Category Archives: Programming

Meet the Music

It’s on right now and it’s good.

So happy to add this to our line up and so grateful for the guests who are making it possible. Tonight it’s Derek Reeves and David Ling, Steve Walley, and the Bill Lupkin Blues Band (listening while I type).

David Ling & Derek Reeves


And thanks to other volunteers – our stars – who are putting in so much time – Julia Meek, always bringing the best, and Al Mozena, helping to engineer the music.

NIPR staff putting in extra hours include our genius engineer Ed Didier and program director and program co-host, Kevin Kreigh.

Lots of thought, creativity, time, skill and talent.  Can’t find it anywhere else.

Thanks for listening,




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We do care about the music.

Yesterday’s Sunday in the Park with Jazz was so much fun.  And anytime you can say that about work, it’s a win.

Great weather (always have great weather for this), supportive sponsors (thanks O’Daniel Porsche Audi and Frontier), big crowd, incredible food (thanks Club Soda and Weenies on Wheels) and of course, the music.  Big sounds from the first moment and it just kept coming all afternoon.

So here’s a huge shout-out to the Mark Van Cleave Jazz Orchestra, the Northeast Indiana Jazz Workshop, Groove Caravan, and the Todd Harrold Band (“Sunshine of Your Love” – I can live off that for a month, Todd.).  I’m not sure how we could have had a more powerful line up of music.  Standing back by the Clinton Street Gate, listening, watching, just breathing in how great it is to be outside, downtown, in the middle of a big crowd enjoying that music was just about as good as it gets.  Loved every minute of the day. (And we do have super pictures, but we don’t the cord to download them . . . yeah.)

That beautiful day was the culmination of a whole week of wild music flurry at the studios.  We’re launching Meet the Music, hosted by Julia Meek (and sometimes side-kicked by Kevin Kreigh), a showcase of local musicians and music of all genres.  We’ve been recording those segments almost nonstop in order to have four or five complete shows ready to go before Meet the Music debuts on October 7 at 7pm (that’s the plan right now).  It’ll precede Little Brother Radio and make Thursday a fantastic listening night. (Along with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

So all week, we’ve had a steady stream of local music legends carting equipment and instruments through the hall.  Chief Engineer Ed Didier and our volunteer engineer, Al Mozena, have been burning the midnight oil (and I’m serious about that) to make certain the set ups are right and that the recordings are spot on.  And it has been just so very exciting.

Here’s who’s visited:

Reeves & Ling String Trio (awesome classical), Steve Walley (jazz piano – he didn’t drag that in, we have one!), Bill Lupkin Band (oh, blues), ClusterFolk (folk/rock and we say their name so carefully), Ty Causey Band (pure soul), Greg Vey (classical/ragtime piano), Sunny Taylor (c’mon, you know Sunny), Todd Harrold Band (jazz, funky jazz), The Alicia Pyle Ensemble (piano, strings, voice, and conga!). . .  and they keep coming.

We’re proud of the exceptional national news and information programming we bring you every day, and of other local programming that has grown strong roots, like Midday Matters.  This is one more reason to love public radio and we hope, to support it.

This is awesome stuff and we’re grateful to all these fine musicians for catching our enthusiasm (hard not to when Julia is the ringleader) and donating their time and talent.  October 7, Meet the Music!

Keep your ears tuned . . .


PS – Musicians who are interested in being featured on an upcoming Meet the Music should submit a demo to Meet the Music, NIPR, P.O. Box 8459, Fort Wayne, IN 46898.  A panel reviews submissions and selects musicians to ensure that a wide variety of genres are represented. Bands are not paid for their participation.  It’s public radio, people!

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On Andrew, PHIL, and what happens next.

Andrew Constantine is an easy interview, folks.  And informative. And fun.

Andrew, in case you’ve not been keeping up with culture, is the new music director at the PHIL and their 2010-2011 season begins tonight.

I’ve been watching PHIL opening nights for a lot of years and there is a wonderful excitement all around this one. They will be playing Barber’s Adagio, just like they did nine years ago, and for those of us that were there on that opening night, I’m guessing it will bring back the unbelievable feeling that we had being in that place, at that time, with that music.  But the rest of the program is spine tingling, too.  Get a ticket. Be there. (Oh, it starts at 6pm. If you show up at 8, well, it will be over.)

Phil Shaull and I talked with Andrew in the studio on Thursday and then excerpted pieces of that for broadcast in a couple of places. Including WBOI. Conversations about organizations like the PHIL and people like Andrew belong there, too.

We’ve been thinking a lot, and along with many of you, about where our area’s cultural updates and insights are going to find a home on public radio when WBNI is no longer broadcasting, whenever that might be, and we’re working on it.  It won’t be the same as when Janice had long conversations, every week, with the leaders of some organizations. That time slot and format just doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to give attention, and space, and heart to the arts organizations, large and small, that make such a difference in our lives week in and week out and play a vibrant part in the education, quality of life, and joy of this region.

Julia Meek and Phil have given voice to many expected and unexpected arts topics, events, leaders, and participants during Midday Matters ArtCentric and that’s going to continue in some form.  We’ve got Julia immersed in the planning of our new evening local music program and she may take a break from MM, but the arts coverage will continue.  And we are always looking for ways to tell our audience about what’s happening, what just happened, and what’s going to happen on the cultural scene.

As we look at our overall programming with an eye on budgeting, even as we anticipate some changes, please do know that honoring the community, especially the arts community, is always on our mind.

Talking with the dynamic leaders of our cultural community, like Andrew Constantine, Charles Shephard, Ketu Oladuwa, Liz Monnier, Karen Gibbons Brown, Dorothy Kittaka (ok. I should not have started naming people – there are hundreds) . . .  and on forever, should be part of our “public” work.  Just going on record as saying that, so you know that we at NIPR value those relationships as an organization and want to be a good home for the messages and the missions of all arts work in our region.

Tonight, I’m not going to worry about budgets or programming or what comes next. I’m going to experience “The Love for Three Oranges” again, all of it.  And I hear, from reliable sources, that it is just pretty challenging to play.  Watchin’ you work, musicians!

Did I mention Gil Shaham?  Uh-huh.

Have a great week-end.


Oh, and Masterworks concerts, like tonight’s, will continue to be broadcast on WBNI, the second Thursday evening following the concert.

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Live in the studio.

Midday Matters ArtCentric Friday has been on a summer roll of live music and today is no different.  Local legends Bob Craven and Fred Rothert are tuning up in the Harriet Parrish Performance Studio and it’s exciting.

There’s just a special kind of energy flowing when musicians perform live during a program. It’s what radio used to always be and I love it that we have space, technology, and willing hands and minds to make it happen on a fairly regular basis here. (Chief Engineer Ed Didier and Al Mozena, you’re the best!)

Bob Craven, Julia Meek, Fred Rothert

I’m really enamored with the idea – Julia’s idea, really – of having a regular evening program that features this kind of music, performed live for our listeners.  A great combination, perhaps, of incredible music heroes such as Bob and Fred, and new music, artists just coming on the scene, finding their way and blessing us with the sounds as they journey.

So much we’d like to do here.  Your input is always welcome.

Even the tuning up sounds good –



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89.1 HD3 – An experiment in the alternative.

If you’re listening to 89.1 HD3 right now, you just heard a change.  Big change.  From syndicated jazz to an experiment in alternative listening – a mix of NPR programs, contemporary album music, and replays of some favorites at alternate times.  HD listeners are few and far between, but if you’re out there, give it a listen.  We’re just trying this out, to see what you think and what we think and if there’s a place in our public radio world for something a bit different.

The schedule, as it experimentally stands right now, looks like this:


If you’re tuned in and turned on, let us know.



Filed under Changes, Programming

And we’re off . . . or on . . .

This morning marked the end of months of planning and the beginning of three weeks of just way-too-exciting storytelling.  It was a great opening day.

Whitney, Jorge, and Virginia, the StoryCorps crew, had everything set up and ready to go when our first, very first, StoryCorps pair arrived and entered the booth this morning at 10:30.

Community volunteer Eleanor Marine and City Councilman John Shoaff spent their time talking about Headwaters Park – both served as members of the commission right from the start and have an insider’s view of what is now an iconic part of the city. I’m eager to hear the interview and just as eager to share parts of it with our listeners. Eleanor and John are good friends and Jorge made the comment after the interview concluded that they seemed to really enjoy each and laughed a lot.  That would be our wish for every pair as they leave the Mobile Booth – that they enjoy each other and feel like it was good to share that space for an hour.

Big thanks to our local press for showing up, being interested, and spending time.  A special shout out to WANE-TV’s Alyssa Ivanson (a StoryCorps fan) and cameraman Trae Hester for investing so much time with us.  We’re looking forward to your coverage. Ellie Bogue with the News-Sentinel, Sam Hoffman, Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne Magazine, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly — all are giving us some attention. We’ve had great support from all the local media and it makes a difference for a project like this.  Salute, colleagues!

Adding to the festivities were awesome hot dogs and drinks from Chris and Jennifer McMinn (and Maya), owners of Rush Street Express. Thanks so much for coming down and feeding us.

The second interview today was Cheryl Ferverda of the Allen County Public Library, our partner in this endeavor, interviewing with her son.  And then the remainder of the afternoon is filled with public interviews, those folks who signed up through the web site or by phone.  And we’re off and running.

We’ll begin airing some of the edited segments next week, if we’re productive and lucky and can’t wait to begin sharing StoryCorps NE Indiana with all of you.

The schedule is pretty full, although this afternoon I did help someone find a reservation slot for next week  . . .  and . . .  the good news is that tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 10 am, another 20 or so spots are going to be opened up in the schedule (because we did such a good job of filling what we had!).  So if you procrastinated and now would really like to participate, go to and click on the reservation link or go directly to StoryCorps Fort Wayne Reservations. And they are building a waiting list, because we know some folks may have to cancel as we move through the three weeks ahead.  You know you want to do this, so find a partner and sign up!

It’s going to be an interesting three weeks and so gratifying to air segments of these local interviews all throughout the next many months, sharing the stories of what makes growing up here, living here, falling in love, going to war, coming home, serving the public, making art, dealing with adversity, learning lessons, sharing memories, and passing all that on, so very special.

Thanks, StoryCorps, for visiting us and thanks, all of you who’ve worked to make this successful.  We’re off to a memorable start.

Because the stories matter,


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Silver bullet.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and is parked at its Fort Wayne home in the ACPL lot at the corner of Washington and Webster.  It’s not as visible as I’d like it to be, but the power hook up is an issue. (Yes, I had the driver drop it in one place and then he had to back it up – he wasn’t the happiest boy in the world.)

There will be easy parking and easy entrance and it’s just pretty gratifying to think about the stories that are going to be told inside that shiny bullet.  It’s smaller than I thought it would be and sort of cute.  It is, thank you, founder Dave Isay, a brilliant idea.

If you go to the StoryCorps online scheduling tool, you’ll see that, as of this morning, there are two spots open in which to schedule an interview, so there’s still room.  I also know that a few other spots will open up as we get closer and people have to cancel for one reason or another and there is a waiting list, so please, if you and a partner want to participate in this, put yourself on the waiting list and keep checking in.

The booth arrived early, to spend the holiday week-end here, and the staff members will arrive next week.  Our responsibility is to find housing for three staff members for the month that they are here and we give a big shout out to Katie Pruitt and Andy Welfle for putting us in contact with their generous landlord, Jeff Burdek, an NIPR member, who is allowing us to use the other side of the Welfle’s duplex for the month. The NIPR staff will “furnish” the duplex for our guests (I’m thinking the style will be eclectic, to say the least) and we are so pleased to be able to provide a comfortable, spacious “home” for them.

When the coordinator was here earlier this spring, Lea asked Jenna what was the worst living arrangement the team had ever found.  Worst ever? – when the team was housed in an apartment on the backside of a heavy metal music venue and the had free concerts all night.  We’re striving to provide a calmer atmosphere for our facilitators!

We’re grateful that the local press has already taken an interest and we expect to see some good articles about this effort. We are becoming part of something bigger than ourselves with each story that is going to be told.

As we’ve said from the beginning, one of the main thrusts of StoryCorps is to capture the stories of those who might not normally take part in such a project. We have had marvelous cooperation from so many in the community to make certain we reach that objective. To present a complete picture of our community, many organizations and individuals, including the following groups, will be represented, not in stories of their organizations, but in the individual, personal stories of their constituencies. We’re grateful to have had such committed participation.

  • Northeast Indiana Diversity Library
  • Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau
  • Combat veterans from WWII through present day
  • YWCA: Burmese refugees, Latinos, victims of domestic violence
  • NeighborLink: single parents, elderly, disabled
  • Fort Wayne Philharmonic: educational programs
  • Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities
  • Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana
  • Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art and Culture: African-Americans, youth, musicians
  • African/African American Historical Museum: African Americans & diaspora communities
  • Fort Wayne Urban League: African-Americans, youth, programs that serve people from a wide economic and educational backgrounds

We can hardly wait to begin airing segments of these interviews – and of yours. These are the stories of our community.


If you aren’t familiar with how StoryCorps sounds on the air, you can hear what’s come from other communities by listening to Morning Edition on Fridays on WBOI 89.1, usually between 6:20 – 6:30 and again between 8:20 -8:30.

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