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Sheila Anderson

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Sunday 12/24/2017 Show: Winter Jazz Fest & Geri Allen Tribute

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

The next show will air on Sunday, December 24, 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.orgThis broadcast is our second 2018 Winter Jazz Festival preview program. The Winter Jazz Festival will present a tribute program on Monday, January 15, 2018 to the late pianist Geri Allen, who made her transition this past June 27. We will hear remembrances from former Suga’ guests: long time Manager and friend Ora Harris, Motema Records President Jana Herzen, Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Professor and Author Farah Jasmine Griffin, Pianist Vijay Iyer, Ruth Cameron Haden (widow of bassist Charlie Haden) and Radio Announcer Sheila Elaine Anderson.

 

Who was Geri Allen? Just an award winning pianist and composer who was also an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. Professor Allen’s last post was as Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.

Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, was the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen was the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She was a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.

She was a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University’s Afro-Blue and many others.

Allen a recipient of the Howard University, Pinnacle Award presented by Professor Connaitre Miller and Afro Blue. Ms. Allen has been a faculty member at Howard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan where she taught for ten years.

In 2014, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree by Berklee College of Music in Boston. The Honorable Congressman John Conyers Jr. presented the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Jazz Legacy Award to Ms. Allen.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra commissioned Geri Allen in 2013, to compose new works for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. She composed a piece “Stones & Streams” a work for orchestra, chorus, piano and narrator.

She was the musical director of the Mary Lou Williams Collective, recording and performing the music of the great Mary Lou Williams, including her sacred work, Mass For Peace. Allen collaborated with S. Epatha Merkerson and Farah Jasmin Griffin on two music theatre projects, “Great Apollo Women”, which premiered at the legendary Apollo Theatre, and “A Conversation with Mary Lou”, which premiered at the Harlem Stage, as an educational component for the Harlem Stage collaboration. The featured artist was Carmen Lundy, and Allen’s long time trio members Kenny Davis and Kassa Overall). The University of Pittsburgh hosted the first ever Mary Lou Williams Cyber Symposium where ViJay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Allen performed a three piano improvisation from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, in real time using Internet 2 technology.

Geri Allen was the product of a family of educators. Her father Mount V. Allen Jr was a retired Detroit Public School Principal, and her mother Barbara Jean was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government. “Our parents insisted my brother and I go to college. We took their advice. I pursued a career as a jazz performer, and completed my undergrad degree at Howard, and my master’s at Pitt. Mount pursued a career as a jazz advocate and presented, completing his masters at Lehigh University. He is currently Director of Operations, at the San Francisco Jazz Center.”

Geri Allen, a mother of three, acknowledges her family for making it possible for her to sustain longevity in a sometimes challenging and always changing field of the music industry.

Allen had enjoyed a very successful over thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording and performing artist. Allen was just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believed that “meaningful access to music was one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others”. She was a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.

Geri Allen is survived by her father Mount Vernell Allen, Jr., brother Mount Vernell Allen III and three children: Laila, Wally and Barbara Antoinette.

(Bio adapted from the Geri Allen 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.

Geri Allen will be the subject of a tribute concert at the 2018 Winter Jazz Festival at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium (63 5th Avenue in Manhattan) on January 15. Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington will be the musical director of a spectacular cast, including Angela Davis, Esperanza Spalding, Craig Taborn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ingrid Jensen, Jack DeJohnette, Jaimeo Brown, Jeff Tain Watts, Kassa Overall, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Maurice Chestnut, Mino Cinelu, Ravi Coltrane, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tia Fuller, Vijay Iyer and more to be announced. Concert proceeds will go to the Geri Allen estate.

 

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 10/18/2015 Show: Who Owns Music?

Who_Owns_music_Revised

The next show will air on Sunday, October 18, 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 feature .

The popularity of the hit series Empire has let loose a flurry of conversation about the the hip hop industry’s inner workings and joins ongoing debates about the future of music and the music industry. With that backdrop, Suga in My Bowl presents a dynamic and timely discussion on the question of Who Owns Music with a focus on the present and future Jazz scene.

We’ll discuss the role of “gatekeepers.” Who decides what music gets produced? Who decides what gets airplay? Who has access to clubs and gigs? Who shapes the opinions and ideas of what people hear? And what does this mean for listeners and the future of music? What can we do about it?

This event brings together musicians, writers and broadcast professionals to discuss these important issues and raise funds for listener-supported community radio!

Participant bios:

William Parker is an improviser, and composer. He plays the bass, shakuhachi, double reeds, tuba, donson ngoni and gembri. Born in 1952 in the Bronx, New York, Parker has studied bass with Richard Davis, Art Davis, Milt Hinton, Wilber Ware, and Jimmy Garrison. In 1995, the Village Voice called Parker “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” With dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker, this husband and wife team have been involved with artist collectives and the grassroots loft jazz scene since the 1970s. Through dogged determination, their Vision Festival celebrates 20 years in 2015. Parker is also a theorist and author of several books including a collection of writings titled Who Owns Music.

Sheila Anderson is primarily associated with being an on-air host and programmer at WBGO-FM, but is also a consultant for Jazzmobile and emceed their wildly popular Grant’s Tomb concerts for 8 years. She has also produced a jazz series at the Newark Museum. Anderson is the author of several articles and books, including the Little Red Book of Musician’s Wisdom; How to Grow as a Musician: What All Musicians Need to Know to Succeed.

Quincy Troupe’s energetic, highly syncopated poetry melds contemporary music rhythms—such as rap, jazz, and be-bop—to a “furious rush of images, sometimes jarring, arising from personal experience,” according to Los Angeles Times critic Tony Perry. Celebratory, but also cautionary, Troupe’s subjects range from jazz and sports to racism and urban decay; a member of the Watts Writers Workshop in the 1960s, he is frequently grouped with Black Arts Movement writers like Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, and Haki Madhubuti. Troupe’s editorial skill was instrumental in the landmark publication of Miles: the Autobiography. He currently edits Black Renaissance Noire, New York University’s Africana Studies Department’s journal.

Ahmed Abdullah leads the group Diaspora (Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra), which combines poetry and lyrics with a large instrumental ensemble. He formed Melchizedek Music Productions in 1995 with his wife, Monique Ngozi Nri. Together, they have produced concerts locally and abroad. In 1998, Abdullah was offered the position of Music Director of Sistas’ Place in Bedford Stuyvesant. Since then, he has introduced many of the adventurous musicians of the 70’s Loft Movement to this venue with great success. His vision has allowed for the expansion of its Saturday Night Jazz programming, from a bi-monthly to a weekly format initiating several new forums along the way.

Co-Hosts:

Joyce Jones is the creator, host, and executive producer of Suga in My Bowl on WBAI Radio. She has also created and produced several radio documentary specials. She is also a graphic designer, percussionist, and has had her photography published in Black Renaissance Noir.

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.

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 fund drive show and supporting WBAI Radio helps keep us on the air! Contributing as little as $5 supports the station and sends the message that people want to hear jazz and our show. If you like what you hear or are feeling generous, you can pledge for our exclusive “Who Owns Music” DVD with the full conversation with the above guests.

Sunday 3/8/2015 show: Sheila Anderson

SheilaAnderson2

Photo: Sheila Anderson.

The next show will air on Sunday, March 8, 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 an interview with radio host, writer, and promoter Sheila Anderson. You can hear a short preview below.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Sheila Anderson’s unique individual career path began in 1973 at the age of 16 when she was elected New York State Youth President of the NAACP, a position she held for four years under the regime of Roy Wilkins. She then continued on, in 1977, to become a member of the NAACP’s National Board of Directors, staying on until 1981. These fecund years in her young life set the precedent for the leadership and cultural and artistic awareness that she would later unveil in her present career status as a ground breaker in her field.

Anderson moved to New York City in the 1980s to complete a degree at Baruch College and began working in the book publishing field to support herself financially. She began volunteering at Newark, NJ-based WBGO radio, began to spend more time hanging out at the station, and got to meet the staff.

Looking to immerse herself further into Jazz culture, Anderson created “The Art of Jazz,” a weekly 30-minute TV program for Time Warner Cable in New York City. The show earned her a Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Award for Community Media and featured Jazz luminaries like Ron Carter, Eric Reed, Russell Malone, Regina Carter, Mark Murphy, the late Leon Thomas, Javon Jackson, T. S. Monk, Monty Alexander and Benny Golson. Anderson produced approximately 60 shows during the show’s run.

In 1995, Anderson was hired as an on-air host at WBGO, where she currently hosts “Weekend Jazz After Hours,” airing from 1-6 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. For nine years she hosted “Sunday Morning Harmony” and then “Late Night Jazz” on Saturday evening. Anderson has learned from the musicians whom she plays, “I feel as though radio programming should function much like a live performance. For example one would not want to hear a performance where the group played all ballads. My best shows happen when I am feeling completely free to move with a certain flow and program according to my emotions,” Anderson explains.

Anderson also worked for the Newark Museum, where she worked on their long-running Jazz concert series. She has also been a consultant for Jazzmobile and became known as the emcee for their wildly popular Wednesday evening Grant’s Tomb concerts.

Anderson’s first book, The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac (2003, Allworth Press) features more than one thousand quotations from both famous and obscure musicians from every genre of music, including classical, rock, Latin, country, blues, and hip hop. Special sections pay particular attention to the words of Ron Carter, T.S. Monk, the Beatles, and Benny Golson.

Anderson’s second book, How to Grow As A Musician: What all Musicians Must Know To Succeed (2005, Allworth Press), features interviews with musicians on five topics: personal growth, artistic growth, composing, performing, and the music business. Musicians interviewed include the late Oscar Brown, Jr., the late Ruth Brown, Al Jarreau, Dr. Billy Taylor, Michael Wolff and Eric Reed.

Anderson is on a fellowship at Columbia University in 2015 where she is developing her next book project on the culture and politics of the 1970s.

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.

Anderson can be heard most weekends on the WBGO radio airwaves from 1-6 AM Saturday and Sunday mornings. She’ll also be appearing at the 92nd St. Y’s Latin on Lex event on March 12.

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