Archive for December, 2014

Visa Gift Card Giveaway Official Rules

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

HOW TO ENTER THE ABOVE GIVEAWAY: No contribution is necessary.  Call (919) 560-9628 between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST Friday December 12, 2014 through Sunday, December 14, 2014 or contact us through the web at Donate online between 8:00am December 12, 2014 until December 31, 2014 at 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 January 1, 2012, were or are current 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: Two (2) prize winners will receive one (1) $250 Visa Gift Card.  The Visa Gift Card becomes the sole responsibility of the winner when it is collected.  WNCU is not responsible for any fees, expiration and/or guarantee issues and the like.

PRIZE REDEMPTION: To redeem the prize, simply come to the WNCU Office between business hours 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday on or after January 6, 2015.  Present official identification such as a driver’s license or a passport to verify your information.  WNCU will release the prizes on January 6, 2015.

Winners responsible for any and all costs associated with using the prize, including but not limited to associated fees and the like. 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, January 5, 2015 two (2) winners and four (4) alternate 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 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 6, 2015, 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 Visa Gift Card 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.


WNCU Launches a New Show, “The Measure of Everyday Life”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

“The Measure of Everyday Life” is a weekly interview program hosted by Dr. Brian Southwell featuring social science researchers who endeavor to improve the human condition. It airs each Sunday night from 6:30 – 7 p.m. in the Durham listening area and a podcast of each show is available online the Tuesday following the original airing. The show is made possible by RTI International. Follow @MeasureRadio on Twitter for details and updates.

WNCU Pays Tribute to Gerald Wilson

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

gwilson2Gerald Wilson was a leader of big bands since the early 40s. His complex voicings, hard swinging and bop style arrangements made his big band the ultimate experience for some of the top names in jazz. You will often see noted artists as part of his sections on many recordings.

Wilson started off playing trumpet in the Jimmy Lunceford band and also was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s band and the Count Basie Orchestra.

In 1961, Wilson, as bandleader, partnered up with the Pacific Jazz recording label and had a string of hits. These bands had some of the most important players living on the west coast, like Harold Land, Teddy Edwards and Joe Pass.

In 2003, Wilson signed with Mack Avenue records and continued to record until his passing. His remarkable arrangements continue to amaze even the most educated musician. Who were always clamoring to be part of the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. At 95 years old, Wilson was still the top bandleader of our time.

WNCU is paying tribute to one of the legends of jazz. Gerald Wilson, bandleader, composer, arranger and trumpeter, our featured artist for December.

Gerald Wilson

Monday, December 1st, 2014

gwilson2Gerald Wilson is an unusually skillful, imaginative, and charismatic bandleader. His arrangements have distinctive, often complex voicings and harmonies, rooted in swing and bop, yet always forward-looking and energetic in tone. He likes to play around with structures, which contributes to the restless quality in much of his music, and he was one of the first arrangers to make use of Spanish influences.

He has been consistently able to attract top-rank musicians to his bands, who play with immaculate precision.

Wilson moved from Memphis to Detroit with his family in 1932, and studied music in high school and played with the Plantation Music Orchestra before undergoing the formative experience of his life, working with the Jimmie Lunceford band from 1939 to 1942.

Wilson learned his craft in the Lunceford band, after which he took off for Los Angeles to play with the bands of Les Hite, Benny Carter, and Willie Smith. Wilson organized his first big band in 1944, which sported an intriguing blend of swing and bop and featured musicians like Melba Liston and Snooky Young. But it only lasted three years, and after playing for Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie in 1947 and 1948, Wilson quit the music business for a while to try his hand in the grocery trade.

gwilson3In 1961, Wilson formed a new orchestra which made a string of successful albums for the Pacific Jazz label throughout the ’60s, featuring soloists like Harold Land, Teddy Edwards, Bud Shank, Jack Wilson, and Joe Pass. One tune that he wrote for the Moment of Truth album, “Viva Tirado” (later reprised on Live and Swinging) became a surprise hit single for the Latin rock group El Chicano in 1970.

Wilson continued to lead big bands off and on through the ’80s and ’90s, as well as running the orchestra for Redd Foxx’s NBC shows and serving as one of the Los Angeles jazz scene’s more revered elder statesmen. In 1995, he commemorated more than half-a-century as a leader by releasing State Street Sweet, a vigorous tribute to the durability of his work, and scoring a solid hit at the Playboy Jazz Festival.

In 1996, Wilson’s life’s work was archived by the Library of Congress, and in 1997 he completed Theme for Monterey, a piece commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival. In 2003 he recorded New York, New Sound, his debut for Mack Avenue Records, which went on receive a Grammy nomination in the “Best Large Jazz Ensemble” category. Several albums for Mack Avenue followed with In My Time in 2005, Monterey Moods in 2007, and Detroit in 2009. In 2011, Wilson released his fifth Mack Avenue album, the classical-themed Legacy.

NPR page:

12 Essential Wilson recordings:

Complete Pacific Jazz recordings:

Bio originally published at