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

In preparing for her upcoming Syracuse performance, saxophonist Tia Fuller spoke with afternoon jazz host and WAER Music Director Eric Cohen.  Eric believes that you can learn a lot about an artist by " asking a series of random questions to get a feel for what they are all about."

Take a listen and see if there are any "ah ha" moments for you.

Tia Fuller performs with her quartet in Syracuse Sunday April 28th at 3:00 PM at the Palace Theatre in Eastwood.  The program is the culmination of a month-long celebration of Jazz Appreciation.

The recently announced 2013-2014 Syracuse Stage season offers well-known classics mixed with exciting contemporary work.

Legendary folk singer Richie Havens, the first performer at Woodstock, died of a heart attack Monday at the age of 72.  While he was known internationally for his excellent guitar work and cover songs, his death hits close to home here in Central New York.  Syracuse Jazz Fest Executive Director, Frank Malfitano, knew him well on both personal and professional levels.

"For me, there simply was no sweeter man and no greater interpretive song stylist

Tia Fuller JAMS Syracuse

Apr 17, 2013
Keith Major

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) in April is a celebration of the history, culture and relevancy of jazz as an art form. WAER  Syracuse Public Media is continuing its annual celebration of JAM with a performance by an extraordinary modern jazz artist, Tia Fuller.    Fuller is known for her artful mastery of the saxophone. She has performed with R&B star, Beyoncé and is featured on the Beyoncé Experience DVD. She has also played with Esperanza Spalding, Jon Faddis, T. S. Monk  and Nancy Wilson.

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