During the month of November, Georgia Public Broadcasting-Augusta (GPB-Augusta: WACG-FM 90.7/WACG-HD) will air a four-week radio series interviewing performing artists who hail from Augusta, Georgia. This series, entitled “Where I’m From” is a joint project of the Greater Augusta Arts Council and GPB-Augusta.
Brenda Durant, Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts council, interviewed four artists for this series. They are:
Karen Brown, Principal Dancer
Russell Joel Brown, Broadway Performer
Wycliffe Gordon, Jazz Trombonist and Composer
Jessye Norman, Vocal Soprano
Each artist’s story is covered in five episodes that will air Monday through Friday during the 7am and 5pm hours on GPB-Augusta, starting today. Episodes cover each artist’s formative years; how their interest for their discipline was sparked; the years of training, preparation and struggles associated with that period in their lives; what their “success experience” has been like; and finally how and why they make a point of returning to Augusta and giving back to the communities where they got their start.
Durant notes, “the featured artists were asked to select the locations that were relevant to their formative journey while they were in Augusta. Karen Brown interviewed in the sanctuary of a small church off of Laney Walker Boulevard because her family attended services there, and it was the first place she ever performed before an audience. Russell Joel Brown chose the music education room at Episcopal Day School since it was a teacher in that actual classroom that “flipped the switch” which lead to his life-long love for singing and acting. Wycliffe Gordon spoke to Brenda at the dining room table of his parents’ house since they were his first music teachers. Jessye Norman chose the stage of the performance hall at the school for the arts in Downtown Augusta that bears her name.”
From GPB Station Manager, Host and Series Producer Drew Dawson, “Augusta is fortunate that a number of performing artists who’ve built remarkably successful careers on foundations built in the neighborhoods, schools, churches, and civic organizations here have further distinguished themselves by regularly returning to their hometown of Augusta and using their celebrity, time, resources and knowledge to uplift and improve the CSRA.”
The air schedule is as follows:
Week of November 2: Jessye Norman
Week of November 9: Russell Joel Brown
Week of November 16: Karen Brown
Week of November 23: Wycliffe Gordon
Additional material from the “Where I’m From” series will be available on GPB.org, including a blog, a link to a video trailer, and links to an audio archive of the segments that have previously aired.