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WNYC Centennial Celebration


Originally Aired: Monday, July 8, 2024


On July 8, 2024 at 8:54 pm ET, it will be exactly 100 years since WNYC – now the largest independent public radio station in the U.S. – came on the air for the very first time. Join us as we mark this historic moment with a reimagining of that first broadcast.

The program will feature Tony-winning performer and host of the upcoming podcast America, Who Hurt You? Sarah Jones alongside veteran WNYC hosts including Soundcheck and New Sounds’s John Schaefer and On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone, plus a few old friends and surprise guests. Our house band will be lead by 8-time Grammy winner and the founder of The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Arturo O’Farrill. O’Farrill will be joined by an ensemble of musicians performing his new arrangements of musical selections from the 1924 broadcast featuring vocals by two-time Grammy Award winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges and winner of the 2022 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso.



House Band: Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro Latin Sextet

  • David Bixler – reeds
  • Heather Bixler – violin and Irish fiddle
  • Ivan Llanes – congas and percussion
  • Arturo O’Farrill – piano
  • Zack O’Farrill – drums
  • Bam Rodriguez – bass
  • Jauncho Herra- guitar

Vocalists: J’Nai Bridges and Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso

Actors: Sarah Jones, John Schaefer, Brooke Gladstone, and LaFontaine Oliver



Producer and Director: Jennifer Keeney Sendrow

Writers: Delaney Britt Brewer and Jennifer Keeney Sendrow

Arranger and Music Director: Arturo O’Farill

Technical Director: Ricardo Fernández

Audio Engineer: Chase Culpon

Video Producer: Eric Weber

Marketing: Kate Schlesinger and Daleelah Saleh


Important Information about the Program
Seating is general admission. The Greene Space studio doors will open at 8:30 pm, and our live radio broadcast will begin promptly at 8:54 pm. Please plan to arrive no later than 8:45 pm. Late arrivals will be held in our lobby until an appropriate time in the program. It will be possible to watch a video feed of the show from a screen until that time. You are welcome to bring your drinks into the studio.

Arturo O'Farrill

Credit: Photo by John Abbott

Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte.

In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, now known as Belongó, as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. 

In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland.  He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba. 

An avid supporter of all the Arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet Hispanico and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written three ballets. In addition, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company has in its repertoire a ballet entitled “Open Door,” choreographed by Ron Brown to several of Arturo’s compositions and recordings. Ron Brown’s own Evidence Dance Company commissioned Arturo to compose New Conversations, which premiered in the Summer of 2018 at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA. 

Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The San Francisco Ballet, and more.

Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition and the 2016 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His powerful “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo was the 2018 Grammy Award (his sixth) winner for Best Instrumental Composition. Arturo’s album “Four Questions” (ZOHO) is the first to embody all original compositions, including the title track, which features the brilliant orator Dr. Cornel West. This album won a Grammy in 2021. Most recently, in February of 2023, Arturo was awarded his eighth Grammy for the album “Fandango at the Wall in New York.”

Arturo was Artist in Residence for The Greene Space in New York City, for which he created a four-concert series including a newly commissioned composition. The series title was “Radical Acts and Musical Deviancy.” 

In 2020 Arturo’s weekly concerts with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, dubbed “Virtual Birdland,” topped the list of 10 Best Quarantine Concerts in the New York Times. The series has continued through today, with over 160 Sunday evening concerts online.

Arturo is Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Professor of Music at The New School in New York, has been honored as a Steinway Artist for many years.

J'Nai Bridges

Credit: Photo provided by Artist

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times), and “calmly commanding stage presence” (The New Yorker) has performed the world’s top opera and concert stages. Career highlights include: her role as Nefertiti in  the 2022 GRAMMY Award-winning Metropolitan Opera production of Akhnaten. She received the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award and she sold-out her Carnegie Hall Recital debut.

Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso

Credit: Photo provided by Artist

LUCÍA is a 23-year-old singer from Veracruz. She started her musical career when she was two, singing and dancing in her parent’s son jarocho band Son de Madera.

She began studying singing at the age of 13 at Universidad Veracruzana. In 2022, she received a bachelor’s degree in Singing and Jazz Studies from this same university. In 2019 and 2020, she studied at the A Cappella Academy, a vocal music academy in Los Angeles, CA, under Avi Kaplan, a former member of Pentatonix.

In 2020, at the Young Jazz Awards organized by the ONJMX, she won first place for Best Vocal Ensemble with the vocal group Nawi and was a finalist for Best Female Solo Artist. In 2022, she became the first Mexican to win the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in New York.

Sarah Jones

Credit: Photo by Tom Rauner

Sarah Jones is a Tony Award-winning visionary and solo-performer. The New York Times called her a “master of the genre.” Sarah is the director, writer, producer, and star of the film Sell/Buy/Date (2022) based on her acclaimed play of the same title. The film, produced by her company Foment Productions and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, explores the intersection of racial identity, gender justice and economic disparities through the lens of people in the sex industry, with the intention to empower and center their stories.

A trailblazer, Sarah won her case as the first artist in history to sue the Federal Communications Commission for censorship when they banned her poem about misogyny in popular music, “Your Revolution.”

As the founder of Foment Productions, a progressive production company, Sarah is determined to continue to add to conversations about issues impacting long-underserved communities. She leads her productions with a purpose.

John Schaefer

Credit: Photo by Marco Antonio

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

John has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music(Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Earmagazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley.

Brooke Gladstone

Credit: Photo by Janice Yi

Brooke Gladstone is host of On the Media. She is the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and many others you tend to collect if you hang out in public radio long enough.

Just before coming to On the Media, she did some pilots for WNYC of a call-in show about human relationships with Dan Savage called A More Perfect Union.


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