Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Brad Barker, Brian Blade, Carlos Capacho, Dani Elwell, Danilo Pérez, Edmar Colón, FM91, Fundación Danilo Pérez, Ga Young Bae, Garvia Bailey, Jaymz Bee, jazz, Jazz.FM91, John Patitucci, Joseph Manzoli, Juan Saenz, LEVEL 1, Marco Pignataro, Mark Wigmore, Michael Wang, Roni Eytan, Ross Porter, Seungho Jang, Sushi Couture, Taverna Mercatto, Terry McElligott, Toronto, Walter Venafro
My love of jazz started at a very early age. My father was a classically trained pianist, but he grew weary of the classical genre of music, and his interest switched to jazz. He took up playing the upright bass and later, the electric bass guitar.
Jazz music was always being played on records in our house or listened to on the radio at CJRT-FM. The letters JRT in their call sign stood for “Journalism, Radio, Technology.” My dad played Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and João Gilberto, to name but a few.
My dad always listened to Ted O’Reilly who hosted “The Jazz Scene,” which started in 1965. In 2001, CJRT went to a full 24-hour jazz format under the name Jazz.FM91.
I listened to Jazz.FM91 off and on over the years but really started listening three years ago when I retired. Whenever I am working on my computer, Jazz.FM91 is on the radio.
Since the station is not-for-profit, it runs donation campaigns from time-to-time. On its last campaign, I decided to pledge $250 for a chance to attend a live-to-air broadcast featuring Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.
The live-to-air broadcast was held on Thursday, July 23 at the Jazz.FM91 studios located at 4 Pardee Avenue in Liberty Village. (click on any photo to see a larger version)
There were only 60 seats available for this performance. The doors opened at 6 p.m. and we were served sake and sushi courtesy of Sushi Couture.
In the lobby at Jazz.FM91 hangs this magnificent portrait of the late Peter Appleyard.
Guests were invited to view numerous auction items that would help generate proceeds for the Danilo Pérez Foundation and community programs that Jazz.FM91 operates.
At 6:45 we all entered the Arthur Dalfen studio.
Our on-air host for the evening was Garvia Bailey, and we went live at exactly 7 p.m.
Garvia introduced Ross Porter who welcomed us and pointed out some dignitaries in the crowd.
Danilo welcomed us and spoke some heartfelt words about his music and his Foundation.
From where I was seated in the theatre, I could not get a decent angle of Danilo while he was playing the piano. John Patitucci was center stage and Brian Blade was to my far right in the shadows and impossible to photograph from where I was sitting. The band went right into its first number, and it was amazing how these three musicians played off each other and were genuinely enjoying themselves.
Garvia was keeping everything on track and Danilo loved talking to the audience.
Another person who needs to be mentioned is Dani Elwell. Dani was helping out with microphone duties and other behind-the-scenes responsibilities.
Danilo is the artistic director for the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and brought out seven outstanding young jazz musicians to perform for us.
I wasn’t able to photograph all of the band members, but from left to right we had Ga Young Bae on piano, Edmar Colón on tenor saxophone, Roni Eytan on harmonica, Seungho Jang on bass, Michael Wang on trombone, Carlos Capacho on cuatro guitar, and Juan Saenz on drums. These talented young people hailed from Korea, Israel, USA, Venezuela and Mexico.
Once the performance was over and we were off the air, it was time for the after-party where we met Danilo, John and Brian. We were then treated to more music from the Berklee musicians and enjoyed wine and treats from Taverna Mercatto. There were numerous opportunities for everyone to take photographs.
It was funny that at the end of the broadcast, Danilo played a few chords of Happy Birthday, and the entire audience sang Happy Birthday to Brian Blade. Now I can say I have sung on the radio!
Danilo is an amazing person and musician. All of the on-air personalities at Jazz.FM91 have been commenting on how amazing and special this performance was. I agree. It was remarkable.
Would I attend another live-to-air? Absolutely! The staff and volunteers at Jazz.FM91 are a family and you can see that for yourself on your next visit.
Thank you, Danilo, for an amazing evening.
And thank you, Jazz.FM91!