Kids Jazz Concert Series: October 26 and November 2
TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival: November 4-10
General Election Coverage: November 5
Gateway Concert Series: November 6 and December 4
Champions of Jazz Gala: November 6
WBGO Art Gallery Photo Exhibit Now through December 31
NEWARK, NJ – Six months away from celebrating its 35th anniversary, Newark Public Radio/WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, the world’s preeminent, publicly-supported jazz and news radio station proudly sits in the heart of downtown Newark serving as the City’s beacon for music and news.
WBGO kicks off its Fall/Winter season with an exciting series of music, educational and cultural events while the station’s award-winning News Department continues to provide in-depth, often exclusive, coverage of Newark and beyond.
“As an anchor institution in Newark for more than three decades, WBGO is deeply committed to this city and all that happens in the state, ” says Amy Niles, Acting President and CEO of Jazz 88. “We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary in April 2014, by doing what we’ve always done since 1979 – providing the best in-depth news coverage and showcasing Newark’s outstanding jazz scene, along with its dynamic and diverse cultural, artistic and educational offerings.
“Although our tower is in Manhattan and we broadcast throughout the tri-state, metropolitan area as well as around the world via www.wbgo.org, we are proud to serve as the beacon for Newark through music and news, and we continually encourage patrons of the arts and history to cross the river to enjoy the culture here, ” continued Niles.
The WBGO News Department, which has won more than 60 Public Radio News Directors awards since the late ‘90s and countless other honors throughout the years, continues to provide in-depth reports through it daily newscasts and regular news programs. The station provided full coverage on the recent Senate Election and was on hand to congratulate and report on Mayor Cory Booker, who will become the State’s first African-American Senator. The news team also will lead the coverage of the General Election on Tuesday, November 5. Hosted by Andrew Meyer, coverage begins at 8:00 pm and the station will have reporters at all campaign headquarters.
Newark Today, the monthly call-in show hosted by Andrew Meyer continues to present guests from the local, county and state level talking about issues affecting Newark. WBGO’s News Department was cited by the Wall Street Journal (October 10, 2013) as one of the platforms on which Mayor Booker shared his passion to bring a Whole Foods store to Newark to fulfill his promise to provide more fresh food for the city. The Whole Foods Store is slated to open in Newark in 2016. WBGO covered the announcement of the new store, and always in the forefront, the focus of the October 10th Newark Today was, coincidentally, hunger and nutrition.
WBGO Journal, the half-hour hard-hitting, informative and fun news magazine, airs every Friday at 7:30 pm and has recently covered the dangers of driving while texting, the documentary on the legendary songwriter Doc Pomus, Newark’s new Teachers Village project, jitney bus service and more.
The award-winning Conversations with Allan Wolper and SportsJam with Doug Doyle air each Tuesday and Wednesday night respectively at 7:30 pm. From Jazz drummer Jeff Tain" Watts to World Series Champion Willie Wilson, who played high school baseball in Summit, SportsJam and its guests often show a connection between jazz and sports, but always provide a unique peek at the sports scene in Newark and beyond.
And, of course, there’s the music on WBGO, the source where listeners around the world turn to hear the best of Jazz, Blues, Latin and R & B from legendary and emerging artists. Highlighting the station’s passion and dedication to jazz not only on air, but also in the neighborhoods and city’s surrounding its Newark headquarters are key components to the station’s mission.
“WBGO is the area’s only 24-hour jazz source and the leading jazz content provider for NPR. Our announcers, as well as many of our off-air personnel, are arguably some of the most knowledgeable jazz aficionados in the world, ” says Niles. “They continue to provide brilliant presentations of the music and come up with amazing ideas such as WBGO Radar, which gives our listeners the opportunity to hear and purchase new CDs up to a week before they are released to the public. I am so proud of this entire team!”
WBGO has its hands on the pulse of all things jazz – from stellar gallery exhibits where jazz meets art to live music events around the area to building a new generation of jazz fans through free children’s concerts.
Celebrating the 20th season of the Kids Jazz Concert Series, WBGO not only presents top jazz and blues artists in performances tailor made for young people, but with the generous support of The Agnes Varis Trust, provides transportation assistance for organizations working with youth in Essex County. Well aware that some parents are not able to bring their children to concerts, even free ones, and groups that work with families on weekends cannot always afford buses, WBGO created the Transportation Fund to alleviate this barrier by giving groups funding to rent buses and provide a day of cultural enrichment for more kids. For additional information on transportation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (973) 624-8880, extension 248. There’s still time to enjoy this season’s Kids Jazz Concert Series, which features Ignacio Berroa at Newark Symphony Hall on October 26 (part of Newark’s Endless Arts October) and Victor Jones Orchestrio at Clinton Elementary School in Maplewood on November 2; both concerts start at noon.
The WBGO Art Gallery presents some of the best Jazz art in the area, featuring local and regional artists, many with national followings. The current exhibition, on display through December 31, is One More Time, Once: Photography by Tony Graves and George Wirt with photographs, large prints and colorful murals from the inaugural 2012 TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival.
WBGO again partners with NJPAC to co-present the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, named after Newark’s legendary tenor saxophonist. Now in its second year, the festival presents seven days of concerts, panels and workshops November 4 – 10. This year’s lineup includes legendary tenor saxophonist/composer/bandleader and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath; Brazilian pianist/composer producer Sergio Mendes; vocalists Dianne Reeves, Al Jarreau and Jeffrey Osborne; saxophonist Paquito d’Rivera; big band leader Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks; a tribute to Village Vanguard owner Lorraine Gordon; The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and more.
Partnering with Gateway 2 for the second year to bring free concerts to downtown Newark, WBGO produces the monthly Gateway Concert Series, across from Newark Penn Station, at noon on Wednesdays. The Dave Stryker Organ Trio will bring its exciting groove to the stage on November 6 with a swinging set that is perfect for this city that has long been known as a “jazz organ town.” Stryker’s concert takes place during the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival. The series continues on December 4, with the Steve Nelson Trio led by the vibraphonist from Pittsburgh whose New Jersey ties include receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers and teaching at Princeton.
Also on November 6 at NJPAC, jazz fans are invited to support the public jazz radio station at the 9th Annual WBGO Champions of Jazz Gala, which this year honors the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and WBGO’s own Cephas Bowles. The star-studded fundraiser features entertainment by Kenny Barron, Christian McBride & Inside Straight, Gretchen Parlato, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Ray Vega and Michael Wolff & Mike Clark, and Melissa Aldana, the 2013 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Saxophone Competition winner, followed by Rhythm Revue Dance Party with Felix Hernandez. The Jazz House Kids Ensemble will perform at the reception.
Bowles, who is on medical leave from his duties as WBGO’s President and CEO, is a proud Newark native with a notable reputation in public radio. Honored for his 20 years of leadership at WBGO, he has been a staunch advocate for public radio, both locally and nationally throughout his 40-year career. He led the charge for capital improvements to the station’s headquarters in Newark, as well as the Signal Improvement Project, which involved installing a new transmitter and antenna atop 4 Times Square in New York City.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is being honored for its exceptional work in the Newark Public School System through its program, Jazz in the Classrooms. The jazz education organization, founded in 1986 in memory of the renowned pianist/composer Thelonious Monk, nurtures the next generation of jazz greats by offering young musicians college-level training by internationally-recognized jazz artists. From its base in Washington, DC, the Institute is an essential forum for identifying the music's new voices, honoring its present and past masters and making the art of jazz available and comprehensible in concert halls and classrooms around the world.
The brainchild of an urban think tank whose members united in Newark to affect change after the riots of 1967, WBGO’s seasoned team continues to lead the way in the presentation of in-depth news and the best jazz parties – on and off the air – as it remains the perfect beacon to shine the light on Newark and beyond.