new york voices

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.

IAJE Day 1 - Heritage for Tomorrow

Heritage for Tomorrow is a quartet from the Paris Conservatory (or, officially, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris...ahh, the French...). They are led by the bassist Riccardo del Fra.

The quartet performed three songs during the IAJE Special Session earlier today. I had not heard of the three young musicians who joined del Fra onstage, but I was impressed.

Here's the first song they played together.

Heritage for Tomorrow - Song One

They also played a Bob Brookmeyer composition, a nod to the French composer and pianist, Erik Satie.

Heritage for Tomorrow - Erik Satie

Finally, the quartet performed a thoroughly modern reading of "I'm Old Fashioned." I'm not sure Jerome Kern would recognize it. I barely could.

Heritage for Tomorrow - I’m Old Fashioned

That's it for today's early events. Tonight, I'm checking out shows from the Aaron Goldberg Trio with Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland, the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, New York Voices with Paquito D'Rivera, Lionel Loueke, and Ingrid Jensen's band, Nordic Connect. Come back soon for that. - Josh

IAJE Evening 1 - New York Voices and Pac-Man

I'm not the greatest fan of New York Voices, because I can't get beyond that vocal harmony sound. The rest of the planet loves it. I don't. But I absolutely respect what they do. Because they do it so well. You can always find New York Voices performing at one of the country's venerable jazz institutions, Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsman's Guild. Their latest CD, A Day Like This, is Grammy-nominated. And they are a crowd favorite at IAJE. They're also first-rate educators, and members of IAJE.

Shows you how much I know...

New York Voices played to a packed house for the IAJE Gala concert. Among the highlights was a vocalese rendition of John Coltrane's "A Moment's Notice." They call it "Noticing The Moment." Listen for yourself:

New York Voices - Noticing The Moment (A Moment’s Notice)

In the middle of the set, they invited one of the IAJE Gala honorees, Paquito D'Rivera, for a couple of songs from a previous album, Brazilian Dreams. After Pac-man told a story about how he and trumpeter Claudio Roditi wrote "Snow Samba" during a Chicago winter, they launched into it.

New York Voices and Paquito D’Rivera - Snow Samba

If you want more of that, the New York Voices and Paquito D'Rivera are playing the Blue Note in New York on Monday night. - Josh

IAJE Evening 1 - Lionel Loueke

I'm interviewing guitarist Lionel Loueke at noon, so I'm jumping the shark a bit. But Loueke closed the Gala Concert. After New York Voices, about 80 percent of the audience poured out of the Metro Toronto Convention Center's Constitution Hall. Those with a thirst for adventure (or simply no restrictions on bedtime) stayed for Lionel's trio. They are formerly known as Gilfema - Loueke, the Swedish/Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati, and Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth.


They opened with the title song from Lionel's upcoming Blue Note release, Karibu. For the Swahili challenged, that means "Welcome."

Lionel Loueke - Karibu

Another live performance from the trio. This is called "Seven Teens." Don't bother trying to tap your foot or count the 17 beats per measure. Just enjoy listening to it.

Lionel Loueke - Seven Teens

The set ended with a little surprise. Lionel added to the international flavor of the band (not to mention the already-high musicality) with an invitation to harmonica player Gregoire Maret. And for lagniappe, let's throw in a some audience participation.

Lionel Loueke - Nonvignon