Reminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.
The next show will air on Sunday February 2nd, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature an exclusive interview with bassist Alex Blake. Listen to a short preview of the show below.
Alex Blake (Alejandro Blake Fearon, Jr.) is a contemporary master bassist on both the classical upright (or double) bass and on the electric bass. He is an innovator and pioneer in the development of contemporary musical genres across the spectrum from Latin/salsa, Jazz, rock, fusion, funk, Afro-Caribbean, bossa nova, flamenco, and soul, pop, R&B, country and world music. His self-developed playing style reveals a unique approach to the instrument borrowing from cello and guitar techniques resulting in a dynamic, high impact stage presence whether solo or with other musicians.
Originally from Panama, his family traditions included the gift of music from his father, a distinguished Latin musician himself, who introduced the trumpet and bass to his son. Mr. Blake began playing professionally in New York with the masters of Latin and salsa including Mongo Santamaria and Celia Cruz as a child. His unique approach of melodic and rhythmic slapping caught the attention of the legendary Sun Ra and Jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie to record and tour Europe at major festivals and venues while still a teenager. Mr. Blake became an in-demand bassist, performing and collaborating with an astonishing number of top artists including Freddie Hubbard, Astrid Gilberto, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Billy Cobham and the Manhattan Transfer among many.
As a composer, songwriter and educator, Mr. Blake’s original compositions encompass multiple musical styles from his international background and experiences. He has recorded on multiple Grammy-winning albums, endorsed Ibanez and other brands and has received numerous accolades and awards for a lifetime in music. Mr. Blake tours internationally with Randy Weston and his African Rhythms band, performs at the major festivals and clubs and is now working on an upcoming CD (Colors) with his own band in New York City.
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Produced, engineered, edited and hosted by Joyce Jones.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Bruno Bollaert (volume 12). Creative Commons licensed.
Watch this short Alex Blake bass solo with Randy Weston’s African Rhythms at the 2008 Charlie Parker Festival in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park.
Watch a longer 2013 Blake solo at York College’s Performing Arts Center.