Archive for July, 2010

NCCU is the Tom Joyner Foundation School of the Month for August 2010

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

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I have the pleasure to announce that NCCU is the School of the Month for the Tom Joyner Foundation during August, 2010.

Tom Joyner is a celebrated morning talk show host and a successful businessman. But he’s also a philanthropist who’s raised more than $55 million for scholarships and the revitalization of historically black colleges and universities like mine, all across the country.

In his book I’m Just a DJ But…It Makes Sense to Me, Joyner spells out, in unapologetic terms, his bold-faced advocacy of HBCUs. It certainly endears him to us. There’s no better pitchman to publicize the subtle differences in approach to student success between mainstream and historically black universities.

Our secret’s not safe with him and thank goodness for that! He’s telling the world about our nurturing environment, commitment to student success, by which I mean, graduation, and the HBCU experience.

He writes, “A good HBCU will take what you have and make it better.”

That sounds about right to me.

Being a philanthropist is a choice. The Tom Joyner Foundation began with a 900 number that people were asked to call to donate $5. We may not all have thousands in the bank to donate to a worthy cause but most of us have $5. Tom’s example shows us that we can all be philanthropists to the extent that we are able, but we need to make that choice.

Throughout the month of August, let him know you choose to support NCCU.

Charlie Nelms

Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Because of listener support during our spring 2010 fundraiser, WNCU can offer the Peabody Award–winning radio series, Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Radio with Wendell Pierce, every Wednesday evening at 10pm, starting July21 st.

JALC is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. Through concerts and education, they share the depth of feeling and improvisational vitality of this democratic music in their home, The House of Swing, and all over the world.

The JALC mission is to enrich the artistic substance and perpetuate the democratic spirit of America’s music. From down home and elegant concert performances by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra… to entertaining educational programs that bring the sound and feeling of jazz into the lives of thousands of kids and grownups… to innovative collaborative programs with artists in diverse idioms: we offer top quality musicianship and universal friendship.

Learn more at


The Birth of Cool with the Bill Charlap Trio —Bill Charlap belongs to the new class of cool. With his trio and guests Frank Wess and Mary Stallings, Charlap revisits the stomping grounds of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Lester Young. We’ll hear “Pennies from Heaven,” “Israel,” “Lady Be Good” and more. Hosted by Wendell Pierce. (Reprise of our 3/12/09 show)

Lionel Loueke and Richard Bona —Guitarist Lionel Loueke and bassist Richard Bona translate the sonorities of West Africa (kora, kalimba and balafon) through strings, mouth-clicked percussion and improvised paper mutes. Individually, they have played with Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Salif Keita and Tito Puente; together they are helping to create a new language in jazz. Hosted by Wendell Pierce. (Reprise of our 1/22/09 show)

Jazz and Art I —From the “Utility Wild Man” of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – saxophonist Ted Nash – a commission inspired by 20th century paintings from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Nash renders Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Matisse, and more in the language of jazz – from the canvas to the stage in seven movements. Hosted by Wynton Marsalis. (Reprise of our 5/15/08 show)

Jazz and Art II —Music is like a painting that exists in time; painting is like music that exists in space. Bill Frisell, Papo Vazquez, Doug Wamble and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra create musical portraits inspired by the paintings of Romare Bearden, Stuart Davis, Piet Mondrian and more. Join us for this exciting mediation on the art of creation. Hosted by Wendell Pierce.

The San Francisco Jazz Collective —The members of the SF Jazz Collective are some of the great innovators on the scene today. Dave Douglas (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Eric Harland (drums), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Matt Penman (bass), Renee Rosnes (piano) and Miguel Zenon (alto sax) come together in the Allen Room for a brilliant musical conversation. The collective will showcase their own compositions and fresh arrangements of works by pianist McCoy Tyner. Hosted by Wendell Pierce. (Reprise of our 9/10/09 show)

Searching Sound: Lee Konitz and Paul Motian —Forbears of the ‘cool sound’ – alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and drummer Paul Motian – trade notes for a study in spontaneous composition. Konitz’s melodic improvisations combine with Motian colorfully textured rhythms for a set composed in the moment and not to be missed. Hosted by Wendell Pierce.

Trumpets and Trombones —The brilliant trumpeter Tom Harrell and legendary altoman Charles McPherson lead off with Jimmy Cobb (drums), Ray Drummond (bass), and Ronnie Matthews (piano). New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton brings his quintet, and trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Ronald Westray lead their ensemble Bone Structure. A whirlwind hour! Hosted by Billy Banks. (Reprise of our 6/19/08 show)

Legends of Blue Note —From the Golden Era of the Blue Note catalog, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra offer new arrangements of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes,” Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco” and more. Classic hard-bop hasn’t sounded so fresh in decades. Hosted by Wynton Marsalis. (Reprise of our 10/4/07 show)

Basie and the Blues —Churning rhythms and unforgettable riffs – in the hands of William ‘Count’ Basie, caught the essence of Kansas City swing. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with guitarist James Chirillo, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and vocalist Gregory Porter join the Jazz at Lincoln Center to make the Basie classics burn. Hosted by Wendell Pierce.

Karrin Allyson, Sachal Vasandani and Carla Cook —Three modern interpreters of song offer distinctive moods at the House of Swing — Karrin Allyson provides a versatile expressiveness; rising star Sachal Vasandani delivers a cool sophistication; and Detroit native Carla Cook brings her blues-inflected style. Hosted by Wendell Pierce.

Intuition: The Music of Bill Evans —Perpetually sensitive in style and spirit, pianist Bill Evans was driven by a ‘quiet fire’ that has influenced entire generations of pianists. Guest musical director Bill Charlap with guitarist and Evans collaborator Jim Hall and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra pay tribute with classics like “Waltz for Debby,” “Five” and “Peri’s Scope.” Wendell Pierce hosts.

John Coltrane – The Breakthrough: Giant Steps —One month after playing on Miles Davis’ landmark ‘Kind of Blue,’ John Coltrane stepped out from sideman duties to record his own seminal 1959 album. Showcasing blistering solos and relentless energy, the album solidified his place as a leader and is still a benchmark for musicians today. Our reedmen Ted Nash, Sherman Irby, Walter Blanding and George Garzone front this blowin’ session that including ‘Giant Steps,’ ‘Countdown’ and “Naima.” Wendell Pierce hosts.

Kansas City: K.C. and The Count —Join our summit of swing. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra romp through the Kansas City songbook of the Count Basie Band. Basie alum and saxophonist Frank Wess joins pianist Eldar Djangirov to romp through the “One O’clock Jump,” “The Golden Bullet” and “Moten Swing.” Wendell Pierce hosts.

Regina Carter with Reverse Thread and Stefon Harris with Blackout —What do the sounds of the violin, kora, accordion, vibraphone and vocoder have in common? In the hands of innovative jazz fiddler Regina Carter and vibraphonist Stefon Harris, they explore their past to create a very contemporary sound. With kora player Yacouba Sissoko and accordionist Will Holshouser, Carter explores the music of Africa – from Ugandan Jewish songs to traditional folk music of Madagascar and Mali. Harris and his band Blackout find inspiration in the funk and soul sound of the 70s. Wendell Pierce hosts.

Beyond the Spanish Tinge —Get up and move! Saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera paints the landscape of the Spanish tinge. Mambo, bossa nova, salsa – it’s all here. D’Rivera, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by Wynton Marsalis pay homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astor Piazzolla, and offer D’Rivera’s own “Samba for Carmen.” Wendell Pierce hosts.

Dizzy’s Atmospheres: Phil Woods, Cedar Walton and Steve Turre —An acoustic cocktail mixed by the masters — saxophonist Phil Woods, pianist Cedar Walton and trombonist Steve Turre. Real club jazz — shaken, stirred and captured live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. Hosted by Wendell Pierce.

The Music of Fats Waller —A light-hearted entertainer and a very serious musician, Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller mastered the stride piano and wrote some of the jazz’s enduring, endearing tunes. Hear ‘Honeysuckle Rose,’ “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “A Handful of Keys in the ‘hands’ of pianist Ehud Asherie, vocalist Allen Harris, and guitar master Doug Wamble under the direction of that multifarious fiddler and reedman Andy Farber. Wendell Pierce hosts.

Nursery Song Swing —The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra try their hand at another book of classics – these standards include “Chicken Rhythm,” “Three Blind Mice” and “Liza Jane.” Wynton and the orchestra give a big band twist to children classics. Guest soloist 16 year old Grace Kelly (alto saxophone), 17 year old Carl Majeau (tenor saxophone and clarinet) and 13 year old Jonathan Russell (violin) join Wynton on stage. Wendell Pierce hosts.

The Many Moods of Miles Davis Part 1: The Early Years —A Miles Davis marathon. Ryan Kisor (trumpet) with Sherman Irby (alto), Peter Zak (piano), John Webber (bass), and Willie Jones III (drums) get speedy on the bebop tune “Half Nelson,” then cool down on “Milestones” and “Move.” Terrence Blanchard (trumpet) and his quintet – Brice Winston (tenor), Fabian Almazan (piano), Derrick Hodge (bass), and Kendrick Scott (drums) – race off on “It Never Entered His Mind” and “Four.” Wynton Marsalis hosts. (Reprise of our 10/15/09 program)

The Yellowjackets with Mike Stern —For over 25 years, The Yellowjackets — saxophonist Bob Mintzer, pianist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Will Kennedy — have combined jazz, rock and electronic instruments. Now, the sensational and discerning guitarist Mike Stern, veteran of Miles and Michael Brecker bands, joins the group to lead “Chromazone,” “I Wonder” and “Dreams Go.” Bob Mintzer brings forth soulful sax and the true wonders of the EWI (ee-wee). Wendell Pierce hosts.

Crescent City Gospel —Stomp in the holidays New Orleans style! Wycliffe Gordon leads us ‘Down by the Riverside,’ on ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee’ and in ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ We feature Eric Reed (piano), Reginald Veal (bass), Alvin Atkinson (drums) and Damien Sneed (organ). This hour-long holiday special can stand alone and is available to all stations.” Wendell Pierce hosts.

Wynton with Strings —The cry of the trumpet over the swell of lush strings: Wynton Marsalis and his quintet join a chamber orchestra conducted by Robert Sadin, to revisit “Stardust,” “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” and “After You’re Gone.” Hold onto your heart. Wendell Pierce hosts.

Benny Goodman Centennial — Finish the Year in Style. Shine those shoes to a high polish — you won’t be able to sit down for this one. Join us on the bandstand as The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra celebrates the enduring legacy of Benny Goodman. Guest clarinetists Bob Wilbur, Ken Peplowski and Buddy DeFranco blow out the Goodman classics from his historic Carnegie Hall concert. Join us for high stepping swing. Wendell Pierce hosts.

House of Blues Radio Hour

Monday, July 12th, 2010

We will begin to air House of Blues Radio Hour on Saturday, July 17, at 10pm followed by Parlocha at 11pm.

Check out the official website at

The longest running blues radio program in America, hosted by Elwood Blues.

The House of Blues Radio Hour is a weekly syndicated program hosted by Elwood Blues (a.k.a. Dan Aykroyd). Since 1993, the House of Blues Radio Hour has played blues and other forms of music which have their roots in the blues, such as R&B, soul and rock & roll. Featured guests have included BB King, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker and the Rolling Stones.

The House of Blues Radio Hour has won the Silver Medal award for Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program from the 2007 New York Festivals International Radio Broadcasting Awards! The New York Festivals Radio Programming and Promotion Awards recognizes “The World’s Best Work” in radio programming and promotion.


July 24-25, 2010

The electric blues was born in Chicago.  Elwood takes us there this week, with some of the greats who first plugged it in: Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James. … Elwood takes us back to where the musical electricity came from, before the music went electric: Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lonnie Johnson…. And who is bringing the Chicago blues into the 21st Century? People like Nick Moss, Billy Branch, and Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials.  And two classic Chicago bluesmen have teamed up for JOINED AT THE HIP- Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith.  Brand new!  Plus a chance for you to win COOKIN’ IN MOBILE, the new CD/DVD set from Robert Cray, recorded live.

July 31- Aug 1, 2010

New music from Elvin Bishop is always cause for celebration.  His CD is RED DOG SPEAKS, and Elwood will play it for us.  First, some great slide players of the blues: Duane Amman, Johnny Winter, Elmore James, and Muddy Waters, after which Elvin Bishop joins the party, to talk about his life in the blues, his guitar (called Red Dog), and the benefit album he put together for his good friend and mentor, Little Smokey Smothers.  Plus: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Derek Trucks, and surprising new blues from pop singer Cyndi Lauper.  All that, and a chance to win the new DVD from J. Geils’ and Peter Wolf’s guitar man, Johnny A.

Aug 7-8, 2010

Good things are better when they come in pairs.  Elwood spins some blues duos this week, including Peter Karp and Sue Foley, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm, Smokin’Joe Kubek and B’Nois King, Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, the Blues Brothers, Moreland and Arbuckle, Sam and Dave, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells… and more.  We will hear new music from country blues duo Bill Sims and Mark Lavoie.  And there’s a chance to win the new CD from Sheryl Crow, 100 MILES TO MEMPHIS, her tribute to Memphis soul.

Aug 14-15, 2010

Stanley Dural Jr. played keyboards for soul bands, until he got a gig with Louisiana legend Clifton Chenier.  He promptly picked up an accordion and has been Buckwheat Zydeco ever since.  He sits down with Elwood to talk about his musical journey, and play music from his CD, LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN.  We will also hear Clifton Chenier, the swamp rock of JJ Grey, and brand new music from Swedish guitar player and songwriter, Anders Osborne, who now calls New Orleans his home.

Joya Sherrill, Who Sang With Ellington and Goodman, Is Dead at 85

Friday, July 9th, 2010

By Peter Keepnews

Joya Sherrill, who sang with Duke Ellington as a teenager, toured the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman and was one of the first African-American performers to host a children’s television show, died on June 28 at her home in Great Neck, N.Y. She was 85.

Her death was confirmed by her son, Richard Guilmenot III, who said she had been suffering from leukemia.

Born in Bayonne, N.J., on Aug. 20, 1924, Joya Sherrill originally aspired to be a writer. While she was still in high school, her father arranged through a mutual friend for her to meet Duke Ellington so she could sing him the lyrics she had written to his theme song, “Take the ‘A’ Train.”

Impressed by her performance, he asked her to “keep in touch” because he could “always use a good singer in the band,” she recalled in an interview with The New York Times in 1979. “I thought that was just flattery,” she said, but six months later he offered to hire her when she finished high school. She joined the band in July 1942.

She left briefly to attend Wilberforce University, but returned in 1944 and remained until 1946, when she left again to marry Richard Guilmenot, a construction superintendent.

Mr. Guilmenot died in 1989. In addition to her son, of Great Neck, she is survived by a daughter, Alice Richelle Guilmenot LeNoir, of Manhattan; a sister, Alice Kinnebrew of Atlanta; and two grandchildren.

Although she left the Ellington band and the road, her son said, Ms. Sherrill never stopped singing. She performed and recorded under her own name and continued to work with Ellington on occasion, most notably on his television special “A Drum Is a Woman” in 1957.

“I never really left the band,” she said in 1979. “Duke would call me for jobs once a year at least.”

In 1962, Ms. Sherrill was the singer in a band assembled by Benny Goodman that performed throughout the Soviet Union. The Goodman tour, sponsored by the State Department, was the first by an American jazz ensemble behind the Iron Curtain.

Ms. Sherrill’s rendition of a Russian folk song, “Katyusha,” was a regular feature of Goodman’s concerts and provoked some controversy. An audience in Georgia hooted its disapproval when she sang it, apparently because she was singing in Russian. The Soviet newspaper Izvestia printed a letter attacking her for singing the song in an “unduly familiar cabaret style.”

In 1970, Ms. Sherrill became the host of a children’s show on the New York television station WPIX, originally called “Time for Joya” and later revamped to emphasize education and retitled “Joya’s Fun School.” Although she taped only a few years’ worth of original episodes, the show continued to be seen in reruns until 1982.

“Time for Joya” was far from a prime-time network show, but it managed to snag at least one big-name guest: Duke Ellington, who played piano, told stories and joked with the studio audience of youngsters on a memorable episode in 1970. It was one of his last television appearances.

July 2010 WNCU eNewsletter

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Terell Stafford

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows Stafford the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Since the mid-1990’s Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, the Kenny Barron Sextet, the Frank Wess Quintet, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, the Clayton Brothers Quintet, and the Jon Faddis Orchestra. Currently, he is a member of the GRAMMY award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as well as drummer Matt Wilson’s group, “Arts and Crafts,” and drummer Alvin Queen’s group, “Alvin Queen and the Organics.” Stafford has recorded five albums as a leader, including the critically acclaimed Taking Chances (MaxJazz 2007), and is heard on over 80 albums as a sideman.

An educator as well as a performer, Stafford currently holds the positions of Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia and is a clinician for the prestigious Vail Foundation in Colorado and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Program. He has also served as a member of the faculty for the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in New York.

Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.