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Programming Archive

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 4:00pm

You’ll hear the mellifluous sounds of Najee on Colors of Jazz, when the two-time Grammy nominated contemporary jazz saxophonist and flautist talks with host Bonnie Johnson. Celebrating his CD The Morning After - A Musical Love Journey, Najee will perform live at Scullers Jazz Club on April 4 & 5, 2014.  The New York City native began honing his craft studying flute during his high school years at The Manhattan School of Music with Harold Jones of the NY Philharmonic Orchestra and on Saturdays in Harlem at the historic Jazzmobile after meeting Dr. Billy Taylor.  Najee was taught and mentored by Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster and Jaki Byard among others. Described as "a visionary", the alum of New England Conservatory of Music has collaborated with “an array of world class musicians” including friend of WICN, Dr. Bill Banfield, George Duke, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Herbie Hancock. Find out more about Najee's "musical journey" that includes giving back to community through work with youth; sharing his gift of music with the Najee Woodwind Workshop. Tune in at 4pm.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 4:00pm

Celebrate Women's History Month when host Bonnie Johnson speaks with the Moipei Quartet of Kenya. The all-girl a capella group, including Moipei (pronounced Moy-pay) triplets Mary, Martha and Magdalene, is joined by their younger sister Seraphine in a 21st century cultural exchange. These teen multi-instrumentalists have been singing together for more than a decade, bringing their global voice to the fore-front with traditional and contemporary African and African-American music. In 2006, the group was called into service as the first UNICEF Child Ambassadors from Kenya and have received a number of awards and commendations for their musical work as "advocates for social issues including highlighting the plight of girls in the Maasai community and Africa at large, the threat to wildlife and the environment, [and] Cancer in Children". They have performed in several countries including South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, China, South Korea, Canada and Venezuela.  In March 2014, the Moipei sisters made their first trip to the United States; visiting several states and performing in concert halls in collaboration with the St. Louis, Missouri based African Musical Arts, Inc. Their parents Nicholas and Christine Moipei also join the conversation on Colors of Jazz. Tune in at 4pm.

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 7:00pm

MUSIC FROM THE ARTISTS ON THE FOLK REVIVAL’S ONLINE COFFEEHOUSE, featuring songs from Bill & Eli Perras, Mark Brine, Dan & Faith Senie, Tom Ghent, Lisa Martin, Robert Tincher, Beth DeSombre, Kryngle Daly, Sandy Haddon & Kathryn Kaufman, Chris Maden, Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards, Wolfpen, and honorary Online Coffeehouse superstar Burl Ives!

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:00am

This week on Inquiry we have a lively and far-ranging conversation with writer CATHERINE REID. She directs the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Warren Wilson College. Her new collection of essays is titled FALLING INTO PLACE: AN INTIMATE GEOGRAPHY OF HOME. These essays focus on Catherine’s life and explorations in the Berkshires and hill towns of Massachusetts. But these pieces are much more than writing about the natural beauty of the area and also touch on issues of love, relationships, fragility, community and politics. Her writing is consistently captivating and powerful. Tune in and find out why.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 6:00pm

Charles Fambrough was a jazz bassist, composer and record producer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fambrough was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers during the early 1980s.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 6:00pm

Jazz pianist Monte Alexander talks about how growing up in Jamaica influenced his music as well as his love of American Westerns and country music.

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 7:00pm

Join host Tom Shaker as we celebrate legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin's 72nd birthday. We'll play all her hits plus a few surprises, too! It all starts at 7pm!

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 6:00pm

Toast of the Brazilian jazz scene Luciana Souza offers up her trademark style of gentle but adventurous vocal explorations. With four Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal under her belt, Souza lights up the Allen Room with a panache reserved for veterans twice her age. Wendell Pierce hosts.

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 10:30pm

Molly Chester knows a thing or two about  traditional foods. Her new book BACK TO BUTTER  shows readers how to find and cook with traditional foods and cut the processed, chemical-laden products for good. While so many of the foods our parents and grandparents cooked with have gotten a bad rap, Molly, debunks those bad reputations and empowers readers to reintegrate many of those items back into their pantries and cooking. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by chef and cookbook author Molly Chester. It just might be good for your health.

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 10:00pm

In an encore episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D'Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb,, interviews John Giangregorio, president of the Canal District of Worcester and owner of the 22-year-old Three Gs Sports Bar, located in the Canal District. They talk about renewed hope for a decade-old vision for the Blackstone Canal. This episode aired originally on September 1, 2013.

The Blackstone Canal was conceived by businessmen in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the beginning of the 19th century, as a way to connect Worcester and the Blackstone Valley towns to the sea at Narragansett Bay. Financed by Yankee entrepreneurs and dug by Irish laborers, it was inaugurated in 1828 with the successful journey of the Lady Carrington upstream to Worcester.

Twenty years later, after ceasing commercial operations, the Blackstone Canal remained open as a waterway, becoming increasingly used as a sewer until it was arched over and forgotten in the 1890s. During the latter portion of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, the area formerly bisected by the canal became a thriving mixed-use and multi-ethnic neighborhood based on the Eastern European immigration of that period.

By the latter part of the 20th century, the canal area had lapsed into a long decline. The construction of I-290 destroyed a huge swath of housing to the east and largely cut off access from Grafton and Vernon hills. The Jewish population had prospered and moved to the city's West Side. And Union Station, which had once boasted 162 trains per day, had closed and fallen into disrepair.

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, the area has seen substantial rebirth as an entertainment district, now populated with more than 20 new bars, restaurants and clubs. Enclaves of retail activity are being established as well, and some of the larger buildings are being converted to residential use. Now referred to as the Canal District, the area is a popular night-time and weekend destination and is widely acknowledged to be the city's most actively developing neighborhood.

The introduction of streetscape improvements throughout the Canal District is expected to reinforce the progress of recent years. And the proposed Blackstone Canal project, which seeks either to open and restore or at least replicate the canal from Union Station south to Kelley Square - continues to spark imaginations throughout the city. The district is now served both by the active Canal District Business Association and by a broader affiliation group called the Canal District Alliance.

In recent years, the Canal District has been host to numerous events, including the annual Blackstone Canalfest, which took place last September 7. Last June 2, stART of the Street held a festival in the Canal District, which attracted about 20,000 people.

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