WCBN 88.3FM Ann Arbor and SEMJA Present Planet D Nonet: Sun Ra 100th Birthday Concert
Thanks to Jerusalem Garden for providing the band with food!
Friday, April 4, 7 – 10 pm
In honor of jazz legend Sun Ra’s 100th Birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, WCBN presents an evening of space jazz at UMMA featuring award-winning Detroit band Planet D Nonet. Founded by drummer RJ Spangler & trumpeter James O’Donnell, two eastside Detroit based musicians who’ve been playing together for over 30 years. The Nonet features players from such venerated groups as the Sun Messengers, Bon Ton Roule' and Johnnie Bassett & the Blues Insurgents as well as some talented young veterans. This phenomenal group can transition from scene to scene, playing the classic swing music of Ellington & Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie & Benny Carter as well as more modern jazz by Sun Ra and Pharoah Saunders, and always with a Detroit twist and an eye toward turning people on to jazz music.
This event is co-sponsored by UMMA and the Southeast Michigan Jazz Association (SEMJA).
That was a long day, huh? What began as a harmless April Fools joke brought together our community of listeners like nothing we've seen in a long time. Even our most successful fundraiser in history back in February didn't see the level of interaction this brought on.
It's impossible for us to say how much we love you, our listeners. The fact that our format change elicited such violent reactions from some of you is a testament to what the WCBN community of listeners and volunteers has made the station.
While we won't be changing formats to New Adult Contemporary Smooth Jazz Variety Top 40, we can rest assured if we ever do, we have the DJs for the job! Tyler, Marvin, Reid, Moomeyman, Pan, Brian, Del, Liz, and Greg did an incredible job today. And we know if we're ever picking teams for the All Integrity Pro Bowl, Rob will be the first guy picked.
Music is a funny thing. We love all of it, and we'll continue to give you the weirdest, wildest, and, of course, smoothest mix of tunes we can.
Thanks to the hundreds of people who called in, emailed, Facebooked, Twittered, and otherwise sent us nasty or just confused thoughts today!
See you at the Sun Ra event Friday at UMMA!
Still not too late to fill out our Smooth Jazz survey!
- WCBN Exec Staff
We know that our great listeners will stand by us during this transition.
For Immediate Release
Ann Arbor, MI
The University of Michigan’s student & community radio station, WCBN, broadcasting at 88.3 FM and online at wcbn.org has announced today that it will be changing formats from freeform music to New Adult Contemporary/Smooth Jazz.
“We would be foolish to ignore market data,” said General Manager James Griffiths, “we’ve been exploring options for a long time, and it looks like this change is all for the better.”
WCBN, long known for experimental and “difficult” programming, is not concerned that listenership will be affected. “We had our greatest fundraiser in history this year, and with all that excitement, we thought now was the time for change,” Publicity Director Karl Seibert stated in a release.
Smooth Jazz, also called New Adult Contemporary, is a form of music derived from jazz fusion, R&B, funk, and pop. The radio format has proven successful across the country, and management at WCBN hope that Southeast Michigan will react positively to the switch.
With this change comes the introduction of several new practices. DJ Michael Newmeyer said, “One thing I’m really excited for is a playlist;” - the current freeform radio format allows DJs to choose whichever songs they want - “it’s always a struggle to pick songs, and now I just have a list and I double click stuff.” Which refers to another change to the WCBN station - exclusively digital music.
“Vinyl takes up space, it smells bad, and the quality is terrible,” said DJ Rob Goldey, “Digital is so much easier.” DJ Fiona Clowney said, “I can never find what I want in the stacks, records are old and hard to read, and it seems like most of them are by Frank Zappa.”
The station's staff are looking forward to the change and believe that the listeners will love it. “We have some of the greatest listeners in the world; with the change, we’ll probably lose a lot of them, but we hope we get new greatest listeners in the world," said Griffiths. For more information, contact our Publicity Director at email@example.com.
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