[JPL] This List

Ken Irwin ken-irwin at comcast.net
Fri Mar 25 00:37:43 EST 2005

on 3/22/05 6:24 AM, Steve Schwartz at steve_schwartz at wgbh.org wrote:

I hope that all went well with the "two days of strategic planning
meetings."  That sounds pretty intimidating to me since most "strategic
planning" I have seen in radio for the past 30 years has meant more crap,
and less good programming.  Whether you are an NPR affiliate, a College
station, or a (good lord, do they exist?) commercial station programming
jazz it is often a fight to keep our music on the air and available to our
listeners.  I have the utmost respect for you Steve, and any "strategic
planning" at WGBH should involve insuring the continuation of the wonderful
programming that you have been involved in.
I don't often contribute, but often enjoy the posts that others place on the
list.  Even the arguments about where the "Bad Plus" fits in the grand
scheme of things.  Personally I feel that if we worry less about the
categories, mini-categories, and micro-categories that music is now being
broken down into and just listen to the music and decide if we like it or
not we will all be better off.  (a guy at the station is getting together
another category of music called "Mesh."  What the...?   I digress.)
We here at WMUA are very happy to lend our efforts to some exciting live
programming.  We are in the midst of our 16th Magic Triangle Concert Series.
So far this season we have presented Graham Haynes and Electric Church, and
tonight we presented Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd and the project, "In What
Language."  Both of these concerts stretch and ignore the boundaries and
classifications that we seem to be so concerned with and express music as it
exists at this moment.  Our house was a wonderful mix of the bebop
generation and the hip hop generation.  Speaking with musicians Vijay Iyer,
Liberty Ellman, and Rudresh Mahanthappa after the show, they made it clear
once again that the artists really appreciate the support that we folks at
radio can provide.  It was especially rewarding to present Graham Haynes
this year.  His father,the great drummer Roy Haynes, performed with Clifford
Jordan and Cecil McBee in one of our first Magic Triangle concerts in 1990.
Our next concert scheduled for Apr. 28 features Susie Ibarra and Electric
Kulintang. Our efforts are to present artists who are greatly gifted yet
often not known to the general public, and in some instances not familiar to
some in the jazz community.  Glenn Siegel, our Administrative Director at
WMUA, is the guiding force and responsible for many years of stellar
programming.  Take a look at some of the concerts he has put together for
our station over the past decade and a half.
Glenn also put together a solo piano series in Northampton this year
featuring performances by Ethan Iverson, Reginald R. Robinson, and Dave
One of our great joys at WMUA is putting the listeners together with the
artist in a live performance.  We also spin "The platters that matter" and
play the classic pieces by our jazz heros and mix it with new material just
released.  Some of our DJ's play free, some are in the pocket, and another
is known for playing vocalists.  Vive le difference!  I hope that any
strategic planning here at WMUA values these dimensions, and the tireless
work of Glenn Siegel.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Ken Irwin
Jazz Music Director, and host of Java Jazz
WMUA 91.1 FM
University of Massachusetts
105 Lincoln Campus Center
Amherst, Ma 01003
jazz at wmua.org

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