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Hosts

Jerry Robertson

Roots Host

Against the Grain, 7-10pm, Wednesday

Jerry Robertson grew up in a family that listened to nearly all forms of music, from his Grandfather’s love of classical, his mother’s affinity for Big Band, to his Southern Dad’s leanings toward country and bluegrass.  Jerry absorbed all of this but always went back to his 45’s of Elvis, Little Richard and Ray Charles, and later the Beatles and Bob Dylan.  A high school friend introduced him to the music of Fred Neil and Paul Butterfield, which to this day he traces most of his musical leanings to.  Today his collection of LPs, 45’s and Cd’s number in the thousands, and he’s happy to share them with you on “Against The Grain.” Jerry started hosting “Against The Grain” in January of this year. While his playlists lean toward Americana type music, you’re likely to hear blues, soul, bluegrass, and country.  As Jerry says, “If it was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Nashville, or Chicago, it’s Americana to me! For several years he would have his brother and friends in his house on Wednesday evenings just to share music and a little wine.  Now he is able to share his knowledge of music with a wide audience through his association with WICN.  You must provide your own wine, of course.
Email: jerry@wicn.org

Norm Rosen

Roots Host

Saturday Night Fish Fry, 7-11pm, Saturday

Norm Rosen grew up in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas as a kid where he was surrounded by a vibrant blues and rockabilly scene. As a teenager, he would sneak into many of the area clubs to see some of the top musicians perform. One of his earliest concerts was a free show at American University featuring B.B. King. Norm spent some time as a booking agent and music critic in New York where he worked closely with groups like The Johnny Copeland Band, Larry Davis, and Jimmy Dawkins. In 1989 Norm got his first on-air radio experience at an alternative station in Pittsburgh. Since then he has worked his way through the New England radio network with stops at WRIU, WATD, WHOB, WGBH and now WICN where he educates and entertains his listeners with the various styles of the blues.

Email: norm@wicn.org

Tom Shaker

Roots Host

Soul Serenade, 7-11pm, Monday

Tom Shaker is a professor at Dean College where he directs the Communications Program. He grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY, the son of a plumbing contractor who was a jazz nut. They fought like cats and dogs over the one stereo in the house until Tom realized his Dad was right, Billie Holiday IS better than Grand Funk Railroad. He spends his weekends saving diners for the American Diner Museum and listening to all kinds of music. In addition to international travel, Tom loves hitting the road to visit music festivals, diners, drive-ins and oddball museums. He has an extensive collection of not only jazz, country, soul and gospel, but Hawaiian, hillbilly and early 1920's dance band music. Over the years, Tom worked in radio, television and film production, before pursuing his academic career, receiving a masters degree from UMASS and a doctorate degree from Boston University. He is currently working on a book and documentary about the history of jazz in Rhode Island. Tom’s also on the Board of Directors of the New England Jazz Alliance.

Email: tomshaker@wicn.org

Joe Slezik

Jazz Host

Guest Host on Jazz Matinee, 12-4pm, Saturday

Joe was born in Concord, MA but grew up in Bellingham. Coming from a musical family he was often appointed "booking agent" in providing music for school dances. Following high school he attended Dean College in Franklin and later Graduated from Northeast Broadcasting School in Boston and at the age of 18 was hired by WMRC in Milford as an evening disc jockey seven nights a week. In a 17-year period Joe was employed by various radio stations in over a dozen towns including Providence, Springfield, Worcester and many in between. The deterioration of popular music forced him out of the radio business and in 1978 he became an antiques auctioneer. After hearing WICN in 1985, Joe became the host of Thursday morning's A Tasteful Blend and later the Saturday Jazz Matinee (upon the retirement of his good friend Mary Mardirossian). Joe and his wife Pat now live in Paxton and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They continue their romance with antiques, old houses and most of all... music.

Brian Vinik

New Age Host

Tonal Rhythms, 11-12pm, Sunday

Brian Vinik has been passionate about radio for over ten years.  He has volunteered for the Audio Journal, the radio reading service for the visually impaired of Central Massachusetts, since the age of 12, and hosted his own world music program on his college radio station.  That program, Common Ground, was based on the idea that music is a universal language and concept, no matter how exotic and different the sound and language may be.  Now a graduate, Brian is very excited to be hosting Tonal Rhythms Sunday nights on WICN, bringing Common Ground’s message to a wider audience.  He has a deep love of music and new sounds from around the world, and loves to share them with as many people as he can.  Some of his favorite artists include Ofra Haza, Loreena McKennitt, Marina and the Diamonds, and Shakira.

Outside of the world of radio, Brian loves video editing, and is pursuing it as a career.  During the summer of 2014, he was one of 46 college students selected nationwide by the Emmy Foundation for an internship in Hollywood, California.  Brian also enjoys the outdoors, mixing music, and discussing the music he likes online.  Join Brian on a musical journey across time, across genres, and across the world Sundays at 11pm on WICN!

Email: brianv@wicn.org

Al Vuona

Talk Host

Public Eye, 10:30-11pm, Sunday

For over a decade Al Vuona has been the host of Public Eye. His love of interviewing guests with diverse backgrounds and experiences has made for some great talk radio. From celebrities and authors to CEO's and politicians, the show has continued to cross boundaries while at the same time informing and entertaining the audience. Al's background in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship has given him a unique perspective on people and issues. In addition, he spent 8 years as License Commissioner for the city of Worcester gaining valuable experience on the inner workings of state and local government. A public speaker with degrees in business and economics, Al enjoys interacting with an audience. He has given presentations and workshops on effective communications, marketing, sales and customer service. His love of food, wine and culture has been a mainstay, and over the years has continued to grow. He is a freelance writer who has been published in local and national publications such as Wine Enthusiast, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, the Quarterly Review of Wine, and Worcester Magazine. Al considers wine, music, a good book and movies as his passions.

Email: alvuona@wicn.org
 

Michelle Willson

Production & Host

Known to blues lovers across the globe as "Evil Gal" and acknowledged by aficionados of jazz and blues as a passionate and gifted performer, bandleader and songwriter, Michelle has recorded and released 4 critically acclaimed albums for Rounder/Bullseye Records and performed in 18 countries.

Michelle's music is regularly played on jazz and blues radio and internet programs all around the globe and her original music has been featured in the HBO series Mind of the Married Man, as well as on the 2008 House of Blues compilation album Essential Women in the Blues.

Whether in front of her own band at a live performance or behind the mic in the studio at WICN, Michelle's amazing voice, engaging, intense style, her vast knowledge of and passion for jazz and rhythm & blues music combined with years of experience as a road warrior in the music business add up to a unique, "don't miss this" show! Start your morning off right! Get all jazzed up each weekday listening to Morning Vibe Time with Michelle Willson, 6-9am on 90.5 WICN.

Email: michelle@wicn.org

Dave Young

Jazz Host

Jazz N' Blue Saturdays 4pm to 7pm.

A professional musician since age 16  and long-time listening fan of WICN,
Dave grew up in Holbrook, MA quickly getting involved in playing music as a bassist and becoming President of his High School Band in the mid-70-’s. Dave has toured with music icons such as  The Manhattans, Herb Reed of the Platters, Millie Jackson and various country artists.  He brings his love of jazz as well as music knowledge of other genres like country, blues and soul. Dave has recorded and produced three solo albums, as well as produced for others such as "To Rosie, With Love" by the New England legend Eddy "Blackjack" MgGee.

Ben Young

Jazz Host

Artistry of Jazz, Thursdays 10pm to 12am

You may recognize Ben as a host on air and also host in person of the Jazz 101 and Jazz 201 courses taught at WICN. Through 30 years of Jazz involvement, he has been a radio and record producer, researcher, writer, archivist, engineer, and lecturer on the history of Jazz and improvised music. But whatever form it assumes, the mission is always the same: Helping folks to hear clearly the important works of the masters, and to understand what they’re hearing.  After several decades in New York (and a couple in the mid-south) Ben is working to spark up new connections around Worcester among listeners to hot music.

Email: ben@wicn.org

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