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Programming Highlights

Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 1:00pm

Six time GRAMMY® Award nominee Nnenna Freelon talks with Bonnie Johnson about her latest projects and returning home for a live concert at Scullers Jazz Club. Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she is a graduate of Simmons College in Boston. Freelon is currently on tour with the original theatrical presentation of The Clothesline Muse where she is "cast member and a collaborator". The production "celebrates African American culture and women’s history amongst other themes through live music, dance, visual art and projection". She takes the stage live in concert  at Scullers on Saturday, February 27, 2016.

Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 9:00pm

Feeling blue? Tune in tonight as Inquiry welcomes back JAMES A. WELU, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum and NANCY BURNS, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Worcester Art Museum. They will be talking about the current show at the Worcester Art Museum CYANOTYPES: PHOTOGRAPHY’S BLUE PERIOD as well as the catalogue FREDERICK COULSEN: BLUEPRINTS OF A GOLDEN AGE.

Tonight, Inquiry is excited to welcome back long-time friend of the show, writer and illustrator, JARRETT J. KROSOCZKA. He is here to talk about three new books: IT’S TOUGH TO LOSE YOUR BALLOON:, PLATYPUS POLICE SQUAD: LAST PANDA STANDING and finally the new volume of COMICS SQUAD: LUNCH. Special guest star: Gina!

Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate Of Climb, interviews Howard McGinn, executive director of First Night Worcester, and Zach Combs, manager, and Ron Murray, art director of Crocodile River Music. They talk about celebrating community in a still-challenging economy.

First Night Worcester is set and ready to go for this year’s arts celebration. Heading into its 35th year of operation, the non-profit is the oldest First Night in the nation and has produced a New Year’s Eve arts festival in downtown Worcester every year since 1981.

Nearly 60 performances will take place on 12 stages this year, including a spectacular opening act – a performance by the Southeast Asian Coalition “Youth Effect” group at Tuckerman Hall, sponsored by Saint-Gobain. Firsts for this year’s First Night Worcester: Jillian’s Worcester has been added as a venue; and First Night’s first-ever Apple mobile app is now available for free in the App Store.

Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 10:30pm

Are America's schools little more than cinder-block gulags that spawn vicious cliques and bullying, negate creativity, and true learning and squelch curiosity in their inmates, um, students? In his new book "Schools On Trial"  author and journalist Nikhil Goyal, argues that  our education system could easily map out a path for all of our schools to harness children's natural aptitude for learning by creating an atmosphere conducive to freedom and creativity. He prescribes an inspiring educational future that is thoroughly democratic and experiential, and one that utilizes the entire community as a classroom. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al speaks with Nikhil Goyal.

Monday, February 15, 2016 - 6:00pm

Our host Christian McBride happens to be a rather talented bassist and composer, but he told us not to feature him unless it was something special. It so happens that he’s written a special work: a bluesy and soulful oratorio for jazz big band, gospel choir and soloists, and four speakers representing great figures of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s called The Movement Revisited, and is inspired by the words of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr. Jazz Night In America follows McBride around his own hometown of Philadelphia, speaking with the people who raised him at home and in the music, and featuring a performance of The Movement Revisited from the Kimmel Center in downtown Philly.

Monday, February 15, 2016 - 7:00pm

One of America's treasures, Smokey Robinson has done it all. Along with Berry Gordy, Jr., Smokey Robinson put Detroit on the map with the Motown sound; singing, songwriting and producing his group the  Miracles (and many other Motown acts). Join host Tom Shaker as we celebrate one of soul music's favorite voices as he turns 76 this week. It all starts at 7pm!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 6:00pm

Painter discusses his father lyricist Richard Adler ("Pajama Game" and "Damn Yankees") and his own choice to take his rich musical background as inspiration for a life as a painter rather than a musician.

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 6:00pm

A scintillating Jazz synergy of acoustic guitar, accordion and saxophone that brings us into romantic spaces and evokes Latin landscapes.


Roberto Cassan/Accordian
John Muratore/guitar
Marco Pignataro/Saxophone

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 7:00pm

Host Nick Noble will spin some old favorites, play tracks from CDs recently arrived at the station, and interview Debra Cowan, Craig Sonnenfeld, Alex Touhey, Mike Glick,and Noam Weinstein.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 12:00pm

Host Bonnie Johnson speaks with guests from URBAN BUSH WOMEN a Brooklyn-based dance troupe that "galvanizes artists, activists, audiences and communities through performances, artist development, education and community engagement". The group is in residence at Brown University and will perform WALKING THE 'TRANE, a "choreographic riff" that celebrates dance combined with a "Coltrane-inspired score that [fuses Urban Bush Women’s inventive movement with Coltrane’s revolutionary post-bop spirit] by composers George Caldwell and Philip White".  UBW takes the stage on Saturday, February 27, 2016, 8 PM at The Vets in Providence.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 6:00pm

Jesse Cook, one of the most successful flamenco guitarists and world fusion artists, joins Brian Vinik on Tonal Rhythms, WICN's new age/world music program!  Jesse is a major player in the world fusion scene, and has sold well over a million records worldwide.  He will be discussing his ongoing tour, which has upcoming dates in the New England area! Tune in on Sunday, February 21st at 6PM, for this exciting and exclusive musical journey.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 9:00pm

The history of Asian Americans is a history of immigration as well as the history of how “race works in the United States”. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome ERIKA LEE. She teaches history at the University of Minnesota where she is also the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. Lee’s new book is the monumental THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA: A HISTORY and tonight we will focus on what happened to Japanese American citizens during World War II.

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with writer ABIGAIL SANTAMARIA. Her new biography is titled JOY: POET, SEEKER, AND THE WOMAN WHO CAPTIVATED C.S. LEWIS. Joy Davidman was a passionate writer, poet, dedicated member of the American Communist Party and atheist till she read the writings of C.S. Lewis. Then she became deeply religious and gave up her life in America to meet Lewis in Britain. This became one of the greatest literary love stories of the century. Tune in and find out why.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 10:00pm

In an all-new “The Business Beat,” Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb interviews Allison Chisolm, author of The Inventive Life of Charles Hill Morgan: The Power of Improvement in Industry, Education and Civic Life.

A man of deep convictions, quiet generosity and constant curiosity about new ideas and the world, Charles Hill Morgan was far from the "starchy Puritan" that his grandchildren recalled. When he learned how to use specialized drafting tools in the 1840s, his professional-grade compass precisely centered measurements for foundations and steam engines. His mastery of these tools led to a future of vast new possibilities.

Morgan’s  life reflected a strong moral compass, centered on church, family and service to others while running a Philadelphia paper bag business, overseeing the world’s largest producer of barbed wire, and then founding his own steel rolling mill company in Worcester. His life journey serves to personalize the early development and subsequent successes of the American industrial revolution -- a time in history when the power of ideas coupled with mechanical ability fueled those with a strong desire to find new solutions to old problems.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - 10:30pm

Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by best selling author and investigative journalist Jane Mayer. Her new book "Dark Money"  provides some very insightful thoughts as to current issues facing America today.

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 6:00pm

Eric Lewis’ career has circulated both in and out of jazz circles. Performing under his given name, he was an up-and-coming pianist who performed in the bands of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. As his career progressed – or didn’t – he found that a lot of contemporary rock music also spoke to what he wanted to do. So performing under the name ELEW, he devised a new theatrical, high-energy style of playing solo piano called rockjazz, and it took him to TED Conferences, national tours, America’s Got Talent and the White House. Now he’s set to translate his vision to the jazz trio format, planning a recording with some major players. Jazz Night In America follows ELEW to the studio, and to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where his burning band includes Reginald Veal on bass and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 6:00pm

Guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, talks about Eddie Lang, Dick McDonough, and others who influenced him, and what it takes to be a great rhythm guitarist.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7:00pm

An exploration of the spiritual, religious, and gospel traditions in folk music.

Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 9:00pm

Artist, writer and musician LEAH HAYES has created a graphic novel type guide to what it is like to go through an abortion. It is a calm, sensitive and common sense description about what will happen to you every step along the way. This is a women’s health book like no other. Tune in tonight as we discuss NOT FUNNY HA-HA: A HANDBOOK FOR SOMETHING HARD.

It was the end of the 20th century and CDs had become a third-rate technology that no college student cared about. They were too busy on illegal file sharing sites downloading their music their way. Journalist and writer STEPHEN WITT ‘s new book is titled HOW MUSIC GOT FREE: THE END OF AN INDUSTRY, THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, AND THE PATIENT ZERO OF PIRACY. This book is a detailed history of the invention of the MP3, an account of music industry’s complete lack of understanding of what this technology meant for CD sales and the wild story of a man who became a music piracy addict. This is an outstanding history of technology and music and the people who pirated thousands of MP3s.

Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb interviews Ben Burkett, state coordinator of the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Cathleen O’Keefe, coordinator of both the Winter Conference and the Fundraising Run for the Northeast Organic Farming Association - Massachusetts Chapter.

Ben Burkett is a truly inspirational Mississippi farmer. He will be enriching everyone’s day with his keynote address “Family Farmers Matter,” at NOFA-Mass.’ annual Winter Conference. That event will be held on January 16, 2016 at Worcester State University.

Cooperative grocers, farmers, and businesses will also not want to miss his all-day seminar on “Cooperative Family Farming.” In this seminar, Ben will discuss many of the steps involved in setting up a profitable, managed cooperative using his own family farm and cooperative history as a model.

Ben provides technical expertise to small-scale and limited-resource farmers and ranchers in rural communities. He serves as the president of the National Family Farm Coalition and has traveled to Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Nicaragua, Lebanon, and Zimbabwe, exchanging knowledge and information with small-scale farmers.

In 1971, the Natural Organic Farmers Association was formed in Vermont and New Hampshire and, in 1982, chapters were added in Massachusetts as well as Connecticut and New York. Later, chapters were formed in Rhode Island and New Jersey.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association was formed right around the time that NOFA was established. Together, these two organizations have been the most powerful forces for education regarding organic agriculture in the Northeast for the past 40 years.

NOFA changed its name to the Northeast Organic Farming Association in 1989. By that time, the word "natural" had become somewhat commercialized. By changing "farmers" to "farming," the NOFA leadership attempted to be more welcoming to those who support organic farming, along with those who practice it.

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 6:00pm

The story of the music that came out of the Mississippi Delta and traveled up the river to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, and way beyond is the story of at least the last century of American music. The versatile guitarist Bill Frisell knows this: At Jazz at Lincoln Center, he leads a set spanning New Orleans to the Delta, Bob Dylan to Bix Beiderbecke. In this episode of Jazz Night in America, he’s joined by saxophonist Greg Osby, pianist Craig Taborn, and drummer Rudy Royston, embarking on a musical journey along the revered Route 61.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 6:00pm

Opera star Renee Fleming talks about singing jazz in college and her jazz CD, Haunted Heart.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 7:00pm

A FIVE HOUR FOLK FESTIVAL BROADCAST CELEBRATING LOCAL ARTISTS LIVE – A lineup of local artists live in the WICN Performance studio, emceed by host Nick Noble. Among the featured acts will be The Lied To’s, Sandy Haddon, Folkapotamus, Ariband, Dan & Faith Senie, Ergo Canto, James Keyes, Dianne Battistello, Sue Young, Wolfpen, Ed Sweeney, Joanne Lurgio, Michael Guttierez-May, Kryngle Daly, Crowe’s Pasture, Lisa Martin, Dan Blakeslee, Owengate, Colette O’Connor, Jennifer Evans, The Auburn Suns, Spooner Well, Beth DeSombre, Kim Jennings, Andy Cummings, and maybe others!

Sunday, March 6, 2016 - 10:00pm

In an all-new The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Ja-Naé Duane, co-author with husband Steven Fisher of The Startup Equation: A Visual Guidebook to Building Your Startup, Amy Whitney, director of Clark University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program.
The Startup Equation notes that by 2020, projections show that one in six people worldwide will be entrepreneurs. That's more than one billion people!
The book’s stated goal is “to make this process easier for at least one million of them. It doesn't matter if you dream of building a virtual platform or a brick-and-mortar shop. The Startup Equation offers case studies, infographics, and best practices designed for every entrepreneur.”
Ja-Naé Duane is founder of the Revolution Institute, an international and award- winning speaker, author of both How to Start Your Business with $100 and How to Create a Revolution, and one of Clark University’s entrepreneurs-in-residence. Steven Fisher is global head of user and product experience for SeaChange International.

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 6:00pm

The jazz-fusion stars of Snarky Puppy have toured and recorded all over the world; they’ve won a Grammy Award and were just nominated again. But their spiritual home is still Dallas, Texas. It’s where they’d take in gospel performances in area churches; it’s near where they met at music school at the University of North Texas in Denton. As bassist and bandleader Michael League explains, you can hear all those collisions in the funk of their grooves. Jazz Night in America meets up with League for an exclusive conversation about his compositional process – and witnesses its execution in a live hometown concert at The Prophet Bar in Dallas.

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The Hanover Theatre


Fostering a love and appreciation for the performing arts in audiences of today and tomorrow, making a difference in the community and revitalizing downtown Worcester.


The Hanover Theatre
2 Southbridge Street
Worcester, MA 01608-2014