Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Nancy MacLean is the award-winning author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry and Freedom is Not Enough She is the William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did.

Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains names its true architect: Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan — and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

   Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
After Anatevka by Alexandra Silber (event in Rhinebeck, Weds, 7/19, 6pm)
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
American Fire by Monica Hesse
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite
The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

Yidstock 2017

Jul 11, 2017

Now in its sixth year, Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music celebrates the best of Klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

7/11/17 Panel

Jul 11, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain, and Publisher of Empire Report J.P. Miller.

In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point?

Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think.

Leslie Peck / http://www.lpeck.com/gallery.html

The 2017 Open Studios of Washington County will feature a record-breaking 20 artists working across a range of mediums, including painting, photography, clay arts, and sculpture. Since the arts are vital to the cultural diversity and enrichment of the region, the event helps ensure the rich artistic tradition will continue.

The event now happens over four days and will run from July 13th through July 16th. Joining us to tell us all about it, we welcome Sue Sanderson, organizer, Open Studios of Washington County and two of the featured artists, Leslie Peck and Gigi Begin.

S. Epatha Merkerson and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

The Williamstown Theatre Festival season opener on the main stage is Jen Silverman's new play The Roommate. Directed by Mike Donahue, the show continues through July 16th. The cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

Merkerson is cast as Sharon, who is empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home and takes on a roommate, Robyn (played by Kaczmarek). Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life.

S. Epatha Merkerson is best known for her role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on NBC’s Law & Order. She appeared in 391 episodes of the series—more than any other cast member.  She currently stars as Sharon Goodwin, the Chief Administrator of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center Hospital on NBC’s Chicago Med

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College has a jam-packed summer of arts and culture – including their 4th annual Frances Day Community Celebration on July 15th, a new season of UpBeat on the roof concerts and great new exhibitions in all the galleries.  Plus a special new book celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute and its founder Don McCormack.

Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and Michael Janairo, the museum’s Assistant Director for Engagement  join us to tell us more.

7/10/17 Panel

Jul 10, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and -- all the way from Jordan -- Rosemary Armao.

James Burton at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Michael Blanchard

There is a new face here on the Tanglewood campus. James Burton joined the team earlier this year as the next Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

In addition, Burton takes on the newly established title of BSO Choral Director, a role in which he will explore new opportunities to enhance the orchestra's choral activities. 

Burton is only the second conductor to be appointed director of the TFC since its founding in 1970; he follows in the footsteps of John Oliver, founder and director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and who currently holds the title Founder and Conductor Laureate. 

Hailed as "a funny, affectionate, and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," the symphonic Sondheim on Sondheim is a retrospective of the life and work of America's finest contemporary musical theater creator -- told through his own words via film, live performers, and his amazing music.

Directed by Sandra Lapine with ​music direction by David Loud, acclaimed Broadway actors Phillip Boykin, Carmen Cusack, Gabriel Ebert, Ruthie Ann Miles and Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows will join Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops in the ​Koussevitzky Music Shed on Saturday, July 8th at 8pm.

Tamara Hickey and Thomas Brazzle in Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company
Stratton McCrady / shakespeare.org

We're at Tanglewood this morning and just a few miles away through the Berkshire beauty of Lenox lives another cultural gem, Shakespeare & Company.

Cymbeline is a rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve with wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love.

We are joined now by Tamara Hickey who plays Imogen in Cymbeline; Allyn Burrows, artistic director, at Shakespeare & Company; and Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company and Director of Cymbeline. The production also marks a personal milestone for Packer, who, after opening her production of Cymbeline, will have directed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.

Dawn Upshaw
Brooke Irish

There will be a Centennial Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on Sunday night at 8PM at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall. The Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Concert will feature mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, Pianist Lee Musiker, musicians of the Boston Pops, TMC Vocal Fellows and our next guest - Dawn Upshaw.

Dawn Upshaw is the Artistic Director of Bard College’s Conservatory of Music as well as the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace Ramsey Kellogg Professor of the Arts and Humanities.

She has been at Bard since 2004. The winner of three Grammy Awards; she is featured on more than 50 recordings. She is also the first singer to be named a “Perspectives” Artist by Carnegie Hall. 

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

As you walk along Tanglewood’s meandering paths, it’s easy to miss a series of small wooden shacks nestled amongst the pine trees -- until you hear the sweet music emanating from within. It’s here that the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows hone their craft and learn from the masters.

For decades, talented young musicians from around the country and around the globe have been coming to the Berkshires to study with some of the best musicians in the world.  Today we’re joined by Ellen Highstein – the Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.

As the season begins at Tanglewood, we speak to a man who not only is keeping the plates spinning here, he also has an eye on Boston and is even working on programming for future years here at Tanglewood.

Tony Fogg has been Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and assists the Music Director in the planning and selection of all BSO concerts and repertoire.

A pianist by training, he is one of our favorites to chat with and it is a great pleasure to welcome Tony back to our Tanglewood Roundtable.

The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra kicks off its 2017 season under the direction of Andris Nelsons this coming Monday - July 10th. The performance features Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, one of Mr. Nelsons' closest artistic collaborators, and Thom Rolfs, BSO principal trumpet and a former TMC Fellow.

Highlighting the program are two concertos written for Hardenberger by acclaimed English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. Hardenberger is soloist in the 2004 concerto From the Wreckage, an emotional journey transporting listeners from a spiky introduction to the calm plateau of its final resolution.

Hardenberger is joined by Thom Rolfs for Turnage's 1995 double trumpet concerto Dispelling the Fears. Mark-Anthony Turnage's music has been performed frequently at Tanglewood since he was a TMC Fellow in 1983.

We begin our remote broadcast from Tanglewood with an abbreviated RT Panel and welcome our man from The Berkshire Eagle, Kevin Moran and Managing Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mark Volpe.

In The Revolution of Robert Kennedy, journalist John R. Bohrer focuses in intimate and revealing detail on Bobby Kennedy's life during the three years following JFK's assassination. Torn between mourning the past and plotting his future, Bobby was placed in a sudden competition with his political enemy, Lyndon Johnson, for control of the Democratic Party.

No longer the president's closest advisor, Bobby struggled to find his place within the Johnson administration, eventually deciding to leave his Cabinet post to run for the U.S. Senate, and establish an independent identity. Those overlooked years of change, from hardline Attorney General to champion of the common man, helped him develop the themes of his eventual presidential campaign.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The Beguiled

Upcoming:

Cold War Classics: Rocky IV, Red Dawn - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 7/6 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Mamma Mia! - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 7/7, 8 PM (thru 8/13)

Jonathan Edwards - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/7, 8 PM

Michael Winslow - Funny Bone, Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, Friday 7/7 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Opera Saratoga: The Cradle Will Rock - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 7/9, 7:30 PM; Tuesday 7/11, 2 PM

Samantha Farrell - The Clark, Williamstown, Tuesday 7/11, 6:30 PM

Free Film Series: Kung Fu Panda - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 7/11, 1 PM

Pink Martini - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Tuesday 7/11, 8 PM

Knights of the Sales Office - Adirondack Theatre Festival, Chas. R. Wood Theater, Glens Falls, opens Tuesday 7/11, 7:30 PM (thru 7/20)

Sam Roberts Band, Rechorduroys - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/12, 5 PM
 

New Movies: Paris Can Wait, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick

7/6/17 Panel

Jul 6, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and College of St. Rose Department of Communications Chair, Cailin Brown.

Kathleen Tagg and David Krakauer
Jill Steinberg / krakauertaggduo.com

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival is now in its 19th season. On July 9th Grammy nominated clarinetist David Krakauer and acclaimed South African pianist Kathleen Tagg perform their collaborative project called "Breath and Hammer: Clarinet, Piano and Beyond."

Enhanced by an immersive video feed, the performance features Krakauer and Tagg’s arrangements of works by composers as diverse as New York-based visionary John Zorn and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, as well as original compositions by Krakauer and Tagg, with influences ranging from interlocking African drumming patterns to romantic symphonic music to minimalism to Klezmer. 

David Krakauer, Kathleen Tagg and Festival Artistic Director Linda Chesis join us.

http://empac.rpi.edu

EMPAC’s Spatial Audio Summer Workshop is a first-of-its-kind international gathering of composers and programmers focused on 3D immersive audio technologies such as Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) and High-Order Ambisonics. The sonic equivalent of 3D cinema, these new systems allow the composer to place and move virtual sounds through and around the physical listening space.

In 2016, EMPAC built one of the world’s most extensive and precise Wave Field systems, consisting of over 500 tiny speakers.

While many electronic musicians are currently interested in the promise of this new technology, some speculate that these systems could become prevalent in theaters, cinemas, home entertainment systems, and with virtual reality platforms. The public is invited to attend performances using these systems on July 10 and 13. 

To tell us more - Todd Vos is EMPAC’s lead audio engineer and spearheaded the construction of EMPAC’s new Wave Field Synthesis array. Argeo Ascani is EMPAC’s curator of music and has begun working with an international roster of composers to begin developing new content for the WFS system. 

Seventy-year-old "Chick" Chicarella has one prized possession, a 1967 Jaguar that is in desperate need of repair. When his son, "Bone", suggests that they finish the car and sell it off, old family wounds and failures rise to the surface.

That's the story behind The Jag by Gino DiIorio, now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY through July 16th. The Jag stars Dan Grimaldi - best known for his roles as twins Philly and Patsy Parisi  on HBO’s The Sopranos.

  Nineteenth-century New York City was one of the most magnificent cities in the world, but also one of the most deadly. Without any real law enforcement for almost 200 years, the city was a lawless place where the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The staggering amount of crime threatened to topple a city that was experiencing meteoric growth and striving to become one of the most spectacular in America.

In Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth of the NYPD, award-winning historian Bruce Chadwick examines how rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City. 

7/5/17 Panel

Jul 5, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain, and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

  Best-selling historian Nathaniel Philbrick once again takes readers deep into the American Revolution, leading them into battles and illuminating the players on the field and behind the scenes.

His latest - Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. 

Rick Wartzman is director of the KH Moon Center for a Functioning Society at the Drucker Institute, a part of Claremont Graduate University. He also writes about the world of work for Fortune magazine online. Before joining the Drucker Institute in 2007 as its founding executive director, Rick worked for two decades as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

In his new book, The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America, Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers--General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola--he shows how big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits.

7/3/17 Panel

Jul 3, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post, and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois. 

The Charlemont Forum in Charlemont Massachusetts is an ongoing lecture series that explores the causes of and possible solutions for one aspect of the current divisions in American political culture. 

On Wednesday, July 5th at 7 p.m., The Charlemont Forum is hosting a community reading of Frederick Douglass' famous speech, "What to the Slave is the 4th of July."

The co-artistic directors of the Double Edge Theater of Ashfield, are partnering with the Charlemont Forum to choreograph an engaging event. Actors from the Double Edge Theater together with approximately nine other readers who have volunteered from the hill towns, will give a dramatic reading of this stirring speech, which dates back to 5 July, 1852. 

We are joined now by Bruce Lessels - a Charlemont Forum Board member and a Board member for the Double Edge Theater Company in Ashfield, Massachusetts.

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces Summer School, a series of public programs that teases out new ways of thinking about learning, art, community, and museums. This summer, the series offers a playful taste of college culture taking inspiration from unconventional archives and the quirkiest kinds of libraries. It’s a weekly mashup of mini courses, extracurriculars on WCMA’s patio, a lending library, and pop-up programming in the museum’s Reading Room. 

Each week, Williams faculty and local experts lead hour-long mini courses in the galleries. These talks explore the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and spaces through the lens of libraries and archives.

To tell us more – we welcome Nina Pelaez - Assistant Curator of Public Programs at Williams College Museum of Art. 

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