MOJA’S 2018 GRAMMY NOMINEES…this week on MOJARadio!

GRAMMY 61st Logo MOJA’S 2018 GRAMMY NOMINEES…this week on MOJARadio!

It’s all about the GRAMMYS this week on MOJA Radio!

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences just announced the nominees for the 61st edition of the Grammy Awards and many of them are some of MOJA’s greatest artists, so we’ll celebrate them and the exciting moment in their careers on “The World’s MOdern JAzz Radio Channel” with special shows featuring their stories and their wonderful music! We’ll give you an hour of live music by 7 MOJA greats who received Grammy nominations this year on LIVE @ MOJALand. You’ll hear a day filled with MOJA greats who won Grammys with Fusion classics on FUSION FRIDAY, and spend all day Saturday sharing conversations Russ Davis has enjoyed with 11 of MOJA’s greatest stars, all of whom will be “Going For The Gold” when the Grammys are handed out this February, on WORDS & MUSIC. Then, there’s a ton of international MOJA on this week’s edition of THE ALL NEW MUSIC REVUE along with THE ATTACK OF THE JAZZY JAMBANDS, THIS IS ACID JAZZ and so much more.  So read on and we’ll give you a quick rundown then keep reading below that all the details.

Monday (December 10th)…This Monday we’ll celebrate the late, great GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. who would have turned 75 on December 12th! (Airs every Monday at Noon & 9 PM Eastern/9 AM & 6 PM Pacific) & next Monday we’ll feature an hour of the music of one of the most famous and popular drummers in modern jazz, LENNY WHITE.  On December 19th Lenny celebrates his 69th birthday!

Tuesday…On Tuesday you hear our patented features THE ATTACK OF THE JAZZY JAMBANDS and THIS IS ACID JAZZ, with an hour of the up, fun, funky music born in England that changed the jazz world, plus comments from the man who created the genre, English Pirate Radio DJ Gilles Peterson. (Airs every Tuesday and Sunday at 9 AM & 9 PM Eastern/6 AM & 6 PM Pacific) + THE ATTACK OF THE JAZZY JAMBANDS at Noon ET/9 AM Pacific!

WednesdayThis week we’ll listen in as 7 of MOJA’s Finest take the stage when we present 2018’S MOJA GRAMMY NOMINEES LIVE!  We’ll give you an hour of the music of 7 of the happy nominees for the 61st Grammy awards as we focus on the Grammys all week.  (Airs every Wednesday at 9 AM & 9 PM Eastern/6 AM & 6 PM Pacific…and Sunday at 11 AM & 11 PM Eastern/8 AM & 8 PM Pacific) + more JAZZY JAMBANDS at Noon ET/9 AM Pacific!

Thursday…On this week’s edition of THE ALL NEW MUSIC REVUE we’ll give you music from 7 new ones that feature lots of artists from all over the world blending influences from almost every style known to MOJA! Besides music made by Americans you’ll get the goods from Cuban, Israeli and Italian artists! (Airs every Thursday at 9 AM & 9 PM Eastern/6 AM & 6 PM Pacific…and Sunday at 10 AM & 10 PM Eastern/7 AM & 7 PM Pacific) + more JAZZY JAMBANDS at Noon ET/9 AM Pacific!

FridayThis week MOJA Radio is all about the GRAMMYS, and that includes our special feature we call IF IT’S FRIDAY, THIS MUST BE FUSION. Last week the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 61st edition of the Grammy Awards, so this Friday we’ll take a look back in time with a special feature we call “GRAMMY WINNERS OF THE FUSION ERA.”  (Beginning every hour from 7 AM-Midnight Eastern/4 AM-9 PM Pacific)

SaturdayThe National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences just announced the nominees for the 61st edition of the Grammy Awards so we’ll celebrate them and the exciting moment in their careers as we present our weekly feature WORDS & MUSIC on MOJA Radio this one titled “MOJA’S 2018 GRAMMY NOMINEES!” During the day you’ll hear the thoughts of 11 MOJA masters followed by their 2017 released music that gives them a chance to go for the gold! (Beginning every hour from Noon-Midnight Eastern/9 AM-9 PM Pacific)

Sunday…The Sunday Specials (Airing 9 AM-1 PM Eastern & replayed 9 PM-1 AM ET/6-10 AM & 6-10 PM Pacific)

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This great news was just released by The National Endowment for the Arts and the following story appeared in The New York Times. Congrats to the lovely lady and talented man!

Dianne Reeves Russ APA 15 300x236 DIANNE REEVES & PAT METHENY! Two more MOJANS named NEA JAZZ MASTERS!

The great Dianne Reeves & MOJA’s Russ Davis


National Endowment for the Arts Names 2018 Jazz Masters


The National Endowment for the Arts on Monday announced its class of 2018 Jazz Masters, awarding the annual fellowship to a broad range of honorees at various stages of their careers.




The winners are the vocalist Dianne Reeves; the guitarist Pat Metheny; the pianist and educator Joanne Brackeen; and the former club owner and record producer Todd Barkan, who will receive the A. B. Spellman N.E.A. Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy. Each awardee will receive a $25,000 prize, and will be honored at the Kennedy Center on April 16.


pat metheney russ3 290x300 DIANNE REEVES & PAT METHENY! Two more MOJANS named NEA JAZZ MASTERS!

PAT METHENY (here with MOJA Radio’s Russ Davis)

The announcement betokens the generational turnover afoot in jazz: Ms. Reeves and Mr. Metheny, both in their early 60s and just stepping into their role as elders, hit the national spotlight in the late 1970s and early ’80s as part of jazz’s fusion generation. (The award is available only to living musicians and advocates.)


The news also serves as a reminder that the federal agency is conducting business as usual, at least until further notice — despite the Trump administration’s threats to defund it.


Through a spokesman, Ms. Reeves said: “It is profoundly humbling to be a recipient of the N.E.A.’s Jazz Masters Fellowship and be seated in proximity to so many extraordinary, creative musical artists.”


Ms. Reeves first achieved renown in the early 1980s, when her full-throated vocal style earned immediate comparisons to Sarah Vaughan. She was a protégé of Harry Belafonte, and often mixed influences from around the globe with American gospel and jazz. She has since become more identified with straight-ahead jazz, thanks largely to a string of Grammy-winning albums from the 2000s, including “A Little Moonlight” and “Good Night, and Good Luck,” the soundtrack to the film of the same name.


Mr. Metheny established his reputation as a guitar virtuoso early on, and started teaching at the Berklee College of Music before his 20th birthday. He’s known for his bubbling, effortless attack and his fondness for rare iterations of the guitar — including a 15-string harp guitar and a guitar synthesizer.


Ms. Brackeen, 78, played in ensembles led by Joe Henderson and Stan Getz; as a leader of her own bands, she embraced the percussive style of McCoy Tyner, as well as the expressionism of pianists on the far fringes of the avant-garde. She has served as a professor at Berklee and the New School.


Mr. Barkan, 70, ran San Francisco’s Keystone Korner from 1972 to 1983, earning praise for the club’s diverse bookings. After it closed, he became a record producer and eventually moved to New York. In recent years he has worked at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, part of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Iridium. Like many promoters, he has a catch phrase, one he dispenses at almost every opportunity: “Take care of the music and the music will take care of you.”

MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

John Abercrombie later years 300x200 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

John Abercrombie on stage not long before his passing on 22 August 2017.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of another great MOJAN, the great guitarist John Abercrombie. He was born in Port Chester, NY on 16 December, 1944 and passed away due to heart failure at the age of 72 in Cortland Manor, NY. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston then North Texas University in Denton, TX before returning to New York City to begin a fabulous career. Most of his recordings can be found on the prestigious ECM Records. Below is a portion of their official obiturary…

John Abercrombie, one of the great improvisers, died on August 22, after a long illness.  He will be much missed, for his sensitive musicality, his good companionship, and his dry humor which enhanced many a session.   He leaves behind an extensive discography which will be studied as long as people continue to play jazz guitar. John made his first recording for ECM, the appropriately-titled “Timeless”, in the summer of 1974, with his lifelong friend Jack DeJohnette on the drums, and Jan Hammer on organ.  Over the next four decades, he was active as leader, co-leader and sideman on dozens of ECM projects.  A creative writer of jazz tunes, John also loved to play freely as much as he loved to play standards.  Many of his albums combine all of these resources, unified by his fluid, silvery tone and improvisational eloquence. In conversation he would speak of his enduring fondness for Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, primary influences, and also of the liberating examples of Ornette Coleman and Jimi Hendrix; Bill Evans’s sense of lyricism was also of crucial importance to him. 

John Abercrombie led a number of very fine bands, and he was particularly proud of his last quartet with Marc Copland on piano, Drew Gress on double bass, and Joey Baron on drums.  This quartet released two albums, “39 Steps” and “Up and Coming”, the latter just released in January 2017.

Chuck Loeb Unspoken MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

On Monday, July 31st, another MOJA favorite, guitarist and simply a wonderful human being, CHUCK LOEB left us after a battle with cancer. He was only 61 with so much life and great music to come. It’s truly sad to see another fine person and player leave us but we’ll remember him fondly by playing the great, uplifting music he made over the years. His latest, UNSPOKEN, was released in late 2016 and we’ve been enjoying it so much.

Chuck was a New York boy, born in Nyack, on 7 December, 1955. He played with lots of greats like Chico Hamilton, Hubert Laws, Stan Getz, Steps Ahead, Fourplay and a number of all-star bands as well as working with his talented wife, vocalist Carmen Cuesta. Thank you for your music Chuck…you will be missed!

It’s hard to believe that another of the greats of MOJA, pianist, composer and educator GERI ALLEN, has left us at the age of 60, a victim of cancer. She died on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 in Philadelphia.

Geri Allen Russ APA INDY 16 Apr 11Compressed 261x300 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

Besides her work as a great pianist and composer, GERI ALLEN also received a Grammy Nomination for her work as a Producer!

Geri Antoinette Allen was born on June 12, 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. Her father, Mount V. Allen, Jr., was a principal in the Detroit public school system, and her mother, Barbara Jean, was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government.

Allen took up the piano at age seven and went on to graduate from Cass Technical High School, the alma mater of jazz greats on the order of Paul Chambers, Wardell Gray, Gerald Wilson and Donald Byrd. 

While in school Allen became a protégé of the late trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who directed the Jazz Development Workshop and also mentored saxophonist Kenny Garrett and violinist Regina Carter, among many others.

Her recording career began in the early 1980′s, accompanying other artists on their projects, but her brilliant solo career as a leader began in 1984 and continued until her untimely death as she remained active even into 2017. Her beautiful, positive spirit will be missed as much as her awesome talent!

Allan Holdsworth in action MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

It is with great sadness that we add the name of guitar great, Englishman ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, to the list of MOJA greats who’ve passed away far too early in April of 2017. His passing was announced by his daughter Louise on her Facebook page. In a short statement she said: “It is with heavy hearts that we notify everyone of the passing of our beloved father. We would appreciate privacy and time while we grieve the loss of our dad, grandad, friend and musical genius. We will update close friends and family when service arrangements have been made and will notify the public of an open memorial service, which all would be welcome. We are undeniably still in shock with his unexpected death and cannot begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness we are experiencing. He is missed tremendously. Louise, Sam, Emily & Rori.” Allan was known as a brilliant and innovative instrumentalist, revered by the likes of John McLaughlin and Frank Zappa as a personal favorite player and influence. He worked extensively in the rock world as well as being one of the greats of the Jazz Fusion era with his own solo work as well as in collaboration with fellow greats like Jean-Luc Ponty, and bands such as Gong, Tony Williams Lifetime, Soft Machine and more. You’ll be hearing special shows in his honor soon on MOJA Radio! 

Mr. Jarreau 300x298 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)Earlier this year we lost AL JARREAU and guitar legend LARRY CORYELL. Greats like Larry will never leave us and he was working until the very end. Case in point…he had been promising to reform most of the original Fusion supergroup The 11th House that we created in 1973 for a tour and new recording. They did just that with a tour in 2015 that made it to New York City’s BLUE NOTE that summer and below you’ll find a picture to prove it. Original members Randy Brecker and Alphonse Mouzon were there with added members including Larry’s son Julian joining in on guitar. They went into the studio and created a brilliant, new album titled SEVEN SECRETS that you’ll hear lots of here on MOJA Radio. It features tons of great, grooving new tunes written by Larry, Randy and Alphonse (who passed away just months before Larry did in early 2017). They had a summer tour all planned and that will never happen, but their spirit lives on in this wonderful new work. I asked Randy Brecker to give me a few words about SEVEN SECRETS and here’s what he had to say…

This ended up being the last time we played together, with the later tragic losses of Alphonse, then Larry more recently, so it is with bittersweet happiness that I hope everyone of you out in MOJAland enjoy the CD…it’s a good one, and we all had a ball hanging out together and recording the album…!! Randy”

Larry Coryell and The Eleventh Hour 300x202 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

Larry-Coryell-and-The-Eleventh House @ The Blue Note NYC 2015

Larry Coryell at World Trade Center 1994 300x270 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

R.I. P. Larry Coryell !










Steve Khan collaborated with Larry on his very first release. STEVE wrote a beautiful tribute to LARRYwhich was posted on Steve’s brilliant website. Here’s a picture of the guys working together back in the day…

Steve Khan Larry Coryell MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)


Dave Valentin live 300x199 MOJA Greats who left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)
Dave Valentin (29 April 1952-8 March 2017)

It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of DAVE VALENTIN, the Grammy winning flutist from New York who was a great solo artist and member of Caribbean Jazz Project with Steve Khan and Dave Samuels. He passed away at the age of 64 in same borough of NYC in which he was born, The Bronx after a long fight against Parkinson’s Disease. Dave played flute in the band that backed up Latin Jazz legend Tito Puente and became a legend himself. He released his first solo album in 1979 and collaborated with a number of other greats over the years including his aforementioned membership in CJP. He will be remembered for his wonderful, creative playing and a lively, indomitable spirit. Thank you Dave, may you rest in peace.


Yeah, we had us some fun in Montreal this year...come join us this week and you'll be there too!

My dear fellow MOJANs,


Russ Davis of MOJA Radio thanks you for being there as part of the MOJA Movement!

This is a tough one but I have to tell you sometime. After 10 years of operation I am going to shut down MOJA Radio at the end of the year.  The channel will cease streaming at midnight December 31st Eastern Time. At that time your monthly subscription payments will cease and for any of you who have annual subscriptions I will refund the appropriate portion of your payment according to when you paid and to your satisfaction. 

There are a number of reasons for this decision and they have all piled up to the point of diminishing returns, no matter how much it has meant to me for the last 10 years and how much I love doing the work. Here are some of the reasons… 

The costs have risen and the income is flat, plain and simple. The funds simply aren’t there to do anything more that just keep it going in its current state. 

I am a jazz programmer and presenter and have never been a salesman, a tech genius, business geek or marketer so I have not been able to put together ways to build the business beyond the subscription model. 

For years now I have been a one-man-operation and with all of the work added to the “fun part” (interviewing artists, editing them and preparing for air, listening to music and choosing what to add, creating each day’s programming and making sure it was in the server, etc) I have had to do a mountain of “grunge work” like responding to with the constant communication from record/artist promoters, reports to the licensing corporations (BMI, ASCAP, SEASAC & SoundExhange), paying the bills, doing the taxes, dealing with subscriber issues, dealing with everyday tech problems with the internet service, computer problems, glitches with the streaming service, taking out the garbage…you name it. It has taken hours each day to make this work and I am never “off” to the point where I am always checking in on things even when I’m supposedly “on vacation”, and going away on trips for the shortest amount of time, much less long vacations, is almost impossible. 

On top of this I am still creating my 2-hour weekly show for Voice of America and besides the prep work (interviews, editing and programming) I have to deal with the army of folks in Washington, DC, do all the tech stuff and get it to them and that is a ton of work too. 

I could go on and this is getting boring for me and I know for you but I felt that we have developed quite a relationship over these ten years of MOJA Radio, and, for many of you, before that with the years we put into the XM channel Beyond Jazz, and you deserved more than just an abrupt farewell. 


THANK YOU MICHELLE SAMMARTINO! Without you there would be no MOJA Radio!

In the beginning my partner, Michelle Sammartino, put the operation in motion. She was not only the excellent presenter of her show Jammin’ Jazz, but the tech expert who put the website together and set up various business and social media accounts. That was in 2008 when XM was taken over by sirius. Since there were no visionary leaders like Lee Abrams and Dave Logan, who commissioned us to create “The World’s MOdern JAzz Radio Channel” that we called Beyond Jazz, the sirius guys didn’t see the need for a jazz channel that filled the massive void between smooth jazz and traditional…the place where all the truly modern and creative jazz was being made and the future of jazz was being developed. We tried to make that happen and with your interest and monetary support we’ve done just that for this last decade. 

In addition to the great MICHELLE SAMMARTINO, without whom there would have been no MOJA Radio, I must also give a huge thanks to one of the most talented, generous and kind people I’ve ever worked with, DAVID BLACK, the brilliant man who put the resources of his company MALDENITE PRODUCTIONS behind the creation of the FREE!!! MOJA Radio mobile app that so many of us have used to take the channel on the road. Blessings on you David! And then there’s my old friend and radio associate CAROLYN BEDNARSKI, who created, produced and presented her show THE NEW JAZZ SINGERS with CAROLYN BEDNARSKI since 2012. 


David Black of Maldenite Productions who created the free MOJA Radio Mobile Apps! Thanks David!

Then there is a massive THANK YOU to the musicians of MOJA whose creativity has kept “Jazz” alive, thriving and evolving. Plus…you would not believe how many artists actually donated and/or subscribed to the service, not only offering their incredible music but their hard-earned money to support MOJA Radio! I feel the deepest sadness about letting you down with the cessation of our operation but I will always be in your corner and am never going to cease supporting you in every way I can.

SO…where do we go from here? I am going to keep the website which is actually where I will adjust things to fit future endeavors. I’m thinking of posting some hour-long shows of MOJA programs for listening on demand and I will post my VOA show there as I always do so bookmark this site and visit from time to time to see what’s up.  

carolyn bednarski 2013 compressed 221x300 THANK YOU FOR 10 WONDERFUL YEARS OF MOJA RADIO!


Again…I’m sorry for the short notice as I just made the final decision on this a few weeks ago. I will never be able to thank you enough for all you’ve done for MOJA Radio and most especially for me!

All the best, always,

Russ Davis

MOJA Radio

Russ Davis…”My life in Jazz Radio!”

Russ Davis reflects on his 3+ decades in Jazz Radio!

Psycedelic Russ Compressed 300x224 Russ Davis...My life in Jazz Radio!

Russ inside the MOJA Radio studios…I THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

I was just thinking about the fact that I began my jazz radio career back in the year 1978! With all the changes in technology and the business in general it strikes me that to simply be actively involved in programming and presenting this area of jazz and still be thriving is pretty astounding. I sometimes feel like a jazz musician who has chosen to express himself in a personal way and just let the chips fall where they may as opposed to crafting something that might get me more work in the jazz arena as it exists today. It isn’t that brave an endeavor really. I’m simply doing what I know how to do and building on something that began for me way back in the 20th century.  I hope you’ll indulge me as I tell this story. 

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