The next show will air on Sunday April 17, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. Listen to a short preview below:
Carl Hancock Rux is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist. He is the former head of the MFA Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts (2006–09) and has taught or been in residence at the University San of California–Diego, Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hollins University, the University of Iowa and Brown University.Rux is the author of the novel, Asphalt, the OBIE Award winning play, Talk, and the Village Voice Literary prize-winning collection of poetry, Pagan Operetta. Rux has also worked as a writer and frequent guest performer in dance, collaborating with Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort & Co., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Clark. Rux received a BESSIE© award for his direction of the Lisa Jones/Alva Rogers dance musical, Stained. Rux originated the title role in the folk opera production of The Temptation of St. Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson with book, libretto and music by Bernice Johnson Reagon as part of the RuhrTriennale festival in Duisburg, Germany. The opera made its American premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music/ BAM Next Wave Festival in October 2004 and official world premiere at the Paris Opera, Garnier.
His film credits include The Grand Inquisitor (as The One) directed by Tony Torn, Brooklyn Boheme (documentary) and Migrations directed by Nelson George; The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: a film About Gil Scott-Heron (documentary) among others.
Rux is the subject of the Voices of America television documentary, Carl Hancock Rux, Coming of Age, recipient of the CINE Golden Eagle Award (Larry Clamage/Richard Maniscalo producers), was host and programming director of the WBAI radio show, Live from The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, contributing correspondent for XM radio’s The Bob Edwards Show and frequent guest host on WNYC’s Soundcheck. Rux co-wrote and narrated the radio documentary, Walt Whitman; Songs of Myself, awarded the New York Press Club Journalism Award for Entertainment News. Originally aired in 2005, Songs of Myself has been broadcasted annually, most recently on WNYC 93.9 FM on April 24, 2011.
In August 2007 Rux’s “The Blackamoor Angel” was performed as part of Bard Summerscape at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Rux joined forces with composer Deirdre Murray to reimagine the curious life of Angelo Soliman (1721- 1797). Born in what is known today as Cameroon, he was abducted by slave traders at a young age, eventually landing in Vienna and tutoring two emperors, reputedly rubbing elbows with Mozart in a Masonic lodge and married to a cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte. However, in death Soliman wound up as taxidermy–stuffed and showcased beside elephants and apes at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoological Garden.
To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, WNYC’s the Greene Space commissioned Rux to create and perform a spoken word piece meant to be a mosaic of remembrance of this historical event. Titled: A City Reimagined: Voices of 9/11 in Poetry and Performance, the piece was presented in partnership with The New Press and the Columbia Center for Oral History live in the Greene Space on September 7 & 8, 2011. Excerpts were subsequently aired on WKCR in NYC. Rux recited poetry he had crafted for the occasion. Actors Joan Allen, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Rocco Sisto, Peter Strauss, Rachel Ticotin, Ty Jones, Tamela Aldridge and Ishani Das read stories and remembrances excerpted from the Columbia Center for Oral History’s and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy’s collection of the accounts and observations of hundreds of people from diverse New York neighborhoods and backgrounds immediately after 9/11. The production featured live music from cellist/ trombonist Dana Leong and an art installation designed by Cey Adams.
It was Rux’s return to the Greene Space after a memorable appearance in A Global Piano and Literary Salon: Bebop Spoken Here on May 12, 2011 where he had entranced the audience with an impromptu recitation accompanied by jazz pianist, Gerald Clayton.
Mr. Rux’s last appeared onstage in the Foundry Theatre’s production How Much is Enough? in its three week run at avante garde performance space, St. Ann’s Warehouse last fall.
Mr. Rux is the curator of the WeDaPeoples Cabaret originally conceived by Sekou Sundiata and presented each September by Harlem Stage. Last fall the cabaret featured the comedienne and political satirist, Reno, and a mesmerizing performance by Nona Hendryx at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.
His cds include Rux Revue (Sony/550), Apothecary Rx (Giant Step) and Good Bread Alley (Thirsty Ear). His latest release is “Homeostasis,” which is “an exploration of jazz and 1960s/70s psychedelic vinyl…lush arrangements—a return to music beyond the cookie cutter format of beats and the omnipresent vocoder vocals.”
He is the recipient of several awards including the Herb Alpert Prize, NYFA Prize, NYFA Gregory Millard Fellow, and NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residency Fellow. He is currently working on his new novel and awaiting the premiere of his opera, Mackandal, in the fall of 2013 ((book & lyrics by Rux/ music by Yosvany Terry/art by Edouard Duval Carríe)
More information about Rux’s April 19 and 20 Apollo Theater dates is available here.
Watch pianist Gerald Clayton ahd Carl Hancock Rux perform live in WNYC Radio’s Greene Space.
Also see Rux’s video of the blues-inflected “Good Bread Alley”.
The next show will air on Sunday March 24, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur. Listen to a short preview below:
Born in Tacoma, Washington, in December 1953, Schuur was blind from birth. She grew up in nearby Auburn, Washington, where her father was a police captain. Nicknamed Deedles at a young age, Schuur discovered the world of jazz via her father, a piano player, and her mother, who kept a formidable collection of Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington records in the house.
She was still a toddler when she learned to sing the Dinah Washington signature song, “What a Difference a Day Makes.” Armed with the rare gift of perfect pitch, Schuur taught herself piano by ear and developed a rich, resonant vocal style early on, as evidenced in a recording of her first public performance at a Holiday Inn in Tacoma when she was ten years old. She received formal piano training at the Washington State School for the Blind, which she attended until age 11. By her early teens, she had amassed her own collection of Washington’s records and looked to the legendary vocalist as her primary inspiration.
Schuur made her first record in 1971, a country single entitled “Dear Mommy and Daddy,” produced by Jimmy Wakely. After high school, she focused on jazz and gigged around the northwest. In 1975, an informal audition with trumpeter Doc Severinson (then the leader of the Tonight Show band) led to a gig with Tonight Show drummer Ed Shaughnessy’s group at the Monterey Jazz Festival. She sang a gospel suite with Shaughnessy’s band in front of a festival audience that included jazz tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, who in turn invited her to participate in a talent showcase at the White House. A subsequent return performance at the White House led to a record deal with GRP, which released Schuur’s debut album, Deedles, in 1984.
Over the next 13 years, Schuur recorded 11 albums on GRP, including two Grammy winners: Timeless (1986) and Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra (1987).
After one album on Atlantic records in 1999 – Music is My Life, produced by Ahmet Ertegun – Schuur joined the Concord label with the 2000 release of Friends For Schuur. The move to Concord marked the beginning of a series of highly successful collaborative projects: Swingin’ For Schuur (2001), a set of finely crafted duets with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson; Midnight (2003), Schuur’s unique interpretations of thirteen songs (mostly new material) written or co-written by Barry Manilow; and Schuur Fire (2005), a decidedly Latin-flavored album featuring the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Schuur’s February 2008 Concord release, Some Other Time, is a recording of songs by jazz artists whom she first discovered via her parents during her childhood and adolescent years. The set also includes a surprisingly mature-sounding rendition of “September in the Rain,” recorded at the Holiday Inn in Tacoma in 1964 when Schuur was only ten years old.
Diane Schuur’s latest studio release, The Gathering, is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum. The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music to this extent.
Schuur’s most recent release is Diane Schuur Live, and it is a unique and special album as it’s a project close to Diane’s heart. This album is dedicated to Diane Schuur’s husband, Les Crockett. The recording takes place where she and her husband shared a magical night reflecting on memories of the very place they first met 16 years earlier.
Engineered, Produced, and Hosted by Joyce Jones.
WBAI’s financial situation remains dire due to back rent owed on their transmitter at NYC’s Empire State Building. Please give what you can to the WBAI Transmitter Fund and/or come out next Wednesday, March 27, for the WBAI Dance Party at S.O.B.’s.
Web extra: Watch Diane Schuur and Ray Charles perform live.
Note: Suga’ in My Bowl’s new Behind the Mic blog is now up and running. We’ll use it to expand on some of the shows, artists, and ideas you’ve heard on the show and post related content, new release info, and provide a space for discussion. We’re still tweaking it, but invite you to head over and check it out.
Our home station WBAI is in a serious crisis due to back back rent owed on their transmitter at NYC’s Empire State Building. They’ve struggled in the past, but this time the situation is serious. Details are on the Pacifica Radio Network home page. You can also donate directly to the transmitter fund.
The next show will air on Sunday March 10, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature composer, vocalist and warrior queen René Marie. Listen to a short preview below:
René Marie, the award winning singer whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel, has quickly become a heroine to many; a woman of great strength exuding stamina and compassion; often explaining how finding her voice and self through singing gave her the courage to leave an abusive marriage. But since the release of her recording debut, Renaissance, this Colorado based heroine has also evolved into one of the greatest and most sensuous vocalists of our time. Unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her powerful interpretations, electrifying deliveries and impassioned vocals — René Marie has drawn a legion of fans and music critics who find themselves not only entertained, but encouraged and even changed by her performances.
It is hard to believe that Marie didn’t sing professionally until after she turned 40. But in fact, the Virginia native, married at 18, mother of two by 23 and a member of a strict religious group with her then husband only occasionally sang in public while she was focused on raising a family. It was in 1996 that Marie’s eldest son Michael urged her to take the plunge to pursue a career. “He told me that was exactly what I needed to do” she explains. Two years later following an ultimatum by her husband to either stop singing or leave their home, she chose to leave after 23 years of marriage.
Hosted, produced, and engineered by Joyce Jones.
Don’t forget to give to the WBAI Transmitter Fund. If there is no transmitter, there really is no WBAI.
Listen to the full song “Black Lace Freudian Slip”. (Background music for the Suga’ show teaser.)
Watch René Marie sing “This is Not a Protest Song” live.
Note: Suga’ in My Bowl’s new blog, which we’re calling Behind the Mic is now up and running. We’ll use it to expand on some of the shows, artists, and ideas you’ve heard on the show and post related content, new release info, and provide a space for discussion. Right now, there’s a short interview with Dr. Judith King-Calnek, presenter of the Brazilian Journey. We’re still tweaking it, but invite you to head over and check it out.
The next show will air on Sunday February 17, 2013 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday 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 feature “The Brazilian Journey” presented by Dr. Judith King-Calnek. Join us as we do our part to continue an educational component of the Pacifica Mission during this Winter Membership Drive. Listen to a short preview below:
As Suga’ in My Bowl did with “The Journey” with Bobby Sanabria and “The Blues Journey” with Dr. Guthrie Ramsey, we tapped an expert to walk listeners through the presentation. “The Brazilian Journey” will take listeners on a trip through the development of the various styles of music that come from Brazil. While popularity in the US was spurred on by the Bossa Nova invasion and the legendary soundtrack of the film Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), there’s much more history and context and King-Calnek presents a lot of it. In signature Suga’ style, it’s accompanied by an infectious soundtrack and shaped by Joyce Jones’s meticulous editing.
The entire Brazilian Journey is a multi-CD set that listeners can receive as a gift for pledging to WBAI and will serve as a gateway to the music, culture, and history of Brazil for curious listeners. Even then, it presents a challenge for Dr. King-Calnek, who warns that she’s “just offering a very small taste, the tip of the iceberg, if you will, to whet your appetite for the delicious world of Things Brazil”.
This show will present highlights of “The Brazilian Journey” while attempting to raise badly needed funds for WBAI. Join us on this journey. Donate to WBAI or pledge if you can, but be sure to join us for Suga’ in My Bowl’s latest musical trip.
Judith King-Calnek teaches anthropology, theory of knowledge and history at the United Nations International School, where she is the Head of the Humanities Department. She has taught anthropology at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. Her publications have focused on education and citizenship in various contexts (international schools, Brazil and the United States). Her most recent publications on free people of color in 19th Century Virginia reflect her continued interest in the intersection of race/color and citizenship in socially stratified societies. King-Calnek holds a Ph.D. in comparative education and anthropology from Teachers College Columbia University as well as two master’s degrees (curriculum and teaching and anthropology and education) from the same institution, and a BA from Pomona College. In addition to her teaching and researching, Judith King-Calnek pursues her long time love of Brazilian music and jazz as a radio programmer and producer in the New York area, for which she has received numerous awards. Dr. King-Calnek also hosted a program on the Pacifica sister station WPFW-FM. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
Hosted by Joyce Jones.
The next show will air on Sunday February 3, 2013 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of Suga’ will feature one of the 2013 NEA Jazz Master recipients, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson. This program originally aired in May 2009 and focused on recordings that were sampled by hip hop artists to lead up to the June Hip Hop Takeover.
You can hear a 30-second preview below.
Donaldson has long been an excellent bop altoist influenced by Charlie Parker, but with a more blues-based style of his own. His distinctive tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited (if somewhat predictable) sets throughout the years.
Donaldson started playing clarinet when he was 15, soon switching to the alto. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention when he moved to New York and in 1952 started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, and Tommy Potter that was extensively documented by Blue Note and that directly predated the Jazz Messengers. However, Donaldson was never a member of the Messengers, and although he recorded as a sideman in the ’50s and occasionally afterwards with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson, and Jimmy Smith, among others, he has been a bandleader from the mid-’50s up until the present.
Donaldson’s early Blue Note recordings were pure bop. In 1958, he began often utilizing a conga player, and starting in 1961, his bands often had an organist rather than a pianist. His bluesy style was easily transferable to soul-jazz, and he sounded most original in that context. His association with Blue Note (1952-1963) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-1966). The altoist returned to Blue Note in 1967 and soon became caught up in the increasingly commercial leanings of the label. For a time, he utilized an electronic Varitone sax, which completely watered down his sound. The success of “Alligator Boogaloo” in 1967 led to a series of less interesting funk recordings that were instantly dated and not worthy of his talent. These particular Blue Note recordings were often sampled by hip hop artists.
The next show will air on Sunday January 13, 2013 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Eastern Standard Time Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. On Friday, December 28, 2012, Jayne Cortez left this world. As a tribute to her life and spirit, we will rebroadcast our exchange with this writer, poet, performance artist, and co-founder of Yari Yari, an international conference on literature by women of African descent. You can hear a 30-second preview of the show below.
Jayne Cortez was born in Arizona, grew up in California, and currently lives in New York City and Dakar, Senegal. She is the author of ten books of poems and performer of her poetry with music on nine recordings. Her voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez has presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Her poems have been translated into many languages and widely published in anthologies, journals, and magazines. She is the recipient of several awards including: Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the International African Festival Award, The Langston Hughes Award, and the American Book Award. Her most recent books are “The Beautiful Book” Bola Press 2007, “Jazz Fan Looks Back” published by Hanging Loose Press, and “Somewhere In Advance of Nowhere” published by Serpent’s Tail Ltd. Her latest CD recordings with the Firespitter Band are “Taking the Blues Back Home,” produced by Harmolodic and by Verve Records, “Borders of Disorderly Time” and “Find Your Own Voice” released by Bola Press. Cortez is director of the film “Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future,” organizer of “Slave Routes the Long Memory” and “Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writer Dissecting Globalization.” Both conferences were held at New York University. She is president of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. and is on screen in the films: “Women In Jazz” and “Poetry In Motion.”
Hosted, Produced, and Engineered by Arts Producer Joyce Jones.
Editors note: Here at Suga’ in My Bowl, we already miss Jayne a lot. We saw her often at various events and feel fortunate to have known her and heard her perform live. We’ve heard that plans are underway for public tributes and will post them on the site and via our Facebook and Twitter streams when we get concrete dates for these.
Watch Jayne perform live with drummer (and son) Denardo Coleman
The next show will air on Sunday December 23, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. In this installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl,” we will present pianist, composer, educator Harold Mabern. Mabern is also the father of Michael Mabern, a longtime producer of the “Creative Unity Collective” show on WBAI. You can hear a 30-second preview of the show below.
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. Mabern takes his sideman work very seriously: “I was never concerned with being a leader,” he says. “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 has toured and recorded extensively with his former William Paterson University student, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander. To date, Mabern and Alexander have appeared on over twenty CDs together. A faculty member at William Paterson University since 1981, Mabern is also a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.
His latest release is “Mr. Lucky: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.” released this year on HighNote Records.
Produced, Hosted, and Engineered by Joyce Jones.
Live clip of Mabern playing with Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander talks about Harold Mabern as a teacher.
On Sunday, November 18, “Suga’ In My Bowl” will celebrate Jazz legend Pharoah Sanders’ run at Birdland this week by offering the program that originally aired on April 20, 2010. Join Joyce Jones and Hank Williams as they spend time with this marvel in the music.
Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. Although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.
The hallmarks of Sanders’ playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the years after Coltrane’s death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues — without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane.
Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) was born into a musical family. Sanders’ first instrument was the clarinet, but he switched to tenor sax as a high school student, under the influence of his band director, Jimmy Cannon. Cannon also exposed Sanders to jazz for the first time. Sanders’ early favorites included Harold Land, James Moody, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. As a teenager, he played blues gigs for ten and 15 dollars a night around Little Rock, backing such blues greats as Bobby “Blue” Bland and Junior Parker. After high school, Sanders moved to Oakland, CA, where he lived with relatives. He attended Oakland Junior College, studying art and music. Known in the San Francisco Bay Area as “Little Rock,” Sanders soon began playing bebop, rhythm & blues, and free jazz with many of the region’s finest musicians, including fellow saxophonists Dewey Redman and Sonny Simmons, as well as pianist Ed Kelly and drummer Smiley Winters. In 1961, Sanders moved to New York, where he struggled. Unable to make a living with his music, Sanders took to pawning his horn, working non-musical jobs, and sometimes sleeping on the subway. During this period he played with a number of free jazz luminaries, including Sun Ra, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins. Sanders formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the ’90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Higgins. The group played an engagement at New York’s Village Gate. A member of the audience was John Coltrane, who apparently liked what he heard. In late 1964, Coltrane asked Sanders to sit in with his band. By the next year, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group, although he was never made an official member of the band. Coltrane’s ensembles with Sanders were some of the most controversial in the history of jazz. Their music, as represented by the group’s recordings — Om, Live at the Village Vanguard Again, and Live in Seattle among them — represents a near total desertion of traditional jazz concepts, like swing and functional harmony, in favor of a teeming, irregularly structured, organic mixture of sound for sound’s sake. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.
Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964 for the ESP label. After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane. From the late ’60s, he worked primarily as a leader of his own ensembles. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-’70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late ’70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders’ output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits — a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed into a more well-rounded artist, capable of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream. Some of his best work is his most accessible. As a mature artist, Sanders discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.
Bio from Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide.
Show hosted and produced by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Engineered by Joyce Jones.
The next show will air on Sunday November 4, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. WBAI’s stream may not be available due to to damage suffered in Hurricane Sandy. Because the station is operating from a remote location, the show may not start exactly at 11, so please be patient if you’re listening live. We’ve decided to make it available on our archives page at the normal air time to make it as available as possible.
During this post-Hurricane Sandy installment, we will feature pianist/keyboardist/producer/arranger/songwriter Onaje Allan Gumbs (pronounced Oh-Nah-Jay), who is one of the music industry’s most respected and talented music collaborators. Gumbs has worked almost three decades with top talent in the musical fields of jazz, R&B/soul, and pop to hone his considerable skills. A partial list includes Woody Shaw, Nat Adderly, Norman Connors, Angela Bofill, Jean Carn, Cassandra Wilson, Marlena Shaw, Sadao Watanabe, Phyllis Hyman (“The Answer Is You” from his 1979 Somewhere in My Lifetime album), Stanley Jordan, Denise Williams, Vanessa Rubin, Jeffrey Osborne, Eddie Murphy, Rebbie Jackson, and Gerald Albright (Live at Birdland West).
In 1974, Gumbs enjoyed one of the highlights of his arranging career when he created a special arrangement of “Stella By Starlight” for the New York Jazz Repertory Company as a part of a concert honoring Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall. That same year, Gumbs performed on (former Suga’ guest) Woody Shaw’s “Moon Moontrane”. Later, he joined forces with trumpeter Nat Adderley and his quintet, contributing to the group’s recordings on the Atlantic and Steeplechase record labels. Steeplechase’s Nils Winter was impressed by Gumbs’ solo improvisations on several of Adderley’s performances and approached the young pianist that same year to record a solo piano album, Onaje. In 1985, Gumbs further heightened his visibility by contributing his arrangement of “Lady in My Life” to guitarist Stanley Jordan’s enormously successful album Magic Touch. The record held the number one spot on Billboard‘s jazz charts for 37 weeks. The pianist recorded two albums for MCA: That Special Part of Me and 1991’s Dare to Dream.
Gumbs received an NAACP Image Award in 2006 in the Outstanding Jazz category for his independent project Remember Their Innocence.
Jazz Improv Magazine selected his Sack Full of Dreams album featuring singer, actor, producer, and director Obba Babatunde as one of the best jazz recordings of 2007.
Hosted, engineered, and produced by Arts Producer Joyce Jones
This installment of the program will feature encore presentations of two very special audio documentaries chronicling the development of African disapora music. “The Journey: From Africa to the New World Through Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Beyond” is presented by drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, multicultural warrior educator Bobby Sanabria. “The Blues Journey,” is courtesy of Dr. Guthrie Ramsey, Professor of Music History at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sanabria’s “The Journey” takes listeners on a musical and historical trip that brilliantly and plainly explains how African musical elements and cultural forms spread across the globe to shape music and culture in the Americas. Countless musical examples make this a deeply engaging and lively presentation. Listen to a short preview of his presentation:
In “the Blues Journey”, Dr. Ramsey lays out his theory of the American music form known as The Blues and expands it beyond the standard 12-bar blues understanding to show how it seeps into several musical forms and areas of cultural expression. Listen to a short preview of his presentation:
Join us as we help continue the important work of WBAI during the Fall Membership Drive. “The Journey” was one of the year’s most popular fund drive programs and got such positive feedback that we followed it up with “The Blues Journey”. You can help keep the station (and us) on the air by pledging for either “The Journey” with Bobby Sanabria, “The Blues Journey” with Dr. Guthrie Ramsey (or both!) on CDs as a thank you gift. Or simply make a donation to the station. Whatever you decide, be sure to tune in for some great music and information.
Hosted, produced, and engineered by Joyce Jones.