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Programming Highlights

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 3:00pm

Kenny Shanker is a saxophonist, pianist, vocalist, and award-winning composer. A gifted musician, Shanker had an ear for composing music and playing the saxophone. Join Chet as he interviews Kenny, live on WICN!

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

So many folk songs have religious and spiritual themes, so here’s four hours of the best!

Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we have a lively conversation with artist RAÚL III. Raul has just illustrated the fantastic new graphic novel LOWRIDERS IN SPACE, which was written by Cathy Camper. This wonderful and wild new book is perfect for young readers from ages 8 and up to adults. Tune in and learn about how to trick out a custom car with different parts of the universe, how to draw a black hole and all about lowrider culture. “Bajito y suavecito”.

BARRY B. POWELL, the Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, returns to Inquiry to talk about his new dynamic translation of one of the greatest epics in the world: HOMER’S THE ODYSSEY.

Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D'Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR+ Best Rate of Climb, interviews Lisa Piehler (shown, right), executive director, and Elizabeth Wambui (shown, center), major-gifts associate, for the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts and Lauren Petit (shown, left), manager of communications and community relations for Saint-Gobain Corporation, one of the sponsors of the Red Cross Central Mass. chapter's 2015 Hometown Heroes. They talk about what it takes to be a Red Cross Central Mass. Hometown Hero. Shown, is a Red Cross photo of some past Hometown Heroes.

Each April, the American Red Cross of Central Mass. holds its Hometown Heroes Breakfast. And each year during that event, local people who have done remarkable things in the community are honored. The annual signature event, which this year takes place on April 8, began as a way to honor the heroes of September 11, 2001. In the years since, it has grown into a celebration of the courage, kindness and unselfish character displayed by incredible people across Central Mass.

Past honorees include people who have had an extraordinary impact on the community or fellow man by saving a life or through community service.  Members of the community are invited to nominate a local hero for consideration.  Honorees will be selected by a committee of individuals from the local community, including former award recipients.

Here are the 2015 Hometown Heroes honorees, in alphabetical order by last name:

  • Mark E. Leary of Fitchburg, who helped pull a man from a burning building in Fitchburg
  • Kaitlin K. O’Connell of Leominster, who donated a kidney to a person that she did not know
  • Terry and Pam Parker of Charlton, who founded Nick’s House, a home for returning veterans suffering from PTSD, in memory of their son, Nick Perry
  • Darlene Russell of Gardner, who helped rescue a mother and her baby from their burning car on I-190

This year’s Britney Gengel International Humanitarian Award will be awarded to a group of doctors and nurses for their work in response to the Ebola crisis. The group is comprised of:

  • ACCEL (Academic Consortium Combating Ebola in Liberia) of theGreater Worcester area
  • Moses Makor of Worcester, who worked with the Liberian Association of Worcester County to raise awareness and funds to combat Ebola
  • Richard Sacra, MD, of Holden, who contracted Ebola, was cured, and has returned to Liberia continue his work

Here are the 2015 Hometown Heroes honorable mentions, in alphabetical order by last name:

  • Engineers Without Borders USA – Worcester Polytechnic Institute Student Chapter in Worcester, which, through a Global Grant from Rotary International, is embarking on a expanded project to harvest rainwater in Guachtuq, Guatemala. This will bring a much-needed clean-water supply to additional households in this community
  • Michael McCallan of National Grid, who, through his role as director of emergency planning, is training employees on how to respond to emergency situations
  • Senior Allied Help Students in Worcester, which hosted a CPR marathon at Worcester Technical High School that certified 135 people.
  • Staff Sergeant Daniel R. Papagno of Clinton, who was the only person to assist a Worcester police officer in restraining a young man wielding a gun as a crowed stood and watched
  • Kevin Shaughnessy of Worcester, who has worked to improve the lives of veterans in Worcester through his work with Habitat for Humanity and Veterans Inc.
  • Laura Wonderlie of Worcester, who has implemented a literacy plan at the Seven Hills Charter Public School in Worcester to help improve reading levels of students from kindergarten through grade 8
Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 10:30pm

Current immigration levels—the highest in U.S. history—undermine efforts to achieve a more economically just and ecologically sustainable society. So says Colorado State University professor and author, Phil Cafaro. He argues that  Political progressives favoring a more equitable distribution of wealth, economic security for workers and their families, the preservation of other species on the American landscape, and the political empowerment of common citizens should support reducing immigration into the United States. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al speaks with Cafaro about his new book, How Many Is Too Many.

Monday, March 9, 2015 - 6:00pm

What would it sound like if someone bridged the gap between big band jazz and classic hip-hop anthems? Between Art Blakey and A Tribe Called Quest; between Freddie Hubbard and J. Dilla? One answer is offered by trumpeter Igmar Thomas, the founder and musical director of the Revive Big Band. Between originals, standard jazz repertoire and orchestrations of contemporary classics, Thomas aligns a multi-generational ensemble with a black music tradition that leads to the present day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 6:00pm

New Orleans bassist Roland Guerin and Judy met and recorded their conversation and played on stage at the 2013 Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland, where they discussed Roland’s New Orleans roots and favorite jazz.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 7:00pm

The theme’s title speaks for itself. Slainche!

Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 12:00pm

Host Bonnie Johnson explores pioneer women of the Jazz Age and the continuum of women's voices in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Tune in as we set out to "weave women's stories - individually and collectively - into the essential fabric our nation's history." Jazz and contemporary vocalists Joan Watson Jones and Nedelka Prescod will perform in the live broadcast from the WICN Performance Studio. The Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts Chair Pamela Boisvert and Lois Smith will join in the conversation.

About Nedelka Prescod

About Joan Watson-Jones

Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 9:00pm

ROBERTO TROTTA, astrophysicist at Imperial College, London has written of the most unique and lyrical books about cosmology: THE EDGE OF THE SKY: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALL-THERE-IS. Trotta discusses some of the most complex ideas in astrophysics, like exo-planets, supersymmetry and multiverses using only the ten hundred most common words in the English language. An amazing project and he reads a sample of the book on this show. Don’t miss this very aesthetic examination of science and language.

Tonight, Inquiry welcomes poet SUSAN RICH whose latest collection is titled CLOUD PHARMACY. Susan has worked and traveled in countries like Niger, Gaza, South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina and these experiences very much inform her poems. Tonight she reads “Tunnel” from Cloud Pharmacy, a poem about the Boston area.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of  Climb, interviews Charlene Perkins Cutler, executive director of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. They talk about creating a sustainable environment, economy, and place.

Created by an act of Congress in 1986, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is the second in the country to be so designated. The Corridor includes 25 cities and towns in a watershed that stretches from the headwaters in Worcester to Narragansett Bay in Providence.

In the Corridor, the industrialization of America began with the first water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. What followed, was the development of mill villages along the Blackstone River and its tributaries into Massachusetts, spreading across the Valley in a pattern that can still be seen and experienced today. This heritage also includes pre-colonial and Native American resources and history, as well as waves of immigration and diversity of culture that continue today.

Blackstone Valley Corridor partners see the Valley as many interconnected systems that make up the whole. From this broad-based systems understanding, the partners have committed to work together on three key areas of a Sustainable Blackstone Valley: sustainable environment; sustainable economy; and, sustainable place, referring to land use, transportation, built form, and preservation of culture and history.

In December 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation to expand the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The region of national significance will now include the town of Auburn and a larger portion of the city of Providence. The legislation also reauthorized the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for six additional years of federal funding - a boost to its continuing work to tell the story of the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and restore the environment of the Blackstone River.

Also in December, Congress approved and President Obama signed a bill to create the long-awaited National Park for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Since September 2014, Charlene Perkins Cutler, has been executive director of the Heritage Corridor, which is based in Woonsocket. The charitable, non-profit organization’s mission is “to work with community partners to preserve and promote the Valley’s historic, cultural, natural, and recreational resources for current and future generations.”

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 6:00pm

In Brazil, during Carnival, music fills the streets. The Spokfrevo Orquestra bring the joyous music from the streets of Brazil to the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Fronted by virtuoso saxophonist and arranger Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok, the 17-piece orquestra brings an adventurous program featuring special guests saxophonist Melissa Aldana and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Hear highlights from this exhilarating performance while tracing the origins of Brazilian Carnival music.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 6:00pm

Pianist/composer/activist Fred Hersch is one of the few musicians who feels equally comfortable with classical music and jazz, and discussed how he negotiates his way between these two worlds and uses each to inspire the other. Fred has also been living with HIV/AIDS for more than 25 years and talked about his work in raising awareness and funds throughout his own struggle with the virus.

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 7:00pm

Old favorites, tracks from CDs newly arrived at the station, with special guests Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards live in the studio!

Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with writer and philatelist CHRIS WEST about his new book A HISTORY OF AMERICA IN THIRTY-SIX POSTAGE STAMPS. West uses a wonderful selection of stamps to illustrate the history of the United States from the Stamp Act to the selfie. Along the way, West includes a wonderful history of the post office including the Pony Express and early airmail. If you have ever marveled at the history found on these small, perforated pieces of gummed paper, tune in!

Is it getting warm in here or is it me? We have all experienced fevers and don’t think much about them, but centuries ago fevers were feared because they could be life threatening.  Tonight on Inquiry we talk with CHRISTOPHER HAMLIN, Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. His latest book is titled MORE THAN HOT: A SHORT HISTORY OF FEVER. This fascinating history traces the evolution of different culture’s theories about why we get warm and weird when we are sick. Tune in and learn about fever vigils, fever manuals, the invention of the thermometer and the wild world of delirium.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 6:00pm

Pianist Ehud Asherie was born in Isreal, spent his early years in Italy and now lives in the States. He brings an international perspective as well as wide musical knowledge to his jazz playing. Judy and Ehud discuss his broad range of influences including Orson Welles whom he considers a major source of inspiration.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 7:00pm

Back by popular demand, a pre-recorded show with four hours of songs from the history of the now 56 year-old festival!

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 9:00pm

Inquiry welcomes back artist, sculptor and teacher KITTY WALES. Tonight Kitty talks about her new works “Migration” and “Lionfish” and about her travels to Republic of Azerbaijan to create a unique work from found materials. Kitty Wales work often involves building large sculptures of fish or animals from an amazing variety of found materials. Tune in and learn about how she created her monumental “Canis ex Machina” and other pieces.

Inquiry welcomes LISSA WARREN, Vice President, Senior Director and Acquiring Editor of DaCapo Press. Her latest book is THE GOOD LUCK CAT: HOW A CAT SAVED A FAMILY AND A FAMILY SAVED A CAT. This touching and very frank memoir is a story of family love, loss and grief and how a family pet can give you real comfort in extremely difficult times. If you have a family pet that you love dearly, don’t miss this show.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 6:00pm

Saxophonist Harry Allen discusses growing up playing accordian and how that much-ridiculed instrument helped him learn jazz.

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