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The Josh Nelson Quartet wows the crowd at a recent Blue Whale show

In case you’re wondering how I’m ringing in the New Year for 2012, I have the pleasure of joining up with some of my old friends at WBGO for the annual Toast of the Nation extravaganza. The last leg of our multi-city tour features the Billy Childs Quartet from the Blue Whale in downtown Los Angeles, where I’ll be helping out with the broadcast and digging the music.

I’m not sure if the photo above captures it, but this is a seriously cool music venue. Just over two years old, it is a refreshingly up-to-date take on the jazz club concept, far from your typical dimly-lit jazz bar. I’m looking forward to checking this place out a lot in 2012 — starting with one of my favorite trombonists and UCLA alumni, Alan Ferber, next weekend.

But I’m getting ahead of myself — tune in for the broadcast tomorrow, which starts at 8 p.m. EST (5 out here on the Left Coast) with Julian Lage in Boston. Our segment from Los Angeles will run from 2 a.m. EST (11 p.m. LA time) and will count down the New Year in Pacific Time. It’s a great chance to put my radio hat back on for a couple of days — we’ll have a live chat running at the WBGO blog, so tune in and come hang: wbgo.org/toast is the address.

Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks for reading in 2011!

Photo by Mike of Luminosity Photo Blog

Well, it’s been three months since I’ve found the time to get back to the blog. But now that I just wrapped up my first quarter of coursework at UCLA, it seems like a good time to poke my head out from the mountains of reading and say hello to all my friends on the internet. If Andrew can do it in the middle of a book project, and Rachel can find the time between coursework, a radio internship, and the unrequited love of jazz nerds, then who am I to complain?

As the photo shows, winter in Los Angeles can be tough, but so far I’m managing to survive. This city is a strange and different urban animal, but I do feel extremely blessed to be here, even when I have been overwhelmingly busy and unable to enjoy an afternoon in the Santa Monica sand.  Read the rest of this entry »

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