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Sunday 8/24/14 Show: Larry Ridley

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The next show will air on Sunday, August 24, 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 the program will feature an interview with bassist and educator Dr. Larry Ridley. You can hear a short preview of the show below.

Dr. Larry Ridley was born and reared in Indianapolis, IN. He began performing professionally while still in high school in the 1950s. He studied at the Indiana University School of Music and later at the Lenox School of Jazz. Dr. Ridley has been involved in jazz education, heading the jazz program at Rutgers University.

Dr. David Baker, another Indianapolis native and notable jazz musician, was one of his prime mentors. Dr. Ridley was bassist for David Baker’s Big band during his studies at Indiana University.

Dr. Ridley served as chairman of the Jazz Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and was the organization’s National Coordinator of the “Jazz Artists in Schools” Program for five years (1978–1982). Dr. Ridley is a recipient of the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation’s “Living Legacy Jazz Award”, a 1998 inductee to the International Association for Jazz Education Hall of Fame (IAJE), an inductee of the Downbeat Magazine Jazz Education Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Benny Golson Jazz Award from Howard University, and was honored by a Juneteenth 2006 Proclamation Award from the New York City Council. Dr. Ridley is currently the Executive Director of the African American Jazz Caucus, Inc., an affiliate of IAJE. He was also the IAJE Northeast Regional Coordinator. He continues to actively teach as Professor of Jazz Bass at the Manhattan School of Music. Dr. Ridley served as Jazz Artist in Residence at the Harlem based New York Public Library/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He established an annual series there dedicated to presenting the compositions of jazz masters that are performed by Dr. Ridley and his Jazz Legacy Ensemble.

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.

Program note: It’s not too late to grab a copy of Suga in My Bowl’s premium of Howard University professor Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr‘s fantastic biography of the legendary Pan African scholar Dr. John Henrik Clarke that we previewed 2 weeks ago on the show. You can support WBAI (and our show) by pledging for a copy of the Dr. Clarke special on CD or donating as little as $5 at WBAI’s secure online donation site.

Web Extras:

Watch Dr. Ridley talk about the system of jazz apprenticeship and what learned from Horace Silver in this short interview.

Watch Dr. Ridley and the Jazz Legacy Ebsemble in this 2011 live performance at the Schomburg Center.

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Sunday 7/20/14 Show: Charlie Haden Memorial

Charlie Haden & Kenny Barron, 16/08/2009, Jazz Middelheim 13-16/08/2009, Antwerp, BE
Photo: Bruno Bollaert, Jazz Middelheim – 8/16/2009

The next show will air on Sunday, July 20, 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 the program will be a memorial to bassist, composer, and former yodeling cowboy Charlie Haden, who died on July 11th. As a tribute to this great artist, we’re re-broadcasting our interview with Haden and wife/musical collaborator Ruth Cameron, originally aired on April 10, 2011.



Born in Shenandoah, Iowa, Charlie Haden began his life in music almost immediately, singing on his parents’ country & western radio show at the tender age of 22 months. He started playing bass in his early teens and in 1957 left America’s heartland for Los Angeles, where he met and played with such legends as Art Pepper, Hampton Hawes, and Dexter Gordon.

In 1959, Haden teamed with Ornette Coleman to form the saxophonist’s pioneering quartet (alongside trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Billy Higgins). In addition to his still-influential work with Coleman, Haden also collaborated with a number of adventurous jazz giants, including John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny.

In 1969, Haden joined forces with pianist/composer Carla Bley, founding the Liberation Music Orchestra. The group’s self-titled debut is a true milestone of modern music, blending experimental big band jazz with the folk songs of the Spanish Civil War to create a powerfully original work of musical/political activism.

An acoustic bassist of extraordinary gifts, Haden’s talents as a musician have been in constant demand by his fellow artists. As a result, he has collaborated with a genuinely stunning array of musicians, including Hank Jones, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Paul Motian, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, Kenny Barron, and Pat Metheny (with whom Haden shared a 1997 “Best Jazz Instrumental Individual/Small Group” Grammy® Award for their Beyond the Missouri Sky).

Haden’s love of world music has also seen him teaming with a variety of diverse international players, including Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti, Argentinean bandoneon master Dino Saluzzi, and Portuguese guitar giant Carlos Paredes. In addition, Haden has explored diverse streams of American popular music with both his acclaimed Quartet West, as well as on such recent collections as 2002’s inventive alliance with Michael Brecker, American Dreams.

Haden was invited to establish the jazz studies program at California Institute of the Arts in 1982 and has earned countless honors from around the globe, including and the Los Angeles Jazz Society prize for “Jazz Educator of the Year”, two Grammy Awards (alongside a multitude of nominations), myriad Down Beat readers and critics poll winners, a Guggenheim fellowship, four NEA grants for composition, France’s Grand Prix Du Disque (Charles Cros) Award, Japan’s SWING Journal Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. Montreal Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award.

On Friday, July 11, 2014, Charlie Haden left this world. He is survived by his wife Ruth Cameron, his four children, Josh, Tanya, Petra and Rachel, a brother, Carl, a sister, Mary, and three grandchildren. Tanya Haden is married to singer and actor Jack Black.

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.

We’re not aware of any NYC Metro area tributes or memorials to Haden at this time. Follow our “On the Bandstand” segment on air and on our blog and we’ll pass on info as we get it.

Web Extras:

Watch Haden and Pat Metheny perform live in 2008.



Watch Haden conduct (and play with) the Liberation Music Orchestra in this 1987 performance with Dewey Redman live in Africa.

Sunday February 2nd Show: Alex Blake

Alex_Blake_smallReminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.

The next show will air on Sunday February 2nd, 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 the program will feature an exclusive interview with bassist Alex Blake. Listen to a short preview of the show below.



Alex Blake (Alejandro Blake Fearon, Jr.) is a contemporary master bassist on both the classical upright (or double) bass and on the electric bass. He is an innovator and pioneer in the development of contemporary musical genres across the spectrum from Latin/salsa, Jazz, rock, fusion, funk, Afro-Caribbean, bossa nova, flamenco, and soul, pop, R&B, country and world music. His self-developed playing style reveals a unique approach to the instrument borrowing from cello and guitar techniques resulting in a dynamic, high impact stage presence whether solo or with other musicians.

Originally from Panama, his family traditions included the gift of music from his father, a distinguished Latin musician himself, who introduced the trumpet and bass to his son. Mr. Blake began playing professionally in New York with the masters of Latin and salsa including Mongo Santamaria and Celia Cruz as a child. His unique approach of melodic and rhythmic slapping caught the attention of the legendary Sun Ra and Jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie to record and tour Europe at major festivals and venues while still a teenager. Mr. Blake became an in-demand bassist, performing and collaborating with an astonishing number of top artists including Freddie Hubbard, Astrid Gilberto, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Billy Cobham and the Manhattan Transfer among many.

As a composer, songwriter and educator, Mr. Blake’s original compositions encompass multiple musical styles from his international background and experiences. He has recorded on multiple Grammy-winning albums, endorsed Ibanez and other brands and has received numerous accolades and awards for a lifetime in music. Mr. Blake tours internationally with Randy Weston and his African Rhythms band, performs at the major festivals and clubs and is now working on an upcoming CD (Colors) with his own band in New York City.

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.

Produced, engineered, edited and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Bruno Bollaert (volume 12). Creative Commons licensed.

Web Extras:

Watch this short Alex Blake bass solo with Randy Weston’s African Rhythms at the 2008 Charlie Parker Festival in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park.


Watch a longer 2013 Blake solo at York College’s Performing Arts Center.

Sunday January 19th Show: Steve Turre

Steve_TurreReminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.

The next show will air on Sunday Janury 19, 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 the program will feature an exclusive interview with trombonist, seashellist, composer and bassist Steve Turre.



One of the world’s preeminent jazz innovators, trombonist and seashellist Steve Turre, has consistently won both the Readers’ and Critics’ polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (shells). Turre was born to Mexican-American parents and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area where he absorbed daily doses of mariachi, blues and jazz. While attending Sacramento State University, he joined the Escovedo Brothers salsa band, which began his career-long involvement with that genre.

In 1972 Steve Turre‘s career picked up momentum when Ray Charles hired him to go on tour. A year later Turre’s mentor Woody Shaw brought him into Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. After his tenure with Blakey, Turre went on to work with a diverse list of musicians from the jazz, Latin, and pop worlds, including Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, J.J. Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Lester Bowie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders, Horace Silver, Max Roach, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The latter introduced hum to the seashell as an instrument. Soon after that, while touring in Mexico City with Woody Shaw, Turre’s relatives informed him that his ancestors similarly played the shells. Since then, Turre has incorporated seashells into his diverse musical style.

In addition to performing as a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1984, Turre leads several different ensembles. Sanctified Shells utilizes the seashell in a larger context, transforming his horn section into a “shell choir”. Turre’s Spring 1999 Verve release, Lotus Flower, showcases his Sextet With Strings. The recording explores many great standards and original compositions arranged by Turre for a unique instrumentation of trombone and shells, violin, cello, piano, bass and drums. Turre’s quartet and quintet provide a setting based in tradition and stretching the limits conceptually and stylistically. In the Summer of 2000, Telarc released In The Spur of the Moment. This recording features Steve with three different quartets, each with a different and distinct master pianist: Ray Charles, Chucho Valdes, and Stephen Scott.

Turre’s self-titled Verve release pioneers a unique artistic vision, drawing upon jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian sources. This innovative recording also features Cassandra Wilson, Randy Brecker, Graciela, Mongo Santamaria and J.J. Johnson. Previously Turre recorded Right There and Rhythm Within, featuring Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Pharoah Sanders, and Sanctified Shells, on Verve’s subsidiary label, Antilles.

Steve Turre continually evolves as a musician and arranger. He has a strong command of all musical genres and when it comes to his distinct brand of jazz, he always keeps one foot in the past and one in the future.

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.

Produced, engineered, edited and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Next show: Sunday, 12/11 on Christian McBride

The next show will air on Sunday 12/11 at 11:00pm – Monday at 1:00am on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org and feature bassist Christian McBride.

Tune into this program to hear more about this hard-working bassist, composer and band leader, who was recently nominated for a Grammy for one of his latest two recordings, The Good Feeling.

Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City to further his classical studies at the Juilliard School, only to be snatched up by alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson. Since then, McBride’s list of accomplishments have been nothing short of staggering. As a sideman in the jazz world alone, he’s worked with the best of the very best – Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In the R&B world, he’s not only played with, but also arranged for Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. In the pop/rock world, he’s extensively collaborated with Sting, Carly Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby. In the hip-hop/neo-soul world, he’s collaborated with the Roots, D’Angelo, and Queen Latifah. In many other specialty projects, he’s worked closely with opera legend Kathleen Battle, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, the Shanghai Quartet and the Sonus Quartet.

Away from the bass, Christian has become quite an astute and respected spokesperson for the music. In 1997, he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts”. In 2000, he was named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In 2005, he was officially named the co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Also in 2005, he was named the second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Hosted by Arts Producer Joyce Jones

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