Jon Norton | WGLT

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. 

Jon Norton / WGLT News

Occasionally we send Jon Norton out to local record stores to hear what's playing on their turntable while customers browse the bins.  Recently Norton caught a whiff of an album reminiscent of something from two decades prior.

After 27 years with the vocal ensemble New York Voices, vocalist Kim Nazarian has finally released an album under her own name.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Nazarian tells WGLT's Jon Norton that recording with family for her debut release was comforting, and about the joyful feeling she gets when singing with New York Voices.

Jacob Blickenstaff

Hammond B3 master Adam Scone has has been a sideman in a diverse array of settings.  Among others, he's played in the bands of jazz legend Lou Donaldson and roots rocker JJ Grey & Mofro.  The title of Scone's latest album as a leader is "I Scream Scone." 

Damian Battinelli

2010 GLT Summer Concert headlining band Gas House Gorillas  just released their new album.  GLT's Jon Norton caught up with the Gorillas front man and co-leader Rick Fink, who says though the band is quite happy with previous releases, they're thrilled with their latest, titled "Shut Up."

   

Occasionally GLT's Jon Norton stops by area record stores to hear what's playing on the turntable while customers browse the bins.  On the turntable at Reverberation Vinyl was the soundtrack to a classic German horror film.  Store owner John Anderson took Norton through some of the intricacies of the album, and the man behind the music of Popol Vuh.

The director of the Bloomington Public Library has announced her retirement. Georgia Bouda's last day in the office will be December 4. Her official retirement will be this January 8. She had previously served as Library Director in Pewaukee Wis. Bouda was hired in 2006 during a $2.8 million expansion project at the library. During Bouda’s time in Bloomington, the library’s circulation has nearly doubled. She was also involved in designing and purchasing the library’s new Bookmobile which rolled out this spring.

Bloomington Public Library

The director of the Bloomington Public Library has announced her retirement.  Georgia Bouda's last day in the office will be December 4. Her official retirement will be January 8, 2016.    She had previously served as Library Director in Pewaukee Wis.  Bouda was hired in 2006 during a $2.8 million expansion project at the library.

Arnie Goodman © 2014

New York native Todd Wolfe has opened for (and played with) some of the biggest names in the music business.  One of his more noteworthy gigs was playing guitar in Sheryl Crow's touring band following the monster success of Crow's "Tuesday Night Music Club" album in the 1990's.  On this edition of GLT Blues Next, Wolfe talks about his time with Crow, his musically rich childhood neighborhood, and about the new solo album from The Todd Wolfe Band.

Jared Alcorn

For the last decade, Truck the Cat's home was at Waiting Room Records in Uptown Normal. The long haired black cat with white cheeks and belly lived in the store. She could often be seen napping under one of the record bins, or walking the aisles, or even behind the counter. 
 

Jim Browne / WGLT

Bloomington's West Market Street at the Union Pacific railroad bridge is now open. Construction crews took down the barricades at 1pm yesterday afternoon. The street had been closed since late March to allow for the tear down and replacement of the bridge to accomodate high speed rail and increased freight traffic. The construction was originally scheduled to end in June, but a miriad of reasons, including rainy weather and bad soil, pushed the completion date back a number of times.

An education activist visiting Illinois State University says children receiving a poor education are having their civil rights violated.  Dr. Pedro Noguera is a distinguished professor of Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  He is also a sociologist whose research is focused on how schools are influenced by social and economic factors.  GLT's Jon Norton talked with Noguera via Skype to talk about his research, and how his morality factors into his lifelong passion of ensuring equal access to education for all children.  Norton started by quoting a sentence from his recent book "Excellence Through Equity."

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.

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