Jon Norton

Music Director/Morning Edition Host

Not a hunter, skier, ice fisherman or hockey player, Northern Minnesota native Jon Norton has adapted well to what he considers the warm climate of Central Illinois.

After 20+ years in commercial radio, he's also "adapted" well to programming and playing jazz and blues music for listeners in Central Illinois.  John Lee Hooker and Oscar Peterson are among his favorite artists.

Norton is an ISU and Chicago Bulls Basketball fan, a Minnesota Twins baseball fan and treasures his time at home with his wife and son. 

Deborah Feingold

Mitchel Forman was born in Brooklyn and attended the presigious Manhattan School of Music.  As a young man, he played in the band of jazz legend Gerry Mulligan.  Later, he played with other legends including Wayne Shorter and John McLaughlin.  He's also recorded as a solo artist for Windham Hill Records.  GLT's Jon Norton talked with Foreman via Skype from his home in Simi Valley California. 

Joseph Rosen

Pianist Anthony Geraci is an original member of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, and Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters.  He's also played with or behind some of the greatest names in blues, including B.B. King, Big Mama Thornton, Otis Rush, Chuck Berry, and Big Walter Horton.  Geraci's latest solo album "Fifty Shades of Blue" is backed by an all-star cast of Boston's top blues musicians.  On this edition of GLT's Blues Next, Geraci talks about his entry into the piano, his unexpected tour with a blues legend, and about "Fifty Shades of Blue."

Michelle Stella

Vocalist and George Mason University Jazz Director Darden Purcell returns to Central IL this Thursday night for a "one-off" 7:00 P.M performance at the Iron Post in Urbana.  Her backing band will include saxophonist Chip McNeill, her 4 year mentor at the University of Illinois, where she received a D.M.A. in Jazz studies.  GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Purcell via Skype last week from her home in the Washington D.C. area.

Michael Farrell

If you ask him, and Jon Norton did, Mort Weiss will tell you he's the best clarinet player in the world.  Norton and the feisty Weiss covered many other topics and ideas as well on this edition of GLT Jazz Next. 

They also played songs from his his CD "Mort Weiss is a Jazz Reality Show," a reference to the drama he's experienced in his 80 years of life.

NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks with GLT’s Charlie Schlenker about her work as a war correspondent in Syria, and her new post as host for NPR’s All Things Considered. You’ll also hear Laura Kennedy’s story of close calls, ironic twists and perseverance called “How Can You Mend a Broken Harp?”  And Jon Norton talks with jazzman Mort Weiss. Host: Willis Kern.

Marilyn Stringer

2015 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of blues legend Muddy Waters. In the late 1970's through 1982, John Primer was a guitarist in the last incarnation of the Muddy Waters Band.  In this edition of Talkin' Blues, Primer talks with GLT's Jon Norton about Waters, as well as the Rolling Stones.  Primer also talks about the new tribute album "Muddy Waters 100" which features a number of guest artists, and Primer on vocals and guitar on most of the tunes.

Kickapoo Creek Festival

Oct 15, 2015

One of the largest music events in Central Illinois history is virtually undocumented. GLT’s Jon Norton has the story of a Normal native and U-High grad whose life’s passion has been bringing his film of that event to national prominence.

By a roughly 7 to 1 margin, United Auto Worker members have ratified a new contract agreement with Mitsubishi Motors North America. The final vote talley was 697 "Yes" to 103 "No."

Heather Wilson

Reverend Osagyefo Sekou has been front and center in the ongoing protests in Ferguson since the shooting of Michael Brown and thinks the incident was the tipping point in the tense relationship between police and minorities.  Sekou gives the annual Hibbert R. Roberts Lecture at Illinois State University Thursday night. 

Jimmy Katz

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander was a sideman for jazz greats including B3 master Charles Earland and pianist Harold Mabern.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Jon Norton talks with Alexander about Mabern, who he calls a mentor, the importance of learning on the bandstand, and about his early connection to central Illinois.

Joanne Mathiasen

Vocalist Michelle Lordi grew up listening to the great jazz combos in the clubs of her hometown of Philadelphia.  B3 great Trudy Pitts was a particular favorite. But she was also enamored with jazz legends Chet Baker and Blossom Dearie.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Lordi talks with GLT's Jon Norton about her new album "Drive," the sometimes tense relationship between vocalists and instrumentalists, and how she approaches her craft.

Bob Marquart

In this episode of GLT's Talkin' Blues, we  catch up with the premier slide guitar player in the world before an appearance in Bloomington-Normal. 

Tim Carter

Robert Randolph is at the forefront of what's known as the secular "Sacred Steel" movement. Coming out of the Church Of God, this music is has quickly spread across the country and the globe in the last decade. On this podcast, Randolph talks about the origins of the lap steel guitar in his church, as well as how uplifting music and popularity aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

A lot has happened for Bloomington native Matthew Curry since we talked last summer: Opening for Peter Frampton, playing a showcase at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles, and acting a bit part in the upcoming sequel to "Joe Dirt." On this Talkin' Blues segment with GLT's Jon Norton, Curry talks about his now viral video with Frampton, his movie debut, and how life on the road has brought him closer to his family.

Talkin' Blues: Buddy Guy

Sep 28, 2015
Brian Thompson

At 80 years old, blues legend Buddy Guy is still revved up about his two year old album on RCA-Silvertone records. It's titled "Born To Play Guitar." On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Guy talks with Jon Norton about his new album, Muddy Waters, and why the gumbo at "Legends," his club in Chicago, is better than what you get in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

A small independent Chicago record label has been documenting Chicago's unsung jazz, blues, and gospel keyboard players since the 1970's. One of the founders of the label is Steven Dolins, who started "The Sirens Records" as a teenager in the 1970's. After a couple early pressings, he says he took a long break from recording to focus on his professional life. Today, Dolins is the chair of the Computer Science department at Bradley University. Since the early 2000's, he picked up where he left off in the 1970's, and to date the label has nearly two dozen recordings in its vault.

On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, we catch up with Portland, Oregon based Dan Wilensky, who talks about his his new album titled "Made in Portland," and about the thriving jazz scene in Portland that reminds him of his time living in New York City. You can purchase "Made in Portland" at: http://www.danwilensky.com/

Vocalist and lyricist Lorraine Feather has been quite busy in the last few years. In addition to recording and performing as a solo artist, she's been performing as part of a duo called "Nouveau Stride" with talented young stride pianist Stephanie Trick. She's also self produced a number of video's to accompany her CD's, including a fully animated video of a Fats Waller adaptation that played in 35 festivals internationally. Recently GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Lorraine Feather via Skype from her home in Washington state.

Vocalist and songwriter Dee Dee McNeil's new release is a straight jazz recording of mostly original songs. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, McNeil talks with Jon Norton about her new album "Storyteller,">which is available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/deedeemcneil3. She also talks about her time as a writer with Motown Records, and about her time in the jazz/spoken group Watts Prophets, and how the issues they were writing about in the early 1970's are still relevant today.

When Jon Norton last talked with Mark Winkler, the Los Angeles based vocalist and songwriter had just released two tribute albums. One paying homage to Laura Nyro, the other a salute to 1950's west coast jazz. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Norton talks via Skype with Winkler about his latest album that includes his own songs alongside those of those of George Gershwin, Dave Frishberg, and Paul Simon. We start with the title track to the album "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words.”

It's time to catch up with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. This Baltimore native has a new album titled "A Million Colors in Your Mind." On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Chestnut talks about the genesis of the album's title, why he chose to record with older players, and how those players helped evolved his sound. This podcast was produced by Jon Norton.

Marisa Klug-Morataya

Pianist Johnny Iguana likes that his music with drummer Michael Caskey is difficult to categorize. Together they play their bluesy, jazzy, R&Bish music all over Chicago and the world as The Claudettes. It's an interesting and catchy sound, as is the story behind the groups name.

JC Smith

Sep 28, 2015

On this edition of GLT Blues Next, west-coast bluesman John Smith, aka "JC Smith" of the "JC Smith Band" details his bands new album, titled "Love Mechanic." He also recalls meeting a blues legend -- before he realized who the legend was -- and before he realized they were related.

Ghost Town Blues Band

Sep 28, 2015

There are a number of young blues artists based in Memphis, the so-called "home of the blues." Getting gigs in Memphis isn't always easy, but there are a lot of musical collaborations. On this edition of GLT Blues Next, Jon Norton talks with Matt Isbell, guitarist and vocalist with the Memphis based Ghost Town Blues Band, about one of those collaborations, and about the bands new album, Hard Row to Hoe.

Balkun Brothers

Sep 28, 2015
Katrina Kelly / Kats Eye Press

The blues-rock band the Balkun Brothers pulls its influences from classic rock even from hard rock bands like Black Sabbath. Drummer Nick Balkun talks about shaping the band’s sound in this edition of GLT Blues Next.

Occasionally we send Jon Norton out to local record stores to listen to what customers are hearing as they browse the bins.  Norton's trip to Uptown Normal this week pumped some new heavy metal in his hear holes.

Jazz vocalist and lyricist Lorraine Feather has been quite busy in the last few years.

Grand Jury decisions in Ferguson Missouri and New York City not to indict white officers for killing unarmed black men has provoked a kind of national Rorschach test on race. According to a Pew Research Center study, blacks, by a an overwhelming margin, say the Ferguson shooting raises critical racial issues and that the police quote "went too far" in responding to subsequent protests. Only 9 percent of blacks said they agreed with the Grand Jury's decision.

In the mostly minority Ferguson, Missouri neighborhood where Michael Brown lived, residents have taken what they call a pro-active approach to monitoring police. A group called "We Copwatch" donated cameras to neighborhood residents so they can record police interactions. Nearly 14 years ago, leaders in McLean County tackled the issue of minority-police relationships using a different approach. GLT's Jon Norton has more in the 5th and final part of the GLT News investigative series "Police and Race in the Twin Cities."

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