December 14, 2006
Chad Campbell, NPR
 | Grey Johnson, WBGO/Jazz88.3FM


27th Annual 8-Hour Toast of the Nation Will Include Live Performances
From Boston, New York City, Kansas City and Oakland, CA

WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton Will Host from the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City

Washington, D.C.; December 14, 2006 – NPR’s 27th annual New Year’s Eve special, Toast of the Nation, celebrates with live jazz and blues performances covering four midnights coast-to-coast. The eight-hour special will originate from the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City beginning at 8:00PM (ET), and, throughout the night, will also feature live performances from Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra in Boston, Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra in New York City, Karrin Allyson in Kansas City, and McCoy Tyner with special guest Joe Lovano from Oakland, CA.

Co-produced by NPR and Jazz 88 WBGO in Newark, NJ, Toast of the Nation will broadcast Sunday December 31, 2006, 8:00PM – 4:00AM (ET). The special will be available to all NPR member stations and air on NPR Worldwide and the American Forces Network.

WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton will host the special from Kansas City’s American Jazz Museum, located in the revitalized Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, where jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, and Big Joe Turner put Kansas City blues-based swing on the world’s musical map in the 1920s and 30s.

Toast of the Nation Schedule:

· 8:00pm (ET) - Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra performs live from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hosted by WGBH Radio’s Eric Jackson.

· 9:00pm (ET) – The hour will include a never-aired show from alto saxophonist Bobby Watson's Kansas City Jump Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and a tribute to pianist Jay “Hootie” McShann (1916-2006), the last of the great Kansas City players.

· 10:00pm (ET) – The radio premiere of The Big River Concert from the Chicago Symphony Center in September 2006. Hosted by Branford Marsalis, the concert features New Orleans music from Sidney Bechet and Jelly Roll Morton, to the street beat of “Hey Pocky Way,” featuring drummer Herlin Riley, pianist Ellis Marsalis, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and reed man Victor Goines.

· 11:00pm (ET) - Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra performs live at New York’s Tonic Club. Creating a contemporary version of the small “territory” bands who played the Midwest in the 1920s, Bernstein’s orchestra re-imagines early swing with contemporary harmony and solos.

· 12:15am (ET) - The Karrin Allyson Quintet performs live from the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Allyson’s CD Footprints -- with new lyrics fit to her favorite melodies -- topped the jazz radio charts at number one for six weeks in summer 2006 and is nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category.

· 1:15am (ET) – A Fall 2006 Derek Trucks Band show at the Keswick Theatre near Philadelphia. At 29, Trucks is the youngest person to be named to the Rolling Stone list of All Time Great Guitar Players. The Mountain Time countdown to midnight will also include a December 31, 2005, party with The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

· 2:15am (ET) - Pianist McCoy Tyner – who has released more than 80 albums in his own name, won four Grammy Awards, and is a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master -- performs live with special guest Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone, bassist Christian McBride, and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums, from Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA. Longtime Bay Area radio host and drummer Bud Spangler will host the show.

NPR’s Toast of the Nation began in 1979 as a showcase for NPR's interconnected satellite system, the first in the nation. WBGO became co-producer in 1984. Toast of the Nation’s 2004 edition became the highest-fidelity live radio broadcast in history by transmitting in 5.1 discrete digital surround sound, bringing the home theatre experience to the radio dial for the very first time. Toast of the Nation’s 2005 edition was the first live national music broadcast from New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

Other partners for Toast of the Nation include: KCUR 89.3 FM in Kansas City, WGBH Radio Boston, and KCSM Jazz 91.1 in San Mateo, CA.

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About NPR

Since its launch in 1970, NPR has evolved into a leading media company, primary news provider and dominant force in American life. In partnership with more than 850 public radio stations, it attracts 26 million listeners to the nearly 150 hours of broadcast programming it produces and distributes weekly. A privately supported, non-profit membership organization, NPR produces and/or distributes more than 1300 hours of programming, including two 24/7 channels on Sirius satellite radio, five 24/7 HD Radio multicast music channels and its successful NPR Podcasts. NPR Worldwide serves 150 countries with a full schedule of programming offered through terrestrial, satellite and digital radio; national cable, and American Forces Network. More information is available at

About WBGO

WBGO/Jazz88.3FM serves the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with mainstream jazz, blues, and award-winning news and public affairs programming. Non-commercial WBGO is supported by nearly 20,000 annual members and has over 400,000 weekly listeners. WBGO also streams its broadcast signal to audiences worldwide at Jazz88 was named the "Jazz Station of the Year" for 2001 by the Gavin Report and is also the recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive Award" for Achievement in Non-Commercial Radio. WBGO is a publicly-supported, cultural institution that champions jazz, an American art form, and presents news to a worldwide audience through radio, other technologies and events.