Joe Lee

Director & General Manager

I've loved music for as long as I can remember.  As a boy I often found myself thumbing through my mother's records and staring at the album cover artwork.  It's how I developed the biggest crush on Minnie Riperton and Natalie Cole.  I later discovered many treasures among her modest collection including original releases of John Coltrane's Blue Train and Lush Life recordings.  As a teen, I ventured off into the world of Depeche Mode, The Smiths and The Police, but it was public radio that brought me home to my roots.  Listening to the local public radio station in my hometown (Baltimore, MD) provided opportunity for greater music appreciation.

Discovering public radio through my love of music has turned into a 20+ year career in public broadcasting.  I started working for my hometown public radio station (WEAA) in 1987 and, after a few years there as Music Director and Program Director, accepted a position at Syracuse University and WAER.  It was WAER's dual format of music and NPR news that made me the public radio junkie I am today.  One of the more rewarding aspects of my job is working with the talented students that walk through our doors everyday and, after 20+ years, I am fortunate to count many of them among my dearest friends.  Most of all I enjoy engaging our listeners, donors and business partners because they get what public radio is all about - a platform that allows us to enlighten, engage and entertain without hype or sensationalism.

Ways To Connect

Retro-R&B singer Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings) is taking a break from touring to focus on treatment and recovery.

A new schedule has been released for the 31st Annual M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest and it features one of the more critically acclaimed voices in jazz today.  Thanks to a recent grant from the Central New York Community Foundation, chart-topping jazz singer Giacomo Gates is headed to Syracuse.  Syracuse Jazz Fest Executive Director Frank Malfitano describes Giacomo Gates as a "vocalese hipster in the style of Jon Hendricks and Eddie Jefferson."  Gates performs Friday, July 5th at 5:00 PM.

Notable jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller passes in Allentown, PA at 57.

Undergraduates from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University partnered with students from Fowler High School to produce three films.

Jazz is one of those music genres that divides listeners into 3 basic categories: enthusiasts, acceptors, and avoiders.  Enthusiasts are those that are passionate about the music and it's history.  Acceptors might not necessarily know what they are listening to but often enjoy and accept what they are hearing.  Avoiders...well they need no definition.  The latest incarnation of the Bill Horrace and Dave Solazzo Experience attempts to bridge some gaps between enthusiast and acceptor and perhaps snag an avoider or two.

Despite 27,900 plays in the third quarter, recording artist Blake Morgan says he earned $1.62 from the popular internet music site Pandora.

Joe Lee

When the recorded audio introduction explaining the meaning of Angelic Warrior started, you knew that it was going to be a special performance.  Tia Fuller's grand entrance from the back of the house to the stage set the scene for an evening of high energy jazz improvisation that left the audience wanting more.  Weaving story-telling, audience engagement and energetic performances, Fuller and her band delivered a polished product worthy of closing out a special month dedicated to the preservation of jazz as an American art form.

Number 5 Syracuse (11-3) takes on number 6 Notre Dame (10-3) for the second time in 6 days.

Country star George Jones died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Friday at the age of 81.

Grupo Pagan

The Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse has been an established cultural epicenter of Central New York since its founding in 1972. This Friday evening, the CFAC is opening its doors and offering the community a chance to engage with and support its mission. In partnership with Syracuse Public Media WAER, the Folk Art Center is hosting An Evening of Jazz and Wine Tasting to wrap-up a month-long celebration of jazz appreciation. The event will feature the well-known talent of the locally based Latin American band, Grupo Pagan.

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