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Chet Williamson

Jazz Music Director and host

Jazz, 3-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday

A special feature of Williamson’s dynamic program is his interviews with fellow musicians. A partial list of recent subjects include Phil Woods, Randy Weston, Paul Winter, Curtis Fuller, Bela Fleck, and Maria Muldaur. In his 40-plus-year career as a harmonica player, the instrument has taken Williamson 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.”

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

Williamson can be reached at: chet@wicn.org

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