There are very few radio stations in Richmond that provide regular jazz programming, and none that are as eclectic as WRIR Richmond Independent Radio. Now at the end of their spring fund drive, they need your help, and we have the goods to entice you.
There are very few radio stations in Richmond that provide regular jazz programming, and none that are as eclectic as WRIR Richmond Independent Radio. Some of you know it as that pretty cool station at 97.3 FM that starts to get fuzzy on your dial when you get near city limits. Others know its programming a little more intimately. And a few (170, to be exact) even volunteer their time as DJs, board members, music reviewers, and countless other roles at the station. Now at the end of their spring fund drive, they need your help.
Community radio stations like WRIR can’t exist without donations from their listeners. Shows like Bebop & Beyond with Mr. Jazz, New Orleans Roots and More, the concert calendar for your ears Activate!, the funky Mellow Madness, and Global A Go-Go (which is featuring a live on-air performance by Chris Vasi this Friday) all go on the air at the same time every week because their listeners step up and chip in when it comes time. The vibrancy and depth of musical knowledge in the WRIR community is outstanding.
For jazz programming, you can hear jazz and New Orleans music enthusiast for life Bill Thomson, and longtime WWOZ in New Orleans host Mike “Mr. Jazz” Gourrier. Both DJs play the best of new and old music. It’s programming worth celebrating (and worth supporting).
I occasionally sub for the two jazz hosts, and I had the pleasure of doing so for Mr. Jazz at the beginning of the fund drive on Sunday. Well, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a grand affair [Link: NPR’s A Blog Supreme, who’s been down there covering it extensively], and Mr. Jazz is still there. I’ll be back on the air this Sunday to wrap up the fund drive, and I’ll have some special guests coming in.
Composer and arranger Doug Richards will be joining me to talk about his latest endeavor, Intercontinental Concerto featuring Rex Richardson. Lucas Fritz will be coming to take part in the conversation. The concerto was premiered in Australia in 2006 and then at VCU later in October of that year. Richards, Richardson, and the huge cast of musicians that make up the recorded concerto spent lots of time in the studio, and it’s finally almost ready to be released.
We’ll be playing selections from that album and talking to Richards about it on Sunday during Bebop & Beyond from 11am to 1pm. As a special premium for supporters making a pledge during that show, we’ll be giving away one special 3-CD bundle that will include the Intercontinental Concerto. Talk about music worth celebrating and supporting.
WRIR Richmond Independent Radio is on the dial at 97.3 FM in Richmond and streams online at www.wrir.org