Joybox Express
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Earlier this week, drummer Pete Siers and boogie-woogie piano hero Mr. B joined Linda in the WEMU studios to talk about Pete's new record, Flea Circus ahead of their CD release concert Saturday at The Ark, their special friendship and life in general. 

We're headed into the homestretch of WEMU's 50th anniversary year. The help from our listeners and supporters has made 2015 the most successful year in our 50 year history.

No longer our own Southeastern Michigan Secret, Sean Dobbins is set to make the national release of his album "Journey" on the Detroit Music Factory Records label.

I spoke with Sean just before his appearance at our Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz show.  He explained how the CD is a journey through songs that shaped his early life and took on greater meaning over the years.  

Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Couldn't make it to the festival? Got a massive case of FOMO? You can catch all the highlights from WEMU hosts and staff from the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival right here:

Lots of magazines do big lists, but few rely on them as heavily as Rolling Stone does. The magazine cranks out a list for just about every aspect of popular music. All promise authoritative, canonical overviews of various elements of the art; at their best, these offer context and critical insight, helping readers fill gaps in their knowledge.

Ann Arbor Observer

Hazen Schumacher passed away this Saturday morning in Ann Arbor. 

  The name Hazen Schumacher means many things to many people.  He was a family man first of all – loving husband, father and grandfather.  As a public figure Hazen is remembered with respect at The University of Michigan as a professor of communications and as one of the early pioneers of WUOM, now known as Michigan Radio.  Along with providing guidance to WUOM management, Hazen Schumacher brought national recognition to the station for his syndicated program Jazz Revisited.  It was distributed by WUOM and NPR from 1967 through 1997.  

The New WEMU Mobile App

 The best jazz, news, and blues are even easier to use with the new WEMU app, now out in iTunesGoogle Play, and Kindle! You can listen to our live streams and music programs on demand, browse the local news, share a story with a friend and so much more!

Known as Detroit’s “Jazz Ambassador,” Marcus Belgrave's reputation in the jazz world as a musician and human being of the highest caliber was renowned worldwide.  Yet, Marcus always had time for his hometown friends be they in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.


The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave has passed away at age 78. Belgrave died at in a care and rehabilitation facility, Ann Arbor's Glacier Hills. His partner, singer Joan Belgrave, said he died in his sleep. 

courtesy of the artist

Alberto Nacif, the former and founding host of the program Cuban Fantasy has every reason in the world to be proud of Invisible, the new CD by his Latin jazz ensemble, Aguankó. He joined me in studio to discuss his partnership with fellow percussionist Jose Pepe Espinosa and his deep admiration for Michigan's great musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Rick Roe, Robert Hurst, Russ Miller, Chris Smith and Anthony Stanco. 

Marcus Miller
WikiMedia Commons/fabbio

Jazz musician Marcus Miller's decades-long resume includes multiple Grammy Awards, work with Miles Davis and even an appearance on a Michael Jackson album, but now he's relishing his second calling as a UNESCO Artist For Peace and spokesman for the organization's Slave Route Project.

Courtesy of the artist

Aguankó, the internationally recognized Afro-Cuban jazz group led by Alberto Nacif will share lively Latin melodies at WEMU’s next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz Show, Friday April 10th.  We will return to Rush Street, and get the music going at 5:01 PM sharp.

Duke Ellington Performing

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.

Don Chisholm’s career has been focused on Ann Arbor’s commercial and residential real estate development, but support for the arts and the development of musical expression - especially jazz - never has been far from his heart.

For his years of generous service and philanthropy for jazz and musical theatre in Ann Arbor, property developer Don Chisholm has been selected to receive a 2015 National Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalist’s Association.

Thanks to the over 100 contributors that gave $150 or more to WEMU yesterday. The winners in the drawing for a trip for two to the Grand Hotel  Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival (held September 5-September 7) on Mackinac Island are Eric and Lisa Walters from Ypsilanti.

Linda Yohn
89.1 WEMU

To Be Or Not To Bop by Dizzy Gillespie may be the definitive treatise on the life of the legendary trumpeter and the evolution of the jazz form of “Be-bop”.  While Dizzy’s book is essential jazz literature, the new volume Music Is Forever:  Dizzy Gillespie, The Jazz Legend, And Me by Detroiter Dave Usher is a crucial companion to Dizzy Gillespie’s story.

WEMU is hosting our Jazz  Brunch featuring the trio of Dobbins, Krahnke, and Weed with live music, great food and an awesome view. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family to this special Sunday Brunch!

A gift of $250 gets you entrance for two (plus entrance to our annual Blues Barbecue).

Donate to WEMU
89.1 WEMU-FM

It's fundraising time at WEMU and we are asking you to rise to the challenge and help shrink WEMU's pledge drive.  Our goal this spring is $200,000 and here's the deal.  As soon as we reach the midpoint of $100,000 we will stop fundraising until Monday morning.   Just stop entirely.

Clark Terry, Marcus Belgrave
Wikimedia Commons

When NEA Jazz Master, trumpeter Clark Terry passed away on February 21st, 2015, the jazz world was in mourning.  The mourning did not last long however, as tributes to Terry’s ebullient personality, musical mastery and generous nature as a mentor and jazz educator sprang from all around the globe.  I called trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Detroit’s senior jazz statesman for his thoughts on Clark Terry’s jazz genius.  

WASHINGTON (AP) — An artist’s foundation is donating $2.5 million as an endowment to expand jazz programming at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The museum will announce Tuesday that artist LeRoy Neiman’s foundation is donating the funds, as well as Neiman’s painting “Big Band.” The colorful, large-scale painting features 18 famous jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

 89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman. Join us for a 5:01 celebration of jazz featuring the Brad McNett Quartet (filling in for Bob Mervak & Isabel Nelson due to a family death) Friday, February 6th.

Vocalist Joan Belgrave returned to Ann Arbor about 9 years to care for an ailing family member.  Since her return she started a whole new musical family thanks to her marriage to Detroit jazz icon, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. 

Brad McNett / 89.1 WEMU

Pianist Rick Roe drops in to the 89.1 WEMU studios to chat about Thelonious Monk and Thanksgiving.

On October 30th, The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance gave pianist, composer and arranger Bob James their highest award.  He received The Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted in to the School Of Music, Theater and Dance Hall Of Fame.  The celebration will be complete when Bob James makes his debut appearance as a jazz quintet leader in Hill Auditorium presented by The University Musical Society.