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Come From Away
comefromaway.com

Theater critic Michael Bourne selects this season's best musicals. 

Click above to hear Michael's picks.

Bus Huxley
Jon Kalish for WBGO

On YouTube there's a thriving genre in which woodworkers, mechanics, chefs and other makers document the step-by-step process behind their creations.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish went to Waterford, Maine where Gardner Waldeier has been entertaining viewers from the workshop attached to his 18th Century farmhouse.

Click above to hear Jon's feature on Bus Huxley's.

U.S. Women's Open Championship
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 72nd U.S. Women's Open Championship is coming to New Jersey in mid July.  The USGA held its media day at Trump National Bedminster Wednesday. 

The day included a clinic for young girls featuring three of the top players on the women's tour, reigning U.S. Open Champ Brittany Lang, 2007 U.S. Open Champion Cristie Kerr and the current world number one ranked player Lydia Ko.

The U.S. Women's Open Champion runs from July 13th through July 16th.  WBGO's Doug Doyle gives us an audio postcard from the event as well as a chat with Brittany Lang on the putting green.

Ortley Beach
NJ Department of Environmental Protection

A $128 million dollar beach protection project along 14 miles of New Jersey coastline will begin after the Memorial Day holiday.

State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says extending the beach farther out into the ocean will begin in Ortley Beach because water is lapping up against homes on that narrow section of shoreline.

"So any storm we have, any nor'easter we have, clearly those homes are in danger. We've had to help get them put more sand on that beach on a constant basis just to provide some basic protection over the last few years."

Gasoline prices are about four cents a gallon higher than a week ago, but you might not be seeing much more of an increase.

Tom Kloza is the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, New Jersey.

He predicts crude oil prices won’t be going up, and that should keep gas prices about where they are now for most of the summer, about $2.40 a gallon.

Dorothy Darr

Saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd has led some rather spectacular bands over the years — from his heralded late-1960s quartet to the Marvels, his current group with guitarist Bill Frisell. Passin’ Thru, due out on Blue Note on July 14, captures the unique intensity of the Charles Lloyd New Quartet, a decade-long proposition with Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. 

Newark Today

20 hours ago

A bill awaiting final passage in the New Jersey Senate would require home health care aides to be paid $18 an hour.

The measure follows cuts in the reimbursement rate for personal care services funded through Medicaid managed care organizations.

Kearny resident Victor Muniz was injured in 2008 when a tree branch hit his head during a storm. He says home health care helped him with basic tasks and he's been able to graduate from college, get a job, and get married.

A bill introduced in New Jersey's Legislature would establish a system to track and analyze EMS crews' response to medical emergencies.

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway is a doctor. He says the tracking system could help identify what procedures improve patient outcomes in emergency situations.

thestephencranehouse.org

Author Stephen Crane and Asbury Park’s paths intertwined at birth.  Asbury Park was founded in 1871. Stephen Crane was born the same year. 

“He was born in Newark; his father was the head of all of the Methodist churches in Newark at the time.  His father had written pamphlets on the evils of reading novels, dancing, and things like that.  All of the things that Stephen liked to do,” said ​Frank D’Alessandro, owner of The Stephen Crane House.

New Jersey officials say the beaches are in good shape for the start of the summer season and the ocean water quality is excellent. 

But President Trump's proposed budget would eliminate federal funds for the program that tests the water at more than 200 bay and ocean beaches in the state.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says the state has all the money it needs to do that testing this year.

President Trump's budget proposal to increase premiums to preserve the federal flood insurance program is meeting with plenty of criticism in New Jersey.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty says a sharp increase in flood insurance premiums would be a mistake.

Phil Gregory / WBGO

Martin Robins with the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University says diverting access to New York City on only one train line is a simple plan.

system-sounds.com

Dan Tepfer is a pianist and composer whose new album, Eleven Cages, is due out next Friday. He also maintains a keen interest in science — especially astrophysics, the subject of his undergraduate degree. We asked him to elaborate on some recent findings in a faraway solar system, and he came back with this absorbing lesson in the music of planetary orbits.

 

Josh Goleman

Dan Tepfer is a unique combination of things — a jazz pianist, a scientist with a degree in astrophysics, a computer programmer, even an occasional book reviewer for The New York Times. You'd never think a man of his talent and determination would also be prone to being locked up — figuratively, or, as he reveals in this Checkout podcast, literally.


New Look Newark Museum Coming in 2018

May 24, 2017
Newark Museum

 

A 5.5 million dollar renovation to the Newark Museum will restore its original entrance on Washington Street.  Museum CEO Steven Kern says it will expand the capacity for more exhibits.

“By opening these doors and reconnecting with the community, replacing big bronze doors with glass doors so people so people can see what is happening in the museum as they walk by.  [It] means that we can also redistribute space on the inside so we can grow the size of our special exhibition space to make us more competitive nationally.”

Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Experimental music fans have a new festival to look forward to this fall: The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music will take place in Philadelphia from October 5-8. Presented by Ars Nova Workshop in partnership with FringeArts, it will include Anthony Braxton, the eminent multi-reedist and composer; The Art Ensemble of Chicago, a pioneering group in the postwar avant-garde; and Claire Chase, flutist and founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble.  

Governor Chris Christie says an agreement between Amtrak and New Jersey Transit will limit disruptions for commuters this summer as aging tracks and equipment are replaced at New York's Penn Station.

Christie says only the Morris and Essex Line's Midtown Direct train service will be affected by the work that will be done over an eight-week period from July through Labor Day.

"For three-quarters of the New Jersey Transit customers travel patterns will not be modified in any way including the Trenton to New York Northeast Corridor Line."

Advocates are praising Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto's plans to improve New Jersey's paid family leave program.

Prieto's bill would increase the maximum family leave from six weeks to 12, raise the current $633 cap on weekly benefits to as much as $932, and expand the family members who qualify for paid leave to include siblings, grandparents, and parents-in-law.

Eric Richard with the New Jersey AFL-CIO says the current paid family leave law does not provide job protection for workers at firms with fewer than 50 employees.

New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition / Center For Food Action

President Trump’s proposed budget would cut $190 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

“Some of the people in the program now would no longer be eligible and no longer have access.  There won’t be enough money,” said Adele LaTourette, director, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.  “Basically we’re talking about gutting the SNAP program.  Which is the frontline of defense against hunger.   I don’t know what the thinking is behind this except there isn’t much thinking.”

Pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has been on the road in recent weeks, touring behind his accomplished new album, Tributary Tales. Tonight he begins a weeklong engagement at the Village Vanguard, with a trio. He led a slightly bigger crew when he played WBGO's Yamaha Salon Concert Series, at which this new video — for a moseying, Monkish ballad called "Wakeful" — was filmed.

Drug users desperate to kick the habit are now turning to some New Jersey police departments for help.

Brick Township police chief James Riccio says about 150 drug users showed up at police stations in Brick and Manchester Township since the Heroin Addiction Response program was launched in January

Bernhard Ley

Mickey Roker, a soulful and deeply propulsive drummer who carried a torch for literate hard-bop in the decades after its commercial peak, died on Monday in Philadelphia, where he was a local jazz institution. He was 84.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Debra Roker, who cited natural causes but noted that he had lung cancer and diabetes, among other health issues.

Governor Christie insists his proposed $300 million renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse is going to happen.

Several lawmakers concerned about the expense have filed a lawsuit to block the work. They say only the repairs needed to ensure the safety of the building should be done.

Christie says it won’t be scaled back while he’s the governor.

The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill intended to strengthen protections against employment discrimination.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey says it would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their employment history.

“There’s only one reason for that and that’s to be able to pay a person less if they can. If a job is worth something, it’s worth something to each and every person who comes in, especially a woman.”

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt says the measure is another opportunity to take down a barrier toward equal pay.

The essence of jazz is improvisation, it's often said. But there should also be a special clause for collaboration or communion — the magic that can happen when two or more are gathered to a creative end. Take Five celebrates that ideal this week, with results all over the stylistic map. Start with a fresh take on a tricky bebop head, and keep it moving.

John Rogers

For more than a few musicians based in New York City, the path to Cuba has been facilitated by one extraordinary human, saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman. Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, who appears with Coleman's Five Elements at the Village Vanguard through Sunday, is among the artists to partake in such a pilgrimage. 

Broadway
Michael Bourne for WBGO

 

It’s time for the theater awards. Theater critic Michael Bourne looks at the nominees for Best New Play on Broadway.

Click above to hear his choices.

Gulliver's Gate
Jon Kalish for WBGO

Times Square has been called the crossroads of the world. A new tourist attraction that opened there this month displays much of the world under one roof in miniature form.

Models of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas comprise the new exhibit, Gulliver’s Gate.  WBGO's Jon Kalish went to check it out. Hear his report by clicking above.

Alexandra Hill

The city of Newark recently celebrated the opening of the Shani Baraka Women’s resource center for women in crisis, to provide emergency services for women affected by domestic violence. The center has a personal connection to both the city itself and its mayor.

“You never think your going to be that person you never think your going to be that woman.”

28-year-old Newark native Christina Bright is a domestic violence survivor, she says she hopes the center will be able to reach those women who are often afraid or even ashamed to go out and get the help they need.

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