As we count down the last remaining hours of 2008, KSKA rings in the New Year with the 29th anniversary edition of Toast of the Nation -6 hours of live concerts at some of the best music venues from coast to coast. NPR Music and WBGO are teaming up to present Toast of the Nation 2009:
- 7:00pm – 8:15pm, (AKST) New York City: Mingus Big Band
The Mingus Big Band has played Charles Mingus’ music every week since 1991. Six of their nine albums have been Grammy nominated. Their new home in New York is the Jazz Standard. Michael Bourne hosts this New Year’s performance.
- 8:15pm – 9:30pm, (AKST) New Orleans: Evan Christopher Quartet
From Donna’s Bar & Grill on Rampart Street, clarinetist Evan Christopher plays New Orleans jazz and beyond, with Tom McDermott on piano, Matt Perrine on bass and sousaphone, and Shannon Powell on drums.
- 9:30pm – 11:15pm, (AKST) Los Angeles: Pink Martini with Jimmy Scott
The stylish, globe-trotting little orchestra from Portland delivers the fantasy of a vintage Hollywood musical splashed with lyrics and themes from Rio, Paris, Naples and beyond. This is the orchestra’s third New Year’s Eve at Disney, with two midnights — Mountain and Pacific Time — for Toast of the Nation.
- 11:15pm – 12:00pm, (AKST) San Francisco: Jake Shimabukuro
Ukelele wizard Jake Shimabukuro is playing jazz, classical, bluegrass, flamenco and rock from the Beatles to Michael Jackson and beyond, and we have highlights from Jake at the 2008 San Francisco Jazz Festival, especially for listeners in Alaska and Hawaii as they approach 2009.
- 12:00pm – 1:00am (AKST) Boston: Hiromi and Sonicbloom
“Her soft-spoken voice is in stark contrast to her thunderous, confident music,” says The Boston Globe. Pianist Hiromi Uehara loves “Bach, Oscar Peterson, Michael Jordan, anyone who has big, big energy.” Sonicbloom is her group.