From the discovery of Niagara Falls to the War of 1812; from the Underground Railroad to the comedy of Lucille Ball; from the invention of the pacemaker to our struggles with ferocious winter storms; WBFO listeners are trekking through the fascinating history of the Buffalo region.
The station debuted a feature in November 2015 called Niagara Frontier Heritage Moments. This series of one-minute dramatizations showcases significant episodes in the annals of Western New York and the Niagara Peninsula.
Narrated by respected broadcast journalist Susan Banks and featuring the talents of Buffalo-area actors, musicians and sound technicians, each Heritage Moment brings to life the region’s most dramatic events. Some events are famous, some forgotten -- but all are part of the vast historical tapestry that has unfolded in this unique corner of the planet, where the United States meets Canada and the waters of the great inland sea plunge down the world’s most famous cataract.
Jeff Z. Klein, a Buffalo native who left The New York Times after 18 years as a reporter and editor, has been coordinating the Niagara Frontier Heritage Project. He noted that these minute-long “mini-dramas” focus on a variety of topics that range from civil rights and women’s rights, to Native American issues and the influx of immigrants.
“The compelling issues that are explored in these audio vignettes are as important in 2015 as they were one or two centuries ago,” said WBFO News Director Brian Meyer.
More than two dozen milestones in local history will be showcased over the next year.
This is a history of soldiers, housewives, artists and chieftains; drinkers, brawlers, lovers and heroes; immigrants and first responders; spies and athletes. And WBFO listeners can hear it all. The segments air throughout the week on “All Things Considered,” “Here and Now,” and “Weekend Edition.”
Jake Shimabukuro has singlehandedly redefined the ukulele. He performs the world's first Ukulele Concerto in its premiere season in concert with JoAnn Falletta and the BPO at Kleinhans Saturday November 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:30.
WBFO and Investigative Post have joined forces in a collaboration that will provide innovative news content to our listeners.
Beginning in November 2015, Investigative Post will begin producing in-depth stories and provide analysis on breaking news for the station. WBFO will broadcast the content while continuing to provide its own NPR news and coverage of local issues. Investigative Post reporters will also appear on WBFO’s “Press Pass,” which features interviews with journalists from local media outlets.
"Investigative Post has an impressive track record of providing in-depth perspectives on issues that are critical to Western New York’s future,” said WBFO News Director Brian Meyer. “This partnership will provide our listeners with additional insights on topics and events that affect their lives. We’re excited to launch this new collaboration.”
The collaboration will further strengthen the news content at WBFO, which has the largest radio newsroom staff in the region. The station’s staff has a combined 320 years of experience in journalism, much of it reporting in Western New York. The station has won more regional, state and awards in recent years than any other radio station in the area.
WBFO has a reputation of providing listeners with comprehensive, thought-provoking and balanced coverage of news that impacts their lives.
“Our partnership with WBFO adds an exciting dimension to our reporting. We’ve been producing stories for television, print and the web; our work for WBFO adds radio to the mix and makes us a complete multi-media outlet,” said Jim Heaney, editor and executive director of Investigative Post.
Investigative Post is the only nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Upstate New York. It partners with a number of news outlets in Western New York and other parts of New York State. They have earned a reputation for hard-hitting, high-impact stories since launching in February 2012. Its reporting on the Buffalo Billion prompted U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to launch a federal investigation into the awarding of developer contracts and for members of the community to demand more diversity in the employment of construction workers at Solar City. Other investigations spurred government efforts to clean up Scajaquada Creek and reverse a decision to open Gallagher Beach for swimming because of serious water pollution.
BPO guest pianist, 21 year old phenom Conrad Tao, talks about his lifelong wish to play John Adams' "Century Rolls," a work inspired by the sound of piano rolls. He recently spoke with WNED about his performances of that piano concerto at Kleinhans Music Hall, Saturday night, October 24 at 8pm and Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm.
Opera Week 2015 in Western New York closes out October with a wide variety of opera-related events, including a 7pm concert of Italian favorites offered by the Camerata di Sant'Antonio on Friday October 23 at Parkside Lutheran Church and an "Opera Buffs Inside Opera" lecture at 10:30 in Room 124 Rockwell Hall on Halloween Saturday. Contralto Suzanne Fatta spoke with WNED.