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Tuesday 11/12/2019 Show: Harold Mabern Memorial Broadcast

Photo: Harold Mabern and SUga’ host Joyce Jones 

Program note: We’re back on air after having the station’s fund drive and programming disrupted by an attempted shutdown by a faction of the Pacifica Network’s national board. WBAI now has an even more urgent need for donations and monthly subscribers to help it recover. We ask that you give anything you can right now and would appreciate that you name our show when doing so. The money goes to support the station’s operating expenses: we don’t get anything from this. Thanks in advance.

The next show will air on Tuesday November 12, 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 “Suga’ In My Bowl,” we will be a memorial broadcast for pianist, composer, educator Harold Mabern, who’s also father of Michael Mabern, a former Producer of WBAI’s “Creative Unity Collective.”

Harold Mabern (born March 20, 1936), one of jazz’s most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists, was born in Memphis, a city that produced saxophonists George Coleman and Charles Lloyd, pianist Phineas Newborn Jr. and trumpeter Booker Little. He was an unsung hero of the 1960s hardbop scene, performing and recording with many of its finest artists, and only in recent years has he begun to garner appreciation for his long-running legacy in jazz and the understated power of his talent; as critic Gary Giddins has written, “With the wind at his back, he can sound like an ocean roar.”

During his over half-century on the scene as sideman and leader, he has played and recorded with such greats as Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, just to name a few. “I was never concerned with being a leader, I just always wanted to be the best sideman I could be. Be in the background so you can shine through.”

In more recent years, he toured and recorded extensively with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander: his former William Paterson University student. Mabern and Alexander appeared on over twenty CDs together. A longtime faculty member at William Paterson University since 1981, Mabern was also a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Mabern was also a mainstay of the New York City jazz scene, leading a trio in monthly gigs at Smalls and equally frequent appearances at Smoke, often as part of Eric Alexander’s ensembles.

When this program originally aired, Mabern’s “Mr. Lucky: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.” released 2012 on HighNote Records. Harold Mabern is now an ancestor. He transitioned on September 19, 2019.

This program is engineered, produced, hosted 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.

Web Extra:

Tuesday 4/9/2019 Show: Aaron Parks

Photo: Aaron Parks at the 2019 NYC Winter Jazz Fest | © 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 April 9, 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 pianist, composer and educator Aaron Parks.

Pianist Aaron Parks is a forward-thinking jazz musician who came to the public’s attention during his time with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Born in Seattle, Washington, Parks began playing piano at a young age and by the time he was 14 had enrolled in an early entrance degree program at the University of Washington. Originally, Parks pursued both science and music degrees; however, his prodigious talent won out and by age 16 he had transferred to the Manhattan School of Music. While there, he studied with noted pianist Kenny Barron and received several competitive accolades, including being named the 2001 Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association. At age 18 he joined Blanchard’s ensemble and subsequently recorded four albums with the veteran trumpeter, including 2003’s Bounce, 2005’s Flow, the soundtrack to the 2006 Spike Lee film Inside Man, and Blanchard’s 2007 Grammy-winning opus A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina). Besides playing with Blanchard, Parks has performed with a variety of artists including trumpeter Christian Scott, drummer Kendrick Scott, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Parks has released several albums under his own name, including his 2008 Blue Note debut, Invisible Cinema. Parks, who has also recorded with Christian Scott, Kendrick Scott, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Kurt Rosenwinkel, was an integral part of the James Farm Quartet with Joshua Redman, Matt Penman, and Eric Harland. Nonesuch released their self-titled album in 2011. The pianist subsequently signed to ECM and released the solo piano offering Arborescence in the fall of 2013. He also made sideman appearances on Will Vinson’s Live at Smalls and Yeahwon Shin’s Lua Ya, and Live in Japan with his own trio of Thomas Morgan and RJ Miller. It was recorded on the pianist’s phone during a show and released for free on his Bandcamp page. Find the Way, his sophomore label date for ECM, was issued in late spring of 2017. It featured bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart in the rhythm section and was inspired in part (according to Parks) by the music of Alice Coltrane and Shirley Horn (for whom Hart played); both of whom prioritized space and subtlety in composition and improvisation.

(Bio adapted from Parks’  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.

Aaron Parks’s most recent release “Little Big” on Ropeadope Records is also the name of his ensemble. Aaron Parks & Little Big will be featured at Rockwood Music Hall on Friday, April 12.

**Be sure to stick around for the “On the Bandstand” segment at the end of the first hour for a ticket giveaway to the Rockwood Music Hall!**

Web Extras:

Watch Parks and Little Big play “Kid” 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.

Tuesday 3/12/2019 Show: Carla Bley

Photo: Carla Bley | © Klaus Muempher. All Rights Reserved by photographer.

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday March 12, 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 pianist Carla Bley.

Post-bop jazz has produced only a few first-rate composers of larger forms; Carla Bley ranks high among them. Bley possesses an unusually wide compositional range; she combines an acquaintance with and love for jazz in all its forms with great talent and originality. Her music is a peculiarly individual type of hyper-modern jazz. Bley is capable of writing music of great drama and profound humor, often within the confines of the same piece. As an instrumentalist, she makes a fine composer; she plays piano and/or organ with most of her bands, and while her playing is always quite musical, it’s clear that her strengths lie elsewhere. Bley’s asymmetrical compositional structures subvert jazz formula to wonderful effect, and her unpredictable melodies are often as catchy as they are obscure. In the tradition of jazz’s very finest composers and improvisers, Bley has developed a style of her very own, and the music as a whole is the better for it.

Born Carla Borg, Bley learned the fundamentals of music as a child from her father, a church musician. Thereafter, she was mostly self-taught. She moved to New York around 1955, where she worked as a cigarette girl and occasional pianist. She married pianist Paul Bley, for whom she began to write tunes (she also wrote for George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre). In 1964, with her second husband, trumpeter Michael Mantler, Bley formed the Jazz Composer’s Guild Orchestra, which a year later became known simply as the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. Two years later, Bley helped found the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Association, a nonprofit organization designed to present, distribute, and produce unconventional forms of jazz.

In 1967, vibist Gary Burton’s quartet recorded Bley’s cycle of tunes A Genuine Tong Funeral, which brought her to the attention of the general public for the first time. In 1969, Bley composed and arranged music for Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. In 1971, she completed the work that cemented her reputation, the jazz opera Escalator Over the Hill. In the ’70s and ’80s, Bley continued to run the JCOA and compose and record for her own Watt label. The JCOA essentially folded in the late ’80s, but Bley’s creative life continued mostly unabated. For much of the past two decades, she’s maintained a midsized big band with fairly stable personnel to tour and record. She’s also worked a great deal with the bassist Steve Swallow, in duo and in ensembles of varying size.

Bley wrote the music for the soundtrack to the 1985 film Mortelle Randone. She also contributed new compositions to the Liberation Music Orchestra’s second incarnation in 1983. All through the ’80s, ’90s, and into the new millennium, Bley continued releasing albums through ECM, ranging from duets with bassist Steve Swallow to the Very Big Carla Bley Band. In 2013, Bley returned with Trios, featuring Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard; the album marked the very first time that the pianist recorded for ECM proper instead of WATT, which had been her home for over 40 years.

[(Bio adapted from  Allmusic)

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.

Carla Bley will make a rare New York appearance at the Jazz Standard on March 19-20 leading a trio including longtime collaborator Steve Swallow.

Web Extras:

Watch Bley and Steve Swallow in this live  version of “Lawns.”

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.

Tuesday 1/29/2019 Show: Randy Weston Memorial

Photo: Randy Weston | © 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 January 29, 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 pianist, composer and pan-Africanist Randy Weston. This program originally aired on September 21, 2010 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Baba Weston’s release “Uhuru Africa” and his autobiography “arranged by” Willard Jenkins titled “African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston.” Baba Weston was the “composer” of this book.

NEA Jazz Master and practitioner of African rhythms Randy Weston has never failed to make the connections between African and American music. His dedication is due in large part to his father, Frank Edward Weston, who told his son that he was, “an African born in America.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, Weston was surrounded by a rich musical community: he knew Max Roach, Cecil Payne, and Duke Jordan; Eddie Heywood lived across the street; Wynton Kelly was a cousin. Most influential of all was Monk, who tutored Weston upon visits to his apartment. Weston began working professionally in R&B bands in the late ’40s before playing in the bebop outfits of Payne and Kenny Dorham. After signing with Riverside in 1954, Weston led his own trios and quartets and attained a prominent reputation as a composer, contributing jazz standards like “Hi-Fly” and “Little Niles” to the repertoire. He also met arranger Melba Liston, who has collaborated with Weston off and on into the ’90s. Weston’s interest in his roots was stimulated by extended stays in Africa; he visited Nigeria in 1961 and 1963, lived in Morocco from 1968 to 1973 following a tour, and has remained fascinated with the music and spiritual values of the continent ever since. In the ’70s, Weston made recordings for Arista-Freedom, Polydor, and CTI while maintaining a peripatetic touring existence — mostly in Europe — returning to Morocco in the mid-’80s.

After contributing seven decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remained one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Randy Weston joined the ancestors on September 1, 2018.

[(Bio adapted from Allmusic)

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.

Web Extras:

Watch Weston and the African Rhythms ensemble perform “Blue Moses” in this live clip from approximately 2010.

Watch Weston and saxophonist Billy Harper perform “Blues to Senegal” 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.

Sunday 5/13/2018 Show: Dave Burrell

Photo: Dave Burrell | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, May 13, 2018 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 broadcast presents an interview with pianist and composer Dave Burrell, who will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2018 Vision Fest.

Distinguished composer-pianist Dave Burrell is a performing artist of singular stature on the international contemporary music scene. His dynamic compositions, with blues and gospel roots recall the tradition of Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson and Duke Ellington, as well avant garde composers Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. After majoring in music at the University of Hawaii, he enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in 1961. After graduating with degrees in composition/arranging and performance in 1965, he moved to New York City, where he quickly established himself as one of the most innovative and original pianists, collaborating with the emerging leaders in contemporary jazz, joining the groups of tenor saxophonists Marion Brown, Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp.

Burrell’s Jazz Opera Windward Passages, written in collaboration with Swedish-born poet/lyricist Monika Larsson, blends opera voices with world class jazz instrumentalists, a 21-piece jazz opera orchestra, dancers and chorus. Seldom has the classically trained voice played such a unique improvising roll as in this important, ground-breaking endeavor. Burrell’s dance drama, Holy Smoke, with blue-print by Monika Larsson, is being developed for contemporary dance. La Vie de Boheme, Burrell’s arrangement of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme, recorded on BYG Records, France in 1969, was presented at the Bordeaux Jazz Festival in France in 2008.

Dave Burrell appears regularly on national and international radio broadcasts, including NPR’s Bi-Centennial Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton, Dr. Jazz; Duke Ellington’s Centennial Duke and the Piano; Louis Armstrong’s The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong, and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life. Dave Burrell was recently featured on NPR’s nationally syndicated show Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross. Burrell performed the music of Jelly Roll Morton solo piano The Lomax Legacy: Folklore in a Globalizing Century symposium, along with jazz author and scholar John Szwed, presented by American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress and at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington, D.C. In 2009, RAI, Italy aired “Dave Burrell Plays His Songs featuring singer Leena Conquest and lyricist Monika Larsson” on internet radio.

As a musician in-residence at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dave Burrell was commissioned to write music for “Look Again” – African-American History is American History – in 2007: Bill of Sale for a Slave.

His second commission at the Rosenbach, Syllables of the Poetry of Marianne Moore, in duet with bassist Michael Formanek, premiered in February, 2008. His third commission at the museum, Western Extention of the United States of America (1811 – Astoria), premiered in duo with bassist Michael Formanek on September 9, 2009.

Burrell wrote an original score to Oscar Micheaux’s silent black and white film Body and Soul (1925). Some of the music is featured on Burrell’s Db3’s CD Momentum (High Two Records , 2006). Amulet Records released Consequences (2007) featuring Dave Burrell and percussionist Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin and Wood). Burrell’s project, Dave Burrell Plays the Burrell/Larsson Songbook, featuring jazz singer Leena Conquest continues to tour in Europe including Italy, Spain, Austria, Czech Republic and France. RAI Trade, Italy is releasing a CD, a duo recording with Dave and Leena in 2009.

During the last 30 years Dave Burrell has appeared on over 115 recordings, 30 under his own name, (High, High Two, Echo, La Vie de Boheme, After Love, In-Sanity, Only Me, Dreams, Black Spring, Lush Life, Round Midnight, Teardrops for Jimmy, Windward Passages, Daybreak, Brother to Brother, In Concert, Jelly Roll Joys, Esquisses for a Walk, Live at Caramoor, Changes and Chanses, Recital, Expansion, Consequences, Margy Pargy, and Momentum)

Burrell is renowned for his pivotal recordings with tenor saxophonists Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown, David Murray, Beaver Harris, Grachan Moncur, Sunny Murray, Bob Stewart, and most recently William Parker.

A frequent lecturer, Burrell’s Master Classes include Strasbourg Conservatory, Tremblay Conservatory (Paris), Conservatoire Municipal (Paris), Guildhall School of Music and Dance (London), New York University, Queens College, University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, Duquesne University School of Music, Pennsylvania, Bard College, New York, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, Rice University, Houston, Texas, DePauw University, Indiana, Columbia University, New York City and Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Recent commissions include Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, and Whitney Museum, New York City.

Dave Burrell is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Music Foundation, William J. Cooper Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts, MidAtlantic Foundation, John Garcia Gensel Award, and the Pew Fellowship in Jazz Composition.

Dave Burrell joined Steinway’s Artist Roster in 2007.

(Bio adapted from Burrell’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.

Dave Burrell will be this year’s recipient of Vision Fest’s lifetime achievement award on the May 23 opening night at Roulette and will play in three different combos including a composition paying tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and a reunion with saxophonist Archie Shepp.

Web Extras:

Watch Burrell play with frequent collaborators William Parker, Kidd Jordan, Hamiet Blueitt, and William Hooker at the 2011 Vision Festival.

Watch Burrell perform “Leo” with Rashied Ali’s quartet in this 1972 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.

Sunday 12/24/2017 Show: Winter Jazz Fest & Geri Allen Tribute

Photo: Geri Allen | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, December 24, 2017 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.orgThis broadcast is our second 2018 Winter Jazz Festival preview program. The Winter Jazz Festival will present a tribute program on Monday, January 15, 2018 to the late pianist Geri Allen, who made her transition this past June 27. We will hear remembrances from former Suga’ guests: long time Manager and friend Ora Harris, Motema Records President Jana Herzen, Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Professor and Author Farah Jasmine Griffin, Pianist Vijay Iyer, Ruth Cameron Haden (widow of bassist Charlie Haden) and Radio Announcer Sheila Elaine Anderson.

 

Who was Geri Allen? Just an award winning pianist and composer who was also an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. Professor Allen’s last post was as Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.

Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, was the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen was the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She was a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.

She was a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University’s Afro-Blue and many others.

Allen a recipient of the Howard University, Pinnacle Award presented by Professor Connaitre Miller and Afro Blue. Ms. Allen has been a faculty member at Howard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan where she taught for ten years.

In 2014, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree by Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Honorable Congressman John Conyers Jr. presented the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Jazz Legacy Award to Ms. Allen.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra commissioned Geri Allen in 2013, to compose new works for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. She composed a piece “Stones & Streams” a work for orchestra, chorus, piano and narrator.

She was the musical director of the Mary Lou Williams Collective, recording and performing the music of the great Mary Lou Williams, including her sacred work, Mass For Peace. Allen collaborated with S. Epatha Merkerson and Farah Jasmin Griffin on two music theatre projects, “Great Apollo Women”, which premiered at the legendary Apollo Theatre, and “A Conversation with Mary Lou”, which premiered at the Harlem Stage, as an educational component for the Harlem Stage collaboration. The featured artist was Carmen Lundy, and Allen’s long time trio members Kenny Davis and Kassa Overall). The University of Pittsburgh hosted the first ever Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium where ViJay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Allen performed a three piano improvisation from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, in real time using Internet 2 technology.

Geri Allen was the product of a family of educators. Her father Mount V. Allen Jr was a retired Detroit Public School Principal, and her mother Barbara Jean was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government. “Our parents insisted my brother and I go to college. We took their advice. I pursued a career as a jazz performer, and completed my undergrad degree at Howard, and my master’s at Pitt. Mount pursued a career as a jazz advocate and presented, completing his masters at Lehigh University. He is currently Director of Operations, at the San Francisco Jazz Center.”

Geri Allen, a mother of three, acknowledges her family for making it possible for her to sustain longevity in a sometimes challenging and always changing field of the music industry.

Allen had enjoyed a very successful over thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording and performing artist. Allen was just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believed that “meaningful access to music was one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others”. She was a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.

Geri Allen is survived by her father Mount Vernell Allen, Jr., brother Mount Vernell Allen III and three children: Laila, Wally and Barbara Antoinette.

(Bio adapted from the Geri Allen 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.

Geri Allen will be the subject of a tribute concert at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium (63 5th Avenue in Manhattan) on January 15. Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington will be the musical director of a spectacular cast, including Angela Davis, Esperanza Spalding, Craig Taborn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ingrid Jensen, Jack DeJohnette, Jaimeo Brown, Jeff Tain Watts, Kassa Overall, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Maurice Chestnut, Mino Cinelu, Ravi Coltrane, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tia Fuller, Vijay Iyer and more to be announced. Concert proceeds will go to the Geri Allen estate.

 

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 and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 5/14/2017 Show: Cooper-Moore

Photo: Cooper-Moore | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, May 14, 2017 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“Suga’ In My Bowl” kicks off its Vision 22 coverage featuring this year’s Lifetime of Achievement recipient composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore.

Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 40 years. As a child prodigy, Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 – the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A studio recording of this group was made in 1977, and issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware’s name in 1979 (re-mixed and re-issued in expanded form on AUM Fidelity in 2015!).

Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn’t play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program.

Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context.

In the early ‘aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails (may again!) and released two albums; one rich formative, and one exquisite. Cooper-Moore’s creative life continues well, strong and unabated into the present day.

Among the many instruments Cooper-Moore has built are a diddley-bow, a three-string fretless banjo and a mouth bow played with hands and drumsticks. According to Cooper-Moore, “I have taken stuff out a dumpster to make an instrument which I have used at gigs. If you put me somewhere, and I had to play and didn’t have an instrument, I’d get everything I needed and make an instrument within a few hours.”

We’ll begin the show with an update on this year’s Vision Fest from organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker, and we’ll play a audio from a discussion between Moore and bassist William Parker from a recent salon.

(Bio adapted from Cooper-Moore’s page on Aum Fidelity Records)

Cooper-Moore performs at Vision Fest on May 29 with the Digtal Primitives and In Order to Survive ensembles. See our blog for an extended preview and full coverage of this year’s Vision Fest. WBAI proudly returns as a media sponsor.

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.

Web Extras:

Watch Cooper-Moore in this 2013 live performance at The Stone with William Parker, Hamid Drake, and Daniel Carter.

Watch Cooper-Moore in this 2008 live solo performance with his custom made instruments.

Watch Cooper-Moore in this 2017 live performance at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen with Digital Primitives.

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 and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 12/11/2016 Show: David Virelles

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Photo: David Virelles.| Joyce Jones. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, December 11, 2016 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 broadcast officially kicks off WBAI’s coverage of the 2017 Winter Jazz Festival as we start the program with Festival Director Brice Rosenbloom. Our featured musical guest is pianist, composer and bandleader David Virelles.
 

 
Cuban born pianist/ composer David Virelles grew up in a musical home. He started studying music at seven, as well as being exposed to the rich Cuban musical traditions.
 
Brooklyn-based Virelles, who once became the first recipient of the Oscar Peterson award, has performed or recorded with Ravi Coltrane, Henry Threadgill, Román Díaz, Tomasz Stanko, Wadada Leo Smith, Jane Bunnett and The Spirits Of Havana, Dewey Redman, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Andrew Cyrille, Hermeto Pascoal, José Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Stanley Cowell, Chucho Valdés, Paul Motian, Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Tom Harrell, Milford Graves, Alberto Lescay, among others. Virelles was named “#1 Rising Star” in the Piano category in DownBeat Magazine’s Critics Poll in 2015.
 
Virelles’ album Continuum (on the New York label Pi Recordings) made several “Best Of The Year” lists in 2012, being selected #1 in The New York Times. His album Mbòkó, released in 2014 on the Munich label ECM also ended up in virtually every “Best Of The Year” list, including The New York Times, NPR, iTunes, The Village Voice, DownBeat Magazine, among other sources. Virelles’ new release on ECM, Antenna, is available now.
 
Partial bio adapted from David Virelles’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.
 
david_virelles_antenna_150pxVirelles is scheduled for two sets at the 2017 Winter Jazz Fest’s ECM Stage at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium on January 7. He appears in a duo with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and in a set with trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.
 
We are offering autographed vinyl copies Virelles’ new release on ECM, Antenna as a thank you gift for a $35 pledge supporting WBAI-FM. We also appreciate pledges of any amount or encourage you to become a sustaining member with a monthly pledge.
 
 
Web Extra
 
Watch Virelles in this live clip with saxophonist Chris Potter’s sextet.
 

 
Watch Virelles play with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane.
 

 
Watch Virelles play with Jane Bunnett.
 

 
Watch the official preview video from the 2017 Winter Jazz Fest!
 

 
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 and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 8/21/2016 Show: Connie Crothers Memorial

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Photo: Connie Crothers at Vision 21 2016 | Joyce Jones. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, August 21, 2016 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 broadcast is a memorial to the late pianist Connie Crothers.
 

 
Connie Crothers expressed her musical life as performer, recording artist and teacher releasing feeling–her source–through spontaneous improvisation. This edition is a memorial broadcast in honor of Connie Crothers by guest contributor Chris Becker, who provides an interview he recorded for his book released earlier this year titled Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz. Additional remembrances will be provided by Arts for Arts/Vision Festival organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker, percussionist/drummer Warren Smith and trumpeter Lewis “Flip” Barnes.
 
As a solo performer, she appeared in the Berlin Jazztage, Jazz at Middleheim when she received a feature article in Knack, the Toronto International Jazz Festival, and at Carnegie Recital Hall, presented by Lennie Tristano. Tristano wrote on her first record, “Perception,” SteepleChase, “Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with.”
 
Crothers recorded duo with Max Roach as part of his historic duets recording project–”Swish,” New Artists–and performed duo with Roach in Tokyo, Bologna, New Orleans and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. They were honored by Harvard University as Visiting Jazz Artists; during the ceremony they performed with the Harvard University Band. For this concert, Anthony Braxton wrote a composition for them.
 
Bio excerpts from Connie Crothers’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.
 
Details for a memorial service haven’t been released yet. We’ll be sure to share them when they are. Watch our Facebook page for details and we’ll be sure to announce it on upcoming On the Bandstand segments, which also appear weekly on our blog.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Crothers talk about the value of art in this short promo clip for the 2015 Vision Festival.
 

 
Watch Crothers lead a quartet at Brooklyn’s Roulette in this live 2014 clip.
 

 
Watch Crothers and Max Roach in a 2000 live performance from Bologna, Italy.
 

 
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 and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 7/24/2016 Show: Geri Allen

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Photo: Geri Allen at the 2016 Vision Festival | Joyce Jones. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, July 24, 2016 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 broadcast features an interview with Geri Allen: an award winning pianist and composer who is also an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. In this installment of the show, we’ll explore a bit of Allen’s life and incredible talent.
 

 
Professor Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.
 
Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen is the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She is a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.
 
She is a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after completing an advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University’s Afro-Blue and many others.
 
Allen is a recent recipient of the Howard University Pinnacle Award presented by Professor Connaitre Miller and Afro Blue. Ms. Allen has been a faculty member at Howard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan where she taught for ten years.
 
In 2014, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree by Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Honorable Congressman John Conyers Jr. presented the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Jazz Legacy Award to Ms. Allen.
 
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra commissioned Geri Allen in 2013, to compose new works for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. She composed a piece “Stones & Streams” a work for orchestra, chorus, piano and narrator.
 
She is the musical director of the Mary Lou Williams Collective, recording and performing the music of the great Mary Lou Williams, including her sacred work, Mass For Peace. Allen collaborated with S. Epatha Merkerson and Farah Jasmin Griffin on two music theatre projects, “Great Apollo Women”, which premiered at the legendary Apollo Theatre, and “A Conversation with Mary Lou”, which premiered at the Harlem Stage, as an educational component for the Harlem Stage collaboration. The featured artist was Carmen Lundy, and Allen’s long time trio members Kenny Davis and Kassa Overall). The University of Pittsburgh hosted the first ever Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium where ViJay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Allen performed a three piano improvisation from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, in real time using Internet 2 technology.
 
Geri Allen is the product of a family of educators. Her father Mount V. Allen Jr is a retired Detroit Public School Principal, and her mother Barbara Jean was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government. “Our parents insisted my brother and I go to college. We took their advice. I pursued a career as a jazz performer, and completed my undergrad degree at Howard, and my master’s at Pitt. Mount pursued a career as a jazz advocate and presented, completing his masters at Lehigh University. He is currently Director of Operations, at the San Francisco Jazz Center.”
 
Geri Allen, a mother of three, acknowledges her family for making it possible for her to sustain longevity in a sometimes challenging and always changing field of the music industry.
 
Allen has enjoyed a very successful over thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She has now returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording and performing artist. Allen is just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believes that “meaningful access to music is one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others”. She is a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.
 
MAC_Power_Trio_smallAllen’s most recent recorded project is titled Perfection with other former Suga’ guests David Murray and Terri Lyne Carrington under the group named the MAC Power Trio. This recording will be available as a thank you gift for a membership pledge amount of $25 to ten (10) listeners. There are also a few autographed copies of Quincy Jones’s Miles and Me book available for a $35 pledge if you missed out on that last time.
 
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.
 
Geri Allen is at the Village Vanguard from August 2-7.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Geri Allen’s trio perform “Dark Prince” in this 1998 live performance in Germany.
 

 
Watch Allen perform “Our Lady” Live in 2014 at the Berklee College of Music’s commencement concert.
 

 
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 and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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