Photo: Charenee Wade | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday March 26, 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 vocalist, arranger and educator Charenee Wade.
Charenee Wade is not one to hold back or let fear stand in her way. The first artist ever to enter two Thelonious Monk Vocal competitions, she walked away from the second one in 2010 with instant buzz and second place to her new friend Cecilé McLorin Salvant. Known for expert vocal improvisational ability and her seriously swinging groove, Wade evokes a classic jazz sound akin to Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan, two of her musical touchstones. With her Motéma debut, Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, she pays tribute to another inspiration, the socially conscious poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, and confirms that she too plans to use her artist platform thoughtfully.
Produced by Grammy-nominated music industry veteran and Sirius XM personality Mark Ruffin, the recording features notable guest stars and a stellar band comprised of Brandon McCune on piano; Dave Stryker on guitar; Lonnie Plaxico on bass; and Alvester Garnett on drums. Wade’s labelmate, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, sits in on “Essex/Martin,” as does Marcus Miller on bass clarinet and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner on spoken word. Another spoken word guest is bassist Christian McBride, who opens “Peace Go With You Brother.” The great vibes player Stefon Harris is featured on six selections.
A native of Brooklyn, she began singing at age 12 and fell under the spell of Sarah Vaughan. Wade attended LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and earned her music degree from Manhattan School of Music. One of four artists selected for the Dianne Reeves Young Artist workshop at Carnegie Hall, she was first runner-up at the 2006 New York City Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, which also featured Gregory Porter, whom Motéma launched into global stardom. The entire jazz industry has passionately embraced Wade including Wynton Marsalis, who features her regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC); Christian McBride, who mentored her at his Jazz Aspen Academy; and labelmate Rufus Reid, who selected her for his Grammy-nominated album, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project. Wade has performed with Bobby Sanabria, Aaron Diehl, Oran Etkin, Robert Glasper and MacArthur Fellow and choreographer Kyle Abraham among others and at venues and festivals worldwide including Montreux and Spoleto.
A singer, composer, arranger and educator, Wade is a professor at the Aaron Copland School at Queens College and was just recently appointed to Peabody Institute. Following the Monk competition in 2010, she self-released Love Walked In, which earned her the NPR Song Travels feature. With Offering, Wade continues walking in love and using her art to raise our consciousness.
[(Bio adapted from Wade’s 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.
Watch the promo video for Wades’s Offering release.
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.