Public Television Launches New Season of Music Performance Series Front and Center September 2013 (check local listings)
Season two line-up features performances from Jack Johnson, Train, Buddy Guy, Jake Bugg, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Rides, Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio, Rock Candy Funk Party, and JJ Grey & Mofro
August 14, 2013 (New York, NY)—A new season of the popular music performance series Front and Center (formerly Front Row Center) premieres nationwide on public television in September 2013 (check local listings) with nine, one-hour episodes. The diverse musical line-up spanning genres and generations includes Jack Johnson, Train, Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Rides (featuring Barry Goldberg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Stephen Stills), Rock Candy Funk Party (featuring Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt, Renato Neto, and Joe Bonamassa), Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio, Jake Bugg, and JJ Grey & Mofro.
In the New York metropolitan area, the series premieres Saturdays at 11 p.m. beginning September 21 on WLIW21, late night Sundays at 12 midnight beginning September 22 on THIRTEEN, and this October on NJTV. For airdates in other markets check local listings.
Series opener Jack Johnson shared his thoughts on the series saying, “Front and Center allows artists to do something different. There is a type of energy and a real immediacy, kind of a conversation that starts to happen between you and the audience.”
“Performing California 37 front to back for Front and Center was a great experience. We love the show and we’ve never done an album top to bottom like that before,” said Train frontman Pat Monahan.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe said, “Front and Center captured the soul of our performance. The McKittrick Hotel is our New York City home; it’s one of those rare spaces that is as rewarding an experience for the artist as it as for the audience.”
Front and Center was filmed exclusively in New York at the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Allen Room, The Iridium, located in the heart of Times Square, and at The McKittrick Hotel.
“Front and Center brings the audience up close offering fans a unique perspective with no barriers between them and the music,” said the series’ executive producer Don Maggi.
“Front and Center showcases public television’s ability to make the arts accessible to everyone, allowing television viewers to discover new music or experience unique performances by longtime favorites,” said John Servidio, General Manager, WLIW21. “We are thrilled to make a new season of this free concert series available to public television viewers across the country.” Front and Center is presented nationally by WLIW21 for WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV.
Filmed in high definition, Front and Center caters to the live music fan, with each episode delivering top-notch performances from some of the biggest names in music. Season two episodes will air as follows (check local listings):
#201 Jack Johnson – Jack Johnson’s simple songs about life, love and the universe take viewers on a lyrical journey, including fan favorites “Better Together,” “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” and “As I Was Saying,” plus songs from his new album From Here to Now to You. Filmed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Allen Room.
#202 Train – Pat Monahan and company perform their latest album, California 37, in its entirety at The Iridium. Highlights include “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Bruises.”
#203 JJ Grey & Mofro – Full of Southern style and sass, JJ Grey and his band blend front porch soul and down-home storytelling in a laying-it-on-the-line show. Filmed at The Iridium. Songs include “Your Lady, She’s Shady” and “The Sweetest Thing.”
#204 Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Filmed at the one-of-a-kind McKittrick Hotel in a cabaret setting, the veteran jazz players stir up the crowd with their incredible tunes and invigorating musicianship. Songs include “Bourbon Street” and “That’s It.”
#205 Buddy Guy – The pioneer of the Chicago blues sound brings his legendary showmanship to The Iridium.
#206 Jake Bugg – The 19-year-old English singer-songwriter brings his UK chart-topping songs to The Iridium.
#207 Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio – Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne) and The Iridium’s regular Monday night house band pay tribute to the man, the myth and the legend that was Les Paul, the ‘father of the electric guitar.’
#208 Rock Candy Funk Party – With a sound as celebratory as the name suggests, Rock Candy Funk Party is powered by a collaboration of world-class musicians — producer Tal Bergman (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus of Planet Funk (guitar), Mike Merritt of Conan O’Brien’s late show band (bass), and Renato Neto, who record and toured with Prince for nearly a decade (keys). Filmed at The Iridium, highlights include “Octopus-e” and “New York Song.”
#209 The Rides – Stephen Stills’ blues-rock “super group,” whose debut album was inspired by his 1968 Super Session album, features guitar wizard Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Electric Flag’s Barry Goldberg at The Iridium.
Front and Center is a production of Front and Center Entertainment, LLC in association with WLIW21 for WNET, and distributed by American Public Television. Front and Center is sponsored by Citi Private Pass in partnership with United Way of New York City.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. APT also has distributed about half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles for nearly 10 years. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Moyers & Company, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Italy in America, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, BBC World News and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs like Live from the Artists Den which are popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 8th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.