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Randy Weston

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Tuesday 1/29/2019 Show: Randy Weston Memorial

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

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday January 29, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 pianist, composer and pan-Africanist Randy Weston. This program originally aired on September 21, 2010 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Baba Weston’s release “Uhuru Africa” and his autobiography “arranged by” Willard Jenkins titled “African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston.” Baba Weston was the “composer” of this book.

NEA Jazz Master and practitioner of African rhythms Randy Weston has never failed to make the connections between African and American music. His dedication is due in large part to his father, Frank Edward Weston, who told his son that he was, “an African born in America.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, Weston was surrounded by a rich musical community: he knew Max Roach, Cecil Payne, and Duke Jordan; Eddie Heywood lived across the street; Wynton Kelly was a cousin. Most influential of all was Monk, who tutored Weston upon visits to his apartment. Weston began working professionally in R&B bands in the late ’40s before playing in the bebop outfits of Payne and Kenny Dorham. After signing with Riverside in 1954, Weston led his own trios and quartets and attained a prominent reputation as a composer, contributing jazz standards like “Hi-Fly” and “Little Niles” to the repertoire. He also met arranger Melba Liston, who has collaborated with Weston off and on into the ’90s. Weston’s interest in his roots was stimulated by extended stays in Africa; he visited Nigeria in 1961 and 1963, lived in Morocco from 1968 to 1973 following a tour, and has remained fascinated with the music and spiritual values of the continent ever since. In the ’70s, Weston made recordings for Arista-Freedom, Polydor, and CTI while maintaining a peripatetic touring existence — mostly in Europe — returning to Morocco in the mid-’80s.

After contributing seven decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remained one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Randy Weston joined the ancestors on September 1, 2018.

[(Bio adapted from Allmusic)

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 Weston and the African Rhythms ensemble perform “Blue Moses” in this live clip from approximately 2010.

Watch Weston and saxophonist Billy Harper perform “Blues to Senegal” 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, February 9th Show: Nelson Mandela and the South African Freedom Struggle

sharpeville-massacre-01

Photo: Sharpeville Massacre via Wikicommons

The next show will air on Sunday, February 9th, 2013 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 membership/fund drive installment, Suga’ in My Bowl presents a rebroadcast of a tribute to Nelson Mandela and the South African freedom struggle writ large in honor of Mandela’s transition and to continue to not forget this chapter as part of Black History Month. Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive. In this show, we’ll take a look at how jazz played a part in the struggle both in the US and on the continent. We’ll also look at the relationship of jazz to musicians in South Africa and how South African musicians had to leave because of the danger that the music posed.



Since Mandela was not the only one in the movement, we’ll present some critical analysis from activists and experts to assess how his life and work fit into the broader goal of ending the apartheid regime. Nana Dr. Leonard Jeffries, recently retired Professor of Black Studies (and former department head) at the City College of New York will walk us through the big picture of Mandela’s role in the struggle and what it meant internationally from a talk recorded live this week at a community forum in Brooklyn. Omowale Clay of the New York-based December 12th Movement will provide insight into the ongoing work on reparations and radio personality Bob Law will talk about media’s important role in the movement.

We’ll then turn to the role that music and artists played in the international struggle. Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University and author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa, will talk about the connections forged by African American artists. Poet Rashida Ismaili Abubakr will discuss how exiled South African singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and musical collaborator Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) raised consciousness with their art.

Finally, in signature Suga’ style, look for as much great music as we can fit in from Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, the Blue Notes, Archie Shepp, and Randy Weston!

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 offering any special premium or thank-you gift this week. We’re just asking listeners who can to donate to WBAI in support of our show. You can give as little as $5 online and full station membership is $25. Anything you can pitch in will help a lot, especially in sending the message to station management that the type of show we do is still relevant.

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

Web Extras

Watch Hugh Masekela perform “Stimela (The Coal Train)” live at UNESCO’s 2013 International Jazz Day.

Sunday 12/22 Show: Nelson Mandela and the South African freedom struggle

sharpeville-massacre-01

Photo: Sharpeville Massacre via Wikicommons

Reminder: 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 December 22, 2013 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 presents a tribute to Nelson Mandela and the South African freedom struggle writ large in honor of Mandela’s recent transition. In this show, we’ll take a look at how jazz played a part in the struggle both in the US and on the continent. We’ll also look at the relationship of jazz to musicians in South Africa, how South African musicians had to leave because of the danger that the music posed.



Since Mandela was not the only one in the movement, we’ll present some critical analysis from activists and experts to assess how his life and work fit into the broader goal of ending the apartheid regime. Nana Dr. Leonard Jeffries, recently retired Professor of Black Studies (and former department head) at the City College of New York will walk us through the big picture of Mandela’s role in the struggle and what it meant internationally from a talk recorded live this week at a community forum in Brooklyn. Omowale Clay of the New York-based December 12th Movement will provide insight into the ongoing work on reparations and radio personality Bob Law will talk about media’s important role in the movement.

We’ll then turn to the role that music and artists played in the international struggle. Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University and author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa, will talk about the connections forged by African American artists. Poet Rashida Ismaili Abubakr will discuss how exiled South African singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and musical collaborator Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) raised consciousness with their art.

Finally, in signature Suga’ style, look for as much great music as we can fit in from Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, the Blue Notes, Archie Shepp, and Randy Weston!

There will also be a year-end edition of our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests.

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

Web Extras

Watch Hugh Masekela perform “Stimela (The Coal Train)” live at UNESCO’s 2013 International Jazz Day.

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