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Programming Archive

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 6:00pm

Jazz singing has always been a tree with firm roots, but a wild entanglement of branches. Its sound and shape are mutable, prone to outside influence and local inflection. Take the two artists featured in this week's episode of Jazz Night in America, recorded at the 2017 San Jose Jazz Summer Fest — each a cultural ambassador as well as a cosmopolitan, with the elusive ability to bring any audience along for the ride.

For many jazz fans, Cyrille Aimée is the more familiar of the two. Born in France to French-Dominican parentage, she made her name as a specialist in "gypsy swing," the style epitomized in the '30s by guitarist Django Reinhardt. Her band features two virtuoso guitarists, Michael Valeanu and Adrien Moignard, and she favors the lissome bounce prized by the hot-jazz revivalist crowd. But Aimée looks well beyond Django for her repertoire: In the episode, you'll hear her delighting the San Jose audience with a medley of Michael Jackson's hits.

You'll also hear Daymé Arocena, a powerhouse vocalist from Cuba, and one of the standout new voices of the last several years in any genre. (If you've seen Arocena's gripping Tiny Desk Concert from last year, you won't need much more convincing.) Drawing mainly from her fine recent album Cubafonía, she brought Afro-Cuban fire to the San Jose stage — performing not only traditionalist fare like "Eleggua" but also playful hybrids like "Mambo Na' Mà," which blends Cuban clave with New Orleans parade rhythm.

There are plenty of clear differences between Arocena and Aimée, whose vocal styles can, respectively, make you think of molten earth or a summer breeze. But each artist is exploring jazz from a personal vantage, at an extremely high level of achievement. Both went over well in San Jose, and the smart money says they'll do the same in this episode of Jazz Night.

Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 10:30pm

This week Al speaks with noted historian and Stanford educator Richard White about his new book; The Republic For Which It Stands. A deeply researched and passionate look at America from reconstruction to the gilded era (1865-1896). The parallels form that period to today are quite striking. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30.

Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 10:00pm

In an all-new "The Business Beat," Steve Jones-D'Agostino interviews Kaska Yawo, co-founder and executive director of African Community Education. They talk about educating Worcester’s African refugee and immigrant children.

In 2006, Kaska Yawo and Olga Valman, who is now an ACE board member, founded ACE, a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit, as a community-oriented educational program targeted toward African refugee and immigrant children living in Worcester. The students attending this program have come to the U.S. from nations suffering from war and either political or social instability. As a result, these children were unable to engage in meaningful schooling during their childhood. When they arrive in the U.S., they are enrolled in school according to their age, rather than their actual level of education, and thus are often years behind their peers in most subjects.

Fortunately, many of these children are bright and motivated, and ACE seeks to draw on these strengths to close the gaps with their education. To meet the needs of this population, ACE has developed a Saturday program with formal classes in Math and English, a one-on-one tutoring and mentoring, life-skills courses, and extracurricular activities, such as dance, soccer and art.

ACE also offers after-school tutoring, Monday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Lastly, ACE employs culturally competent outreach staff to do home visitations with families and encourage parents to take an active role in their child's education. All of ACE’s students, who are from many nations, come to learn, achieve, and succeed. At ACE, the goal is to help them achieve their goals by providing a safe and supportive environment for learning.

On Thursday, October 12 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at UMass Medical School in Worcester, ACE will hold its Annual Fall Fundraiser.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve Jones-D'Agostino does volunteer public-relations work for ACE.

Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we welcome back Loren Schoenberg, tenor saxophonist, conductor, author, educator and jazz historian. Tonight we will talk about THE NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM, whose mission is to preserve, promote and present jazz.

We all assume that cannibalism is bad. But it is a common phenomenon, at least in the rest of the animal kingdom. And though eating each other is taboo, it certainly appears in many of our myths, fairytales and films. Well, then there was the Donner Party…Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with Bill Schutt, a professor of biology at LIU Post and a research associate in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. His new book is not for the faint of heart: CANNIBALISM: A PERFECTLY NATURAL HISTORY.

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

In an all-new The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino interview Worcester immigration attorney Randy Feldman. They talk about the importance of immigration for America’s economy.

Less than a week after moving into the White House this past January, President Donald Trump signed an order to increase deportations of an undocumented immigrant population that is 77 percent Hispanic and 15 percent Asian. He then instituted a temporary travel ban from countries that are 98 percent Muslim and suspended the admission of refugees who come mostly from Africa and the Middle East.

Several months later, in August, Republican U.S. senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia introduced a bill that they said would cut legal immigration to the United States by 50 percent. According to a New York Times op-ed at the time, “They are right about that, but nearly everything else that they have said about their bill is false or misleading. ... “A million immigrants to the United States in 2017 isn’t equivalent to the same number in 1900, when there were a quarter as many Americans. Controlling for population, today’s immigration rate is nearly 30 percent below its historical average. If their bill becomes law, the rate would fall to about 60 percent below average.”

As Randy Feldman wrote in “What is an American?,”  in a January 2017 op-ed in the Telegram & Gazette, “It is no longer acceptable to tell immigrants from abroad, ‘We want your labor but not your citizenship.’ In a nation of immigrants this attitude is a betrayal of the social and political contract offered to our own ancestors by earlier Americans. We need new immigrants as fully as they need us. Although there remains work to be done to erase ‘the color line’ in America, our country’s significance in world history is no longer an experiment of constructing a nation,” Randy continued in that T&G op-ed. “We the people, have built our country by incorporating a fluid core of immigrants into a united whole. We are no longer an experiment.”

After studying, traveling and living abroad in more than 70 countries around the world, Randy returned to the U.S., married a physician originally from the Philippines and attended Boston University School of Law.  After law school, he opened his own immigration law firm, which for more than 26 years has helped thousands of immigrants throughout Central Massachusetts and the Boston area.

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Boston-based band Outrageous Fortune will present a live CD Release Concert broadcast from the WICN Performances Studio. Canadian singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi will be among the opening acts.

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 11:00am

Tonight Inquiry is excited to talk with passionate birder, world traveler, and founder of VENT (Victor Emanuel Nature Tours) VICTOR EMANUEL. His new memoir recounts his long career looking for birds around the world and sharing that passion with thousands of others. The book is titled: ONE MORE WARBLER: A LIFE WITH BIRDS. Tune in and find out about his sighting of the last Eskimo Curlews! (photograph by Sheila Carroll)

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 10:00am

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with musician, song writer and singer  DANIEL CARLSON. His new album is NOT A DRAWING.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 4:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we continue our conversation with JOEL DINERSTEIN. He was the writer and curator of the American Cool exhibit at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. He is a professor of English at Tulane University. His new book is THE ORIGINS OF COOL IN POSTWAR AMERICA. Tonight in PART 2 we talk about the concept of cool in Film Noir and post war cinematic icons of cool like Bogart, Mitchum, Brando, and Dean.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 3:00pm

Tonight we welcome back film maker, natural historian and gonzovationist CERI LEVY. His latest book, written in collaboration with legendary artist RALPH STEADMAN, is CRITICAL CRITTERS. This is the third volume of stunning art volumes that deal with conservation, extinction and well, it’s hard to describe. Tonight we talk about Steadman’s “Dirty Water Period” and introduce experts Dr. Bent Girders and Professor Lars Overhang. Look, just listen and all will become clear. Or not. 


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