Archive for April, 2012

Jazz at Lincoln Center Names a New Executive Director

Friday, April 27th, 2012

The trustees of Jazz at Lincoln Center have reached into the ranks of business leaders in the digital media sector for a new executive director, hiring Greg Scholl, a former NBC Universal executive with a background in digital music distribution, to manage the nonprofit arts institution.

Mr. Scholl, 42, will on June 1 replace Adrian Ellis, who resigned in January after steering the organization through a turbulent period of growth.   Mr. Scholl’s appointment is part of a reorganization being carried out by Wynton Marsalis, the jazz trumpeter and artistic director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, often referred to by the initials J.A.L.C.

Mr. Marsalis has in the past focused mostly on programming concerts and leading the organization’s orchestra, but he said in a press release this week that he wanted to take “formal responsibility for longterm strategic planning and for leading J.A.L.C. into a new era of innovation.”

Mr. Scholl said the position was a chance for him to return to the music world, where he spent much of his career as a digital distributor for independent labels. He is an avid fan of American roots music, he said, and has collected more than 2,000 78 rpm recordings, stretching from pre-war blues to bebop.

“Personally blues, jazz and American roots music are things I am very passionate about,” he said. “I looked around at NBC and said: ‘I think I’m the only guy here that’s hosting 78 rpm listening parties. Maybe this is something I should take seriously as a philosophical career change rather than a business career change.’ And I’m incredibly excited about it.”

Mr. Scholl’s arrival comes as the longtime chairwoman of the board of trustees, Lisa Schiff, a jazz label owner, is stepping down and Robert J. Appel, a financier and philanthropist, has been elected to lead the board.

Mr. Marsalis has yet to release details of his reorganization plans, but there have been some clues. He recently created a new position of general manager to oversee day to day operations, and, at a fund-raising dinner last week, he said he wanted to tighten the chain of command at the institution, without elaborating.  “I want the way we run to be just like the way a band runs,” he said.  He has also expressed an interest finding ways to distribute the organizations’ large archive of recordings, officials inside the nonprofit say.

Mr. Scholl brings expertise in both social media and digital music distribution to the job.   Since 2009, he has overseen the digital operations at NBC’s local television stations, fashioning a successful strategy to build audiences through social media.  He was responsible for the introduction of several new mobile applications for smart phones and tablets, as well as for designing online entertainment and news programs.

Before going to NBC, Mr. Scholl was the president and chief executive of The Orchard, a company that bought music from independent and foreign labels then sold it to iTunes and other digital music services.  There he pioneered many marketing and distribution practices for digital music and videos. He remains a recognized leader in that field.

Asked about his plans for the organization, Mr. Scholl said he had some ideas, but did not want to reveal them yet.  He added he would rather “talk about stuff we did, not stuff we are going to do.”

April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friday, April 27th, 2012 will be presenting Live Video Broadcasts of these performances:

April 27 – UNESCO, Paris: 8pm(CET)/2pm(EDT)
April 30 – Congo Square, New Orleans: 8am(EDT)
April 30 – United Nations, New York: 7:30pm(EDT)

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, co-chair of International Jazz Day, will be joined in New Orleans by jazz luminaries Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Treme Brass Band, and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts.

New York artists include Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri (Israel), Jack DeJohnette, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hussain (India), Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Hiromi (Japan), and others.

Confirmed Co-Hosts include Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones in New York.

Early Voting at Student Union

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Early voting for the May 8 North Carolina primary election has begun at the on-campus precinct in the A.E. Student Union. Durham County residents can register and vote during the times listed below. Additional information can be found on the Durham County Board of Elections website.

April 27 – 28, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
April 29, noon to 4 p.m.
April 30 – May 2, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
May 3 – 4, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
May 5, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

iPad Giveaway

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

We are days away from conducting our Spring Fest pledge drive which begins on April 11 and simultaneously we’re conducting a great drawing just for you!

You have an opportunity to pledge on behalf our campaign to keep award winning programming accessible on our airwaves, and you also have a chance to participate in our drawing to win a new 16 GB Wifi iPad!  Either way it is a win-win situation for you.

Pledge today and you are automatically entered in the drawing.  We’ll draw the name of one lucky winner on Monday, April 30, at noon.

If  you have already given through our online service or by mail, please accept our sincere thanks. You are already entered into the drawing.

*No pledge is necessary to enter into the drawing.

WNCU’s iPad Giveaway Official Rules

HOW TO ENTER THE ABOVE GIVEAWAY: No contribution or purchase is necessary.  Call (919) 560-9628 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. EST Friday April 11, 2012 through Friday, April 20, 2012. Donate online between 7:00am April 11, 2012 until April 20, 2012 11:59 p.m.  EST.  Limit one (1) entry per person. Multiple entries, if discovered, will be disqualified.

ELIGIBILITY: Anyone 21 or over can enter the giveaway except persons who on or after December 1, 2011, were or are employees of WNCU 90.7 FM, their immediate family, or persons living in the same household. The drawing is open to any United States resident 21 or older. Void where prohibited by law.

PRIZE: One (1) prize winner will receive one (1) iPad.  The iPad becomes the sole responsibility of the winner when it is collected.  WNCU is not responsible for any repairs, maintenance and/or warranty issues and the like.

PRIZE REDEMPTION: To redeem the prize, simply come to the WNCU Office between business hours 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Present official identification such as a driver’s license or a passport to verify your information.  WNCU will release the prize on May 30, 2012.

Winner is responsible for any and all costs associated with using the prize, including but not limited to maintenance. Prize is nontransferable, is not good for cash, and cannot be exchanged for other merchandise. Winners will receive delivery of the prize as arranged by WNCU.
SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNER: Every eligible entry will be included in the drawing. On Monday, April 30, 2012 one (1) winner and three (3) back up names will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries at 12 noon. The winner will be notified by e-mail and/or phone.

If WNCU 90. 7 FM is unable to reach a winner or a winner is unable to accept the prize by 6:00 p.m. EST on Monday, May 7, 2012, then that unawarded prize will go to the first available back up thereof until the prize is awarded. The rules detailing giveaway eligibility and method of selecting winners are on file at WNCU 90.7 FM. The chances of winning are dependent upon the number of eligible entries.

GENERAL: By participating in this Giveaway, participants agree to be bound by the Official Rules and that WNCU 90.7 FM and related organizations, their agents and employees have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind which result from use of the prize, or by participation in the giveaway. WNCU 90.7 FM or its related organizations may use winner’s name and likeness for advertising, fundraising, promotional or publicity purposes without further compensation. WNCU would like to photograph winner and prize for online marketing purposes only.  Winner will be asked to sign a release form agreeing to be photographed and put on WNCU’s website.  This is not required, but most appreciated.  Expenses as a result of winning this prize are the responsibility of the winner.

RESTRICTIONS: By participating in this iPad Giveaway, a participant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules, and by all decisions of the giveaway sponsor.

SPONSOR:  WNCU 90.7 FM, 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707, 919-530-7445.

Facts You Should Know

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
  • The original air conditioners were installed in 1995, so they are 17 years old. This is generally beyond normal service life.
  • Our expenses to keep these older units running has increased dramatically as they have aged.
  • If one of the two fail and the outside temperature is over 90 degrees, we have to reduce power to prevent the building from overheating. If they both fail no matter what the outside temperature is, the station needs to shut down.
  • Our plan is to replace both old units and add a thermostatically controlled exhaust fan. If the outside temperature is no higher than 95 degrees, the fan allows us to keep heat from rising without limit in the building and we can stay on the air.
  • Newer units more efficient, cut power bill.
  • Our backup transmitter system now requires that we have the HD reject load which used to be outside now be inside. This increases our heat load some while running on our backup system, so we need the air conditioning able to run at full capacity. Our old units will be marginal.
  • We need to upgrade our thermostatic controls to digital controls, we are looking into being able to set them remotely to take outside conditions into account when establishing set points, we might run 75 degrees during cool weather, but allow inside temperatures to rise to 85 degrees if it is very hot out to reduce load on our air conditioners and reduce power consumption.

Marcus Roberts

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Marcus Roberts, Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies, is widely known as one of the preeminent American jazz pianists of his generation.

Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards and competitions, including the 1982 Young Artist’s Award at the National Association of Jazz Educators’ conference and the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement in 1998.

During the first fifteen years of his career, he completed over thirty recordings; and all, whether solo piano, with trio, big band, or symphony orchestra, have been critically acclaimed. His 1996 recording, Portraits in Blue, was the first to showcase the art of jazz improvisation within a traditional classical setting, and he continues to pursue new ways to bring the sounds of jazz and classical music together.

Mr. Roberts is an active jazz educator who has developed numerous outreach and residency programs for children of all ages. He has been instrumental to the training and development of a number of young musicians, including such great jazz artists as trumpeters Marcus Printup and Nicholas Payton, trombonist Ronald Westray, and drummer Jason Marsalis.

One of Roberts’ greatest achievements is the creation of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. This approach relies on all musicians sharing equally in shaping the direction of the music through changing its tempo, mood, texture, or form by using a system of musical cues and flexible forms. Their quick musical reflexes and creative imagination give Roberts’ trio a style that is powerful, rhythmic, and free.

Roberts’ recent honors include receiving a commissioning award from Chamber Music America, producing a Franco-American celebration of Louis Armstrong, and serving as an Artist-in-Residence for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Roberts has had a long and enjoyable collaborative relationship with Maestro Seiji Ozawa (formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), performing under his direction on many occasions. Their most recent collaboration was for the 2003 European premiere of Roberts’ new arrangement of Gershwin’s “Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra” with the Berlin Philharmonic at their annual Waldbühne concert. Professor Roberts received his B.A. degree from Florida State University.