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Vocalist Claudia Acuña discovered the full swing of imagination in music at a young age, growing up in Chile. Early inspiration came from a diverse range of artists: Violeta Parra, Michael Jackson, Mozart. Acuña then found herself drawn to jazz and its limitless freedom of expression. During a recent conversation with Sheila Anderson, the Chilean singer, songwriter and arranger shared her story.

Jazz musicians, almost by definition, seek an active dialogue between the impulsive and the rational. For some, the terms of that negotiation become a central feature of their art. Dan Tepfer is one of those: a pianist and composer who sees improvisation as the ideal expression of freedom within a framework.

Petru Ivu Photography

Did you know there was a vibrant jazz scene in Romania? We certainly didn't — until witnessing it firsthand, on the ground at the Bucharest Jazz Festival. Let us introduce you to A-C Leonte, a jazz-trained singer and violinist now veering into the realm of electronica.

Cristi Mitrea - corporate, PR and event photography

 

Ari Hoenig burns bright in New York's underground jazz scene, regularly getting shine almost every Monday at Smalls Jazz Club.

Bud Lee Archives / Sergio Waksman Design

Media coverage of the 1967 Newark Rebellion depicted chaos in New Jersey’s largest city, but many people who were there say some major inaccuracies were reported as fact.

“Sniper Fire from open windows kills two policemen a fire captain shot in the back while answering a false alarm and several bystanders. Officials say the snipers, some not believed to be Newark residents use guns stolen from a local rifle factory.  Even machine guns were used,” said one movie house newsreel following the Newark riots.

Steve Sandberg / For Senator Bob Menendez

The BEACH ACT requires the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that   the most up to date standards are being used to test beach water for contaminants.  Congressman Frank Pallone says right now that’s not happening.

“Most of the time it takes about twenty-four hours.  Our bill would allow for four hours, or try to mandate a four-hour test so people would know even quicker,” Pallone said. Then they can go on the website or they can find out from the media whether they can swim in a particular location.  Then when it’s cleaned up, they know that it is and they can go back.”

Pipeline
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Pipeline at Lincoln Center Theater.

Dunkirk
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

WBGO film critic Harlan Jacobson gives high marks to Christopher Nolan's latest movie Dunkirk.

Choclatt Jared
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Choclatt Jared and his band have played their bucket drums on The Grammy Awards, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, and Saturday Night Live — and in movies with Mel Gibson and Sharon Stone. Later this year he will appear in the movie Breaking Brooklyn, with Lou Gossett, Jr.

Jacob Blickenstaff

Courtesy of The Atlantic

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic," a quintessentially American invention, first appeared as a poem on the cover of The Atlantic Monthly, in February 1862.

At a hearing in Trenton New Jersey lawmakers got an update on the progress of repair work at New York's Penn Station.

Amtrak vice president Mike DeCataldo says two weeks into the infrastructure renewal program, the track replacement work is going well.

"The progress we've made is better than we had anticipated. If we are able to complete this phase of the project sooner, we will roll into the next phase very quickly. It's kind of premature to say how much earlier we may or may not get done, but we are on plan and we are slightly ahead of schedule."   

Willerm Delisfort, a pianist and composer born in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, has established himself over the last six years as a well-respected musician on the New York jazz scene. He sat down with Sheila Anderson on Salon Sessions to share some of his favorite records, talk about his latest project, and break down the meaning behind his phrase "honest music."

Bob Wolff
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The sports broadcasting world lost one of its finest this past weekend. Bob Wolff, the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all four major North American professional team sports, has died at the age of 96.

Wolff died peacefully in his South Nyack home Saturday night.  The Yankees said in a team statement, "Bob Wolff's inconic, Hall-of Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character."  Bob was a guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle in 2014. 

Spike Doyle
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Francis "Spike" Doyle, Jr. is the reason that this host became a sports fan and played high school sports in Western Pennsylvania.

My dad turns 88 today and still plays nine holes of golf almost every week.  While the knees aren't like they used to be during his days as a top catcher in the area, Spike can still play a solid round of golf, using woods more than irons.

In 2014, I decided to sit down and find out some information that most of our family wasn't even aware of.  This edition of SportsJam is my most treasured.

Allison Au performs at FIJM
Valerie Gay-Bessette for FIJM

I quit buying Cuban cigars in Montreal 20 years ago. U.S. Customs back then was just inside the airport entrance — and, before 9/11, security was not much more than a look at one’s passport. I’d brought back Cuban cigars before without an agent objecting, but one morning in the '90s an agent…objected. When he asked matter-of-factly if I’d bought any, I openly said “Yes.  Two.” 

“You have two choices,” he said with a shrug. “You can throw them in this trash can,” he said with a smile.  “Or you can go out on the sidewalk and smoke them now.”

Many towns and counties in New Jersey have local laws requiring address numbers to be displayed at homes and commercial buildings, but there's no statewide mandate.

That can cause problems.

Even with your GPS getting you close to it, locating an unfamiliar building can be difficult. Without seeing the address number you can't be sure you're at the right place.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty says it's more than an inconvenience.

A New Jersey Congressman's legislation calls for a three-year limit on the feds for demanding homeowners repay disaster recovery money.

Congressman Tom MacArthur says his bill would prevent FEMA from trying to recoup grant money many years after it was awarded.  

"What brought it to my attention initially was a single mom of a disabled child who had gotten a $40,000 grant from FEMA and about two years later FEMA came back and said they make a mistake, and they were demanding the money back. She had used the money to repair her home."

courtesy of Barney Fields

“Hey Bob Porter, this is Joe Fields. I’ve got a Grant Green album and I need some liner notes.” That phone call was my introduction to one of the genuine good guys in the jazz business.

Drawing on economic data and insights from business leaders, a consulting firm is suggesting ways New Jersey can improve its economy.

Steve van Kuiken is a senior partner at McKinsey and Company. He says helping high-growth biotech, cybersecurity, and warehousing and distribution businesses navigate regulations and increase their access to capital will help turbo-charge the state's economic growth.

Tracy Love / Courtesy of the Artist

Maceo Parker, the Sun Ra Arkestra and the Terri Lyne Carrington Band are among the acts performing on the third annual BRIC JazzFest, in downtown Brooklyn this fall.

Roberto Clemente
Danny Torres for WBGO

About 300 items from the legendary baseball star Roberto Clemente's personal collection were auctioned during All-Star week in Miami, Florida.  The total sales came in more than $3 million. 

In December of 2014, baseball journalist and Clemente enthusiast Danny Torres and former Major League Baseball executive Luis Rodriguez-Mayoral join SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about Clemente's impact on baseball and beyond.

jazz.org

  Jazz at Lincoln Center will honor three greats this week as part of the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame Festival.   

McCoy Tyner, the late Don Redman, and Tito Peunte are the latest inductees to the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is hosting three nights of curated sets starting tonight.  Seton Hawkins oversees the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame.

Bill Charlap — pianist, bandleader and the artistic director of Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y — knows a thing or two about being a custodian of jazz traditions.

An analysis by an environmental group finds that 55 percent of the water in schools in New Jersey's most populous county show some level of lead contamination.

Schools had until last week to test their water for lead and Environment New Jersey director Doug O'Malley believes the results in Bergen County indicate what will be found statewide.

He says it's a wakeup call for the state to fund replacement of school water fountains and fixtures that contain lead.

CHUCK STEWART / COURTESY OF THE SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY

John Coltrane died 50 years ago today, at the tragic age of 40. The shock of his death was seismic, for a jazz community still growing accustomed to the hurtling evolution of his music.

Kelly Jensen Photography

Whatever else you have going on, you should hear some live music this week.

1984
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic Michael Bourne has his thoughts on the politically edgy 1984 on Broadway.

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan have adapted the iconic George Orwell novel for this production at Hudson Theater Broadway.

NJ Advance Media and The Newark Public Library

Kenneth Gibson was elected the first African-American Mayor of the city of Newark in 1970, just 3 years after the Newark Rebellion, inheriting a city that was still recovering from the events of the summer of 1967, a job most politicians may have shied away from but for Gibson the timing was just right. Hear his story in his own words. 

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