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Watch the renaming ceremony for Wayne Shorter Way

Wayne Shorter
Jonathan Chimene
/
Wayne Shorter at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2013.

Composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter has received all manner of accolades over the course of his iconic career: A Kennedy Center honor. An NEA Jazz Master fellowship. The Polar Music Prize. A lifetime achievement Grammy Award.

This Friday brings a new honor in Shorter's hometown of Newark, N.J., where Park Place will be renamed “Wayne Shorter Way.” The renaming came out of a proposal brought to the Newark City Council by WBGO, and it was met with unanimous approval.

Our celebration of Wayne Shorter Way isn't a public event, due to pandemic concerns. But we're streaming the festivities, which will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET on Friday, with a performance by current students at Shorter's alma mater, Newark Arts High.

We'll also feature remarks from an array of musical fellow travelers, including NEA Jazz Masters Ron Carter and Terri Lyne Carrington, guitarist and Kennedy Center honoree Carlos Santana, bassists Christian McBride and Esperanza Spalding, and Blue Note Records president Don Was. The street sign unveiling will be attended by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, members of the Newark City Council, and WBGO President & CEO Steven A. Williams, among others. Mr. Shorter will participate via video from the West Coast.

For more back story on the musician once heralded as The Newark Flash, consult this 2017 feature by WBGO's Nate Chinen. (The Art of the Story is produced by Doug Doyle.)