WBEZ | Ayana Contreras http://www.wbez.org/tags/ayana-contreras Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How do you ring in the New Year? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/beyond-mic/2014-11/how-do-you-ring-new-year-111066 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4013358422_b4e5d78b7a_z.jpg" style="height: 183px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="Flickr/Evonne" />For years (and because I&#39;m older than you think I am, I mean YEARS) I spent every New Year&#39;s Eve playing in a jazz band of one stripe or another. After that, I spent several years performing in a theater company as the years changed over. Even when I have merely been a patron somewhere on December 31, I have always seen that specific night as something special. In fact, I&#39;d say that New Year&#39;s Eve is my personal version of Valentine&#39;s Day.</div><p>Since coming to work producing events for Chicago Public Media, there have been two things missing from the tapestry of live experiences we put together for our loyal members: Jazz and a blow-out New Year&#39;s Eve party.</p><p>The party component is a strange omission from our annual experiences for the Chicago community of public radio die-hards. We host our <a href="https://www.chicagopublicmedia.org/event/annual-board-directors-meeting-0" target="_blank">Annual Board Meeting</a>, our Evening Inside the Broadcast Studio, and the WBEZ/Vocalo Open House. We&#39;ve produced the Chicago Chef Battle for seven years in a row and, after a year off, are revitalizing the Vocalo Winter Block Party for Chicago&#39;s Hip Hop Arts. It seems like a no-brainer to throw a bash to ring in the new year.</p><p>The jazz component is a little less obvious. In 2007, we went to an all-news format and replaced our regular late night jazz broadcasts with news and, for some, this was a betrayal and a travesty. To this day, I have members (and former members) come up to me at events still angry that we moved away from jazz. For them, we became the anti-jazz radio station. We are NOT anti-jazz nor have we ever been.&nbsp; Given that I was a professional jazz trumpet player for decades and have a Jazz History minor as a part of my Music Education Undergraduate degree, the decision to feature not only jazz but the Sunset Cafe (the heart of American jazz in Chicago for a quarter of the last century) was perfect.</p><p>How do you ring in the New Year? Resolutions? Dancing? A midnight kiss and a champagne toast? Do you curl up under the covers and watch the televised coverage? Go to the theater or a concert? Eat a huge meal? Go on a late night run?</p><p>This year, I&#39;ll be ringing in 2015 at the historic Victory Gardens Biograph Theater with hundreds of public radio fans, the Doug Peck Trio, <a href="http://darkjive.com/about/" target="_blank">DJ Ayana Contreras</a>, and my newlywed wife.&nbsp; I&#39;ll be listening to incredible jazz, eating some delicious hors d&#39;voures, having a few cocktails, dancing to jazz infused hip-hop and soul, and sealing the year with the first New Year&#39;s Eve kiss of my new marriage.</p><p>I hope to see you there (but you don&#39;t get to kiss my wife...)!</p><p><strong>Live from the Sunset Cafe || A WBEZ New Year&rsquo;s Eve Party<br />Wednesday, December 31, 2014<br />9 p.m. - 2 a.m.<br />Victory Gardens Biograph Theater</strong></p><p>Get your tickets here...</p><p><a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/live-from-the-sunset-cafe-a-wbez-new-years-eve-party-tickets-13467984103?ref=ebtn" target="_blank"><img alt="Eventbrite - Live from the Sunset Cafe || A WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party" src="https://www.eventbrite.com/custombutton?eid=13467984103" /></a></p><p>For more info about WBEZ Events, go to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/events">wbez.org/events</a>, check out our <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wbez915">Facebook Page</a>, or follow <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZEvents">@WBEZEvents</a> on Twitter.</p></p> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/beyond-mic/2014-11/how-do-you-ring-new-year-111066 Practically Speaking http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/practically-speaking <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Haiti_1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><em>Practically Speaking </em>is an hour-long program that explores the views and experiences of Chicagoans whose stories may be familiar, but whose perspectives are rarely heard.</p><p>In this episode, hosts Audra Wilson and Ayana Contreras take us on a journey through education, language, culture, and identity.</p><p>It's a journey that spans from Englewood to Haiti - with stories about the intersection of language and culture, the history and meaning of African-American baby names, the dreams of the Haitian diaspora, and the special principles of a Chicago Public School principal.&nbsp; Click on the audio link at the top of the page to listen.</p><p><em>Practically Speaking </em>is produced by Ayana Contreras and presented by WBEZ Chicago.</p></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/practically-speaking