What a great way to start a local music series: The Blue Wisp Big Band will be featured on WCET-TV's "River Valley Rhythms" premiere Friday (10:30 p.m., Channel 48).
It's the first of three one-hour music performance shows planned this year for the new CET series.
First up: The Blue Wisp Big Band led by drummer John Von Ohlen, with guest trumpeter Terell Stafford, taped at the Xavier Jazz Series.
The show includes pieces from the Xavier concert plus interviews with members of the city's premiere big band for more than 35 years, says Mark Lammers, executive producer for Public Media Connect, Channel 48's parent organization.
The show repeats 8 p.m. May 2 on CET Arts (Channel 48.3, Time Warner Channel 987).
The Brian Newman Quintet and the Nati' 6 also will headline "River Valley Rhythms" jazz concerts this season.
"This is the first of what we hope will be many features on local music," says Kellie May, CET public relations and digital media specialist.
"My hope in developing the 'River Valley Rhythms' line of programming is to spotlight what makes our area so special to me, and to many in our community. And that starts with local musicians doing what they do best," Lammers said.
Lammers noted that Cincinnati has a rich legacy of broadcasting local musicians, from radio in the 1930s and 1940s, and on TV with "Midwestern Hayride" and Ruth Lyons' "50-50 Club."
“The hope is to slowly build momentum and really turn 'River Valley Rhythms' into a performance series that everyone in Southwest Ohio can take pride in. This area has a long history of broadcast music performance, but the media market has changed over time. We want to fill that gap and continue to raise awareness of the amazing music being made right in our backyards,” Lammers said.
See a 'River Valley Rhythms' preview here.
May says arts programming on Public Media Connect, WCET and CET Arts is funded by the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./US Bank Foundation, Macy’s, the William S. Rowe Foundation and Friedlander Family Foundation.