Archive for April, 2011

May is Latin Jazz month at WNCU

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

For the first time in Eddie Palmieri’s 50-year history as a musician he hosts four hour-long programs, from May 9 – 12, without news breaks.

The eight-time GRAMMY® award winner hosts Caliente Latin Jazz with Eddie Palmieri and will share with us an insight into the world of jazz and Latin jazz through his music.

Latin jazz lovers new and old will enjoy great musicianship, collaboration and conversation provided with both humor and passion by Eddie and his special guests including Monty Alexander, David Sanchez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Brian Lynch, Joe Locke and Conrad Herwig. The musical selections include many of Palmieri’s original compositions as well as standards like Tin Tin Deo and In Walked Bud!

Pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader Eddie Palmieri, who celebrated his 50th year as a professional musician in 2005, was the recipient of a 2006 Grammy in the Latin Jazz category for his 2005 release “Listen Here!” his eighth Grammy and first recording to include jazz standards.

Born in Spanish Harlem in 1936, Palmieri began piano studies at an early age, as did his celebrated older brother, the late salsa legend and pianist Charlie Palmieri. For Latin New Yorkers of Eddie’s generation, music was a vehicle out of the barrio. Possessed by a desire to play the drums, Palmieri joined his uncle’s orchestra at age 13, where he played the timbales. Says Palmieri, “By 15, it was good-bye timbales and back to the piano until this day. I’m a frustrated percussionist, so I take it out on the piano.”

Palmieri remains a powerhouse of brilliance and sound that has stirred audiences for over 50 years, captivating and elevating the senses while taking listeners down paths of intensity to a place where there are no musical boundaries.


Monday, 5/9, 9pm – “The Melodic Eddie” with David Sanchez
Tuesday, 5/10, 9pm – “The Original Rhythms” with special guests Giovanni Hidalgo and Brian Lynch
Wednesday, 5/11, 9pm – “Caribbean Unity, It’s About the Riddim” with Monty Alexander
Thursday, 5/12, 9pm – “El Sonido Nuevo Revisited” with guests Joe Locke and Conrad Herwig

“Inspiring Hearts” Stops in Durham

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Join bassist Bernard Harris and Marvin Mumford as they travel the country to spread a musical message of health and healing to hearts and souls all across hospitals in America. Their musical message has been a reoccurring request to the patients at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. The musical inspiration that will be delivered through the musicians will encourage the hearts of patients, family and staff of the hospital from Georgia to North Carolina.

Tour Dates

4/18 Cape Fear Hospital Fayetteville NC

4/18 Calvary Chapel Fayetteville NC

4/19 Durham Regional Hospital Durham NC

4/19 Durham Urban Ministries Shelter, Durham NC

4/20 INSP Charlotte, NC

4/20 United Family Services Shelter For Battered Women, Charlotte NC

4/20 Levine Chrldren’s Hospital, Charlotte NC

4/20 Borders Bookstore Charlotte NC

4/21 Alamance Regional Hospital Alamance County

4/21 Moses Cone Hospital, Greensboro NC

4/21 Villiage at Brookwood in Alamance County

4/21 First Presbyterian Hot Meals & Hope Shelter, Greensboro NC

4/22 WakeMed, Raleigh NC

4/22 Raleigh Salvation Army Shelter for Wonmen and Children

4/22 GiGi’s Bistro Good Friday Jam, Youngsville NC

To learn more about the artists, visit or

CEO of Psychologist Group to Address NCCU’s First Graduate and Professional School Commencement

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Norman B. Anderson, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association and a North Carolina Central University alumnus, will deliver the commencement address at the university’s inaugural ceremony for graduate and professional students on May 13.

Anderson was named the association’s CEO in 2003. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional association for psychologists in the world.

This year for the first time, NCCU will hold separate commencements for undergraduates and for master’s and professional students. The upper-level degrees will be awarded at 3 p.m. in McDougald –McLendon Gymnasium on Lawson Street.

The speaker for the undergraduate ceremony — on May 14 at 8 a.m. in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium — will be announced later.

NCCU will confer about 590 undergraduate, 300 graduate and 160 law degrees during the two weekend ceremonies.

“Dr. Anderson has been in the forefront of behavioral and social science research in the United States for decades,” said NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms. “As a product of our university, he offers graduate and professional students an inspiring case study, combining success with service to society. We are deeply gratified that he will deliver our first graduate-level commencement address.”

Anderson earned his undergraduate degree in psychology at NCCU in 1977, and then master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He took additional clinical and research training at the schools of medicine at Brown and Duke universities, including postdoctoral fellowships in psychophysiology and aging at Duke.

He has been a professor at both Duke University Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

As CEO of the American Psychological Association, Anderson manages a $112 million annual budget and a central office staff of more than 550 professionals. The Association’s membership is over 154,000 including psychologists, psychology students and teachers.

Before his APA tenure, Anderson was the founding associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in charge of behavioral and social sciences research, and was the first director of the institutes’ Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. He oversaw behavioral and social research across all of the then-24 NIH institutes and centers, including those conducting research in areas such as cancer, heart disease, mental health, diabetes and aging.

His research and writing on the effects of stress on biology and risk for hypertension have received several awards from scientific societies and universities. He is editor in chief the American Psychological Association’s flagship journal, American Psychologist and of The Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior. With his wife, writer P. Elizabeth Anderson, he authored a health book for lay audiences titled Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live.

NCCU and Local High School Band and Dancers to Open for Rebbie Jackson in Durham

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Rebbie Jackson, the eldest child of the Jackson family of musicians, is coming to Durham, North Carolina to headline a very important cause. Ms. Jackson, whose own daughter Yashi Brown, suffers from bipolar type 2 and other mental health issues is headlining the 2011 National Alliance on Mental Illness Pick Up The Phone Mental Health Awareness Concert Tour.

The tour moves into the Hayti Heritage Center at 7 p.m. and The NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform a special 45 minute set to kick off the night while the South Durham High School dancers and the Green Hope High School Jazz Band will also perform before Ms. Jackson takes center stage to perform notable Jackson favorites such as her own “Centipede,” and Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World,” “Rock With You,” the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground),” and others.

Rebbie Jackson first performed on stage with her siblings during shows in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in 1974, before subsequently appearing in the television series The Jacksons.

At age 34, Jackson released her debut album Centipede (1984). The album featured songs written by Smokey Robinson, Prince and her younger brother Michael, whose contribution (the title track “Centipede”) became Rebbie’s most successful single release. By the end of the 1980s, the singer had released two more albums in quick succession: Reaction (1986) and R U Tuff Enuff (1988).

Rebbie Jackson returned with the 1998 album Yours Faithfully. The production of the album, her last to date, had the singer collaborate with artists and producers such as Men of Vizion’s Spanky Williams, Keith Thomas and Eliot Kennedy. It also featured contributions from her children. Most notably, the album would feature the last time Michael Jackson ever recorded a duet with a family member on the memorable, yet un-released “Fly Away.”

Now, the eldest of the Jackson clan and the caretaker to Michael, Janet, and the others is taking on the biggest and most fulfilling challenge of her long and storied career.

Mental illness is a major problem in our community as it is in others. A major problem as to why many don’t seek help is the stigma, the embarrassment that so many feel.

Rebbie is delighted to announce that she is headlining a major tour and partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help raise awareness to various mental illnesses. Ms. Jackson’s concert tour has been dubbed the “2011 Rebbie Jackson Pick Up The Phone Mental Health Awareness Tour.”

Thus far the tour has gained national attention with Ms. Jackson and her daughter, Yashi Brown who suffers from bipolar disorder, being interviewed on ABC’s “The View,” and NBC’s “Today Show.”

National and local coverage is expected at each of the show’s planned 40 stops in U.S. cities.

Rebbie invites all to come join us for a special event that will help raise awareness to Depression, BiPolar, Mental Illness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Autism, Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Suicide.


Keeping the Signal Alive Campaign

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

We are grateful for your support as WNCU approaches our 16th year of broadcasting! You have truly made a difference in the daily operations and progress of WNCU over the years. It is because of listeners like you, that we have been able to grow technologically, despite the many budget cuts. WNCU is now HD compliant with both of our studio facilities thanks to your unwavering support. And we are optimistic, as we solicit your additional gift towards our “Keeping the Signal Alive Campaign”.

WNCU has been presented with an awesome opportunity to receive an $80,000 matching grant for the acquisition of a new transmitter! And after 16 years of service, the current transmitter is in need of a major upgrade and overhaul, so this comes at a great time.

WNCU is kicking off our “Keeping the Signal Alive Campaign” June 17 – 20, and asking the WNCU community to come together to raise $20,000 in donations. When we do, we will be able to take full advantage of this opportunity to secure the full funding needed for the new transmitter!

Your additional gift today will assist in expanding WNCU’s service area, and bring jazz to more of our neighbors around the region and assure that your signal remains clear and strong!

We need you to keep our signal strong and uninterrupted! Keep jazz alive today!

[Make your donation today]

Spring Fest: 15 Years and Counting – April 6-15

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Thus far, we have had an active year at WNCU! I am sure you are enjoying your longtime favorites like Democracy Now!, one of America’s most thought provoking radio news programs, accompanied by the familiar voice of BH Hudson Monday through Friday during the Morning Jazz program, along with Bob Parlocha overnight and specialty weekend programs like 8-Track Flashback, The Funk Show and Hallelujah Praise.

Most recently, the House of Representatives voted to defund nationally distributed programs such as Democracy Now!, Tell Me More, Piano Jazz, Jazz Profiles and Jazz at Lincoln Center to name a few. The bill still must pass the Senate and get the President’s signature before becoming a law.  However, today, this notion has cast some uncertainty on one of WNCU’s funding sources.

So, what does that mean? It means we need your help now more than ever. Spring Fest 2011 is right around the corner, April 6-15. We are optimistic that our loyal listeners will band together and give their most generous gifts in support of keeping their favorite programs alive.

Our members are a strong and reliable source of funding for WNCU. That is why, I’m asking you to consider your feelings about WNCU and the value that this public radio station has in your life.  If you believe in the mission of WNCU, now is the time to show your appreciation.

Please consider renewing your membership or giving an additional gift today. By doing so, you will ensure that we continue to do business as usual despite the possible congressional cuts.

I hope you will pledge a gift, right now, online or mail your gift to: WNCU Membership Department, PO Box 3659, Durham, NC 27702.

Thank you for listening to WNCU and for your support.

Lackisha S. Freeman
General Manager
90.7 WNCU-FM

Dizzy Gillespie

Friday, April 1st, 2011

With his great ballooning cheeks and trademark trumpet’s bell upturned at a 45-degree angle, Dizzy Gillespie easily has the most recognizable face in jazz.

Born John Birks Gillespie, Dizzy moved to Philadelphia with his family at age 18 and joined Frankie Fairfax’s band before moving on to New York City where he joined Teddy Hill’s big band in 1937. Later he played with all of the greats including Ella Fitzgerald. Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Earl Hines, and Billie Holliday. He met saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker in 1940 and soon was jamming with him, Thelonious Monk, and others. It was in this hothouse atmosphere of creativity that Dizzy and his cohorts astonished the world with their aggressive ornamentations, complex harmonic alterations, and rhythmic exploration that would soon be labeled “bebop.” “What they did was like nitroglycerine, electricity,” says Quincy Jones. “They broke all the rules and changed the world concert of American music.”

Not all audiences and critics fell immediately in love with these new, often strange sounds. Dizzy, however, was a natural public relations man for this music with his hair-raising technical virtuosity, harmonic adventurousness, and most of all, integrating showmanship. He was, in fact, the first jazz artist to be sent abroad under the auspices of the United States government, spreading American goodwill and good music around the world.

Dizzy’s legacy is probably best summed up by Dizzy himself in a statement that would sound a bit arrogant if it weren’t so probable: “The music of Charlie Parker and me laid a foundation for all the music that is being played now. . . . Our music is going to be the classical music of the future.”

And just how did Dizzy end up with that bizarre, trademark trumpet of his? The bent-bell trumpet got its start in 1953 when someone fell on his trumpet stand backstage. He liked the sound of the altered instrument so much that his trumpets were specially made from then on.

Learn more at