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.

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11:44 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Inspector Who Surveyed Building Prior to Philadelphia Collapse Commits Suicide

Lead in text: 
Inspector who surveyed the Philadelphia building that collapsed killing 6 people died from apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
PHILADELPHIA -- An official says an inspector who surveyed a Philadelphia building before it collapsed last week, killing six people, has committed suicide. Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says the inspector was found fatally shot in a pickup truck Wednesday night. The man was a Department of Licenses and Inspections employee who had inspected the building May 14.
3:45 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Authentic Early Jazz from a 23-year-old "Woman Child"

Lead in text: 
Cecile McLorin Salvant recreates the sound of early jazz on her new album "WomanChild".
Jazz musicians Cecile McLorin Salvant and Aaron Diehl, both in their 20s, have already racked up major industry prizes. But they took radically different paths to get there. Diehl, a Juilliard-trained piano player, was performing church hymns at Mass from age 8. He says he was "that weird, nerdy kid" who loved classical music growing up.
12:42 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Sharon Jones Cancels Tour after Cancer Diagnosis

Lead in text: 
Retro-R&B singer Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings) is taking a break from touring to focus on treatment and recovery.
NEW YORK - Soul singer Sharon Jones has cancer and has canceled plans for an album and tour in 2013. A Monday news release says Jones has stage-one bile duct cancer and needs immediate surgery. Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings, had planned to release "Give the People What They Want" on Aug.
Music Festival
9:22 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Revised Jazz Fest Schedule Features Celebrated Vocalist

Giacomo Gates

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.

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4:17 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Pianist Mulgrew Miller Dies at 57

Lead in text: 
Notable jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller passes in Allentown, PA at 57.
Mulgrew Miller, a jazz pianist whose soulful erudition, clarity of touch and rhythmic aplomb made him a fixture in the postbop mainstream for more than 30 years, died on Wednesday in Allentown, Pa. He was 57. The cause was a stroke, said his longtime manager, Mark Gurley.

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