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Programming Archive

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 12:00pm

For most of the Twentieth Century, there have been artists and works of art that have confronted us with cruelty, either in their subject matter, attitude or methodology. Artists like Francis Bacon (shown here); Antonin Artaud; Santiago Sierra; Otto Muel; Chris Burden; Sylvia Plath; Kara Walker and Jenny Holzer. Some of these works are violent and repugnant, but time and again artists and writers have asked us to look at or read these works. Works that seem to cross a line of our basic sense of humanity and decency. But will contemplation of these cruel works also make us cruel? What are we to make of these works? Do we need them? What about artwork that appears to exploit their subject or audience? These very difficult and complex questions are the subject for tonight’s interview with writer, teacher and critic MAGGIE NELSON who will be discussing her new book THE ART OF CRUELTY: A RECKONING. Nota bene: some of the works discussed in tonight’s show are  violent or graphic

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 6:00pm

Six-time GRAMMY® Award-nominee Nnenna Freelon has earned a well-deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer, most recently in 2007 on “In Performance At The White House” to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. At the 43rd annual GRAMMY Awards telecast from Los Angeles, she inspired an enthusiastic standing ovation from 20,000 music-industry insiders and celebrities when she took to the stage. Prior to that stirring appearance, Freelon’s performances for the legendary Julie Andrews at the Society of Singers’ “Ella Awards,” Variety’s The Children’s Charity (as a featured vocalist at the Stephen Sondheim Tribute at Carnegie Hall), Jerry Lewis’ Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon and at the most famous jazz festivals around the globe have all been rousing successes. No wonder—for anyone who has heard and seen Freelon sing knows she is a skillful interpreter of even the most familiar chestnuts.

On her Grammy-nominated (for Best Jazz Vocal Performance) release, Blueprint Of A Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday, Freelon pays tribute to the quintessential jazz vocalist Billie Holiday. As inventive as ever, Freelon turns these Holiday-associated songs and fulfills Billie Holiday’s message to all artists: “No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way with music or it isn’t music.” With her own band, and with Ronald K. brown & EVIDENCE, Freelon and Brown turn this into a multi-media music and dance offering unlike any show previously seen! Freelon is a winner of both the Billie Holiday Award from the prestigious Academie du Jazz and this tribute brings her to a heartfelt source of inspiration for her artistry and dedication to the music and the power it possesses in education and art.

On her fifth, and previous, Concord Records release, Live (CCD- 2184), Nnenna Freelon brings all of her alluring talents to bear. The result is a beguiling and intimate achievement. Recorded at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on February 21 and 22, 2003, Live marks a decade-long recording career for Freelon, as well as 20-years on the road.

It has certainly been a heady decade for Freelon. In addition to five GRAMMY nominations while on the Concord label, Freelon also made her feature film debut in the Mel Gibson hit, “What Women Want,” and sang a remake of Sinatra’s classic, “Fly Me To The Moon” for “The Visit,” starring Billy Dee Williams. She is also a winner of the Eubie Blake Award, and has twice been nominated for the “Lady of Soul” Soul Train Award. What’s more, Freelon has performed and toured with a veritable who’s who in jazz, from Ray Charles and Ellis Marsalis to Al Jarreau and George Benson, among many others.

Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Freelon received her undergraduate degree from Simmons College in Boston. Her parents and singing in the church gave the singer her first exposure to the arts – especially to the art of jazz. Her father’s playing Count Basie recordings and her mother’s active involvement in their church led Freelon to an appreciation of all music which she eventually pursued as a career in jazz. All the while, Freelon has cherished and held dear her two most important lifetime roles – wife and mother. Her husband Phil Freelon is an accomplished award-winning architect, his firm The Freelon Group based in North Carolina. Mother of three, Freelon has led by example – follow your dreams, dedicate yourself, and work hard in all you do.

Now with nine recordings to her name, Freelon’s explored the roles of vocalist, entertainer, composer, educator, arranger, and producer. “We continue to evolve—artists have hungry minds and hearts, so we’re always working on the next thing—but I felt it was just time to stop, take a breath, and enjoy! I’ve grown a lot, both musically and spiritually, on this journey. Before, many things were ‘first’ experiences, but now I’m going back to some of the same festivals and clubs, and realizing I am happy and content where I am. It’s great to see all the awards and career milestones building up,” she admits, “but it’s even nicer to realize people are coming to the shows and saying, ‘I saw you back in ’95!’ I’ve made a lot of friends on the road.”

An accomplished singer, composer, producer, and arranger (as well as budding actress), Freelon has dedicated herself to educating young people, both musicians and non-musicians. She toured the United States for four years as the National Spokesperson for Partners In Education. Her master classes and workshops, from “Sound Sculpture” to the ground-breaking “Babysong,” teach adults and children that you too can change the world – even one person at a time – but it takes dedication and perseverance, the substance of Nnenna’s educational activities. The messages in Nnenna’s activities go far beyond technique. Her messages reach into the very soul of the person listening and encourage, in fact motivates them, toward constructive change and to create positive energy.

With her anthem “One Child At A Time” found on her “Soulcall” recording, Freelon took on the task of fund-raising and bringing greater attention to the needs of children in education through mentoring and the arts. It has become one of the most sought-after songs for its lyrics to its music and has been used by countless organizations including local, regional and national groups including the United Way.

Tune in as she talks to host Judy Carmichael about starting as a healthcare worker and evolving into a jazz singer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:00am

Since our nation’s inception, governments at the local, state and federal levels have advanced programs to promote American’s health. Probably no other program has been as controversial and widely debated as the national government’s sex education campaigns. Kicked into high gear during Word War I, and begun to control the national epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, these programs have been complicated by racist assumptions, local faith-based resistance and an inability to actually talk openly about the subject. Our guest tonight is writer ALEXANDRA M. LORD, who previously served as a historian with the United States Public Health Service. Tonight she discusses her unique and fascinating history CONDOM NATION: THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S SEX EDUCATION CAMPAIGN FROM WORLD WAR I TO THE INTERNET. 

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 7:00pm

You’ve heard his distinctive guitar on Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” and recordings by Timmy Thomas & Joss Stone. Little Beaver aka Willie Hale is featured on this week’s Soul Spotlight. He’s another Lost Soul that made an impact on soul music. Join host Tom Shaker as he celebrates his life and music. It starts at 7pm!

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 6:00pm

Jazz's wandering gypsy spirit meets the bluesy swing of Oklahoma City. Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian brought the guitar out from the rhythm section and up to center stage. Guitarists Russell Malone, Bobby Broom and Frank Vignola, bassist Peter Washington and pianist Mulgrew Miller play out the jazz guitar revolution. Musical director and drummer, Lewis Nash. Wendell Pierce hosts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:30pm

Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate continues to falter, government is drowning in debt and the stock market is tanking. So what is the truth? And can you handle the truth? Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by noted author and Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, Richard Heinberg.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:00pm

Gordon Grimes is a member of Bernstein Shur’s Energy Practice Group. He has spent more than 30 years representing the interests of private energy generators, banks, contractors and other entities in the power-generation industry.

He played a lead role in establishing Central Maine Power’s “avoided cost” -- the price the utility would pay to private electrical generators -- in the early 1980s at the Maine Public Utilities Commission. He then represented numerous clients that developed or financed private energy projects in Maine, and in the process developed an extensive knowledge of the power industry. He continues to represent many private electric generators and related interests throughout Maine and in other states and foreign countries.

His practice includes dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, administrative hearings, and litigation related to all aspects of the power industry. For example, from 1989 to 1991, he served as lead counsel in nearly full-time arbitration (115 hearing days) against General Electric on waste-to-energy plant construction and design issues, obtaining an $11.5 million cash award and relief from a further $6 million debt -- then one of the largest litigated recoveries in a construction dispute in Maine’s history.

In the spirit of full disclosure, host Steve D'Agostino does public-relations work for Bernstein Shur.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 9:00pm

To understand the history of fish is to understand our own origins”. In fish evolution we see the origins of bone, the development of the first jaws and teeth, the first strong limbs, the first complex brains, the first lungs, the first ability to breath air and the example of copulation as a means of reproduction. It is no exaggeration to say the study of fossil fish is an exciting and dynamic field with surprising discoveries being made almost every year. Tonight on Inquiry we welcome JOHN A. LONG, Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, author of many books including THE RISE OF FISHES: 500 MILLION YEARS OF EVOLUTION.

Inquiry welcomes back noted children’s book author MELISSA STEWART, who has written an ambitious wonderful series of books on ecology and animals for young readers to enjoy. Her latest book A PLACE FOR FISH looks at sharks, seahorses, trout and pike, what challenges they face and what children can do to help fish to continue to live. If you are concerned with educating your children or grandchildren about the environment and the creatures that live around us, be sure to listen!

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 6:00pm

The music is "El Viento (meaning "the wind), "Sky Blue featuring Steve Wilson, and "Cerulean Skies, inspired by birds flying from South America to Central Park, all by Maria.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 6:00pm

Benny Carter should be considered among the greatest jazz alto saxists of the swing era alongside Johnny Hodges. More than merely a giant of jazz saxophone, Benny Carter was a composer and arranger, skilled clarinetist and gifted trumpet player, and an exceptionally versatile, talented musician active for more than three quarters of a century.

As a saxist his significance was teaching the alto saxophone to sing. His signature sound was smooth, flowing and graceful -- displaying ease, confidence and a clear sense of direction when soloing. It’s my impression that alto sax can be a very difficult instrument on which to develop a rich, pleasing tone, but Carter succeeded brilliantly. He had impeccable phrasing giving each note full value, even in rapid arpeggios and runs, exquisitely balancing taste, technique, freshness and emotion while making it all look easy.

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