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Motema Records

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

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The next show will air on Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this installment, Suga’ in My Bowl covers the final of four women in different areas of this music during its four weeks of broadcasting in Women’s History Month. This week’s guest is president of Motema Records, guitarist and vocalist Jana Herzen.

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

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

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

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

Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

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

Sunday 5/5 show: Will Calhoun

Will_CalhounThe next show will air on Sunday May 5, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature drummer and percussionist Will Calhoun.

Hard-hitting Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun returns to his Jazz roots on his soon to be released “Life In this World.” Join us while we discuss parts of Brother Will’s drum and recording journey.

Will Calhoun, the widely acclaimed drummer from the Bronx, New York, graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received a Bachelors degree in Music Production and engineering. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Award for outstanding performance by a drummer.

Will’s first jazz CD as a bandleader is entitled The Will Calhoun Quintet: Live at the Blue Note. The disc is an adventurous journey through Will’s approach to acoustic Jazz, World and Ambient music. The line-up features Bobby Watson-sax, Terrell Stafford-trumpet, John Benitez-bass and Orrin Evans-piano. Will’s song writing, arrangements and drumming on this CD are ground breaking. Although this was Will’s first attempt at fronting a jazz group, Down Beat Magazine, Jazz Times, and Billboard Magazine have given the CD top ratings. Drum Magazine’s readers poll voted Will’s CD 1st runner up for Drummer/Band leader.

One of Will’s latest creations is his follow-up release on the Halfnote label: Native Lands. Native Lands can be described as Jazz meets World, meets trance-inducing Urban music. This is a double package – CD/DVD in which Calhoun marries his far reaching interests in a genre-bending collection that taps key expressionists from various backgrounds. Among those contributing are Pharoah Sanders, Mos Def, Buster Williams, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Eubanks, Marcus Miller and Wallace Roney, as well as Nana Vasconcelos from Brazil and Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali. The album includes a DVD with over ninety minutes of music videos and documentary materials that chronicle the last ten years of Will’s life and travels.

The “Life In This World” CD Release event is scheduled for Friday to Sunday, May 17-19, 2013 at New York City’s Blue Note. See the Tour Schedule page on Will’s site for additional dates.

For all you Living Colour fans, the band is touring again and working on new material. See their tour schedule for information for these dates.

Produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Web Extras

Watch Will, keyboardist Marc Cary, and bassist Charnett Moffett perform a blistering live version of “King Tut Strut” at NYC’s Blue Note in 2012.

Watch Oumou Sangare with her band featuring Will at the 2012 Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival.

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