NEWARK, NJ: Add some jazz and pizazz to your New Year’s Eve with Toast of the Nation, the annual, all-night series of performances ringing in 2013 from east to west, produced by WBGO and NPR Music for NPR stations, Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and NPR Worldwide. Swing in the new year December 31 from 9:00 pm – 5:00 am (ET) with John Scofield’s Überjam Band, Henry Cole & The Afrobeat Collective, Wynton Marsalis and Vince Giordano Playing Music of Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, Dee Alexander’s Funkin’ with Electric Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown, a reprise of Clark Terry & the late Red Holloway, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.
There will be countdowns to midnight for listeners in Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific Time as NPR Music and Newark, NJ, NPR member station WBGO-Jazz 88.3 FM/wbgo.org join forces to co-produce the swinging, eight-hour jazz celebration with partner WGBH Boston Public Radio. For local NPR stations and broadcast times, visit wbgo.org/toast, where you can also stream the broadcast live on New Year’s Eve.
Toast of the Nation gets you on the dance floor with a pulsating potpourri of performances from jazz spots across the country, including the live celebration at the elegant Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Checkout at the new venue, 92Y Tribeca; the Berklee Performance Center at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston; Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center and Jazz Showcase; and – from California – the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival, one of the most beautiful and comprehensive festivals in the United States. The two New York and one Monterey segments will air in DTS Neural Surround Sound, putting listeners in front row seats at the party.
WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton anchors the all-night broadcast and MC’s the live set from Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City.
Usher out 2012 and ring in 2013 with:
9:00 pm – John Scofield’s Überjam, at Berklee Performance Center, presented by Berklee College of Music with MC Eric Jackson of WGBH Boston. Scofield, whose soul-twanged guitar strains are the most distinguished of his generation, gained fame with Miles Davis in the eighties. On this gig, he swings Überjam – his fusion, funk and acid-jazz jam quartet, dedicated to the groove.
10:00 pm – Henry Cole and The Afrobeat Collective, Live from The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca, New York City. WBGO’s Josh Jackson MC’s the set with young Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole and his 11-piece band. They celebrate the release of the CD Roots Before Branches. The Afrobeat Collective conjures up the Motherland pulses with three-horn harmony, freestyle vocals and Latin percussion. (in Surround Sound)
11:00 pm – Wynton Marsalis & Vince Giordano, The Louis Armstrong Continuum: Music of the Hot Fives and Sevens, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Armstrong-inspired trumpeter Wynton Marsalis teams with Big Apple swing bandleader Vince Giordano – who was featured on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire – to recreate the music of jazz’s first superband: The Hot Fives and Sevens of the late 1920s, that featured Louis and Lil Hardin Armstrong and Earl “Fatha” Hines. (Live/in Surround Sound)
12:30 am – Dee Alexander’s Funkin’ with Electric Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown, at the South Shore Cultural Center presented by Jazz Institute of Chicago. This Windy City vocal “Dee-va” makes a powerful, personal statement about two icons of modern music. Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World” are highlights. Alexander’s band features guitar, cello and two basses. Richard Steele MC’s.
1:30 am – Reprise: Clark Terry and the late Red Holloway rang in 1990 at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago and on the air on New Year’s Eve Coast to Coast from WBGO and NPR. Their midnight features one of the most swinging versions of “Auld Lang Syne” ever on the air. One of the few artists to work with Count Basie and Duke Ellington, trumpeter Clark Terry’s burnished brass has been lighting the jazz torch for over seven decades. He’s joined on this date by the late, deep-toned, blues-bathed Red Holloway (1927-2012), a long-time cohort of Terry, and a sideman with Sonny Stitt, Dakota Staton and Memphis Slim.
2:30 am – Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, at the 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival. The West Coast Sound is described as “light,” but don’t tell that to big bandleader, composer and current GRAMMY Award nominee, arranger Gordon Goodwin. His Big Phat Band from Los Angeles was originally created for a record date in 1999, and has grown into bigger and better things, including Goodwin’s arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue” (a GRAMMY winner) and his original “Hunting Wabbits” – both highlights of this set. (in Surround Sound)
3:15 am – More from John Scofield’s Überjam at Berklee Performance Center
4:00 am – Henry Cole and The Afrobeat Collective at from The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca
Toast of the Nation repeats on New Year’s Day on WBGO noon to 8pm. The performances will be available for online listening after January 3, 2013, at nprmusic.org/toastofthenation.
Toast of the Nation was first broadcast by NPR on December 31, 1977, and continuously since then. The 2004 edition was the highest-fidelity live radio broadcast in history, transmitting in 5.1 discrete digital surround sound. The following year, Toast of the Nation became the first live national music program broadcast from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and featured numerous local artists who hadn’t performed in their hometown since the disaster.
Toast of the Nation is produced by Becca Pulliam, who also produces the weekly series JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, NJ. Surround Sound mixes are by JazzSet’s Duke Markos. Executive Producer is Thurston Briscoe III.