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Tuesday 6/9/2019 Show: Blue Note Records Beyond the Notes

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight! We’re back to our regular schedule following WBAI’s Spring Fund Drive.

The next show will air on Tuesday June 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 will feature a conversation with BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES Director/Producer Sophie Huber.

BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES explores the unique vision behind the iconic jazz record label. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

One of the most important record labels in the history of jazz — and, by extension, that of American music — Blue Note Records has been home to such groundbreaking artists as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bud Powell and Art Blakey, as well as present-day luminaries like Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire and Norah Jones. Founded in New York in 1939 by German Jewish refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, the history of Blue Note Records goes beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom, the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative and revolutionary force. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with jazz icons Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and today’s groundbreaking Blue Note musicians, BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber succeeds in taking an intimate look behind the scenes of the legendary American jazz label. As the title promises, the film goes beyond the history of the label and follows jazz as a political statement, which is particularly resonant today.

(Description from the film 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.

BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES opens at Metrograph on Friday, June 14, with a Q&A including Huber, former Suga’ guest and reed man Marcus Strickland and drummer Kendrick Scott. The panel will be moderated by filmmaker Samuel Pollard.

Web Extras:

Watch the film trailer.

 

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.

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Sunday, 3/23/14 Show: Jana Herzen of Motéma Records

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The next show will air on Sunday, March 23rd, 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. During this installment, Suga’ in My Bowl covers the final of four women in different areas of this music during its four weeks of broadcasting in Women’s History Month. This week’s guest is president of Motema Records, guitarist and vocalist Jana Herzen.

Jana_HerzenMany jazz aficionados only know Jana Herzen as the founder and president of the acclaimed Motéma label. Under her stewardship, Motéma has advocated for visionaries Randy Weston, Monty Alexander, Gregory Porter, Geri Allen, Rene Marie and dozens of other dynamic and virtuosic composer/performers. What many may not realize, however, is that Ms. Herzen, whose initial professional life was in the theater, is a seasoned performer and instrumentalist with quite a talent for writing and performing.

Founded in San Francisco by Herzen in collaboration with arts patrons and industry professionals, Motéma Music now makes its home in Harlem, New York City. The label specializes in jazz and other creative music that spans genres, cultures and generations. The company’s varied international roster of releases has received Grammy® nominations in jazz, reggae and R&B. At a time when many of the big record labels have moved away from promoting jazz or are content to mine their vaults for recordings that can be re-issued as profitable box sets, Motéma is one of a handful of smaller labels that has signed on new artists and made it possible for established artists to release new material.

Herzen told The Forward in an interview that “the whole record label model is based on, ‘Let’s see if we can make a bunch of money off the backs of these artists.’” Herzen is attempting to follow a different model that focuses on the art itself and its creators and fans.

In this show, we’ll talk about all of that and more with Herzen. We’ll get into not only the difficulties of running a record label that releases jazz now, but also the opportunities that creates and what it means to be involved in this key area of the music. We’ll also talk to her about her own creative work as a musician.

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.

Show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

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