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Hosts

Rick McCarthy

Jazz Host

Morning Jazz, 6-9am, Thursdays and Fridays

Rick was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and moved around a lot as a child, finally settling in Westborough, Massachusetts at the age of 16. Being a drummer, at that time he sought out other musicians and began playing in rock bands, a bad habit he still cannot seem to shake. Rick fell in love with jazz when, in his early 20's, he heard the tune "Lil Darlin'" by the Count Basie Orchestra. His love of the music has grown exponentially ever since that day. In the late 80's, Rick discovered WICN and he became a fan of many of the shows -- particularly A Tasteful Blend, which at that time was hosted by the wonderful musician, educator, and producer, Jack Wertheimer. Hosting A Tasteful Blend  is an absolute dream come true for Rick. When not on the radio, Rick works as a Technical Writer for the EMC Corporation. Much to his wife Lisa's chagrin, Rick maintains an ever growing collection of LPs and CDs…another bad habit he can't seem to shake! Rick and Lisa have two children, Zachary and Amelia.

Email: rick@wicn.org

Nick Noble

Roots Host

Folk Revival, 7-11pm, Thursday

Nick has hosted the Folk Revival since 2007. He is an enthusiastic advocate for folk music in its broadest sense, with a particular fondness for the songs of the Folk Revival period during the 1950's and '60's. He enjoys sharing his passion with the radio audience through a series of themed shows year-round. Nick loves hearing from listeners and responding to their ideas, suggestions, information, conversation, and requests. His THE FOLK REVIVAL page on Facebook is home to an online coffeehouse of more than a thousand regular and irregular listeners to the show, who often connect in real-time during the program. In keeping with the station’s commitment to the local music scene, Nick is a strong supporter of local New England artists, many of whom have been guests on the show. A Worcester resident and a long-time educator (he taught middle school and high school history and English for 28 years), Nick currently works as a writer, editor, and historian. He has published six books over the years—all on historical topics—including “NUMBER #1”—the story of the original Highwaymen—a journey through folk music history: the Folk Revivals, “The Great Folk Music Scare”, and their legacies (Outskirts Press, 2009). Nick loves to read (others’ work, not his own), and is a sometime singer (thirty years ago he belonged to one of the last collegiate folk groups before a cappella became the rage), a part-time poet, and a full-time husband and father. Nick is also a loyal WICN member and an active WICN volunteer.

Email: nicknoble@wicn.org 

Dana Robbins

Jazz Host

Jazz360, 11pm-2am, Friday

Dana Robbins grew up in the small town of Millbury, MA with musical influence from his father as he listened to him play the guitar at various family functions through the years. Dana began his career as an electronics technician before transitioning into sales and marketing. After entering the newspaper business in 1987 with the Middlesex News in Framingham, Robbins relocated to Florida in 1989 and worked for the Tampa Tribune while also putting his self-taught drumming skills to use in a blues band called Borderline. Robbins then married, and moved his wife and two kids back to good ol’ Millbury where he began his 20-year tenure at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette as a manager in the circulation department. In addition to previously co-hosting a jazz program on WICN a few years back, Dana has been part of a few different musical projects such as presiding over an online radio program, drummer for a local blues band and producer for an entertainment company. Please join Dana on Friday nights from 11pm-2am as he returns to WICN to host JAZZ360.

Email: dana@wicn.org

Norm Rosen

Roots Host

Saturday Night Fish Fry, 7-11pm, Saturday

Norm Rosen grew up in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas as a kid where he was surrounded by a vibrant blues and rockabilly scene. As a teenager, he would sneak into many of the area clubs to see some of the top musicians perform. One of his earliest concerts was a free show at American University featuring B.B. King. Norm spent some time as a booking agent and music critic in New York where he worked closely with groups like The Johnny Copeland Band, Larry Davis, and Jimmy Dawkins. In 1989 Norm got his first on-air radio experience at an alternative station in Pittsburgh. Since then he has worked his way through the New England radio network with stops at WRIU, WATD, WHOB, WGBH and now WICN where he educates and entertains his listeners with the various styles of the blues.

Email: norm@wicn.org

Tom Shaker

Roots Host

Soul Serenade, 7-11pm, Monday

Tom Shaker is a professor at Dean College where he directs the Communications Program. He grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY, the son of a plumbing contractor who was a jazz nut. They fought like cats and dogs over the one stereo in the house until Tom realized his Dad was right, Billie Holiday IS better than Grand Funk Railroad. He spends his weekends saving diners for the American Diner Museum and listening to all kinds of music. In addition to international travel, Tom loves hitting the road to visit music festivals, diners, drive-ins and oddball museums. He has an extensive collection of not only jazz, country, soul and gospel, but Hawaiian, hillbilly and early 1920's dance band music. Over the years, Tom worked in radio, television and film production, before pursuing his academic career, receiving a masters degree from UMASS and a doctorate degree from Boston University. He is currently working on a book and documentary about the history of jazz in Rhode Island. Tom’s also on the Board of Directors of the New England Jazz Alliance.

Email: tomshaker@wicn.org

Joe Slezik

Jazz Host

Jazz Matinee, 12-4pm, Saturday

Joe was born in Concord, MA but grew up in Bellingham. Coming from a musical family he was often appointed "booking agent" in providing music for school dances. Following high school he attended Dean College in Franklin and later Graduated from Northeast Broadcasting School in Boston and at the age of 18 was hired by WMRC in Milford as an evening disc jockey seven nights a week. In a 17-year period Joe was employed by various radio stations in over a dozen towns including Providence, Springfield, Worcester and many in between. The deterioration of popular music forced him out of the radio business and in 1978 he became an antiques auctioneer. After hearing WICN in 1985, Joe became the host of Thursday morning's A Tasteful Blend and later the Saturday Jazz Matinee (upon the retirement of his good friend Mary Mardirossian). Joe and his wife Pat now live in Paxton and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They continue their romance with antiques, old houses and most of all... music.

Brian Vinik

New Age Host

Tonal Rhythms, 6-9pm, Sunday

Brian Vinik has been passionate about radio for nearly ten years.  He has volunteered for the Audio Journal, the radio reading service for the visually impaired of Central Massachusetts, since the age of 12, and has hosted his own world music program on his college radio station since sophomore year.  That program, Common Ground, is based on the idea that music is a universal language and concept, no matter how exotic and different the sound and language may be.  Now a senior film/video student at Fitchburg State University, Brian is very excited to be hosting Tonal Rhythms Sunday nights on WICN, bringing Common Ground’s message to a wider audience.  He has a deep love of music and new sounds from around the world, and loves to share them with as many people as he can.  Some of his favorite artists include Ofra Haza, Loreena McKennitt, Marina and the Diamonds, and Shakira.

Outside of the world of radio, Brian loves video editing, and hopes to pursue it as a career.  During the summer of 2014, he was one of 46 college students selected nationwide by the Emmy Foundation for an internship in Hollywood, California.  Brian also enjoys the outdoors, DJing events at his school, and discussing the music he likes online.  Join Brian on a musical journey across time, across genres, and across the world Sundays at 6pm on WICN!

Al Vuona

Talk Host

Public Eye, 10:30-11pm, Sunday

For over a decade Al Vuona has been the host of Public Eye. His love of interviewing guests with diverse backgrounds and experiences has made for some great talk radio. From celebrities and authors to CEO's and politicians, the show has continued to cross boundaries while at the same time informing and entertaining the audience. Al's background in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship has given him a unique perspective on people and issues. In addition, he spent 8 years as License Commissioner for the city of Worcester gaining valuable experience on the inner workings of state and local government. A public speaker with degrees in business and economics, Al enjoys interacting with an audience. He has given presentations and workshops on effective communications, marketing, sales and customer service. His love of food, wine and culture has been a mainstay, and over the years has continued to grow. He is a freelance writer who has been published in local and national publications such as Wine Enthusiast, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, the Quarterly Review of Wine, and Worcester Magazine. Al considers wine, music, a good book and movies as his passions.

Email: alvuona@wicn.org
 

Chet Williamson

Jazz Host

Jazz Matinee, 4-6pm, Monday through Thursday

In his 40-plus-year career as a harmonica player, the instrument has taken him from the streets of the Great Brook Valley Housing Projects of Worcester, MA to memorable performances around the world.

In the 1980's, Williamson began freelance music writing for such local outlets as Worcester Telegram and Worcester Magazine. Some of his favorite interviews of that period include those with Waylon Jennings, Sonny Rollins, B.B. King, Milt Jackson, Laura Nyro, and Mose Allison. He also started programming shows at a local community radio station, eventually becoming its jazz director.

In 1998, he was hired as the A&E Editor at Worcester Magazine, where for the next 10 years he was afforded the opportunity to interview many of his favorite musicians, artists and writers -- a partial list includes, Linda Ronstadt, Sonny Rollins, B.B. King, E.L. Doctrow, Katarina Witt, and Darrell Hammond, among hundreds more.  

Willamson is the author of The Jazz Worcester Real Book, bios and profiles of Worcester jazz musicians including Jaki Byard, Frank Capp, Barbara Carroll, Boots Mussulli, and Tony Zano, among others. As a freelance writer, his work can be read in Boston Magazine, Blues Wire, WPI Journal, Blues Audience, Artscope, JazzEd and North Shore Living

Williamson’s harmonica styling can be heard on a series of folk, rock, blues and jazz musicians’ albums. His first release as a leader, Chromatic Swing, appeared in 2000. He now has five albums to his credit.    

While writing full-time, Williamson continued performing. His jazz credits include dates with such stars as Alan Dawson, Amanda Carr, Rich Greenblatt, Mitch Seidman, Pamela Hines, Reggie Walley, Dick Odgren and Emil Haddad.

Williamson is a multiple New England Press Association winner and has been recognized by ARTSWorcester as its “man of the year” for his coverage of the local arts community. In 2010, Williamson was given a lifetime achievement award by Pulse Magazine, for “outstanding dedication to developing, promoting, and supporting the local music scene.”

Find him on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Read his latest blog at: http://www.worcestersongs.blogspot.com/
http://jazzriffing.blogspot.com/

For his review of the album PEACE by the Sven Bjerstedt Trio, CLICK HERE.

Williamson can be reached at: chet@wicn.org

Michelle Willson

Jazz Host

Morning Jazz, 6-9am, Monday through Wednesday

Known to blues lovers across the globe as "Evil Gal" and acknowledged by aficionados of jazz and blues as a passionate and gifted performer, bandleader and songwriter, Michelle has recorded and released 4 critically acclaimed albums for Rounder/ Bullseye Records and performed in 18 countries.
Michelle's music is regularly played on jazz and blues radio and internet programs all around the globe and her original music has been featured in the HBO series Mind of the Married Man, as well as on the 2008 House of Blues compilation album Essential Women in the Blues.
Michelle's live performances and recordings have received rave reviews from such respected sources as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Downbeat, The Japan Times, GQ, Jazz Times and Living Blues, in addition to various other publications from many different countries.
Last year, backed up by her solid and incredibly talented band, Michelle recorded a show at one of the world's premier jazz rooms, Scullers, in Boston, MA.  The resulting recording, Fortune Cookie has received airplay from coast to coast and around the world.

As host of Morning Jazz Mon-Wed. 6-9am, Michelle is delighted to be back on the air at WICN.
From 2006-2009, she hosted Voices of Jazz on Friday mornings and Jazz n' Blue on Saturday afternoons.
Accompanied by interesting and entertaining tidbits about the music and musicians featured on Morning Jazz, you'll hear your favorite jazz tunes, as well as gems from Michelle's own collection - delightful, obscure material you may not be as familiar with, but you'll love hearing and learning about.
Whether in front of her own band at a live performance or behind the mic in the studio at WICN, Michelle's amazing voice, engaging, intense style, her vast knowledge of and passion for jazz and rhythm & blues music combined with years of experience as a road warrior in the music business add up to a unique, don't miss this show!
Start your morning off right!
Get all jazzed up with Michelle Willson and Morning Jazz, Mondays - Wednesdays, 6-9am on 90.5 WICN.

contact Michelle - michelle@evilgal.com
find her on Facebook - Michelle Willson music page
check out her website - www.evilgal.com

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