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February’s attention to African-American Heritage Month takes the form of declaring bandleader Jimmie Lunceford as our Artist of the Month. Lunceford was a starring figure in the Swing Era as the leader of a self-made, hard-working big band. Lunceford’s band was HUGE in its time (1933–47), especially among black audiences, but also with the general […]

By: Veer Mudambi Worcester Magazine “When I was a kid,” said David Ginsburg, Worcester resident, and radio host, “there was a definite sense of Worcester being jealous of Boston — wanting to be a big city and not really getting there.” Over the years, like an awkward teenager following in the footsteps of a famous […]

It’s always the right time to circle back to the majestic and poignant artistry of Shirley Horn, WICN’s Artist of the Month for January. The knowing way she delivers a song is a comfort and a lesson all at once. Horn’s been gone for fifteen years now, but her voice certainly was a special sort […]

Thankfully, guitarist Django Reinhardt has not fallen out of our 21st Century Jazz universe, though he’s been gone almost seventy years. That owes partly to the simple fact that his instrument remains ubiquitous in fields beyond Jazz: A musician with the chops that Django had will always be a marvel.  Reinhardt also was a good […]

2020 is a time of heightened consciousness about “diversity inclusiveness.” That’s not wrong. Even in the seemingly open-minded field of Jazz, so-called minority players are routinely edged out, and programming decisions must be attentive—rightly—to redress those exclusions. The reason this is worth talking about for November’s WICN artist of the month, Mary Lou Williams, is […]

WICN’s October Artist of the Month For forty years now, Pat Metheny has been the emblem and the model for one particular vision of jazz creativity.  It’s fresh and light, visionary, radio friendly, and unabashedly tech-savvy—in a way that not all jazz is comfortable with. Metheny is an unusual entry in the roster of jazz […]

It’s difficult to represent the importance of Charlie Parker on the development of Jazz in a brief overview. To give his musical impact the weight it deserves, we would have to review Parker’s music for a couple of hours every single day—alongside a balanced diet of 90 minutes of Duke Ellington, an hour of Louis […]

Jazz fans sometimes have trouble connecting with the outside world on the matter of music, even with friends. Who is Eric Dolphy? Why can’t she just sing the melody? How do you follow this music? There’s seemingly no common ground to meet on. Jimmy Smith is often the solution to that problem: in among the […]

Across the last 40 years, Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has grown to be one of the great trumpet heroes of our time. Sandoval represents the bravura high-pressure, high-intensity, high-note tradition of Dizzy Gillespie—a virtuosic style that’s at its best when fueled by the high level of Sandoval’s creativity. This month you’ll hear him prance and […]

If a Mt. Rushmore existed for Jazz vocalists , who would be enshrined there? Surely the likenesses of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Anita O’Day. Many would also place our April Artist of the Month, Carmen McRae, there among the best and most influential singers that Jazz has ever encountered. Let’s consider why. Carmen McRae […]


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