Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Front and Center music series returns to PBS

A new season of the music performance series Front and Center (formerly Front Row Center) premieres nationwide on public television in September (check local listings) with nine, one-hour episodes.

The diverse musical line-up spanning genres and generations includes Jack Johnson, Train (pictured), Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Rides (featuring Barry Goldberg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Stephen Stills), Rock Candy Funk Party (featuring Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt, Renato Neto, and Joe Bonamassa), Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio, Jake Bugg, and JJ Grey & Mofro.
In the New York metropolitan area, the series premieres Saturdays at 11 p.m. beginning Sept. 21 on WLIW21, late night Sundays at 12 midnight beginning Sept. 22 on THIRTEEN, and this October on NJTV. For airdates in other markets, check local listings.

Series opener Jack Johnson shared his thoughts on the series saying, “Front and Center allows artists to do something different. There is a type of energy and a real immediacy, kind of a conversation that starts to happen between you and the audience.”
“Performing California 37 front to back for Front and Center was a great experience. We love the show and we've never done an album top to bottom like that before,” said Train frontman Pat Monahan.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe said, “Front and Center captured the soul of our performance. The McKittrick Hotel is our New York City home; it's one of those rare spaces that is as rewarding an experience for the artist as it as for the audience.”
Front and Center was filmed exclusively in New York at the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Allen Room, The Iridium, located in the heart of Times Square, and at The McKittrick Hotel. 

Filmed in high definition, Front and Center caters to the live music fan, with each episode delivering top-notch performances from some of the biggest names in music. Season two episodes will air as follows:
#201 Jack Johnson - Jack Johnson’s simple songs about life, love and the universe take viewers on a lyrical journey, including fan favorites “Better Together,” “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” and “As I Was Saying,” plus songs from his new album From Here to Now to You. Filmed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Allen Room.
#202 Train - Pat Monahan and company perform their latest album, California 37, in its entirety at The Iridium. Highlights include “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Bruises.”
#203 JJ Grey & Mofro - Full of Southern style and sass, JJ Grey and his band blend front porch soul and down-home storytelling in a laying-it-on-the-line show. Filmed at The Iridium.  Songs include “Your Lady, She’s Shady” and “The Sweetest Thing.”

#204 Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Filmed at the one-of-a-kind McKittrick Hotel in a cabaret setting, the veteran jazz players stir up the crowd with their incredible tunes and invigorating musicianship.   Songs include “Bourbon Street” and “That’s It.”
#205 Buddy Guy - The pioneer of the Chicago blues sound brings his legendary showmanship to The Iridium.
#206 Jake Bugg - The 19-year-old English singer-songwriter brings his UK chart-topping songs to The Iridium.
#207 Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio - Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne) and The Iridium’s regular Monday night house band pay tribute to the man, the myth and the legend that was Les Paul, the ‘father of the electric guitar.’  
#208 Rock Candy Funk Party - With a sound as celebratory as the name suggests, Rock Candy Funk Party is powered by a collaboration of world-class musicians — producer Tal Bergman (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus of Planet Funk (guitar), Mike Merritt of Conan O'Brien’s late show band (bass), and Renato Neto, who record and toured with Prince for nearly a decade (keys). Filmed at The Iridium, highlights include “Octopus-e” and “New York Song.”
#209 The Rides - Stephen Stills’ blues-rock “super group,” whose debut album was inspired by his 1968 Super Session album, features guitar wizard Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Electric Flag’s Barry Goldberg at The Iridium.

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