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Hosts

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, 11-12pm, Sunday

Brian Vinik has been passionate about radio for over 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 hosted his own world music program on his college radio station.  That program, Common Ground, was 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 graduate, 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 is pursuing 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, mixing music, and discussing the music he likes online.  Join Brian on a musical journey across time, across genres, and across the world Sundays at 11pm on WICN!

Email: brianv@wicn.org

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
 

Michelle Willson

Jazz Host

The Blend, Noon to 3pm, Monday through Thursday

Jazz N' Blue, 4-7pm, Saturday

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. Michelle recently sang with Dr. John in Boston, MA and performed with her group at The Beaches International Jazz festival in Totonto, Canada.

As host of The Blend Mon-Fri. 6-9 am, 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 The Blend, 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 The Blend Mondays - Fridays, 6-9am on 90.5 WICN.

Email: michelle@wicn.org

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