Latin jazz

Music
8:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Robert Prester Dogtown: a Wednesday Delight

The cover for Robert Prester's new CD Dogtown is as enjoyable as the music inside
Credit 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

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Music
8:43 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Musical friendships make great listening

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.

New Music
8:00 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Latin Jazz has a 'New Beginning' with Michelle Pollace on the keys

New Beginning by Michelle Pollace is now available

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. 

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Sweet Sixteen
2:56 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Ciudad De Los Reyes by Gabriel Alegría tops Sweet 16

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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89.1 Jazz
2:22 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Aguabella Latin Jazz Band are flamekeepers

Aguabella Latin Jazz Band in concert at Saddleback College
Credit saddleback.edu

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. 

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89.1 Jazz
2:43 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

"Cuban Crosshatching" receives 89.1 Jazz premiere.

Arturo Stable in studio to record
Credit 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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Music
5:54 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Menahan Street Band back on top of "Sweet 16"

Dunham Recording artists, The Menahan Street Band
Credit www.brooklynvegan.com

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. 

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Top Music
3:26 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Aguanko's "Elemental" Tops "Sweet Sixteen"

Alberto Nacif playing bata drums during "Elemental" recording session
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.

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Music
4:01 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Menahan Street Band Tops "Sweet 16" Two Weeks In A Row.

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. 

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Music
5:14 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Organist Chester "CT" Thompson Tops Sweet 16

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.   

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Music
4:19 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Reggae Legend Jimmy Cliff Tops WEMU's Sweet 16 July 30th to August 5th

Colorful, captivating Jimmy Cliff in concert

"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. 

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Music
3:59 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

TUMBAO BRAVO MAKES WEMU "SWEET 16" HISTORY WITH FOUR WEEKS IN A ROW!

Tumbao Bravo in concert.

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.

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Music
2:05 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Tumbao Bravo Three for Three with WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen"!

The outstanding local jazz collective "Tumbao Bravo"

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.

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Music
2:57 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Tumbao Bravo Tops WEMU's "Sweet 16" Two Weeks In A Row!

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

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Music
4:58 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Tumbao Bravo tops "Sweet 16" July 2nd through the 8th.

Cover for Tumbao Bravo's latest CD with one Jack Kenny's iconic Cuban photos.

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.

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