Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting Social - Dennis

KCCK is expanding our presence in social networking. We've had a Facebook page for awhile, but haven't really promoted (but thanks to the 50 people who found us on their own!). Become a Fan of KCCK on Facebook, and you can check out pictures from the Corridor Jazz Project recording sessions, view a video from Jazz To The World, and comment on our programming.

I've been writing a Twitter feed for several weeks now, (@dgreencr if you'd like to follow me) and we've recently set up Twitter for KCCK as well. "Follow" KCCK on Twitter (@jazz883kcck) and our "tweets" will include plugs for upcoming programs, last-minute updates and changes that occur after this email goes out, and maybe a chance to win a prize!

Click on the highlighted text above to connect with us in these new regions in cyberspace. And, if you have no idea what we're talking about, click on the links anyway and learn something new!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembering Paul - Lisa Baum

One of my favorite jazz fans passed away January 22. Paul Hemingway, 51, a West Branch farmer listened to KCCK in his combine, tractor and at his home. Have you ever met someone and at that very time had a feeling of true familiarity? That was my experience when I met Paul. We were church friends, both attending Quaker Church in West Branch.

A busy husband and dad, Paul was dedicated to his family and was involved with Boy Scouts. He was the guy who kept the scout bus running. He was selfless and self reliant. He taught that to his young brood.

He introduced me to Chris Botti, expanded my interest in Latin jazz with our two trips to Cuba and was excited when he learned of the Grammy going to Herbie Hancock for his production of River, the compilation of Joni Mitchell pieces.

Farming is a day and night profession. Paul listened to Jazz 88.3 out in the field and doing his book-keeping by the wood fire. He was a dedicated and generous KCCK supporter, too. And he remembered the station even in his last days, asking friends remember his favorite jazz station in considering memorials for him. He was a man of action, living his faith and life to the fullest.

Thanks for being part of my life, Paul.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Elling in Iowa City--Bob Stewart

One of my favorite jazz singers performed at the Englert Theater in Iowa City January 24. Kurt Elling is the premiere jazz vocalist on the scene today, and he featured music from one of my favorite vocal cds in his concert.

Hearing John Coltrane for the first time back in high school was what got me hooked on jazz, those great sides of his from the late '50s. My first exposure to Johnny Hartman didn't happen until I began working at KCCK, and I immediately became a fan of his smooth baritone voice. Their collaboration from 1963 is a jazz classic,and Mr. Elling will bring a unique spin to the songs on that disc, along with other pieces, as arranged by Elling and his longtime musical partner Laurence Hobgood. Veteran saxophonist Ernie Watts fills the Coltrane chair for the concert, with the Ethel String Quartet filling out the sound.

I had chance to talk with Mr. Elling ahead of his concert. You can hear that conversation by clicking here. Find out Mr. Elling's interesting connection to President Barak Obama!

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Sax legend Ernie Watts appears with Kurt Elling - Gordon

Saxophonist and composer Ernie Watts is perhaps the most recorded of all living saxophonists. This two-time Grammy Award winner is equally at home in rock, pop, and jazz. Over the last 40 years he has recorded with everyone from Cannonball Adderly to Frank Zappa.

Watts joined singer Kurt Elling, The Laurence Hobgood Trio, and the Ethel Sting Quartet in “Dedicated to You,” a tribute to the legendary John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman collaboration at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City January 24.

Prior to the concert, I spoke with Ernie by phone from his home in California about his career, his influences, his latest CD and the concert with Kurt Elling.

Click here to the hear the interview.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CR Native on CD of the Month - Gordon

Cedar Rapids native Rusty Jones was the former drummer for jazz giants George Shearing and Marian McPartland. Rusty was also was a member of the band that backed-up the legendary trumpeter Chet Baker on a previously unreleased 1986 recording session that is now available as “Chet in Chicago” and featured as KCCK’s
“CD of the Month” for January.

I spoke with Rusty by phone from his home in Chicago about his early years as an
up-and-coming musician in Cedar Rapids and his experiences and recollections from performing with many jazz greats including Chet Baker.

Click here to the hear the interview.