89.1 WEMU

89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn

Weekdays 9:00am to 12:30pm

Music Director, Linda Yohn hosts 89.1 Jazz  on 89.1 WEMU each weekday

9:00AM-12:30PM

Hannah Baiardi
Linda Yohn

If you want to know where jazz is going today, you must check in with the next generation of musicians who are taking it in new directions.  One such musician is pianist, vocalist, lyricist, and composer Hannah Baiardi.  Hannah is in her fifth year of studying jazz and improvisational music at The University of Michigan with the esteemed professional music faculty including Ellen Rowe, Benny Green and Dennis Wilson.  Hannah has taken full advantage of the opportunities at UM.  That means she was able to record in the outstanding studios of The Duderstadt Center.  

To wrap up our 40 Years of Jazz celebration, WEMU is inviting area musicians and jazz fans to come in the studio and be a Guest DJ.  Today’s guest was drummer Sean Dobbins.  Sean remembers years ago when his main musical mentor, trumpeter, and teacher Louis Smith told Sean to listen to WEMU to hear more of the music he wanted to play.  WEMU has been a big part of Sean’s life and Sean has been a big player in our sound and programming for years.  

Today would have been the great pianist Art Tatum's 108th birthday.  WEMU celebrated his birth in 1909 with Dr. Imelda Hunt, author Does A Genius? - A Tribute To Art Tatum.  Dr. Hunt is a new faculty member of the Department of Africology and African Studies at Eastern Michigan University.  She brings a deep understanding of African-Americans in the midwest including her hometown of Toledo, Ohio -  also Art Tatum's hometown.  Dr. Hunt's research revealed Art Tatum's neighborhood, the legendary department stores, dance halls, and nightclubs where he performed and details about his loving and supportive family.   Dr. Hunt also shared how the experience of listening to Art Tatum's brilliant music inspired her to write many poems, two of which she shared in conversation.  Enjoy the genius of Art Tatum and a heartfelt appreciation from Dr. Imelda Hunt.

As I wrap up 30 years of jazz radio at WEMU, what strikes me most about this job is the relationships:  with staff members, musicians and you.  A way to celebrate those relationships is to share the studio and time.  That is why I am inviting area musicians to be a “guest DJ” for an hour.  You will learn much about your favorite musicians as they share stories of the music and musicians that inspired them.  Case in point – today’s talk with saxophonist and flutist Doug Horn. 

Chris Collins
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

The annual Detroit Jazz Festival preview program is one of my 89.1 Jazz highlights of the year.  This year’s foretaste of Labor Day weekend’s musical treats was extra special because Chris Collins joined me live in studio – reacting in real time to the music and sharing a live one-on-one conversation.  

As WEMU gets ready for our TRUEMU trip to Comerica Park to take on the Kansas City Royals, I drew up a baseball-themed playlist to get you fired up.  We enlisted the advice of fellow jazz programmers around the nation for their suggestions yielded many more creative ideas.  Adding pieces with a definite WEMU-Ann Arbor, and Detroit connection gives this list an ultra-special distinction.  I picked one song per inning as well as the seventh-inning stretch and tossed in one more in case our game requires an extra inning for a total of 11 favorites.  

Tuesday, April 25th marked the centennial birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, The First Lady Of Song.  To celebrate in a truly meaningful way, I invited singer Dawn Giblin to join me in WEMU’s studio for an appreciation of Ella’s majesty and magic.  Dawn is taking her place in the front ranks of classic jazz and swing singers in Southeastern Michigan.  She works with two very discerning accompanists:  pianist James Dapogny and cellist Mike Karoub who know true talent when they hear it.   They heard a gifted natural in Dawn Giblin and encouraged her.  

A quiet force for good.  A gifted and intuitive communicator.  A treasured member of Detroit’s creative community.  A jazz lover, enthusiast, scholar, and promoter.  All of these phrases describe W. Kim Heron, recipient of the 2017 Detroit Jazz Hero Award presented tonight at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club by the Jazz Journalist’s Association (JJA).

Last October, WEMU offered "An Hour With Linda Yohn and WEMU" as a silent auction prize at the Riverside Arts Center fundraising party.  The recipient of the hour was bassist Eric Walters who loves playing all styles of music on acoustic bass.  In his hour of music and conversation, Eric touched on swing, bebop, blues, Henry Ford's plan for automotive plants around Michigan mill towns, the legacy of Ypsilanti's public school music teachers and experiencing live big band music in Eastern Michigan University's Pease Auditorium.

Amy Nesbitt, Artistic and Executive Director of The Ann Arbor Summer Festival made her annual stop at the WEMU studio to discuss the 2017 Mainstage Series.  She and I reminisced about Diana Krall’s early career including the significant impact Ann Arbor had on her rise in popularity.  Amy filled us in on shows for the entire family and hipped us to a big party with Ira Glass, host of This American Life prior to his show.  The 2017 Ann Arbor Summer Festival Mainstage Series brings Ann Arbor favorites together with fresh surprises.

Organissimo
Courtesy photo

5:01 Jazz on Friday, March 3rd will be a spectacular jazz, blues, and pop music party when Organissimo presents their Ann Arbor CD release party for “B3tles – A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four.” Get to the usual location, Rush Street Nightclub – 314 South Main Street – by 5 PM to grab a great seat for the free show. 

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has announced Diana Krall will return to Ann Arbor to open the 34th season of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Mainstage series on June 6th.

Linda Yohn
courtesy photo

For immediate release: 89.1, WEMU’s Linda Yohn, is hanging up the headphones and calling it a career after 30 years as music director at the NPR/Jazz station at Eastern Michigan University. Her last day on-air will be December 4, 2017, which will also mark the end of a year-long celebration of WEMU’s 40th anniversary of featuring a jazz format.

No one is more lively and in-person as a singer and entertainer than Ramona Collins.  It is great to bring Ramona back again for 5:01 Jazz – especially in February for Black History Month and for a touch of Valentine’s Day sweetness.  

Ted Nash with a saxophone
courtesy of the artist

  Leading up to the November 8th election, WEMU will feature a track every weekday morning from the new CD Presidential Suite by The Ted Nash Big Band during 89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn.  The recording is sub-titled Eight Variations On Freedom.  Saxophonist Ted Nash composed pieces based on addresses by important American and international leaders who were committed to peace, justice and freedom.

Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

If you’re jazz fan in Detroit, Labor Day weekend means visiting Hart Plaza or strolling Woodward Avenue for the Detroit Jazz Festival.   What a way to wrap up summer!  Over the years, the festival has evolved, grown and changed just as the music itself.  Chris Collins, Artistic Director of The Detroit Jazz Festival and President of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board has been a chief change-maker for the annual jazz party.  

Many factors have shaped jazz in Ann Arbor, but trumpeter and educator Louis Smith has to be at the top of the list for modern jazz and education.  Sean Dobbins, Rick Roe, Justin Walter and Ingrid Racine will testify to his grace, wisdom, strength and total honesty as a teacher.  He encouraged a professional attitude and exponential musical growth from middle school students.  His students could play rings around others years older!

What you hear on the air on WEMU is the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Your donations to WEMU keep things moving on both fronts. Our next "meet the staff" interview is with a hard working woman that never stops trying to make the best WEMU possible.  She's our Music Director and host of 89.1 Jazz, Linda Yohn.

Terence Blanchard
Henry-Adebonojo/ Courtesy of the artist

Terence Blanchard is no stranger to Detroit as the 2015-16 Jazz Creative Director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and was the 2012 Artist in Residence for the Detroit Jazz Festival. This Sunday, January 24th trumpeter, composer, arranger Terence Blanchard returns to Detroit for two performances at Cliff Bell’s Nightclub.

We hone in on the terrific regional ‪‎jazz‬ talent you can hear this weekend at The Detroit International Jazz Festival - like Robert Hurst, Evan Perri, Wendell Harrison, Sean Dobbins and many other hometown heroes all week.

Chris Collins
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival joined me Friday to describe many 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival highlights.  

His philosophies as both a jazz educator and musician come to full expression over the four music-filled days.  From the opening multi-media presentation of "Benny's Threads" in tribute to Benny Goodman to the closing concert by Pat Metheny with a string orchestra honoring the late bassist Ebehard Weber, Chris Collins and his team have created a jazz festival unlike any other in the world.  

Shari Kane and Dave Steele
courtesy of the artist

Warm and delicious as hot buttered cinnamon toast, as easy and relaxed as a rewarding after-dinner talk and as soothing as Sunday morning.  That’s my immediate reaction to Feels Like Home, the new album by Shari Kane and Dave Steele.  It’s a perfect complement to the couple’s first recording, Four Hands Blues.  They continue their loving exploration of classic American music including Piedmont and Delta blues along with mountain gospel, Appalachian ballads and ragtime swing guitar.  What differentiates Feels Like Home from Four Hands Blues is the home setting.  Shari and Dave actually built a home studio and took their good sweet time working through each song as we eavesdrop on their intimate conversation involving call and response from acoustic guitar to mandolin to voice.  

Riley B. King, the guitarist better known as B.B. King, whose voice brought blues to the mainstream, died Thursday night. He was 89.

photo by Myra Klarman

 Ann Arbor Summer Festival Executive and Artistic Director Amy Nesbitt joined me Friday for a preview of the 2015 Top Of The Park schedule. The free Top Of The Park offerings and activities have grown remarkably over the years. 

What began as little experiment with one band and free film screenings on top of a parking structure now encompasses a city block with two stages, a full variety of food vendors, family activities, exercise and wellness classes, Michigan craft beer tastings, family favorite films and state-of-the art acrobatic performances. 

 

Duke Ellington Performing
Jazzistry

As April and Jazz Appreciation Month comes to a close with International Jazz Day this Thursday, April 30th, I would like to share a personal jazz experience and how my musical appreciation continues to grow through my friendship with saxophonist Vincent York of Jazzistry.

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