Two exciting new programs debut Labor Day weekend: Jazz Inspired, Friday evenings at 8, and Celtic Connections, Saturdays at 9 p.m.
Each week on Jazz Inspired, Judy Carmichael interviews creative people from across the arts about how jazz inspires them in their life and work. Her guests have included singer-songwriter Billy Joel, who discussed his studies with Lennie Tristano and how jazz influences his music; opera star Ben Heppner, who talked about dancing around the house to B.B. King; and actor-director Robert Redford, who described how jazz has influenced his creative process. Each program includes samples of the guests’ favorite jazz recordings.
Judy Carmichael is a leading interpreter of stride piano and swing. Count Basie nicknamed her “Stride,” acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style.
A native of California, she moved to New York in the early ’80s and has maintained a busy concert schedule throughout the world ever since. Referred to “astounding, flawless, and captivating” by The New York Times, she has played in a variety of venues from Carnegie Hall to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice to programs with Joel Grey and Michael Feinstein, and private recitals for Rod Stewart and Bill Clinton.
A variety of traditional and contemporary music derived from the Celtic culture wherever it has been transplanted around the globe — from the Celtic Isles to the New World and beyond. Host Bryan Kelso Crow’s academic career and knowledge of Celtic history lend depth to the program, as do his experience and connections as a Celtic musician.
Each week finds the finest selections presented from new releases as well as from Celtic classics. There are also concert performances, recorded exclusively for the program, along with original interviews with some of the top names in the Celtic world.
Bryan Kelso Crow is associate professor of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He learned to play the tin whistle in 1978 while hiking the roads of Ireland, and has been playing the traditional wood flute since the 1980s. He taught as an exchange professor at the University of Ulster for a year and got to know many Irish musicians during that time. He performs in Illinois and Missouri with The Dorians, a three-member Celtic band.
Jazz Inspired and Celtic Connections replace two longtime programs on the WFIU schedule, Piano Jazz and The Thistle and Shamrock.