Graduate Jazz Ensemble Performs at WBGO Studio 88.3FM

Saxophone great Steve Wilson (left) and the CCNY Graduate Jazz Ensemble that he directs, at the WBGO Studio.

Of the handful of all-jazz radio stations still around, Newark-based WBGO88.3 FM is hailed in the industry as the pre-eminent home of the genre. And for the rest of the month, WBGO showcases The City College of New York Graduate Jazz Ensemble as part of its Jazz Appreciation Month.

Under the direction of renowned saxophonist and band leader Steve Wilson, the ensemble was invited to make its debut on the famed station operated by Newark Public Radio.

Antonio Ciacca (piano), Steve Lacey (guitar), Moto Kobayashi (bassist and the only undergraduate member), Fred Griggs (drums) and Jamile Staevie (vocals) performed Jule Styne’s “Just in Time,” along with three original compositions: “Oscar P” and “Jobim” by Antonio Ciacca, and “Nobody’s Soul” by Jamile Staevie.

Wilson, director of jazz studies in City College’s Division of Humanities and the Arts and a man described by the Wall Street Journal as being “essential to this city’s jazz landscape,” noted the significance of the WBGO recording by one of CCNY’s multiple ensembles.

“The jazz station of the jazz capital of the world,” he termed 88.3 FM. “It is one of the most important and significant jazz stations — actually one of the few full time jazz stations anywhere in the world.”

Wilson holds the rank of associate professor at CCNY.

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Photo credit: Simon Rentner/WBGO

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