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Wendy Wright has been on the radio at WEMU since April 2000. She served as host of 89.1 Jazz, Sunday mornings from 5-8 a.m. from 2000-June 2007 when she was asked to host From Memphis to Motown.
An Ann Arbor Native (Dicken, Slauson, Pioneer), Wendy holds a BA from U of M in Theater and History and has worked towards a MA in Arts Management from EMU.
Jessica Webster came by her jazz obsessions at a very early age after hearing Fats Waller and the Manhattan Transfer when she was nine years old. In high school, while her friends were mooning over the latest pop stars, Jessica was collecting autographs from jazz legends and reading back issues of Downbeat magazine. Early encouragement from Carmen McRae and Art Blakey convinced Jessica that a life in jazz was the path for her. After moving to Ann Arbor at the age of 18, Jessica studied saxophone with the great Morris Lawrence, Jr., but put her horn down for good when Dr. Lawrence passed away unexpectedly. Six years clerking at the legendary Schoolkids’ Records was followed by twelve years as the national jazz buyer for the Borders chain, resulting in Jessica being repeatedly named one of the ten most powerful people in the jazz industry.
Joe Tiboni’ s love affair with the blues began while he was a student at University High School in Ann Arbor in the 1960’ s, listening to blues records along with the rock and roll of the period. The early Ann Arbor Blues Festivals and the healthy live music scene played a major role in cementing the relationship.
Music moves me. Music teaches me. Music saves me.
In my mixed-up, confused and wandering life nothing has come close to matching the steady influence that music has had on me throughout.
I’ve gone through all sorts of phases. My priorities change with the seasons. My favorite food today settles blandly on my palate tomorrow. But that music is integral to my being is steadfast, unwavering.
How best to put it? Music, despite its propensity to be eccentric and odd, makes me feel normal. It helps me with my bearings. It keeps me from driving of the road and into a tree.
How It Happened
My parents enjoyed music. Mom used to sing to us as children and taught us the song as well. We had children's records. I remember being particularly enamored of an album of cowboy songs and a record whose songs taught lessons related to astronomy and space travel. Everybody liked the Beatles, but the record I pestered my parents about was the first album from the Kinks. They bought us a copy, and their reward was months of hearing me shout, "Oh, yeah!", as Ray and Dave churned through "You Really Got Me."