WBGO Travel

WBGO In South Africa 3: In Soweto

I learned today Soweto is an acronym for South West Townships. It’s a sprawling, culturally rich and economically diverse collection of communities. With well over a million people, Soweto makes up half of the population of Johannesburg.


“The Soweto Uprising” began on June 16, 1976 when Hector Peterson, only 12 years old, was killed when South African police fired into a crowd of students.

Over the next two days, perhaps as many as 1200 more black Africans were killed -- 89 under the age of 20 and 12 under the age of 7.

The students had gathered to protest the State’s declaration that Afrikaans be the official language of instruction in African schools.


This now-iconic image of Hector being carried by 18-year-old Mbuyasi Makhubo was taken by news photographer Sam Nzima, and provoked an international outcry.

Both were forced into hiding because of harassment by the police. The young girl is in the photo is Hector’s 17 year old sister, Antoinette.  She later worked at this museum as a guide.


Our day includes a delicious lunch at Chez Alina, one of the many thriving businesses in Soweto.

Alina set up the restaurant in her home. The walls are covered in works of art. We dine to the sounds of a jazz trio brought in especially for our WBGO group. Good food, good music – everyone is all smiles.

Here's Alina with my friend, Brenda Raney, and our tour host from Immersion Journeys, Hema Shah.


Inside Chez Alina, we enjoy Abudullah Ibrahim’s famous South African jazz anthem “Mannenberg.”

Outside, we are treated with some traditional African drumming and dancing.

The littlest ones put on a great show!


WBGO Travel: Newport Jazz Festival 2015 Day Trips

photo by Doug Mason

WBGO Travel invites you to hop aboard the bus from either New York City (Jazz at Lincoln Center, 10 Columbus Circle), Brooklyn (BRIC House, 647 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place), New Jersey (NJPAC, 1 Center Street, Newark) or Boston (Berklee School of Music, 1140 Boylston Street) for a direct ride to the front gate of the 61st Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island on Friday, July 31, Saturday, August 1 or Sunday, August 2. This excursion includes: round trip bus travel from departure location directly to the festival gate and general admission ticket to the festival for the full day. Bus will have wifi, restroom and reclining bucket seats.

The full lineup is listed below, and includes exciting artists such as Cassandra Wilson, Dr. John, Chris Botti, Jamie Cullum, Snarky Puppy, Maria Schneider, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Fred Hersch, Billy Childs, Bill Frisell, Arturo Sandoval, Ambrose Akinmusire and More.

Buses have varying departure times, please check below for specific times from your departure location. At the end of each day, buses leave from the front gate of the Newport Jazz Festival. Return times leaving festival are as follows: Friday 6PM, Saturday & Sunday 7PM.

Details of RT New York City (Jazz at Lincoln Center) to Newport trip:

• Friday – board the bus at 6AM at Jazz at Lincoln Center (10 Columbus Circle NY, NY) located at The Time Warner Building at the front circle. Bus will depart promptly at 6:30AM.
• Saturday or Sunday – board the bus at 5AM at Jazz at Lincoln Center (10 Columbus Circle NY, NY) located at The Time Warner Building at the front circle. Bus will depart promptly at 5:30AM.
• This location only will have an extra drop in Harlem on the way back to Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Details of RT Brooklyn (BRIC House) to Newport trip:

• Saturday or Sunday – board the bus at 5AM at BRIC House located at 647 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place. Bus will depart promptly at 5:30AM.

Details of RT New Jersey (NJPAC) to Newport trip:

• Saturday or Sunday – board the bus at 5AM at NJPAC located at 1 Center Street, Newark. Bus will depart promptly at 5:30AM.
• Parking will be available at Military Park Garage.

Details of RT Boston (Berklee) to Newport trip:

• Friday – board the bus at 8:30AM at Berklee School of Music located at 1140 Boylston Street. Bus will depart promptly at 9AM.
• Saturday or Sunday – board the bus at 7:30AM at Berklee School of Music located at 1140 Boylston Street. Bus will depart promptly at 8AM.

Line up for the festival*:

Friday, July 31, 2015, 11:30 am – 6:00 pm

Fort Adams State Park, 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI 02840

Snarky Puppy
Christian McBride Trio w Christian Sands & Ulysses Owens
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
Steve Lehman Octet
Gerald Clayton Quintet w Ambrose Akinmusire, Ben Wendel, Joe Sanders & Justin Brown
Bria Skonberg Quintet
Herlin Riley Quintet
Lucky Peterson – Singin' The Blues
Matana Roberts' Coin Coin
Johnathan Blake Quartet
Peter Evans Quinte
The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra w special guest soloist Sean Jones

University of Rhode Island Newport Big Band show/hide

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10:30 am – 7:00 pm

Fort Adams State Park, 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI 02840

Cassandra Wilson celebrates Billie Holiday
Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Cécile McLorin Salvant
José James
Pat Martino Organ Trio
Conrad Herwig's Latin Side of Horace Silver fea. guest Michel Camilo
Jack DeJohnette's Made in Chicago
Hiromi: The Trio Project w Anthony Jackson & Simon Phillips
Kenny Garrett Quintet
Wycliffe Gordon & Friends
Tom Harrell Quintet w Wayne Escoffery, Danny Grissett, Ugonna Okegwo & Johnathan Blake
Introducing Joey Alexander

RI Music Educators Association Sr. All-State Jazz Ensemble show/hide

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10:30 am – 7:00 pm

Fort Adams State Park, 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI 02840

Jamie Cullum
Arturo Sandoval
Dr. John and The Nite Trippers
Michel Camilo/Hiromi Piano Duets
Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band
Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra w special guest Rudresh Mahanthappa
Bill Frisell Trio w Tony Scherr & Kenny Wollesen
Billy Childs’ Jazz-Chamber Ensemble
Jon Faddis: Triumph of Trumpets w Marquis Hill, Sean Jones, David Hazeltine, Kiyoshi Kitagawa & Dion Parsons
James Carter Sextet - Living My Life: The Music of Don Byas
Fred Hersch Trio w John Hebert & Eric McPherson
Lou Donaldson Quartet
Scott Robinson’s Doctette
Jason Lindner Now vs. Now

Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band show/hide

*Schedule Subject to Change Visit newportjazzfest.org for most up to date listing.

Rates & Reservations:

Same Day Round Trip from NYC, NJ & Brooklyn
WBGO Member price per person: Friday - $185, Saturday/Sunday - $225
Non-Member price per person: Friday - $205, Saturday/Sunday - $245
Student price per person: Friday - $145, Saturday/Sunday - $165
(must show valid student ID at festival gate)

NYC Packages
Enter Code/Select Member Rate

Brooklyn Packages
Enter Code/Select Member Rate

NJ Packages
Enter Code/Select Member Rate

Round Trip from Boston
WBGO Member price per person: Friday - $145, Saturday/Sunday - $185
Non-Member price per person: Friday - $165, Saturday/Sunday - $205
Student price per person: Friday - $120, Saturday/Sunday - $140
(must show valid student ID at festival gate)

Boston Packages
Enter Code/Select Member Rate

Bus cancellation policy:
Until May 15 – guest will receive a full refund, less a $25 processing fee.
Until June 20 – guest will receive a 50% refund.
Until July 14 – guest can transfer their package to another guest, no refund after this date.

For questions or reservations call 973-624-8880 x269 or email events@wbgo.org. Please indicate departure city.

Folding Chairs

Get your WBGO Folding Chair
If you do not have a chair that meets the regulations of the Festival, we will have some onsite for purchase. If you advise us by reply email or phone that you are interested we will have it for you when you arrive for $30. Should you purchase it onsite it will be $40.
Dimensions are : 29”H x 19” W x 19” L. Seat to floor is approx. 18” H. Weight limit – approx. 250 lbs. It folds and fits into a carrying case with a strap, they are lightweight and easy to move about. Available in red or blue. There is limited availability!
Date / Location

Join WBGO for Michael Bourne's 16th Year at Jazz on the Mountain

For our fifth consecutive year, WBGO is pleased to extend to you an invitation to Jazz on the Mountain at the historic Mohonk Mountain House, January 16-19, 2015 in the scenic Catskills.

Celebrating 16 years at Mohonk, WBGO’s Michael Bourne will host this stellar program – a four-day musical extravaganza over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Friday, January 16

9 pm – Dave Stryker - "Eight Track Project"

Saturday, January 17

11am – Guy Davis
3 pm – Martin Wind group
9 pm – Catherine Russell, LaTanya Hall & Carolyn Leonhart

Sunday, January 18

11 am – Scott Robinson Group
3 pm – Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9
9 pm – Chris Brubeck Quartet

Monday, January 19

11 am – Parlor Games Jam Session ( Michael Bourne & Musicians)

Performance schedule subject to change.

Also included:

• welcome reception on Friday evening
• private dinner with Michael Bourne, musicians and WBGO guests on Saturday
• WBGO/Mohonk Mountain House scavenger hunt on Sunday afternoon

Location: Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark located just 90 miles north of New York City at 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561

Three (3) nights Single Occupancy: $1,525
Three (3) nights Double Occupancy: $2,225

Additional guest nightly rate:  Under 4 – Stay Free; 4-12 yrs. old - $110.00; 13 & over - $196.00

*These rates are inclusive of a 12% service charge. Tax is excluded for WBGO guests only.

Whether you are planning a family outing, a romantic retreat, a weekend with friends or a self-exploration getaway, the Mountain House has activities for all! The WBGO package includes: bountiful breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets – or dinner as a traditional served meal, afternoon tea and cookies and all associated gratuities. Guests receive amenities such as wireless internet access, ice-skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and use of the indoor heated swimming pool and comprehensive fitness center.

Reservations: Please call WBGO Travel & Events at 1-973-624-8880 x269 or events@wbgo.org. A $500 deposit is requested upon booking. Check payable to WBGO/Newark Public Radio, Attn: Travel & Events, 54 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102, or by credit card. Full payment will be due November 21.

Cancellation policy:

Please note there is a 14 day advance notice of cancellation in order to receive a full refund, less a $125 fee per room, non-refundable.

Cancellations within 14 days will result in a forfeiture of one night’s stay.

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]

WBGO Travel

Welcome to WBGO Travel! Here, you’ll find out how you can join WBGO for its first-class travel packages to beautiful locations for great concerts, jazz festivals, incredible performances and deluxe tours. Our travel packages offer access to select opportunities and experiences designed exclusively for our guests.

Music knows no boundaries, neither does WBGO. Come and travel with us!

For more information see the listings below or contact WBGO Travel:
Phone: 973-624-8880 x 269 or Email:  events@WBGO.org

Summer Fun With WBGO: Photo Gallery

As summer 2014 winds down, we wanted to take a look back at some of the great many WBGO listeners we had the chance to meet this season at our partner events.

Thanks to our partners, we made it out to more than 50 concerts this summer, during the Blue Note Jazz Festival, SummerStage (all around NYC), Celebrate Brooklyn, Montclair Jazz Festival, Jazz in the Garden and Sounds of the City (both in our hometown of Newark), Newport Jazz Festival, WBGO's concerts at Gateway 2 and more.

To get information about these events and others, sign up for WBGO's Jazz-e-News, and visit WBGO.org/events.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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.

“Meredith Willson's The Music Man” In Concert

Join WBGO Travel & Events for a matinee performance of Meredith Willson’s beloved Broadway musical, The Music Man in concert on Saturday, March 15, 3pm at Two River Theater Company, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. A special private pre-show reception for WBGO guests is at 2pm. MUSICMAN TITLE

Isaiah Johnson will play Harold Hill and Stephanie Umoh will play Marian Paroo. Johnson has appeared on Broadway in Peter and the Starcatcher and The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino. Umoh played Sarah in the 2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime. The show is directed by NAACP and Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara with music direction by Kenny Seymour (Broadway's Tony Award-winning Best Musical Memphis) and is a collaboration between New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Two River Theater Company.

The Broadway classic (winner of Best Musical at the 1957 Tony Awards) is re-imagined with an African-American cast and tells the story of con man Harold Hill, who falls for piano teacher in the summer of 1912 as he bamboozles the townsfolk of River City, Iowa into financing a marching band. It is based on historical accounts of black communities established by former slaves after the Civil War and features a live six-piece on-stage band.

Enjoy this "behind-the-scenes" trailer with the cast leads Isiah Johnson and Stephanie Umoh. )

Prior to the 3pm performance, WBGO hosts a private reception for our guests in the theater's brand new Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library, a space that is normally reserved exclusively for theater members. Enjoy a special peek behind-the-scenes at the reception, along with music, and hors d'oeuvres provided by The Cheese Cave and Siam Garden.

John Dias, Artistic Director of Two River Theater, says "Robert O'Hara brings to life the too-often-untold stories of African Americans in ways that are dynamic and highly theatrical. We are excited to see this great American classic through his inimitable lens."

Come and enjoy this special musical performance at one of the best regional theaters in New Jersey and in the country. Two River Theater Company is wheelchair accessible.

Tickets are $75 for WBGO members and $95 for non-members. Participation is limited so purchase your tickets today. For more information, call 973-624-8880 extension. 283 or email at events@wbgo.org

Book your Tickets:

WBGO Member price per person: $75
Non-Member price per person: $95
All tickets will be picked up at the theater.


For questions or reservations call 973-624-8880 x283 or email events@wbgo.org

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.

Relive the Montreal Jazz Festival 2013 With WBGO

Montreal lives, breathes, and loves jazz every July, when millions of fans and hundreds of acts take over the city - and so does WBGO, especially Singers Unlimited and Blues Hour host Michael Bourne, who has attended the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal on our behalf every year for the past two decades.

Bourne was in Montreal once again this year, along with Simon Rentner and David Tallacksen, to deliver previews, day-by-day reports and more than two dozen behind-the-scenes interviews with the festival's music makers and organizers.

Miss something? You can relive WBGO's best moments in Montreal right here, and read some "bonus entries" to Bourne's Journal. And just as we did this year, WBGO Travel will take us to Montreal next year, and we hope fans and listeners will join us then as well. So enjoy the very best of FIJM 2013 - and FIJM 2014 - with WBGO!

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd with Michael Bourne and Simon Rentner
Saxophonist Charles Lloyd with Michael Bourne and Simon Rentner

WBGO's FIJM 2013 Interviews

Singer Hilary Kole

Singer Holly Cole

Bassist Chris Brubeck

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd

Pianist Jackie Terrasson

Pianist Steve Kuhn and Bassist Steve Swallow

Saxophonist Joel Miller

Blues singer Martin Goyette

Singer Elizabeth Shepherd

Singer Kellylee Evans

Guitarist Charlie Hunter and Drummer Scott Amendola

Pianist Bill Charlap

Bassist Dave Holland

Drummer Jim Doxas

Producer Tommy LiPuma

Photo by David Tallacksen
Martin Goyette and Michael Bourne, Photo by David Tallacksen

Saxophonist Shirantha Beddage

Pianist Martin Roussel

FIJM's Vincent Lefebvre

DownBeat's Frank Alkyer

FIJM's Caroline Johnson

Saxophonist Remi Bolduc

Pianist Chassol

Caravan Palace

The Bad Plus

Guitarist Nir Felder

Bassist Alain Caron

Rentner's FIJM 2013 Preview for NPR's A Blog Supreme

Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.
Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.

Bourne's Montreal Journal

Day One With Pink Martini

Prizes for Charles Lloyd And Holly Cole

Saxophones Galore And Organ Grooves

Terrasson Catches Fire

Crazy Cows On Canada Day

Quartier Des Spectacles Street Scene

Alain Caron & Steve Kuhn Trio At Gesú

Moments With Lovett, Swallow and More

Les Triplettes de Belleville Ride Again

Les Grands Evenements & Champion

Zeus Enjoys The Godfather

Dedicated To Dave Brubeck

The Climb Up Mount Royal

Nous Reviendrons A Montreal

Victor Diaz Lamich_Ambiance_8063
Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich