NEWARK, NJ: the jazz bee, WBGO’s new showcase for emerging jazz artists, is now being broadcast digitally 24 hours a day at 88.3 HD-2 in the New York City area and worldwide through wbgo.org, it was announced by Cephas Bowles, President and Chief Executive Officer of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The new channel is also a featured stream at NPRMusic.org, and will be syndicated to stations nationwide through the Public Radio Exchange.
Funded by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional support from WBGO Members, the jazz bee doubles the number of hours that WBGO broadcasts jazz daily, and provides an opportunity to introduce listeners to a wide variety of artists and styles.
“Jazz music is evolving continuously and WBGO is always looking for, listening to and championing new music and artists to share with our audience, ” said Bowles. “While WBGO could not be where we are without presenting established jazz artists, we cannot go into the future without acknowledging emerging music and musicians. We are pleased and proud to do both.”
the jazz bee primarily plays new releases, by young and emerging artists as well as tracks by established jazz icons. This format offers listeners the chance to hear rising jazz stars before they become household names, and makes connections between new sounds and the jazz tradition.
Thurston Briscoe, WBGO’s Vice President of Programming and Production, explained the title for WBGO HD-2, “Jazz is a gathering of people who unite as a community to express themselves musically. Historically, such gatherings have been called ‘bees.’ It is with a nod to that tradition that we name our second stream – a gathering of emerging musicians to create jazz and entertain – the jazz bee.”
Among the young artists who have been featured on the jazz bee are vibraphonist Warren Wolf, drummer Eric Harland and trumpeter Christian Scott. Jazz icons have included trumpeter Miles Davis and alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, as well as artists active on the scene today, such as trombonist Steve Turre and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.
the jazz bee also features exclusive interviews with young and emerging artists. Among the first interviews was a conversation with pianist Robert Glasper, who introduced tracks from his recent CD Black Radio, and explained how he seeks to combine influences from Hip Hop with the works of jazz masters, such as Oscar Peterson and Mulgrew Miller. Glasper is certainly on the radar of jazz aficionados – he is a five-time winner on the 60th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll, including citations for Rising Star Jazz Artist, Rising Star Jazz Group and Rising Star Piano.
“One hallmark of the rising generation in jazz is their curiosity, ” said Tim Wilkins, WBGO’s digital content manager. “Today’s young artists know where their music comes from, and often combine their influences in surprising ways. There is incredible creativity in the rising generation of jazz talent and we want you to hear where jazz is going next.”
HD Radio is a free service which enables stations to broadcast multiple signals over the air with enhanced digital fidelity. In addition to the jazz bee, WBGO broadcasts its FM signal digitally in the New York Metro area at 88.3 HD1. HD Radio car and home tuners are available through major retailers. Listeners worldwide can hear WBGO's two music streams by selecting Listen Now" at wbgo.org, or through music players on their computer or mobile device." the jazz bee also will offer complementary content at wbgo.org/jazzbee, including interviews, videos and articles which highlight different aspects of the emerging jazz scene. the jazz bee will feature the best jazz from places such as Brooklyn, Newport and Havana.
Founded in 1979, Newark Public Radio, Inc. is a publicly supported cultural institution that champions jazz at WBGO 88.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey and worldwide via wbgo.org. WBGO is the recognized world leader in jazz radio and one of the most respected jazz presenters in the country, and offers award-winning news and innovative children’s programs. Beyond reaching 400, 000 weekly listeners (including 17, 000 contributing members) on air, online and via mobile devices, WBGO presents live broadcasts from prestigious jazz venues and produces acclaimed programs for NPR heard by millions. WBGO is Jazz Week magazine’s 2010 Major Market Station of the Year.