Steve Williams

Director of Programming

Steve’s grandfather introduced him to jazz at the age of 15, the same year he got his first job in radio. He eventually became an award-winning producer and programming director for numerous stations in cities across the country, including New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.  Along the way, he developed a keen understanding of the natural world, specifically animals of various shapes, sizes and species. Steve has been at the helm of the WBGO programming department since January of 2015.

Ways to Connect

Manhattan School of Music is home to undergraduate and graduate degree programs in jazz, developed under the leadership of jazz artist and educator Justin DiCioccio.  For Jazz Appreciation Month, we have three of the school's jazz ensembles: MSM Jazz Orchestra, MSM Mingus Ensemble, and MSM Jazz Arts Vocal Big Band.

New York University’s Jazz Studies program is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, hallowed ground for generations of jazz artists and fans alike. To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, assistant professor and saxophonist Dave Pietro introduces us to the NYU Wayne Shorter Ensemble, which explores the compositions of NYU alumnus and Newark native Wayne Shorter.

The Royal Academy of Music is Britain's oldest degree-granting music school. Since its establishment in 1822, the conservatory has produced a lengthy roster of versatile and creative luminaries; Sir John Dankworth, Joe Jackson, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox are RAM alumni.

The School of Jazz at The New School in New York City is known for nurturing young and gifted improvisers. Such is the case with The Blake Opper New School Jazz Quartet, which sports an unusual configuration: two saxophonists, a bassist, and a drummer. The musicians, all in their junior year at The New School, performed four original compositions by saxophonist Blake Opper.

William Paterson University has 24 jazz ensembles. Bill Charlap, the renowned pianist who serves as the school's Director of Jazz Studies, brought one of them to perform in our studio for Jazz Appreciation Month.

Montreal is home to the largest jazz festival in the world, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. So it’s no surprise that the city is also the home to one of the most prestigious music schools in Canada, The Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc is Associate Professor and Jazz Area Chair at McGill.

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month with WBGO !

Pianist and head of Jazz Studies at Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music, Peter Malinverni handpicked the university's Ahmad Jamal Tribute Septet for a performance in our studio. The ensemble features freshmen and grad students interpreting music recorded by pianist Ahmad Jamal.