A Few Minutes With… WCDB-FM’s Bill McCann

July 12th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Bill McCann

Bill McCann

Interview, story and photographs by J Hunter

It was a true gathering of the tribes at the Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge in Schenectady on Saturday, June 23: A Place for Jazz and the Swingtime Jazz Society, musicians and media people, and a big cross-section of the multi-faceted fan base that supports the jazz community of Greater Nippertown – all there to see WCDB’s Bill McCann receive a 2012 Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalists Association.

Emcee/drum monster Joe Barna was rightly effusive as he ran down McCann’s contributions to the state of jazz in this area: 27 years worth of Saturday mornings, giving us all four hours of the best jazz around; a major member of the brain trust at A Place for Jazz, which means some of the music we see every fall at the Whisperdome has his fingerprints on it; supporting local jazzers’ own recording efforts – not only by playing their discs, but also by bringing them on his show to talk about their music; and giving other members of the community a say in the music he plays by bringing them on his show as well. (Full disclosure: Bill’s let me play on his show three times, and each time has been one of the highlights of my year!)

It was a great afternoon: The ceremony was bookended by old friends & new friends noshing on chicken wings and pizza and talking about the music they love, and it was followed by the Luca Ciarla Quartet playing a concert in the Van Dyck’s upstairs performance space hosted by Swingtime Jazz Society. But while I was able to shake Bill’s hand and congratulate him for the award, the onslaught of well-wishers made it impossible for me to spend more than a couple of minutes with him… which is why I’m sounding a few minutes with him right now!

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Congrats to Bill McCann

May 1st, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg
Bill McCann

Bill McCann

The NYC-based Jazz Journalists Association has announced that it will honor longtime Nippertown torchbearer for all things jazz, Bill McCann, with a prestigious Jazz Hero Award.

According to JJA, “Jazz Heroes are activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities. The 2012 ‘Jazz Hero’ awards will be presented in conjunction with the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism.”

It’s a well-deserved honor for McCann, of course, who celebrated the 26h anniversary of his “The Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz” radio show on UAlbany’s WCDB-FM in April.

A number of other local Nippertown members of the jazz community are also in the running for awards at the 16th annual JJA Jazz Awards, including Nippertown’s chief photographer Andrzej Pilarcyzk and regular Nippertown contributors Rudy Lu and Susan Brink, as well as R.J. DeLuke.

Congrats, Bill! Keep fighting the good fight!

Who says jazz is dead in the Capital Region?

LIVE: Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble @ Bill McCann’s 25th Anniversary Jazz Fest at UAlbany, 4/17/10

April 19th, 2010, 3:50 pm by Greg

No, unfortunately, we weren’t able to swing by – and we do mean swing – UAlbany’s Campus Center Assembly Hall on Saturday to catch any of the all-day jazz celebration in honor of DJ Bill McCann’s 25th anniversary at the campus radio station, WCDB-FM.

But saxman Brian Patneaude was kind enough to let us know about this video from the bash. It’s Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble blowing through Yuko Kishimoto’s “Elements.” The song also kicks off BSE’s CD, “Live at the Lark Tavern.”

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