Kendrick Scott on WBGO"]Listen Now[/caption]

Celebrate WBGO's 35th Birthday with Chick Corea

In April, WBGO will celebrate its 35th anniversary with many opportunities to participate, listen, learn and enjoy jazz. On April 10, the day after WBGO's birthday, we invite an intimate group to join us at Town Hall in Times Square for a wonderful concert and post-show meet-and-greet with the artist, Chick Corea.

When the legendary artist Chick Corea recorded Piano Improvisations on the ECM label in 1971, he was the first jazz pianist of his era to release such a recording. This groundbreaking album literally opened the floodgates to a new genre of solo piano that continues strong today.

In 2014, Chick will be releasing a new solo CD and embarking upon a world tour with a presentation that is as fresh and innovative as ever. With a perfect balance of in-the-moment improvisation, Corea Classics, jazz standards, classical renderings and the inimitable “Children’s Songs,” it is a must-see concert if there ever was one.

The title of the CD, Portraits, derives from something Chick occasionally includes in his solo shows — when the spirit moves him. The artist asks for volunteers from the typically packed house, sits them down one at a time next to the piano and proceeds to paint a musical “portrait” unique to each individual. It’s uncanny how the personality of the person is captured in Chick’s improvisations.

It’s pure Chick Corea spirit of play. Come see for yourself, and celebrate 35 years of the greatest jazz radio station on earth!

Limited WBGO meet-and-greet, premium seating available. Book your tickets today.

Book your Tickets:

WBGO Member price per person: $125
Non-Member price per person: $150
All tickets will be picked up at the theater.


For more information, or to pay by check or credit card via the phone you can email events@wbgo.org or call 973-624-8880 x283.

WBGO Travel & Events presents “What’s It All About: Bacharach Reimagined” at New York Theatre Workshop

Bacharach Reimagined
Bacharach Reimagined

WBGO Travel & Events invites you for a festive evening to enjoy a brand new musical based on the classic and enduring music of Burt Bacharach on Wednesday, December 18. What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined gives the music of Bacharach “new life as musician and actor Kyle Riabko performs his unique, soulful arrangements of the Bacharach songbook with an eclectic group of young musicians and performers”.  Riabko is a singer, guitarist, composer and actor who starred on Broadway in both Spring Awakening and Hair. He spent his teen years touring as an opening act for a wide range of artists, including: BB King, James Brown, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, and others. NYTW originated in 1982 and has been the birthplace of Broadway musical hits such as Rent and Once.

Kyle Riabko and Burt Bacharach
Kyle Riabko and Burt Bacharach

Prior to the 7pm performance, WBGO will host a private reception at the NYTW 4th Street Theatre, located in the heart of the East Village, where guests can mingle and enjoy wine, holiday hors d'oeuvres and great company directly on one of the NYTW performance stages. Then we will walk next door to the NYTW Main Stage and view the new musical What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined. Immediately following the 80 minute performance, guests will be treated to a talk-back with the cast, allowing audience members an inside look at the process of creating the show.

This event embraces the holiday spirit and showcases New York City’s greatest attributes, music, creativity and performance. 

Tickets are $95 for WBGO members and $125 for non-members. Seats are limited so purchase your tickets today.

Celebrate NYC, celebrate Bacharach and celebrate the holidays with WBGO.


Purchase your tickets here:


Ticket type


For questions or reservations call 973-624-8880 x269 or email events@wbgo.org. All tickets will be picked up on Wednesday, December 18 at the theater. Please note that the venue for the reception prior to the performance is not wheelchair accessible. The Mainstage theater is wheelchair accessible.

Dee Dee Bridgewater Stars in Lady Day - Benefit for WBGO

WBGO Benefit Event Brings Exclusive Broadway Experience as
Dee Dee Bridgewater Stars in Lady Day
Jessye Norman, Honorary Chair and Hostess

Dee Dee Bridgewater, photo by Carol Rosegg
Dee Dee Bridgewater as Billie Holiday, photo by Carol Rosegg

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 7pm
Times Square’s Little Shubert Theatre
(422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

All proceeds from the September 24 preview performance ONLY benefit
WBGO and The Actors Fund.

Tony and Grammy Award® winner Dee Dee Bridgewater brings the essence and spirit of the late, great Billie Holiday to the stage this fall. Told through onstage triumphs and backstage personal trials, Lady Day tells the inspired and heart-wrenching story of Billie's attempt at a final comeback performance. Premium seats to this exclusive event will include a pre-show cocktail reception and post-show talk back.


Seating: $88 Ticket Includes post-show talk back
BUY TICKETS: Visit Broadway Offers
and use the code WBGO

Premium Seating: $250 Ticket Includes premium seating (in first 8 rows of theater), pre-show cocktail reception (5:30pm) and post-show talk back
The Actors Fund Store
or EMAIL: tickets@actorsfund.org
When emailing or leaving voice mail, please include name, address, phone, number of tickets, and we will confirm your order.

*Telecharge service and handling fees will apply to purchases of the $88 tickets unless purchased at the Little Shurbert Theatre Box Office in person.

CALL: 212.221.7300 ext. 133.  Ticket line hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am - 4:30 pm.

You can pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, check and money order payments. All sales are final. Please remember that these tickets are solely for the benefit of WBGO and The Actors Fund and tickets cannot be exchanged, refunded or re-sold.

[caption id="attachment_13173" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jessye Norman (photo by Carol Friedman)"]Jessye Norman (photo by Carol Friedman)[/caption]

Just announced (8/28/13) JESSYE NORMAN will be Honorary Chair and Hostess of the evening!

David Ayers
David Ayers
Jim Cammack
James Cammack

Ms. Bridgewater will be joined by David Ayers (Wicked and SILENCE!) in the role of "Robert," Billie Holiday's Manager and newcomer Rafael Poueriet in the role of the "Assistant Stage manager."

James Cammack, veteran bass player for legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, tenor saxophonist Ken Hitchcock, who has played for legendary drummers Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich, Jerome Jennings (performer & drummer for Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins) and Bill Jolly (three-time Emmy Award winning pianist/composer/arranger) complete the acting ensemble  in the roles of onstage musicians.

Written and directed by Stephen Stahl, the musical will make its New York debut having been produced at the Theatre de Boulogne-Billancourt and Theatre du Gymnase Marie Bell in Paris as well as The Donmar Warehouse and The Piccadilly Theatre in London, where it received critical praise and garnered an Olivier “Best Actress in a Musical” Award nomination for Ms. Bridgewater. Produced by Misty Road Productions the show’s creative team also includes Mr. Jolly, who will also serve as musical director.

Josh Jackson Named WBGO's New VP of Content

NEWARK, NJ, August 19, 2013 - Josh Jackson has been named to the newly-created position of Vice President of Content of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, it was announced today by Amy Niles, the station's Acting President and CEO. Jackson, who continues as host of WBGO's hour-long music magazine, The Checkout, was previously Special Projects Producer.

Josh Jackson
Josh Jackson, WBGO VP of Content

"I am pleased to name Josh as our Vice President of Content," said Niles. "This new position reflects the evolving nature of WBGO as both a creator and distributor of content for our communities of Jazz and News. Josh has a keen understanding and respect for the past, present and future of jazz. He is the personification of WBGO's mission to continue the vibrancy of this music as a cultural art form and his enthusiasm for broadcasting is contagious."

Jackson began his radio career at WWOZ in New Orleans, moved to New York to become the associate producer of Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and joined WBGO in 2001. He has created three multi-platform concert programs, Live at the Village Vanguard, The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca and The Checkout: Live at Berklee, all in partnership with NPR. Jackson has produced award-winning documentaries and hundreds of live concert recordings while at WBGO. He is the co-founder of Joyride Media and the 2010 and 2012 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association's Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.

Jackson's recent programming initiative is WBGO Radar - a discovery service for new music. Jackson and WBGO Music Director Gary Walker review new recordings and consider them for exclusive debuts at WBGO.org/RADAR.

Juilliard Students perform live on WBGO

Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble performs live during
WBGO's JAM Festival on April 16 at 2pm.

The Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble
The Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble

Artist Diploma Ensemble is an elite group of emerging musicians who have already distinguished themselves as exceptional artists. They regularly perform at the Juilliard School, the Blue Note and Jazz at Lincoln Center, often with guest artists such as Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon and Ron Carter. An important aspect of their program at the Juilliard School is national and international touring. They have given workshops, master classes and concerts in Aiken, South Carolina, at the New Orleans and Detroit jazz festivals, as well as in Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, South Korea and Australia among other places. While highlighting the historical connections, they create music that is on the forefront of today’s jazz sound.

Performers’ bios:

Chicago based saxophonist Rob Haight attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Western Michigan University and completed his degree in music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Haight has studied saxophone, improvisation and composition with Bill Sears, Trent Kynaston, Rick Holland, Jerry DiMuzio, David Bloom, Scott Mason, Mike Smith, Tom Garling and Mark Colby.

Rob Haight has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra featuring Patti Austin and Doc Severinsen, Chuchito Valdez, Michael Feinstein, Umphreys McGee, Ann Hampton Callaway, John Fedchock, Ron Hawking, the Elgin Symphony, and the Sabertooth Organ Quartet led by Cameron Pfiffner and Pat Mallinger. Rob is a member of Cameron Pfiffner's Marco Polo, Ian Torres Big Band, guest saxophonist with Spare Parts and performs frequently with Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Rob Haight has had the opportunity to perform with the incredible musicians of this group at various venues in Chicago as well as the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors.

The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist, composer, and arranger, Christopher Ziemba, is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. After Ziemba made his debut in March 2009 as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed radio broadcast, Piano Jazz, David Lyon of National Public Radio reported: “Ziemba has developed the keen sensibilities and musical awareness of a great musician.” Most recently, in March 2011, Chris was chosen to participate in the Advancing Jazz Improvisation Master Classes with jazz icon Brad Mehldau. Presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, Chris was the only pianist selected nationally, to perform in both the solo piano and trio classes in New York City. In May 2008, Chris was one of three jazz pianists chosen from the Eastman School, to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C and at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. A 2011 graduate of the esteemed Eastman School of Music, where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, Chris has studied jazz piano with Fred Hersch, Frank Kimbrough, Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, and Paul Hofmann.

John Tate is a bassist residing in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University and has studied with John Clayton, Rodney Whitaker, Kelly Sill, Marlene Rosenberg, and John Floeter. John has performed with Matt Wilson, Bill Carrothers, Von Freeman, Victor Goines, Vincent Herring, Scott Wendholt, and Sean Jones among many others. Currently, John is part of the Josh Moshier/Mike Lebrun Collective (2010 recipient of Chamber Music America’s New Works Grant), and is completing his Artist Diploma studies at The Juilliard School.

Award-winning saxophonist and composer Michael Thomas has studied music from an early age, starting piano at 5 and saxophone at 10. Thomas’ focus shifted to jazz in high school, and during his senior year, he was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Miami (UM) as a Studio Music and Jazz Major. While at UM, Thomas was a member of the school’s top ensembles, including the Studio and Concert Jazz Bands, and the Frost Jazz Sextet. Upon earning his B.M. in 2008, Thomas moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory, where he received the jazz department’s Presidential Scholarship.

Thomas’ career has taken him to venues throughout North and Central America, as well as Europe. In 2008, he participated in Betty Carter’s “Jazz Ahead” Workshop, and in 2010 was recognized by DownBeat Magazine in the 33rd Annual Student Music Awards as the winner of “Best Original Song” for his composition Refract.

As a jazz drummer and world percussionist, Jeremy Noller represents both sides of a rare musical coin. Since his arrival in New York City in 2003, Jeremy has taken full advantage of the city’s diverse music scene, performing with many of the finest jazz musicians, contemporary percussionists, and West African drummers. Originally from Libertyville IL, he began studying percussion at the age of nine. He graduated with honors from the University of North Florida, and went on to complete his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Jeremy has been fortunate to have many great teachers and mentors, including Bunky Green, Kevin Bales, and John Riley. He has performed at many of New York City’s top jazz venues, and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2010, Jeremy released his debut album as a bandleader titled “Music Notes” featuring his original compositions that combine contemporary jazz and traditional West African rhythms. Also an experienced music educator, Jeremy has been actively teaching for over 14 years, and is on faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music in Manhattan. Jeremy is currently finishing his studies as a Jazz Artist Diploma candidate at The Juilliard School.

The Checkout – Live at Berklee with Jaleel Shaw February 7

WBGO presents saxophonist Jaleel Shaw Live from the Red Room at Cafe 939, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, on Thursday, February 7 at 8 p.m. Shaw will be joined in the concert by fellow Berklee alumnus Lawrence Fields on piano, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Johnathan Blake.

Watch the concert live right here or listen to our on-air stream with host Josh Jackson, and join the conversation below.

Like WBGO's other live broadcasts every month, these shows live on in our video archive and at NPRmusic.org.

If you like what you hear, tune in to WBGO's sister station, The Jazz Bee, to hear recordings by Shaw and other cutting-edge performers. Enjoy!

The Checkout – Live at Berklee brings critically acclaimed, New York-based Berklee alumni back to their alma mater for concerts. Shaw is a member of the Roy Haynes Quartet and the Mingus Big Band, and has performed with Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Stefon Harris, Roy Hargrove, Dave Holland, Jimmy Cobb, and more.

Upon graduating from high school in his native Philadelphia, Shaw received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Berklee, where he graduated with degrees in music education and performance. At Berklee, he received the Billboard Endowed Scholarship, two Woodwind Department Awards, the Outstanding Student Teacher Award, and the Boston Jazz Society Award. Shaw then earned a master's in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Berklee, NPR Music, and WBGO to broadcast and webcast second season worldwide

WBGO, NPR Music, and Berklee College of Music are teaming up to present a second year of The Checkout – Live at Berklee. The series brings critically acclaimed, New York-based Berklee alumni back to their alma mater for concerts in the Red Room @ Cafe 939. The shows will be webcast live worldwide in high definition over NPRmusic.org and in New York over WBGO-FM as a special edition of The Checkout, the acclaimed multimedia show featuring what’s new on New York’s jazz scene. They will also be archived, and available for on-demand listening, at NPRmusic.org, and WBGO.

Chihiro Yamanaka
Chihiro Yamanaka

Year two of The Checkout – Live at Berklee will debut with pianist and composer Chihiro Yamanaka’98 on October 18. The series continues with saxophonist and composer Dayna Stephens’01 on November 15, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw’00 on February 7, 2013, and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III ’02 on March 7, 2013. Concerts and broadcasts will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tickets to the live performances at the Red Room @ Cafe 939 are $10 for the general public and $5 with a Berklee ID. Tickets are available at cafe939.com.

“Boston is a major incubator for jazz, and this series aims to underline that fact,” said Josh Jackson, host and producer of The Checkout. “WBGO and The Checkout are delighted to return to Berklee. We look forward to showcasing these young talents as they pursue their artistry and inspire future generations.”

Chihiro Yamanaka is one of the most exciting jazz pianists and composers of her generation, and is the leader of the Chihiro Yamanaka Trio. 2012 has been a milestone year: she performed in the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, in a concert featured on JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, at the Iridium Jazz Club and Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, at the Regattabar in Boston, and in a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. Yamanaka’s new CD, Reminiscence is her second U.S. release. Reminiscence reached the #1 spot on the Japanese jazz charts and won the Nissan Presents Jazz Japan Award for Album of the Year.

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!