Music

WEAA offers an exquisite mixture of music programming, with a focus on artists, not labels. Our music is rooted in mainstream and contemporary jazz and is complimented by gospel, blues, reggae, world music, and hip-hop and even house music.

"The stars fill the sky / So in love with you am I," wrote Cole Porter in "So In Love," one of countless adored songs within the Great American Songbook, and performed with stirring reverence by vocalist Brianna Thomas in this week's concert.

(WEAA) Neo-Soul singer, songwriter India Arie with her positive self image lyrics has empowered many women and girls of color. 

 Multiple Grammy Award nominations with four wins, India's songs have become today's movement music, including a tribute to civil rights pioneers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and others. Hear her story!

  

Black History Month, founded as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926, is an annual recognition of the centrality of African-American history and culture in the United States. While Black History Month provides an opportunity to celebrate, it is also a reminder that true equality and the rights of full citizenship is not yet a reality.

Photo credit: Twitter @lisafischersing

(WEAA) Lisa Fischer, "How Can I Ease the Pain” Grammy award-winning vocalist and former back-up singer for Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner and Sting. The soulful artist also toured with The Rolling Stones for more than a decade. Hear her story on “Spotlight On Women in Music” with Mykel Hunter.

Saint Coltrane: The Church Built On 'A Love Supreme'

Feb 2, 2021

John Coltrane composed these words in December 1964, as part of a poem he called A Love Supreme.

I have seen God – I have seen ungodly – none can be greater – none can compare to God.

Lost (And Found) In Yonkers: The Billy Lester Story

Jan 28, 2021

Public acknowledgment took its time finding Billy Lester. A pianist devoted to searching for a new form of modern jazz, he spent more than half a century on the outskirts of New York City, quietly honing his craft. "I just figured I'd go to my grave without any kind of recognition," he says plainly, "and I was at the point in my life where I totally accepted that."

(WEAA) Motown's voice of the 60's, known for notable duets with Marvin Gaye.

Hear Tammi Terrell's story on "Spotlight on Women in Music" with Mykel Hunter.

  

  

The great South African trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, who was an ambassador for his country's music around the globe and an advocate against apartheid at home, died today. Gwangwa's death was announced in a statement published on the web site of the presidency of the Republic of South Africa. He was 83 years old.

We Need To Be Able To Feel

Jan 15, 2021

I can think of no better summation of our shared experience over the last year than "A World Lost," the title of the piece that opens Maria Schneider's Data Lords. A slow, foreboding dirge in an oblong time signature, it instantly sets a tone of somber contemplation.

If you're old enough, you might recall the comic Godfrey Cambridge from late-night television in the 1960s, when he was one of a new wave of black stand-ups (others included Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory) who, though addressing racial issues in their monologues, came up through jazz clubs and beatnik coffee houses rather than the chitlin circuit, and positioned themselves more kin to George Carlin than integration-ready offspring of Red Foxx and Moms Mabley.

The 2020 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Jan 14, 2021

Below are the results of NPR Music's 8th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 15th, going back to the poll's beginnings in the Village Voice). These are the jazz albums that lit up a dark, unsettling year. Maria Schneider's Data Lords was the critics choice — no surprise, though relative unknown Sara Serpa's victory in the Vocal category in a year when both Kurt Elling and Gregory Porter released new albums was.

In the 2019 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, five of the top 10 new releases were recordings led or co-led by women artists — a startling 50%. In fact, it is the largest number of projects led by women in the top 10 since the annual poll began 14 years ago, surpassing 2018, when women comprised a third of those rankings.

(BALTIMORE, MD) In this week's "Spotlight on Women in Music", Mykel Hunter is honoring the London-based singer- songwriter Lianne La Havas. 

For more on Lianne La Havas, click here. 

In this week's "Spotlight on Women in Music", Mykel Hunter is honoring singer, songwriter Gloria Estefan.

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