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Sunday 3/5/2017 Show: Abbey Lincoln Membership Special

 

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The next show will air on Sunday, March 5, 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. This broadcast features an audio documentary produced by Joyce Jones with music and interviews focused on the career of legendary vocalist, activist, actress, and writer Abbey Lincoln.

 

As we approach the end of African Heritage Month and enter Women’s History Month, “Suga’ In My Bowl” honors renaissance woman Abbey Lincoln.

Most people are only familiar with Abbey Lincoln as a singer and actress. However, Ms. Lincoln was also published poet, writer, visual artist and composer. During this special, several artists will either share their personal tributes and/or read the work of Ms. Lincoln.

Contributing artists include:

  • Sonia Sanchez, who reads Ms. Lincoln’s essay “To Whom Will She Cry Rape?” from the 1970 Toni Cade Bambara anthology The Black Woman and originally printed in a 1966 issue of Negro Digest.
  • Latasha N. Nevada Diggs reads Ms. Lincoln’s poetry from Amina and Amiri Baraka’s 1983 anthology Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women.
  • Lashonda Katrice Barnett, author of I’ve Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters on Their Craft (which featured an exchange with Abbey Lincoln) reads excerpts from Ms. Lincoln’s unpublished autobiography.
  • Rembrances from political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, writers the late Jayne Cortez, Amina and Amiri Baraka, Mark Anthony Neal, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Carl Hancock Rux, filmmaker Ifa Bayeza (You Gotta Pay The Band), Maggie Brown (daughter of Oscar Brown Jr.), bassists Christian McBride and the late Charlie Haden.

These contributions will be offered as a 2-CD set in an effort to help continue this listener-supported experiment that is WBAI/Pacifica Radio. Please join us as we remember Ms. Abbey Lincoln (Aug. 6, 1930 – Aug. 14, 2010).

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.

This is a special Fund drive broadcast and we’ll be asking for your help to support WBAI Radio. Please consider donating (any amount: starting at only $5) to the station in the name of our show to support jazz programming and the work we do. Even better is choosing to be a monthly sustaining member, which gets you extra benefits as a “WBAI Buddy” and provides a consistent, predictable revenue stream for the station. Pledges at the $35 level will receive the 2 CD Abbey Lincoln documentary as a gift for supporting the station. We still have a few autographed copies left of Jon Else’s True South book documenting filmmaker Henry Hampton’s quest to complete the monumental Eyes on the Prize series. These are also available for a $35 donation, which also includes a year’s station membership!

 

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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Sunday 2/5/2017 Show: Lisa Fischer

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Photo: Lisa Fischer | Joyce Jones/Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

The next show will air on Sunday, February 5, 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. This broadcast features vocalist and composer Lisa Fischer.

“Lisa Fischer in concert is addictive. Every performance is so enriching, so exciting, so transcendent that you want more. With remarkable vocal range and vocabulary, Fischer can sing soul, jazz, rock, gospel, pop, folk and classical with equal facility and authority. She often mixes styles in the same song, sometimes in the same vocal line. Her approach tends to be intimate, artful and almost meditative, accompanied by her interpretive dancing, but she also can cut loose and funk with fierceness and rock with abandon.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 2016)

Ms. Lisa Fischer and her band Grand Baton first set out on tour in 2014, with no product to sell, no recordings or video to help book or promote shows, no t-shirts. Despite all that, based on Lisa’s reputation alone, they were invited to play in clubs, at the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and at concert halls all over the globe, winning accolades from critics, devotion from fans, and — always – invitations to return, soon.

Their music is an organic gumbo of progressive rock, psychedelic soul, and African, Middle Eastern, Caribbean rhythms and classical influences. In performance, they re-invent songs by Led Zeppelin, Amy Grant, Little Willie John, and The Rolling Stones as well as Lisa’s originals. After decades bringing raw soul to the stage for The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tina Turner and Nine Inch Nails, Lisa is emerging as the most inventive and heartfelt interpreter of classic rock songs working today.

Lisa won her first Grammy for “How Can I Ease The Pain,” from her 1991 album So Intense. With a hit song on the radio and a Grammy win, a major solo tour seemed inevitable, but Lisa was on the road, backing either her beloved mentor Luther Vandross or The Rolling Stones. Lisa was a legend in the music industry; everybody loved her sound. But she never put her own band together, never toured under her own name. Now, after years of supporting other artists, electrifying the world’s largest arenas with the power of her voice, Ms. Lisa Fischer has finally taken center stage.

The Oscar-winning 2013 documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom changed the course of Lisa’s musical journey. Featuring clips of Lisa’s legendary duet with Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter” and glowing testimonials from famous colleagues, the film showcased her virtuosity and vulnerability, earned her a second Grammy, and left audiences eager to see and hear more. “Ms. Fischer has become the unexpected star of Mr. Neville’s film,” said the New York Times.

Now Lisa is exploring new territory. She was recently featured on new projects by Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Billy Childs, and collaborated with the Alonzo LINES Ballet. On tour with Grand Baton, Lisa continues to inspire rave reviews

Bio adapted from Fisher’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.

Lisa Fischer will be at The Blue Note from February 14-19 2017 for two sets (8:00 and 10:30 p.m.) with Grand Baton.

Web Extras:

Watch Fischer in this 2014 live performance of “How Can I Ease the Pain.”

Watch Fischer and Grand Baton perform “Gimme Shelter” in this 2016 live performance at the BRIC Music Fest.

Watch Fischer sing backup vocals on “Gimme Shelter” with the Rolling Stones in this 1997 live performance.

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 3/6/2015 Show: Amina Claudine Myers

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Photo: Amina Claudine Myers at Vision Festival 20: July 7, 2015| Joyce Jones. All Rights Reserved.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, February 21, 2015 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 will feature an interview with pianist, organist, vocalist and composer Amina Claudine Myers.
 

 
Amina Claudine Myers was born in Blackwell, Arkansas. She was raised by her great aunt Mrs. Emma Thomas whom she called “mama” and her uncle Buford. This is where her music lessons began, with her uncle teaching her rhythms. She started classical piano study at The Sacred Hearts Catholic School in Morrilton, Ark. before moving to Dallas, Tex in 1949. There she continued studying piano. During her elementary school years she became pianist for a local church, co-led an all female gospel group, participated in plays at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church and in musical activities in school.
 
Myers moved back to Blackwell in 1957 and finished 11th and 12th grades at L.W. Sullivan High School. She helped form a group with two names “The Gospel Four” and “The Royal Hearts”. This group traveled locally for gospel shows and sang rhythm and blues songs popular during that time. Myers received several college scholarship offers, and chose Philander Smith. She played in the jazz band under the direction of music department head Mr. Whaley during her freshman year.
 
This was her introduction to jazz and learning to play the blues by ear. Myers continued to study classical piano and became student director for the choir. After the choir’s pianist graduated, Myers became the pianist and learned to play the pipe organ. She then toured the midwest as a member of a choir, octet, and quartet all directed by Dr. Carl Harris.
 
In her sophomore year, Gloria Salter got Myers a job playing in The Safari Room, a jazz club on 9th Street, the major strip for night life. She played piano, sang easy jazz standards, and experimented with work from Dakota Statton, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzerald’s “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, which she learned note by note. Myers also took a job playing church organ and later played the organ in a rhythm and blues club for three summers when she stayed with her mother in Louisville, Kentucky.
 
While in college, Myers directed and played for church choirs in and around Louisville KY during summer vacations. After graduating with a B.A. degree in music education, she moved to Chicago to teach and taught music at The G.T. Donoghue Elementary School for six years. She became involved in the music scene and played with The Gerald Donovan (Ajaramu) Trio as organist for several years. Ajaramu introduced Myers to The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and she became a member. There she met Muhal Richard Abrams and other creative musicians and began composing for big band, various ensembles, and formed a “voice choir”.
 
After resigning from teaching, Myers toured as organist with The Gene (Jug) Ammons Quartet for two and a half years and The Sonny Stitt Trio off and on for approximately six months.
 
In 1976, Myers moved to New York City and became involved with the creative musicians who had migrated from Chicago and St. Louis, playing music in the New York lofts. She then taught at the State University of New York for a year and developed a gospel chorus there.
 
Myers began touring Europe with The Lester Bowie Quintet and The NY Organ Ensemble around 1978. This began her European (all of western Europe, Hungary, Turkey and Poland), Japanese, Canadian and U.S. performances of concerts, festivals and clubs as a soloist, with her trio, quartet, sextet and voice choir. This included workshops, seminars and residencies in universities and schools in the U.S. as well as Europe. Myers had the opportunity to perform in Cape Town, South Africa at The North Sea Jazz Festival with saxophonist/composer Archie Shepp and in Accra, Ghana with composer/ vibraphonist Cecilia Smith during their jazz festival.
 
Myers has recorded and toured with many great musicians such as Muhal Richard Abrams, James Blood Ulmer, Bill Laswell, Henry Threadgill, Archie Shepp, and Charlie Haden.
 
Myers premiered her Improvisational Suite For Chorus, Pipe Organ And Percussion (sixteen voices, pipe organ and two percussionists, showcasing operatic voices in an improvisational setting) in N.Y. Other large works include, When The Berries Fell (eight voices, two percussionists, piano and electric organ. An odyssey through the world of music) Focus (a mixed media event with piano, voice, electric bass and slides of Blackwell, Arkansas), Interiors (a chamber orchestra piece with eleven instruments including a string quartet) Balcor and Park People (compositions for big band). A View From The Inside (a one time completely improvised performance of an inside look of the creative mind with a New Orleans chef, a weaving designer, a choreographer, pianist/composer and composer/guitarist/trumpeter and AGA (compositions for violin, cello and piano.)
 
Continued ongoing collaborations include recordings and performances with Sola Lui a wonderful chinese composer, designer and vocalist. This combination of Chinese and African American cultures has performed in Europe and the U.S. Myers has also worked with the exciting choreographer Diane McIntyre to recreate a work by Helen Tamaris titled How Long Brethren (Negro Protest Songs written during the thirties). Myers directed the symphony orchestra and chorus at George Mason University in VA and Western Univ. in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
 
Myers’ works of blues, jazz, gospel and extended forms continues. She also teaches privately, giving lessons in theory, composition, piano, voice, organ, classical piano and assisting clients interested in stage/performances. Myers has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Iridium Club, Birdland and other sites with her groups and with other artists and still continues to perform nationally and internationally.
 
Bio adapted from Myers’ website.
 
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 Extras
 
Watch Myers in a live 2001 performance of “You Gotta Call Him” with Archie Shepp’s Quartet.
 

 
Watch Myers play with bassist Henry Grimes in a preview of the 2015 Vision Fest.
 

 
Watch Myers lead a trio in a live 2014 performance.
 

 
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 9/6/2015 Show: Lizz Wright

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The next show will air on Sunday, September 6, 2015 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 will feature an interview with vocalist Lizz Wright.

Lizz Wright is a vocalist and composer who synthesizes R&B, jazz, folk, blues, and gospel. She was born in 1980 in the Georgia town of Hahira, and her musical tastes blossomed early on. Her father served as the pianist and musical director at the local church, and he encouraged his daughter to absorb the soulful dispositions of classic hymns.

Eventually, blues and jazz were added to Wright’s musical plate, and by high school she was earning awards in choir competitions. Wright was coming into her own with a warm, smooth singing voice, so her decision to attend Georgia State in Atlanta to study voice at a professional level wasn’t surprising. In 2000, Wright joined the vocal quartet In the Spirit. The group was quickly hailed as the best jazz group in the city, which motivated Wright to hone her craft all the more.

Two years later, the Verve label signed her as a solo artist. Her impressive singing style was captured on her 2003 debut, Salt. Dreaming Wide Awake, for which she shifted to Verve Forecast, followed in 2005. After making a guest appearance on the Toots Thielemans album One More for the Road in 2006, Wright released her third album, The Orchard, in 2008. In 2010, she returned with Fellowship, a gospel-heavy set that featured guest performances from kindred spirits Me’Shell Ndegéocello and vocalist Angélique Kidjo. After a move to Concord, she released Freedom & Surrender, on September 4, 2015. Her fifth album includes versions of Nick Drake’s “River Man” and Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody”.

Bio excerpt courtesy of Allmusic.

Show 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.

Lizz Wright will be at Highline Ballroom on 9/10 for an album release show for Freedom and Surrender. Details at Highline’s site.

Web Extras

Watch Wright perform the standard “Nature Boy”, live in Germany in 2004.

Watch Wright perform the Nina Simone classic “Four Women” live with Dianne Reeves and Angelique Kidjo.

Watch Wright sing “Dreaming Wide Awake” in a stunning live solo performance.

Sunday 8/23/15 Show: Alexis P. Suter

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The next show will air on Sunday, August 9, 2015 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 will feature an interview with the Blues vocalist “Big Mama” Alexis P Suter.

Alexis P. Suter is the youngest daughter born to Carrie Suter (Artist, Teacher) and Albert Suter (Postal Worker, Preacher) in Brooklyn, New York. Suter was always destined for the stage as she began singing at the tender age of four in church recitals and special events. As a young girl she would create songs to sing for her mother or anyone else who wanted to listen. Alexis attended “The Little Children’s Theatre” on Church Avenue in Brooklyn briefly for vocal lessons but preferred her mother’s instructions as she would receive her undivided attention.

Although she appreciated all types of music, Suter’s roots were Gospel. She often attended different churches to experience the many styles of worship and music ministry. In her early twenties, Suter discovered the world of theatre. She joined a very talented and diverse group of artists known as the “Performance Art Chorale” (PAC) under the direction of Miche Braden. With Ms. Braden’s coaching she deepened her knowledge of the performance art, developed acting skills and expanded her vocal repertoire.

After singing for several years in various choirs and making small club appearances, Suter longed for the opportunity to share her talents on a broader scale. She began to sing “House/Dance” music and made her first solo recording with the song “Slam Me Baby”; released in 1990. The success of this record launched her career and she became the first African American woman signed to Epic Sony Japan’s Dance label. Shortly thereafter she met Vicki Bell (songwriter, producer, vocalist with “Hipbone Records”) at a function where they both sang background vocals for a mutual friend. Suter quickly signed with “Hipbone Records” and has continued her relationship with them to the present day.

In 2005, Suter recorded her first full length CD entitled Shuga Fix featuring original tunes and a more soulful sound. To her credit she has recorded a total of 6 CDs thus far. In addition to Shuga Fix are Just Another Fool, Alexis P Suter Band LIVE at the Midnight Ramble (Suter went on to open for the late Levon Helm at the Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, NY over 90 times), Two Sides, Live at the Turning Point and her current Blues/Rock CD Love the Way You Roll. The latter is presently doing very well on all of the Blues Charts.

Recently Suter has formed “The Ministers of Sound” ensemble which includes Vicki Bell, Ray Grappone (Drummer) and various guest musicians. They are presently recording their first CD which will feature Gospel and other Spiritual/Inspirational music.

Bio excerpt courtesy of alexispsuter.com.

Show 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 Extras

Watch Suter perform the title track from her latest release, “Love the Way You Roll”, live at NYC’s BB King’s.

Watch Suter perform “John the Revelator” and “Savior” at a live 2011 show.

Watch Suter perform “Built for Comfort” live.

Sunday 7/26/15 Show: Kurt Elling

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The next show will air on Sunday, July 26, 2015 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 will feature an interview with the versatile vocalist Kurt Elling.

GRAMMY® winner Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last fourteen years and has been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one Elling is a renowned artist of vocalese—the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling has set his own lyrics to the improvised solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. He often incorporates images and references from writers such as Rilke, Rumi, Neruda and Proust into his work. The late poet and Bollingen Prize winner Robert Creeley wrote, “Kurt Elling takes us into a world of sacred particulars. His words are informed by a powerful poetic spirit.” Said Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, “In Kurt Elling’s art, the voice of jazz gives a new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music.”

Elling has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences throughout the world. In that time he has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world’s finest orchestras.

Elling’s new album Passion World is indeed all about “passions” – the forces that shake our souls. As one of the busiest touring jazz artists, Elling has encountered these passions around the world; he has observed how the same depth of feeling is shaped in different ways by each unique culture through which it is filtered. The result is an album vibrant with diversity and variety, and at the same time a singular celebration of what makes us all human.

Bio excerpt courtesy of www.kurtelling.com.

Show 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 Extras

Watch Elling’s stunning version of “Nature Boy” recorded live with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Watch the preview video for Elling’s Passion World release.

Watch Elling’s adaptation of Coltrane’s “Resolution” recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Sunday 7/12/15 Show: Nina Simone

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The next show will air on Sunday, July 12, 2015 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 will feature an interview with filmmaker Liz Garbus; the writing of poet Pamela Sneed; and a conversation with Nina Simone’s brother, educator, bandmate and once manager Sam Waymon. We have included Mary Phillips, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at The City University of New York (CUNY)-Lehman College to discuss Black Power Feminism in relation to Simone’s political significance.

This show will use Garbus’s documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone? as a springboard to discuss Simone’s life, art, and politics and expand on what’s in the film.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21st, 1933, Simone’s prodigious talent as a musician was evident early on when she started playing piano by ear at the age of three. Her mother, a Methodist minister, and her father, a handyman and preacher himself, couldn’t ignore young Eunice’s God-given gift of music. Raised in the church on the straight and narrow, her parents taught her right from wrong, to carry herself with dignity, and to work hard. She played piano – but didn’t sing – in her mother’s church, displaying remarkable talent early in her life. Able to play virtually anything by ear, she was soon studying classical music with an Englishwoman named Muriel Mazzanovich, who had moved to the small southern town. It was from these humble roots that Eunice developed a lifelong love of Johann Sebastian Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert. After graduating valedictorian of her high school class, the community raised money for a scholarship for Eunice to study at Julliard in New York City before applying to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her family had already moved to the City Of Brotherly Love, but Simone’s hopes for a career as a pioneering African American classical pianist were dashed when the school denied her admission. To the end, she herself would claim that racism was the reason she did not attend. While her original dream was unfulfilled, Eunice ended up with an incredible worldwide career as Nina Simone – almost by default.

To survive, she began teaching music to local students. One fateful day in 1954, looking to supplement her income, Simone auditioned to sing at the Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Word spread about this new singer and pianist who was dipping into the songbooks of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and the like, transforming popular tunes of the day into a unique synthesis of jazz, blues, and classical music. Her rich, deep velvet vocal tones, combined with her mastery of the keyboard, soon attracted club goers up and down the East Coast. In order to hide the fact that she was singing in bars, Eunice’s mother would refer to the practice as “working in the fires of hell”, overnight Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone by taking the nickname “Nina” meaning “little one” in Spanish and “Simone” after the actress Simone Signoret.

When Nina Simone died on April 21, 2003, she left a timeless treasure trove of musical magic spanning over four decades from her first hit, the 1959 Top 10 classic “I Loves You Porgy,” to “A Single Woman,” the title cut from her one and only 1993 Elektra album. While thirty-three years separate those recordings, the element of honest emotion is the glue that binds the two together – it is that approach to every piece of work that became Simone’s uncompromising musical trademark.

By the end of her life, Simone was enjoying an unprecedented degree of recognition. Her music was enjoyed by the masses due to the CD revolution, discovery on the Internet, and exposure through movies and television. Simone had sold over one million CDs in the last decade of her life, making her a global catalog best-seller.

Bio excerpt courtesy of www.ninasimone.com.

Show 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 Extras

Watch the trailer for the Liz Garbus documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone?

Sunday 4/5/2015 Show: Billie Holiday Centennial!

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This show aired on Sunday, April 5, 2015 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 focused on the life and career of Billie Holiday in celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday and featured interviews with filmmaker Phyllis M. Croom, author and Columbia University professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, and vocalist Nona Hendryx. You can hear a short preview below.

We speak with Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, the author of If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery – In Search Of Billie Holiday.

We revisit a discussion with Director Phyllis M. Croom of a documentary titled Being Billie: Re-Imagining Billie Holiday. We include an additional discussion with Ms. Croom before she hosted a premiere screening of her film that took place the airing of tonight’s broadcast.

We also spend a little time with composer and vocalist Nona Hendryx as she prepares for an event she’s curating at Harlem Stage titled “Parallel Lives: Billie Holiday & Edith Piaf.”

Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan Gough on Apr 7, 1915 in Baltimore, MD. Billie Holiday’s highly stylized reading of this blues tradition revolutionized traditional pop, ripping the decades-long tradition of song plugging in two by refusing to compromise her artistry for either the song or the band. She made clear her debts to Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong (in her autobiography she admitted, “I always wanted Bessie’s big sound and Pops’ feeling”), but in truth her style was virtually her own, quite a shock in an age of interchangeable crooners and band singers.

Show 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.

Sunday 3/22/2015 Show: Carmen Lundy

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Photo: Carmen Lundy.| Credit: Sarit Photography via Flickr. Creative Commons licensed by protographer.

The next show will air on Sunday, March 22, 2015 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 will feature an interview with composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Carmen Lundy. You can hear a short preview below.

Carmen Lundy began her professional career in Miami, FL as a jazz vocalist and composer when there were very few young, gifted and aspiring jazz vocalists on the horizon. Over four decades later, Ms. Lundy is celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and is highly regarded for her jazz innovation.

Currently on the Afrasia Productions label, Lundy released her 14th album in the Fall of 2014. Almost two years in the making, it consists of new original songs by Lundy, and a few very special collaborations. The album features legendary artists – specialists on their respective instruments – including Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Ada Rovatti, Warren Wolf, Bennie Maupin, harpist Carol Robbins, and Simphiwe Dana, a stunning South African vocalist and composer, among others. Soul To Soul is on several Top Ten Albums of 2014 lists, including Downbeat.

Lundy’s original vocal track of “Show Me A Sign” from her album Solamente was remixed and featured on Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy-winning 2011 Mosaic Project.

Lundy has had several Top Ten albums on JazzWeek (Jazz and the New Songbook-Live at The Madrid, Come Home, and Changes) and a #3 spot on Billboard’s Jazz Chart for 23 weeks with her debut album “Good Morning Kiss”. Among her other awards and recognitions, especially rewarding was Miami-Dade’s County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners proclaiming January 25th “Carmen Lundy Day”, along with handing Ms. Lundy the keys to the City of Miami.

Having recorded more than twelve albums as a leader, Lundy’s far-reaching discography also includes performances and recordings with such musicians as brother and bassist Curtis Lundy, Ray Barretto, Kenny Barron, Bruce Hornsby, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kip Hanrahan, Courtney Pine, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Marian McPartland, Regina Carter, Steve Turre, Geri Allen, Robert Glasper, Jamison Ross, Kenny Davis, Darryl Hall, Patrice Rushen and the late Kenny Kirkland. Ms. Lundy’s 2005 release, the hugely successful Jazz and The New Songbook-Live at The Madrid, features some of the jazz world’s best known musicians paying tribute to Ms. Lundy.

Lundy’s work as a vocalist and composer has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Downbeat and Vanity Fair among many others, as well as numerous foreign publications.

As a composer, Lundy’s catalogue numbers over 100 published songs, one of the few jazz vocalists in history to accomplish such a distinction, and has led to the first publication of The Carmen Lundy Songbook (2007). Her songs have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron (“Quiet Times”), Ernie Watts (“At The End Of My Rope”), and Straight Ahead (“Never Gonna Let You Go”). Lundy continues to compose and expand her vast catalogue.

Her own recordings consist of 1985’s Good Morning Kiss (CLR/Afrasia Productions), Moment To Moment (Arabesque/Afrasia Productions), Night And Day (CBS/SONY and re-issued by Afrasia in 2011), Old Devil Moon (JVC), Self Portrait (JVC), Something To Believe In and This Is Carmen Lundy (both for Justin Time), Jazz and The New Songbook – Live at The Madrid (2-disc set and DVD, Afrasia Productions), Come Home (Afrasia), Solamente and the 2012 release Changes (Afrasia Productions). Her newest recording Soul To Soul was almost 2 years in the making, and was released in the Fall of 2014 on Afrasia Productions.

A native of Miami, Florida, Lundy’s path to being one of today’s most talented, respected and sophisticated jazz singers began at age six, with her first piano lessons. She was deeply inspired by her mother who was then lead singer in the gospel group, The Apostolic Singers. Lundy attended The University of Miami as an Opera major, but soon discovered that jazz was where her talent really shone. While working steadily in the Miami Jazz scene, she graduated with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz – one of the first singers to do so. Lundy then moved to New York City in the spring of ’78 and immediately began working in jazz circles throughout the Tri-State area, and from Harlem to Greenwich Village, quickly impressing the notoriously critical jazz cognoscenti and audiences alike.

Teaching, too, is an important activity for Lundy; she’s given Master Classes in Australia, Denmark, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, New York, Washington, D.C., Northern California, Los Angeles and other cities around the world. Since its inception in 1998, Lundy has and continues to participate in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as Resident Clinician and guest artist. She has also worked with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as guest artist and clinician.

Ms. Lundy is also a gifted actress active in theatre. “Acting,” as she told Dr. Billy Taylor in 2006, “helps me to get more comfortable and acquainted with the art of performance.” She performed the lead role as Billie Holiday in the Off-Off Broadway play “They Were All Gardenias” by Lawrence Holder, as well as the lead role in the Broadway show, Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies,” and she made her television debut as the star of the CBS Pilot-Special “Shangri-La Plaza” in the role of Geneva, after which she relocated to Los Angeles, where she currently resides.

Carmen Lundy is also a celebrated mixed media artist and painter, and her works have been exhibited in New York at The Jazz Gallery in Soho, at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and at a month-long exhibition at the Madrid Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.

Lundy resides in Los Angeles, CA.

We’ll begin the show with a short interview with vocalist Thana Alexa to celebrate her Ode to Heroes CD release event at Subculture in Manhattan on Monday March 23rd.

Show 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.

Listen to the show and watch our blog for details on a ticket giveaway for the Schomburg’s Women in Jazz Festival on Mondays March 23rd and 30th.

Web Extras:

Watch Lundy perform “One More River to Cross” live with Steve Turre!



Watch Lundy perform live with pianist Geri Allen at Dizzy’s Club!

Sunday 9/21/14 Show: Joe Sample Memorial

joe_sample

Photo: Joe Sample | Flickr user Tom.Beetz via Wikicommons

The next show will air on Sunday, September 21, 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. This installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl” will feature a rebroadcast of a 2013 show with pianist Joe Sample, known to many from his work with The Jazz Crusaders (later The Crusaders), who died on September 12, 2014. You can hear a short preview below.

One of the many jazzmen who started out playing hard bop but went electric during the fusion era, Joe Sample was, in the late ’50s, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders along with trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor saxman Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper. The Crusaders’ debt to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers wasn’t hard to miss — except that the L.A.-based unit had no trumpeter, and became known for its unique tenor/trombone front line. Sample, a hard-swinging player who could handle chordal and modal/scalar improvisation equally well, stuck to the acoustic piano during The Crusaders’ early years — but would place greater emphasis on electric keyboards when the band turned to jazz-funk in the early ’70s and dropped “Jazz” from its name. Though he’d recorded as a trio pianist on 1969’s Fancy Dance, 1978’s Rainbow Seeker was often described as his first album as a leader. In contrast to the gritty music The Crusaders became known for, Sample’s own albums on MCA and, later, Warner Bros. and PRA have generally favored a very lyrical and introspective jazz-pop approach.

Unsurprisingly, there are several Sample obituaries. For starters, we recommend the ones by Peter Keepnews in the New York Times, Steve Chawkins in the Los Angeles Times (who notes The Crusaders’ and Sample’s appeal with the activist community), and Andrew Dansby in The Houston Chronicle (who notes his return to Creole music at the end of his life).

Show 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 Extras:

Watch Sample and Randy Crawford perform their classic “Street Life” live in Japan in 2008.



Watch Sample perform “Chain Reaction” live with the Crusaders in Germany, 1987.

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