Latin jazz

www.robertprester.com

WEMU listeners are discerning judges of good talent.  You have heard gifted pianists such as McCoy Tyner, Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdes, Danilo Perez and Michel Camilo on 89.1 Jazz shows.  We think you will welcome pianist Robert Prester and his new CD Dogtown with open ears.  Not unlike Chucho Valdes and Danilo Perez, Robert Prester followed classical piano studies.  It is evident in his brilliant 32nd note runs and precise technique.  But like the aforementioned, Prester also plays with emotion, feeling, joy and improvisational bliss.  His partners on the disc revel

This morning we salute friends…those people who understand us, help us through rough times, cheer us up and tell us the truth even when we don’t want to hear it.  The important power of friendship this morning on 89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn streaming on wemu.org and on 89.1, WEMU.

As we search for the best new music on  WEMU, we will often feature someone you’ve never heard before but think is worth your time. 

One of the pleasures of working with the talented team of WEMU music hosts is discovering what the weekly consensus of the “most-played” recording will be. Each Sweet 16 list topper reveals another aspect of the WEMU variety. During the week of March 4th through the 10th, the most played recording was Ciudad De Los Reyes by Gabriel Alegría and his Afro-Peruvian Sextet. 

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While we love to feature the all-time greats of music on WEMU, we also look for deserving unknown ensembles, such as The Aguabella Latin Jazz Band which received their CD premiere for “Baker: Gateway To Death Valley”  this morning.  We had actually played many of these musicians before when they were in the band led by the late, great conga player, Francisco Aguabella.  Today they keep Aguabella’s legacy alive.  Now you know how they found their beautiful name. 

arturostable.com

If you are searching for fresh new music for 2013, WEMU recommends the new CD “Cuban Crosshatching” by percussionist Arturo Stable.  His 2012 duo disc “Dos Y Mas” with pianist Elio Villafranca was one of the finest recordings of 2012.  Stable continues the path he has forged in his notable career with music of integrity, artistic credibility and exploratory creativity.  We premiered “Cuban Crosshatching” this morning and found that it paired perfe

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With their snaky rhythms, spooky harmonies and catchy licks, Brooklyn’s Menahan Street Band once again takes the top spot on WEMU’s “Sweet 16” for “The Crossing”.  All of the time spent backing up R&B and soul sensation Charles Bradley has sparked a giant leap of creativity and risk-taking in this leading soul/jazz/funk band. 

Aguanko's "Elemental" Tops "Sweet Sixteen"

Jan 17, 2013
Jen Prouty

It is no surprise that "Elemental" the new CD by conguero/composer Alberto Nacif and his magnificent ensemble "Aguanko" topped WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" from January 7th through the 13th.   We will always support great regional talent along with international music figures, but Alberto Nacif means more to WEMU than just great regional talent:  he is family.  Today's "Cuban Fantasy" program on Saturdays at 7PM grew out of an interview that Alberto did with evening jazz host Michael G.

The first few weeks of a new year are rough on hosts of free-form music programs.   The big year-end push is over, the holiday recordings are retired and fresh music is yet to arrive in the mail or come via download.  Thankfully at WEMU, we were able to snag some strong new music in late November and early December of 2012 to keep us jamming in to 2013.  One of of our most delightful discoveries was "The Crossing" by The Menahan Street Band".  I wrote a long article on their associations and genesis last week, so for more information check out the previous post. 

Organist Chester "CT" Thompson Tops Sweet 16

Dec 12, 2012

While many media outlets are putting 2012 "to bed" for the next month, WEMU hosts continue to discover exciting new music to keep you grooving in 2013.  One of our recent discoveries is "Mixology" by veteran jazz organist Chester "CT" Thompson.   

"Rebirth" by living reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff is a fully rewarding listening experience.  He has lost none of his supple vocal quality and range.  Time has deepened his lower range imbuing his words with deeper meaning and insight.  His Jamaican message remains consistent - that love, peace and truth will conquer all.  The production of this date is immaculate, but the music is free flowing and relaxed.  You can see why WEMU hosts collectively wanted to share this excellent new music with you. 

Once again, WEMU hosts and listeners realized the depth and mastery of our regional musicians by awarding the Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo, the coveted number one spot on the "Sweet 16".  This marks the fourth week in a row for that theirs was the most played CD on 89.1.  This disc deserves the distinction not just because it is music from local performers, but because it is totally original, beautifully produced and recorded with the highest audio quality.  "Casa Versailles" by Tumbao Bravo deserved national accolades and WEMU is leading the way.

For the third week in a row, the local all-star Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo has topped WEMU's airplay list with "Casa Versailles".  Their CD release concert will be this Saturday at Kerrytown Concert House.  We have details about the show in the "events" and "datebook" section of this website.  This group is just one example of the outstanding musicians who live and work in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the Detroit area.  It is an honor to play their music on WEMU and support our fantastic music community.

Congratulations are in order once again for conga player Alberto Nacif, saxophonist/flutist Paul Vornhagen,  trumpeter Bob Mojica, pianist Brian DiBlassio, percussionist Javier Barrios and bassist Patrick Prouty with special guest percussionist Pepe Espinosa for gaining the coveted top spot on WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" for the new CD "Casa Versailles" two weeks in a row.  The members of Tumbao Bravo are based in communities all over Southeastern Michigan and record for bassist Paul Keller's PKO Records label, now operating in Saline, Michigan.  Featuring their music dovetails perfectly with WE

Perhaps their "Top Of The Park" show for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on July 4th helped propel them to the number one spot in WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen", but they likely would have achieved the spot without the show.

We at WEMU love highlighting local artists, and this ensemble of musicians from Ann Arbor, Brighton and Detroit is simply one of the best. Every member is a leader in his own right.

We are especially proud of their conga player, Dr. Alberto Nacif, former host of "Cuban Fantasy" until Marc Taras took over for him.