What a treat for you this Saturday at the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert at Newark Symphony Hall. Not only will the one-hour event be hosted by WBGO's Gary Walker, but it will feature the work of jazz and blues pianist, composer, singer producer and educator Eli Yamin.
Yamin remembers when he was a teen he worked for WBGO and couldn't resist playing the piano in the station's performance studio. That same piano is still there today.
Yamin will be joined by many terrific performers including singer and educator Antoinette Montague of Newark.
Yamin co-founded and serves as Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative, a non-profit organization that transforms lives through jazz arts education.
"Jazz Power is rhythm, soul, improvisation inside our bodies, freedom and fun."
Montague says she loves performing with Yamin, as both really enjoy working with kids. Russia was just one of the places they've traveled to bring jazz and joy to kids. Montague says she received advice and confidence from some amazing performers.
"The great Carrie Smith who came to fame on Broadway's Black and Blue and the amazing Etta Jones, both gave me the opportunity to ask a million questions, cut my teeth, look at their contracts and watch them get on and off stage and do what they did to hold an audience."
Yamin remembers his early encounters with some legendary jazz artists when he was working for WBGO.
"I got to go to Art Blakey's house and interview him when I was like 19 or 20 years old because Becca Pulliam sent me out there. It was such an amazing experience and I have strived to honor that legacy by making this experience available to young people I come in contact with here in New York City and New Jersey and around the world. It's an energy. You can read about jazz, but you've got to feel it. It's an oral tradition. So having this radio station as a place where we can gather, it was an essential part of my development and I hope will continue to be an essential part of young people's development for years to come."
Click above to hear more about Saturday's WBGO Kids Jazz event at Newark Symphony Hall, starting at 1:30pm.