Tune in to National Public Radio before, during and after your midnight toast this New Year’s Eve, and catch live jazz performances all night long. NPR and New Jersey’s WBGO present the 30th annual Toast of the Nation, a program in which nine straight hours of performances by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Bad Plus, John Pizzarelli, Anat Cohen and Irvin Mayfield will be broadcast across the country.
The coast-to-coast jazz celebration is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (eastern standard time) and will be aired on participating NRP member stations. The live performances will be broadcast directly from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City, among other venues. NPR’s Lisa Simeone will serve as anchor for the nine-hour broadcast.
The long-running special is co-produced by member stations WBGO out of Newark, N.J. and WGBH in Boston, Mass., in conjunction with NPR Music. For a list of stations and broadcast times, visit NPR. The broadcast can also be streamed live through WBGO.
The broadcast will transport listeners from east to west across the country, with individual countdowns in each time zone as the clock strikes midnight. To get revelers in the mood, the evening will kick off with clarinetist Anat Cohen at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at 8 p.m. Cohen’s performance will be hosted by Eric Jackson of WGBH. Next up is John Pizzarelli performing a set titled “Dear Mr. Sinatra” with his band, Swing Seven, at the Kennedy Center at 9:30 p.m.
WBGO’s Josh Jackson will host the East Coast countdown, starting at 11 p.m., with power jazz trio The Bad Plus at the Village Vanguard stage in New York City. After the ball drops in New York, Irvin Mayfield will welcome in the New Year for Midwesterners in Minneapolis, at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant with local reporter Toni Randolph as host. Lastly, Big Bad VooDoo daddy will say hello to 2010 on the West Coast at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. To those still awake, Cohen’s set will be rebroadcast at 4 a.m. to finish out the evening.
WBGO is supported by nearly 17,000 annual members and over 300,000 weekly listeners. It serves the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area with mainstream jazz, blues, and news programming on 88.3FM. WBGO has twice been named the “Jazz Station of the Year” by the Gavin Report, and is the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” for achievement in non-commercial radio.