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Sunday 8/5/2018 Show: Shemekia Copeland

 

Photo: Shemekia Copeland @ 2012 Sierre Blues Festival | (c) Christophe Losberger.

The next show will air on August 5, 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 features an interview with blues singer Shemekia Copeland.

The daughter of renowned Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, award-winning blues singer Shemekia Copeland began making a splash in her own right before she was even out of her teens. Projecting a maturity beyond her years, Copeland fashioned herself as a powerful, soul-inflected shouter in the tradition of Koko Taylor and Etta James, yet also proved capable of a subtler range of emotions. Her 1998 Alligator debut, Turn the Heat Up!, featured a career-elevating version of her father’s classic “Ghetto Child,” that has been part of her performance repertoire ever since. She released three more acclaimed rough-and-rowdy recordings that decade before revealing a more nuanced, slow-burning persona on Never Going Back in 2009. By the time she gave birth to her first child in 2017 and released America’s Child a year later, she had transformed herself into a mature artist of vision and depth who could inhabit virtually any genre of music without sacrificing the power and passion that initially established her reputation.

Copeland was born in Harlem in 1979 and her father encouraged her to sing right from the beginning, even bringing her up on-stage at the Cotton Club when she was just eight. She began to pursue a singing career in earnest at age 16, when her father’s health began to decline due to heart disease; he took Shemekia on tour with him as his opening act, which helped establish her name on the blues circuit. She landed a record deal with Alligator, which issued her debut album, Turn the Heat Up!, in 1998 when she was just 19 years old (sadly, her father didn’t live to see the occasion).

While the influences on Copeland’s style were crystal clear, the record was met with enthusiastic reviews praising its energy and passion. Marked as a hot young newcomer to watch, Copeland toured the blues festival circuit in America and Europe, and landed a fair amount of publicity. Her second album, Wicked, was released in 2000 and featured a duet with one of her heroes, early R&B diva Ruth Brown. Wicked earned Copeland a slew of W.C. Handy Blues Award nominations and she walked off with three: Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, and Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. The follow-up record, Talking to Strangers, was produced by legendary pianist Dr. John and featured songs that she proudly claimed were her best yet. The Soul Truth, produced by Steve Cropper, was released by Alligator Records in 2005. Never Going Back followed in 2009 from Telarc Blues and was produced by the Wood Brothers’ Oliver Wood. 33 1/3 appeared in 2012 and was again produced by Wood and issued by Telarc. Copeland returned to Alligator for the release of 2015’s Outskirts of Love, which featured guest appearances from Robert Randolph, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Blues album category. In 2017, Copeland gave birth to a son and the following year, deeply inspired by the experience, she shifted directions. She chose to record in Nashville and enlisted producer/guitarist Will Kimbrough — who in turn enlisted a guest list that included John Prine, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Steve Cropper, and more. With guidance from Kimbrough, Copeland dug deep and completed a deeply resonant program of soul, Americana, blues, and country. America’s Child, the set was released on August 3, 2018.

(Bio adapted from Allmusic. Find out more at Copeland’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.

Shemekia Copeland will be at Iridium on August 18.

Web Extras:

Watch Copeland sing “Ghetto Child” 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.

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Sunday 7/22/2018 Show: Nana Camille Yarborough

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

The next show will air on Sunday, July 22, 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 features an interview with writer, actress, composer and social commentator Nana Camille Yarbrough.

Camille Yarbrough is an award-winning performance artist, author, and cultural activist. With a career that spans over sixty years, several continents, countless awards and accolades, and a few generations, Nana Camille has earned legendary status.

Camille Yarbrough was enstooled in New York by Abladei, Inc. (Ghanaian) as Naa Kuokor Agyman 1, founder of the Stool House of Harriet Tubman and was given the honorary title of “Nana.”

She continues to inspire audiences today via her local, long-running television show of sixteen years (Ancestor House), via her popular musical CD (also entitled Ancestor House), and via performances and lectures focusing on poetry, music, Black art, spirituality, and culture.

Yarbrough’s vision was nourished and became a creative force in her life when she toured as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company of Dancers, Singers, and Musicians. There Nana Camille honed her performance and producing gifts and immersed herself in an independent study of African people throughout the Diaspora.

The world-traveling Chicago native currently resides in New York.

Nana Camille Yarbrough for twelve years was a faculty member at the City College of New York where she taught African dance and the Harlem community courses. As an accomplished theater actress, she co-starred in Lorraine Hansberry’s To Be Young, Gifted, and Black and did the national tour as a member of the company. Later she recorded the cast album and wrote a half-page article about the show published in the Drama Section of The New York Times. She also did a national tour of Ted Mann’s, Circle in the Square Theater Production of James Weldon Johnson’s play, God’s Trombones, was featured in writer Adrienne Kennedy’s Cities in Bezique at New York’s Public Theater and danced, sang and acted in the Broadway Musical, Kwamina.

For television and film, her credits include soap operas; Where the Heart Is, Search For Tomorrow, Television Special; Soul, CBS Special; Caught in the Middle and Gil Noble’s Like It Is. She also toured in her one-woman show; Tales and Tunes of an African American Griot. In contemporary pop cultural circles, Nana Camille is known as the singer whose song and vocals were sampled on the international mega-hit, “Praise You,” by techno-musician Fatboy Slim. Her first solo musical recording, The Iron Pot Cooker (1975) is where the hit song “Praise You” originated.

In 1979 Camille Yarbrough’s first book an award-winning, groundbreaking family book, Cornrows, (Putnam Publishers) was called “a gem” by Essence magazine was published and later three more books followed: The Shimmershine Queens, (Random House) The Little Tree Growing in the Shade (Putnam Publishers), and Tamika and the Wisdom Rings (Just Us Books). Camille Yarbrough wrote a three-part series “Black Dance In America” 1980-1981 was published by Black Collegian Magazine. “Female Style and Beauty in Ancient Africa: A Photo Essay” was published in The Journal of African Civilization’s Black Women in Antiquity edited by Ivan Van Sertima.

When asked about the relevance of her message for today, she explains: “In the tradition of the African jelimuso/griot, I am charged to do more than share stories, but I must preserve the meaning and beauty of culture. That work transcends time and space”

(Bio adapted from her 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.

Web Extras:

Watch Nana Camille perform “Tell It” 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 1/21/2018 Show: Jazzmeia Horn

Photo: Jazzmeia Horn @ the 2018 Winter Jazz Fest | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, January 21, 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.orgThis broadcast recognizes the 2018 Grammys by featuring an interview with composer, vocalist and Best Jazz Vocal Grammy nominee for A Social Call, Jazzmeia Horn.

Winner of the 2015 Thelonius Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself capturing her very essence. Hailing from the great Dallas, Texas Horn has already earned a reputation in New York as a rising star. With the ambition to pursue a solo career, Horn graced the New York scene in 2009 and earned her degree at The New School for Jazz and contemporary Music. It wasn’t much later when she began to perform as a sideman with musicians Winard Harper, Junior Mance, Billy Harper, Lincoln Center Alumni Vincent Gardner, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein, Johnny O’Neal, Vincent Herring, Kirk Lightsey, Frank Wess, and Ellis Marsalis.

Horn then began to appear in world famous jazz festivals and legendary jazz clubs such as Lenox Lounge, Bill’s Place, The Apollo, The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Jazz Club Coca­Cola, Minton’s, The Jazz Standard, Smalls Jazz Club, Zinc, Jazz Gallery, Birdland, and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Her accolades include Downbeat Student Music Award Recipient 2008, 2009, and Best Vocal Jazz Soloist Winner 2010; The 2013 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center­ in Washington D.C.; The Rising Star Award for the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Jazz Competition; Finalist for Mid­Atlantic Jazz Vocal Competition in 2014; and The 2015 ­16th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium’s Young Lioness Award.

Currently, Horn is a teaching artist in The NJPAC Well’s Fargo­ Jazz for Teens Program and Jazz In The Schools Program in Newark, New Jersey. She appears in various clubs on the jazz scene nationally and internationally leading her dynamic group “The Artistry of Jazz Horn” which includes­ a pianist, bassist, drummer, saxophonist, poet, dancer and herself­ as vocalist. Horn humbles her life and gift of music before God and says “I am thankful for the opportunity to play music professionally and have a deep desire to uplift the souls of others in need through my artistry in the spirit of music.”

(Bio adapted from Horn’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.

Jazzmeia Horn will be at the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival on February 16. She also has a run at the Jazz Standard from March 1-4.

Web Extras:

Watch the trailer for Horn’s Grammy nominated A Social Call album.

Watch Horn perform her medley of “Lift Every Voice and Sing/Moanin” Live on the Tavis Smiley Show.

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 1/7/2018 Show: Winter Jazz Fest / Fay Victor

PhotoFay Victor @ Vision Festival 21, 6/10/16 | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, January 7, 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.orgThis broadcast is our third (and last) 2018 Winter Jazz Festival preview program and focuses on improvising vocalist, composer, lyricist and educator Fay Victor.

 

Called “artistically complete” by the New York Times and “a thrilling improviser” by Downbeat magazine, Fay Victor consistently hones a unique vision of the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music. Victor’s eight critically acclaimed recordings as a leader since the late 90’s has seen praise in venerable media outlets such as Downbeat, JazzTimes, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, The Wire, Signal to Noise, Popmatters.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out Chicago, The Chicago Reader, The New York City Jazz Record and JazzWise (UK). Victor’s long standing group, the Fay Victor Ensemble – an expansive and cohesive mix of jazz, rock, blues, new music and free improvisation – released three albums to huge critical acclaim (2009’s The FreeSong Suite made it onto numerous year-end lists including The Village Voice, NPR and Popmatters.com). The experimental blues project The Exposed Blues Duo, with FVE guitarist Anders Nilsson delving deep into a variety of blues forms released Bare in 2010. There is Herbie Nichols SUNG, Victor’s homage to the unsung be-bop pianist incorporating Victor’s lyrics and arrangements in a quintet and trio format. The trio project has been recorded and currently looking for label support for release and 2018 will see Victor release Wet Robots on ESP-DISK, a brand new vehicle for fresh sounds and improvisational approaches in a group called SoundNoiseFUNK.

In addition to Victor’s band-leading vehicles on record, her voice has attracted esteemed ensembles including Other Dimensions in Music (ODIM), the perennial free jazz outfit joined forces with Victor for 2011’s Kaiso Stories on Silkheart Records in 2011, lauded for its impressive fusion of Calypso, the music of Trinidad & Tobago and home to Victor’s cultural roots, with free jazz. The legendary and longstanding Dutch outfit, the Instant Composer’s Pool Orkest (ICP) led by Misha Mengelberg/Han Bennink invited Victor to tour with them in Europe in 2010 and appear during US tours in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Victor is the first vocalist to work consistently with ICP in it’s 50 year history. Victor was one of the vocalists on Trillium E (New Braxton Records 2011) with Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra and Trillium J during the four-day Braxtonian Festival in 2011. Reedist Ab Baars invited Victor and french horn hero Vincent Chancey to celebrate 20 years with his esteemed trio in 2011 including a 15-concert European tour, the first time Baars had written material for voice and specifically for Victor; that work is contained on The Invisible Blow (Stichting Wig 2014). Victor received a presenting commission from Anthony Braxton himself on behalf of the Tricentric Foundation for Neighborhood Dynamics (co-composed with Jochem van Dijk) that was presented during the TriCentric Festival in a double bill with Anthony Braxton’s Nonet in 2014. Neighborhood Dynamics is a piece about gentrification and the changing demographic landscape of Brooklyn, NY, where Victor calls home. Over the past four years, Victor’s work with esteemed avant-garde trombonist Roswell Rudd has seen a deeper connection appearing on his 2014 Trombone for Lovers(Sunnyside Records 2014) and now appearing on every track of Embrace (RareNoise 2017), a project of re-imagined standards. Victor was part of a voice/percussion/piano duo with MacArthur genius grant recipient, professor and composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, with appearances at Constellation in Chicago, IL (2016) and Vision Festival XVVI (2014) amongst their performance highlights.

Victor is also out on record as a part of Glorious Ravage, a sprawling song-cycle in honor of Victorian-era female explorers composed by Bay Area bassist/composer Lisa Mezzacappa (New World Records 2017). Mezzacappa and Victor have collaborated frequently since 2011 and the song cycle was originally inspired by Victor’s first trip out West to play with Mezzacappa. Finally, Victor is part of ReDDeer a trio of improvisors that met at MusicOmi in 2010 with a record of live duo/trio recordings in New York & Austria called New York – St. Johann (Evil Rabbit Records 2017) and Victor is a featured guest on Marc Ribot’s Songs of Resistance, due for release in January 2018. Victor was just awarded a residency at Yaddo Corp. for Music Composition, staying there for 6 weeks to complete a large work on the life and death of her mother, in early 2018.

Victor’s performances have included such luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Marshall Allen (Sun Ra), NEA Jazz Master Dr. Randy Weston, NEA Jazz Master Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd, Nicole Mitchell, William Parker, Myra Melford, Lawrence Butch Morris, Gary Lucas, Dave Burrell, Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyrille, Jason Moran, Sam Newsome, Darius Jones, Anthony Coleman, Aruan Ortiz, Joe Morris, Vijay Iyer, Matana Roberts, Mark Dresser, Steven Bernstein, Marika Hughes, Mazz Swift, Marty Ehrlich, Melvin Gibbs, Henry Butler, Curtis Clark and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

(Bio adapted from Fay Victor’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.

Fay Victor  will be at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival leading the SoundNoiseFunk ensemble, as part of saxophonist Darius Jones’s LawNOrder, and with Nicole Mitchell’s Maroon Cloud. See the Winter Jazz Fest site for details and check our blog for a full preview.

 

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 3/5/2017 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.

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.

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