Archive for November, 2010

New Sunday Lineup

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Starting Sunday, December 5, WNCU will air a new program, European Jazz Stage from 7-8pm. And back by popular demand, from NPR, Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson will air at 8pm. From 9-10pm, all classic jazz. At 10, Bob Parlocha takes you through the overnight hours.

European Jazz Stage

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

From the great stages of Europe, Radio Netherlands Worldwide brings you this year’s European Jazz Stage with host Daniel Frankl. Go on a jazz vacation – 13 hours of performances beckon from venues across the continent including the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival. And we’ll bring jazz names you may not have heard including Han Bennink, Fay Claassen, Till Brönner and more. Don’t let the consonants and accents faze you — these musicians swing. Tune in Sunday night at 7pm.

Toast of the Nation – New Year’s Eve on WNCU

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Count down, sing along, and dance to live music all night long. Travel from coast to coast with four celebrations of midnight from time zone to time zone. It’s the perfect holiday special for any New Year’s party.

Here’s the latest rundown, with four midnights from coast to coast. Rhonda Hamilton anchors all night from Party Central, NPR in Washington, D.C.

  • 8 pm ET – The Lionel Loueke trio, Live from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Born in the tiny West African nation of Benin, guitarist Loueke’s musical pursuit has taken him to Ivory Coast, Paris, Berklee College, and Herbie Hancock’s band. The guitarist describes himself as “a jazz artist with some different talents” including his voice and a palette of unusual techniques.
  • Produced by 89.7 WGBH.
  • 9 pm ET – A preview of Toast of the Nation and highlights from the 2010 Newport Jazz Festival.
  • 9:30 pm ET – The Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York with Nnenna Freelon, Live from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
  • Trumpet virtuoso Jon Faddis’ big band is the successor to the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002) – with all those great charts – and a multi-Grammy Award nominee on vocals. “Be sure to check out Nnenna Freelon … very hip music,” says Aretha Franklin.
  • 11 pm ET – A New Year’s Eve “Celebration in Swing,” Live from Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
  • Featuring Jimmy Heath, tenor and soprano saxophones, Nicholas Payton, trumpet, Cyrus Chestnut, piano, Benny Green, piano, Dezron Douglas, bass, and Willie Jones III, drums. Note the two pianos in this line-up. Inspired by house parties of yore with cheering friends and fans, we will ring in 2011 ET at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
  • Produced by WBGO Jazz 88.
  • 12:15 am ET – Battle of the Saxes: Von Freeman vs. Edward Peterson Live from the Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago.
  • It’s friendly. Freeman, the jazz legend who never left Chicago, and Petersen will cross horns, backed by the solid trio of Willie Pickens on piano, Brian Sandstrom on bass, and Robert Shy on drums. For their consecutive New Year’s Eve at the Green Milll, the winds will blow!
  • 1:15 am ET – J.D. Allen Trio at Dazzle in Denver, from the September 2010 Public Radio Program Directors conference.
  • Highlights from The Checkout’s PRPD party feature J.D. Allen on tenor, Ameen Saleem on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums – a piano-free trio that is “strong, bracing, and exactly right” (The New York Times). This party’s thrown and hosted by The Checkout’s Josh Jackson. Produced by WBGO with KUVO Jazz 89, Denver.
  • 1:45 am ET – Dianne Reeves, Live from Yoshi’s in San Francisco
    For midnight Pacific Time, the four-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist and her band are part Brazilian, deeply jazz – Romero Lubambo, guitar; Peter Martin, piano; Reginald Veal, bass; Terreon Gully, drums.
  • 3:15 am ET: Reprise of The Lionel Loueke trio, Live from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • 3:59 am ET – The party’s over, Happy New Year!

Nat Adderley Thanksgiving Special

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Nat Adderley was a top flight trumpet and cornet player. But he spent most of his career in the shadow of his older brother, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Nat ran the band business and wrote many of their hits. When Cannonball died, Nat carried on, not only with the band, but also with the family tradition of educating the next generation.

Tune in to WNCU on Thursday, November 25, at 4pm to hear NPR’s Jazz Profiles on Nat Adderley.

NCCU Jazz Studies Program’s Annual Fall Artist Series

Monday, November 8th, 2010

North Carolina Central University’s Jazz Studies Program’s Annual Fall Artist Series set for Friday, November 19, 8 p.m. in the B.N. Duke Auditorium.

Pianist and composer Mulgrew Miller will perform with the NCCU Jazz Ensemble, Combo Band, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

Miller will hold a master class at 2 p.m. in the Band Room, located in the B.N. Duke Annex. The master class is open to the public and is free of charge.

Purchase your tickets by calling (919) 530-6486 or stopping by the A.E Student Union, Suite 125, from 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Monday – Saturday, 2 – 8:30 p.m., Sunday.

George Benson

Monday, November 1st, 2010

George Benson is at the center of a unique musical story that stretches all the way back to his early childhood in Pittsburgh. At age eight, he was already singing and playing the ukulele in local nightclubs. By his teenage years, he had switched from ukulele to guitar, and had stopped singing to focus more on his instrumental work. His musical sensibilities shifted toward jazz, due to his exposure to records by jazz legends Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Charlie Parker.

By the early ’60s, Benson had joined jazz organist Jack McDuff’s band – a consummate musician who took many young players on the road to help fortify their technique. “Jack turned me on to a lot of stuff,” muses Benson. “A lot of the jazz tunes we played together were danceable, and that furthered my understanding of what people wanted. When jazz was danceable, it was king. The intellectual stuff that came later on – Charlie Parker and all that – turned toward a brainier sound. That was good, and I dug it”.

He left to form his own band and launch his solo career with the 1964 album, The New Boss Guitar (a nod to Montgomery’s album, Boss Guitar, released just a year earlier). The album caught the attention of legendary talent scout John Hammond. Benson recorded two solo albums for Columbia and played session dates for numerous other artists, including Miles Davis’ 1968 opus, Miles in the Sky.

He left Columbia in the late ’60s and recorded on a number of labels for the next several years. All the while, he’d been looking for a way to redevelop his vocals and make them part of his overall repertoire, but most of the producers and record executives at the time dismissed the idea, which became a source of growing frustration. But producer Tommy LiPuma saw the idea differently, and the result was Breezin’, the 1976 blockbuster pop album that marked the beginning of a long association with Warner Brothers. The first Benson record to achieve platinum sales, Breezin’ yielded a number of hits, including the instrumental title track, the update of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade” and “Give Me The Night.”

Throughout the remainder of the ’70s and into the ’80s, Benson and LiPuma crafted a string of great pop records that collectively cemented the guitarist’s global reputation as a singer. In the mid-’90s, Benson followed LiPuma to the GRP label, where the two basically picked up where they’d left off at Warner Brothers.

Since the start of the millennium, Benson has shown no signs of slowing down and has a heavy touring schedule.