Jazz

Roy Nathanson
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

A Brooklyn jazz musician put together a band that played one song every day for more than two months during the coronavirus pandemic. The musicians gathered outside the home of saxophonist Roy Nathanson and performed for people in the neighborhood.

The daily ritual ended on Father’s Day but the project lives on with now weekly jam sessions and instrument lessons for kids in the area.

You can check out the website here.

Click above to hear Jon Kalish's feature.

Mwalim
Mwalim

COVID-19 has ushered in the era of virtual performance in all types of art … hip-hop no exception. These performers are taking their shows online … and not just the younger generation. Mwalim is a Grammy-nominated musician and multi-faceted artist … he says the names he remembers from the 70s and 80s are popping up online.

"It’s reinvigorated the relevance of some of your older performers and musicians, cause suddenly names that I remember from early in my youth, almost childhood, like Grandmaster Caz you’re finding online, you know, one of the early hip-hop pioneers."

Brandee Younger

With people being filled with anxiety, stress, depression and isolation, jazz musicians have been doing their part to try and bring "live" music to them via digital content and live streaming.

Nate Chinen, WBGO's Director of Editorial Content, chats with News Director Doug Doyle about why music is so important during difficult times and how WBGO is also responding to the demand for digital content through the Livestream Hub from WBGO.

Rhonda Hamilton
WBGO

Walter Wade worked for WBGO for more than 20 years, several of them as host of the popular Filet of Soul program.

Wade remembers listening to his eventual radio colleague Rhonda Hamilton early in her career when she hosted an evening program on Jazz 88 called Ancestral Streams.

Oo-Bla-Dee
Pamela Morgan for WBGO

Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor's Oo-Bla-Dee runs from June 8 through June 30 at Two River Theater.

Oo-Bla-Dee follows Evelyn Waters and the Diviners, an all-black, all-female jazz band, as they travel from St. Louis to Chicago in order to set up a record deal following the end of World War II.

Taylor joined Obie-Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (orginal music for Oo-Bla-Dee) and Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson on stage recently for a live panel discussion, hosted by WBGO News Director Doug Doyle.

Monty Alexander
NPR for WBGO

Monty Alexander is one of the finest pianists in the world, but he could also be a boxing analyst. 

Monty sat down with host Doug Doyle in 2014 to talk about his love of boxing and his friendships with some of the greats of the ring.  Nearly sixty years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his hometown, the Grammy nominated pianist is an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message.

Barbara Kukla
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Barbara Kukla has written seven books about the people of Newark including the latest, Newark Women: From Suffragettes to the Statehouse.

Before her retirment from newspaper writing in 2004, Kukla spent 43 years as a journalist, most of the that at The Star-Ledger, where she first served as a general assingment reporter and Sunday city editor.

Many of her books have been focused on the jazz scene in Newark.

Eric Jackson
WGBH

The Dean of Boston Jazz Radio, WGBH's Eric Jackson and WBGO's midday host Rhonda Hamilton have known each other for many years.

WGBH is celebrating Erick Jackson's 40th anniversary at that public radio station in Boston with a series of events and honors.  Who better to chat with Eric than Rhonda Hamilton?  Hamilton is nearing her 40th year at Newark's jazz institution WBGO.

Click above to hear their conversation.

David Sanborn
David Sanborn for WBGO News

Legendary saxophonist David Sanborn and his quintet performed two shows at B.B. King's in New York City Friday night.

WBGO's morning host Gary Walker spoke with Sanborn about the musician's career and thoughts on jazz and an upcoming internet series called "Sanborn Sessions."

Sanborn doesn't want to be put in a genre box.

Jane Monheit
HacPac for WBGO

Jazz performers Jane Monheit and Tony DeSare share the bill for the opening night of the Pac The House Series at the newly renovated Hackensack Performing Arts Center.

Both Jane and and Tony share their thoughts on the evening with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle.

Click above to hear the entire interview with both artists.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Sotheby's and 2017 Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby’s yesterday, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.  There were gasps in the crowd when the auction ended.  According to various reports, only 10 other works have broken the $100 million mark.

The painting, “Untitled," was forged from oil stick and spray paint and had been expected to sell for $60 million.  The New York Times reported at least four bidders on the phones and in the room went way beyond that price tag.

Many jazz purists may not see the genre of hip-hop music as a viable artform, but one female lyricist may change all that. Grammy nominated platinum selling rapstress Rah Digga says if it wasn’t for her roots in hip hop she may have never discovered jazz.

Nat Hentoff during the annual "A Great Night in Harlem" Benefit Concert at The Apollo Theater in New York City.
STEPHEN LOVEKIN / FILMMAGIC VIA GETTY IMAGES

Lifelong Jazz and Blues fan Dr. Cornel West, the American philosopher, political activist and social critic wished he could have had more conversations with the late Village Voice columnist and jazz critic Nat Hentoff.  Listen above to Dr. West's thoughts on why Hentoff was so instrumental in his work.

Bernie Williams
WBGO

The New York Yankees retired Bernie Williams' #51 Jersey at Yankee Stadium in 2015. In this tribute encore edition, Bernie Williams talks about his baseball and music career.

Bernie Williams was first a guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle in 2009.  He spoke about his glory days with the Yankees and how he's enjoying his work as a jazz guitarist.

Williams, considered one of the most clutch playoff performers, played his entire 16-year career with the New York Yankees from 1991 through 2006.