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

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!