Photo: Joey DeFrancesco
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday January 22, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with organist, trumpeter, vocalist and tenor saxophonist Joey DeFrancesco.
Raised in Philadelphia, this is where the foundation of his musical roots in Jazz, Blues and other musical art forms were born. To hear Joey DeFrancesco today, his music embodies the traditional art form infused with a distinct modern approach, just part of what makes his music unmistakably his own.
Joey DeFrancesco’s emergence in the 1980s marked the onset of a musical renaissance. Organ jazz had all but gone into hibernation from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s until DeFrancesco reignited the flame with his vintage Hammond organ and Leslie speaker cabinet. The son of “Papa” John DeFrancesco, an organist himself, the younger DeFrancesco remembers playing as early as four-years-old. Soon after, his father began bringing him to gigs in Philadelphia, sitting in with legendary players like Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones, who quickly recognized his talent and enthusiasm. With a natural gift for music, DeFrancesco also swiftly picked up on the trumpet after a touring stint with Miles Davis as one of the two youngest players ever recruited for any of Davis’ ensembles.
DeFrancesco has recorded and/or toured with his own groups as well as numerous renowned artists that include Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, James Moody, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Cobb, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn and many more. The four time Grammy® Award-nominee, with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt, has received countless Jazz Journalist Association awards and other accolades worldwide, including being inducted into the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame in 2014, the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 2016 as well as topping the Critics Polls in DownBeat Magazine eleven times over the past fifteen years and the Readers Polls every year since 2005. DeFrancesco also hosts a weekly program on SiriusXM Radio’s Real Jazz channel titled “Organized.”
In 2018, DeFrancesco toured in support of his Grammy nominated record, Project Freedom, as well as select concert dates celebrating the collaborative recording with iconic recording artist Van Morrison, titled You’re Driving Me Crazy.
DeFrancesco’s latest “In The Key Of The Universe” will be released on March 1, 2019 on Mack Avenue Records.
[(Bio adapted from the Oberlin College website)
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. 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.
Joey DeFrancesco will be at the Jazz Standard on Wednesday February 27 in a release event for “In The Key Of The Universe” with previous Suga’ guest Billy Hart on drums and Troy Roberts on tenor saxophone.
Watch DeFrancesco perform “Blues for Bobby C” in this live clip
Watch DeFrancesco with guitarist John McLaughlin in this live clip
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.