WBFO JazzWorks, a Buffalo Toronto Public Media station, offers classic recordings by many of the legends of American music, new music by emerging artists from all over the world and is presented by hosts who know the music and the artists. It is an entertaining, engaging tour of an American treasure, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is one-of-a-kind in the WNY and Southern Ontario areas and features localized information.
WBFO JazzWorks can be heard through an HD radio on the WBFO HD-2 channel, online stream and the Buffalo Toronto Public Media apps. Download the WBFO JazzWorks app for free to your smart phone and tablet in the iTunes or Google Play store today!
WBFO JazzWorks Playlist
Jazz Night in America
Gabrielle Cavassa live at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival | JAZZ NIGHT IN AMERICA
Gabrielle Cavassa, a 26-year-old vocalist from New Orleans and recent winner of the 2021 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, brought her quartet to play original ballads. Watch Cavassa perform highlights from her smooth set at the 2021 Exit Zero Jazz Festival, an event that began in 2012 and occurs twice a year in Cape May, the quaint shore town on the most southern tip of New Jersey.
00:07 "Jim" (Cavassa)
09:29 "19th & Judah" (Gabrielle Cavassa, Jamison Ross, Ryan Hanseler, Lex Warshawsky)
Gabrielle Cavassa: vocals
Ryan Hanseler: piano
Lex Warshawsky: bass
Kobie Watkins: drums
Melanie Charles: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.
Nikki Birch | February 4, 2021
Within the warm walls of Williamsburg Music Center, one of Brooklyn's last surviving black-owned jazz venues, Melanie Charles takes us on a journey that embodies the soul of jazz: exploration. A Brooklynite proud of her rich Haitian heritage, Charles is conscious of the giant shoulders upon which she stands and takes steps to both honor and advance this music. Behind her, smiling pictures of her guardian angels, Mary Lou Williams and Billie Holiday, encourage Charles while she and her musicians blend the mystique of Haitian folk music with the sorrowful optimism of negro spirituals and the free space for elevation that jazz improvisation allows.
In "Damballa Wedo," Charles channels her Haitian roots and delivers a modern twist of a traditional vodou song by Toto Bissainthe. She sings that when we seek transformation, we may become someone who those around us no longer recognize, but that the change is necessary and part of the ancestors' divine plan. "C'est bon, c'est bon," she sings.
Charles' arrangement of "Deep River" is inspired by her admiration for Sun Ra. The biography of the eccentric composer, arranger, musician, and early pioneer of Afrofuturism, Space Is The Place rests on a stand behind her. By really digging into his approach and arrangements and using his "spaceship setup as a performance guide," she breathes new life into this spiritual, injecting it with a potency that is simultaneously somber and otherworldly.
She finishes the set with "Dilemma," a new song written to find the balance between self-care and showing up for those you love amid the cries for justice during the first summer of the pandemic. On our phone call, Charles explained that the song is an anthem that reminds us to not to "dim your light for anybody" and "remember how vibrant we are, despite what we as black people had to deal with in 2020."
This performance was a full circle moment for Melanie Charles. The Williamsburg Music Center is owned by Gerry Eastman, a celebrated musician and composer who taught the jazz class Charles and her brother and saxophonist, Rogerst Charles, attended when they were in high school. According to Charles, Eastman "represents a special era of Brooklyn jazz musicians" and created a space that gave these artists a place to perform when all other doors were closed to them. On this stage and many others, Melanie Charles continues her mission to show the world exactly what it means to Make Jazz Trill Again.
Melanie Charles: vocals, keys and flute
Diego Ramirez: drums
Jonathan Michel: upright bass
Rogerst Charles: saxophone
Video: Dante Corbett
Audio: Danny Keith Taylor and BaeBro
Location: Williamsburg Music Center
Special Thanks: Gerry Eastman
TINY DESK TEAM
Producer: Nikki Birch
Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
Art Director: CJ Riculan
Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
Exquisite Corpse at Woodlawn Cemetery: NPR Music Field Recordings
Each June 21, the one-day Make Music New York festival (MMNY) celebrates not just sound but community. It's a summer solstice gathering of the tribes for music makers and music lovers alike, with more than 1200 outdoor concerts across the five boroughs running from morning till night.
For the 2015 edition, the festival's organizers invited musicians to six different burial grounds across the city to riff on the idea of "exquisite corpse," a surrealist parlor game popularized by artists and poets in the 1920s. In the game, someone writes a phrase (or draws part of a figure or scene), folds that part of the page over, and then passes it to the next player, who then does the same. The game ends when everyone has had a turn. That game is a natural bridge to the art of improvisation, and to jazz.
The idea of community was very much on the mind of a group of musicians who play regularly at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, one of the venues within Jazz at Lincoln Center, when they gathered at Woodlawn Cemetery for this year's edition of MMNY for their own spin on the exquisite corpse idea.
Woodlawn Cemetery is a mecca for the jazz world — it's the final resting ground of royalty like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and many others, including Ornette Coleman now as well. So as a tribute to their musical forerunners, the group — singers Michael Mwenso and Vuyo Sotashe, trumpeters Alphonso Horne and Bruce Harris, saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, pianist Chris Pattishall, bassist Russell Hall, drummer Evan Sherman and tap dancer Michela Marino Lerman — took as their point of departure W.C. Handy's 1914 tune "St. Louis Blues," a tune essential to jazz's DNA. But they made it their own via surprising and turns that saunter through many textures, colors and rhythms.
Handy himself is buried at Woodlawn. This community remembers its roots, and continues to thrive — on this summer afternoon under the shade of Ellington's adopted tree.--ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS
"St. Louis Blues" (Handy)
Producers: Colin Marshall, Anastasia Tsioulcas; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Chris Parks, Adam Wolffbrandt; Audio Engineers: Brian Jarboe, Drew Sher; Audio Mix: Neil Tevault; Special Thanks: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Make Music New York, Woodlawn Conservancy; Funded in part by: The Argus Fund, Doris Duke Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Wyncote Foundation; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann
Jazz Night in America
Saint Coltrane: The Church Built On 'A Love Supreme' | JAZZ NIGHT IN AMERICA
"I have seen God – I have seen ungodly – none can be greater – none can compare to God."
John Coltrane composed these words in December 1964, as part of a poem he called 'A Love Supreme.' He included the poem in the inside gatefold of an album by the same name, released the following year. That same year, a young couple in San Francisco heard Coltrane in concert, sharing a jolt of higher purpose when he seemed to fix them in his sights with the bell of his saxophone.
That couple, Franzo and Marina King, went on to establish a church devoted to Coltrane and his spiritual message, incorporating 'A Love Supreme' as their chief liturgical text. Their house of worship — known today as the St. John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church — has survived decades of change in a gentrifying city, while making a few notable revisions to its charter.
In this 20-minute documentary short, Jazz Night in America pays a visit to the Coltrane Church, thoughtfully tracing its winding history — including a tumultuous period when Alice Coltrane, John's widow, bestowed and then revoked her support. We'll delve into the spiritual mysteries of 'A Love Supreme,' from "Acknowledgment" to "Psalm," and consider what it means to be of service — to a calling, to a community, and to the music that sparked it all. - NATE CHINEN
- Read more about the church’s backstory here: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/23/915846867/five-decades-on-an-eclectic-church-preaches-the-message-of-john-coltrane
“A Love Supreme, Pt. I – Acknowledgement” / Performed by John Coltrane / Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
“A Love Supreme, Pt. II – Resolution” / Performed by John Coltrane / Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
“A Love Supreme, Pt. III – Pursuance” / Performed by John Coltrane / Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
“A Love Supreme, Pt. IV – Psalm” / Performed by John Coltrane / Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
“India” / Performed by John Coltrane / Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
“Russian Lullaby” / Performed by John Coltrane / Written by Irving Berlin / Published by Irving Berlin Music Company (ASCAP) / Administered by Williamson Music Company (ASCAP)
“My Favorite Things” / Performed by Alice Coltrane / Written by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II (ASCAP) / c/o Concord Music Publishing