WBGO Plants Seeds for the Future of Pan and Jazz through it's Free Children's Jazz Series

Newark Museum - May 2003.

WBGO continually cultivates the next generation of pan jazz music lovers through its
Free Children's Jazz Concert series which is a huge hit.   WBGO is recognized as one of the nation's most respected Jazz stations, and by default, one of the world's.  Educational outreach is an important part of the station's programming.  WBGO's Children's Jazz Series, now in its 11th year, operates under the theme of building the future of jazz, through continued exposure to the young.  The Children's Jazz Concert series was started by Ms. Dorthaan Kirk, WBGO's Special Events and Programs Coordinator.

The May 1, 2004 session featured Saxophonist Oliver Lake and his Steel Quartet at the Newark Museum, in Newark, New Jersey.    Oliver Lake wowed the 200 plus, young and  enthusiastic crowd, many of whom were seeing and hearing the steelpan for the first time.  It was truly a session of "edutainment" as the musicians explained the history and physics behind their respective instruments.  


Lyndon Achee, with his attractively oversized "Low F-Tenor Pan" demonstrated (pictured up top) how the notes emanated from the pan when he struck different areas of the instrument.  It is a natural marriage of the instrument and the jazz genre.  Pan is the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century, as Achee informed his fascinated audience, and jazz is the original musical art form.

"For many of the young attendees it was their first introduction to jazz.  The children's jazz series is part of the station's [WBGO's] way of providing access to those who would not normally have it," says Public Relations manager Arlana Arrington.   WBGO continues to capture the hearts, minds and imagination of the next generation as it celebrates its 25th anniversary...  Look out for their next Children's event in the Fall of 2004.

Contact WBGO for more info at 1-973-624-8000


All photos by CP -  © When Steel Talks   2004


Oliver Lake Steel Quartet
The Oliver Lake Steel Quartet was formed in early 1998 by composer, saxophonist, poet and Guggenheim Fellow, Oliver Lake.  The Quartet blends the original saxophone work of Lake with the equally unique steel pan work of Lyndon Achee, performing many of Lake’s originals as well as the music of other composers. Since 1988 the OLSQ has performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, Sweet Basil’s, the Knitting Factory as well as in Erie, PA., Detroit, San Francisco, Tucson, and now Albuquerque.

Oliver Lake is known for everything from his solo saxophone performances and recordings to his solo music-theater work (Matador of 1st and 1st); to his reggae-jazz group Jump Up; to his work as a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet; to his Oliver Lake Big Band which debuted in 1998 in NYC. He was a founding member of the Black Artists Group (BAG) in St Louis in the 1970’s where he grew up with trumpeter, Lester Bowie and pianist John Hicks. He has received multiple commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and his works have been performed by the Arditti String Quartet, the World Saxophone Quartet, the Amherst Sax Quartet, violinist Regina Carter, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the San Francisco Contemporary Players, New York New Music Ensemble, and Pulse Percussion Ensemble of New York. He has worked with a wide range of artists including the pop singer Björk, rocker Lou Reed, jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln and the rap group, Tribe Called Quest. Upcoming projects include a collaboration with writer and law professor Patricia Williams; and the Quagmire Trio with komungo player Jin Hi Kim and bassist William Parker. Lake continues to perform worldwide with his own ensembles as well as in Trio Three, the long-standing cooperative trio with percussionist Andrew Cyrille and bassist Reggie Workman. Steel pan player, Lyndon Achee hails from Trinidad and has been performing since he was a teen. In 1982 he and his brother won the National Island-Wide Teen Talent Competition, performing “Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” on the Steel Pans. He moved to NYC getting his degree in music as well as a Certificate in music therapy at the Parsons/New School Jazz program before enrolling in the Ethnomusicology PhD program at NYU. He has performed with such luminaries as Anthony Braxton, Ravi Coltrane, Pheeroan Ak Laff, Jay Hoggard, Michelle Rosewoman, and many more and has truly changed the way listeners think about and experience the magical sound of the Steel Pan. Besides Lake and Achee,the Oliver Lake Steel Quartet also features bassist Reggie Washington, and drummer, Damon DuWhite.



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©2004 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.


Date: 05.05.04


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