Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday July 23, 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 installment of the program will celebrate the life and raw spirit of composer and violinist Billy Bang. Billy Bang (aka William Vincent Walker) left his body on April 11, 2011, but his force and music will live forever.
“Violinist Billy Bang is a marvelous bridge from early jazz – his strong influence and tribute subject Stuff Smith – to the most cutting-edge innovations of the avant-garde. His violin playing is astonishingly versatile, encompassing the lyricism of classical playing, a considerable rhythmic sense, and a flair for the dramatic that makes his solos consistently listenable and rewarding.”
From “Unsung Reviews” by Robert Spencer
During this special, which was created in 2011, several artists and family members will share their personal tributes to Billy Bang. Contributing members include: Poet/writer/cultural worker Louis Reyes Rivera, poet Prof. Yusef Komunyakaa, multi instrumentalist and composer William Parker, trumpeters Roy Campbell and Ahmed Abdullah, drummer Newman Taylor Baker, poet and singer Monique Nri and her daughter Tara Abdullah. We will also hear from Bang’s partner Maria Arias and his daughter and son, Chanyez Chamberlain and Ghazal Walker.
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.
You can receive a copy of the 2 CD Billy Bang special as a thank you gift for a $40 pledge to WBAI Radio. Call 516-620-3602 while we’re on the air or pledge online here.
Watch Bang perform live in this 2010 clip from the Knitting Factory with bassist William Parker and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah.
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.