Bob Studebaker

90.5 WESA Production Director; Host & Operations Manager for JazzWorks

Bob is Production Director for 90.5 WESA and a Host and the Operations Manager for JazzWorks. Bob has been working in different areas of the radio industry for 33 years. He thinks “public radio is a forum for ideas and entertainment unavailable on commercial radio and that makes it indispensable.” Bob is a lifelong Pittsburgher who married and raised both of his children in his home city. 

Ways to Connect

StoryCorps

Jill Russell adopted her daughter Sophia, from China, on Jill's 50th birthday. They discuss Jill's feelings that day and  what they both have learned in the ensuing years.

StoryCorps

Sonya Chambers speaks with friend Jeanette Casicato.

PNME

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble performs works that are hard to describe, like an amalgam of Mozart and Frank Zappa.

And at City Theater, on the South Side, the group is pairing its music with an art gallery showcasing large colorful canvases and sculptures carefully chosen to be displayed on stage during this summer’s performances.

It’s a multi-sensory experience. After one recent concert, Harry Hockheiser, of Squirrel Hill, explained how he enjoyed the combination of mediums.

StoryCorps

Henry Reese and his wife Diane Samuels talk about co-founding City of Asylum-Pittsburgh, which provides sanctuary for writers in exile, and how it has changed their lives.

StoryCorps

Ashok Gurung discusses his efforts to help the Bhutanese refugee community in Pittsburgh.

StoryCorps

Nick Grimes, director of the post 9/11 veterans storytelling project with the Veterans Breakfast Club in Pittsburgh, speaks with friend and colleague Aradhna Oliphant.

StoryCorps

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Baldwin is interviewed by her husband Arthur Baldwin.

StoryCorps

Husband and wife Ike and Ada Ezekoye discuss how events in their home country of Nigeria have influenced their lives in Pittsburgh

Caroline Gormley interviews her dad, Duquesne University president Ken Gormley, about his childhood in Swissvale.

Rosa DeFerrari interviews her father, life-long social activist Mel Packer, about his time hitch-hiking across the country after dropping out of high school and the foundations of his political beliefs.

StoryCorps

Author and historian David McCullough was interviewed by Andy Masich of the Senator John Heinz History Center in the autumn of 2016.

the Afro American Music Institute

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Howard Alexander instructed a group of young musicians at the Afro American Music Institute in Homewood.

As a Xylophone gently clinked in the background, one of the center’s founders, James Johnson, touted some of the accomplishments of former students.  

“The young lady on piano just got a scholarship to go to Duquesne,” he said. “We’ve sent them to Berkeley, the University of Pittsburgh, and they do well.”

Transformazium

Three artists involved in public art in New York City were looking for a change when a friend of theirs suggested they come to Pittsburgh to rehabilitate property through a program to help communities address blight.

The Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program introduced them to a neighborhood and an opportunity to use local resources and artistic creativity to transform ideas into real social and economic benefits.

Lawrenceville Art

As Pittsburgh neighborhoods, like Lawrenceville, undergo revitalization, art can often reflect changes.

Furniture designer Joe Kelly has been there since the beginning. Kelly spent a lot of time investing in the changes that helped make Lawrenceville one of the city’s most popular – and valuable – neighborhoods.

“Well, this was post-steel industry decline,” Kelly said. “This was a distressed area at that time.”

Kelly said he and other industrial artists in the neighborhood joined forces to boost neighborhood appeal.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Ballet is often praised for its precision, strong dancers and hypnotic music. But one thing that’s often overlooked is the costume department.

“Well, when you’re dancing, you have a certain structure about your dancing,” said Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal dancer Amanda Cochrane. “But when you put on those costumes, it really helps to bring out the artistry in your dancing. It makes you – puts your into character.”

Those costumes help bring the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s productions to life.

Bob Studebaker (L), Sidewall Project (R)

A Pittsburgh artist, who prefers to be known simply as “Brick,” has been displaying art on an exterior wall of her house in Bloomfield for more than two years.

She refers to it as “The Sidewall Project,” and it began as an opportunity for artists to have their work displayed in a public space.

The current exhibit was created by Richard Pell and is a familiar sight to many Pittsburghers.

Cafe Con Leche

For more than two years, Café Con Leche has promoted Latino artists and culture in Pittsburgh.

It also hosts an artist-in-residency program.

“Art is a language and I think that it doesn’t necessarily function in the same way that our spoken language does,” said multimedia artist Hoesy Corona. “Which means that it can really enter us in a different way.”

Eddie Palmieri

Pittsburgh Jazz Live International, the city’s annual summer jazz festival begins this Friday with international artists scheduled to perform. For members of the region's fast growing Hispanic community, the chance to see their musical culture represented can be a powerful experience.

Ron Alvarado, chairman of the Pittsburgh Metro Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said, “it galvanizes us as a community.”

Erica Dilcer / heatherkropf.com

When talking about working on the album “Chrysalis,” producer Jeff Berman sounds like he’s describing a painting.

“Sculpting out the motion of the piece,” Berman said. “The overtones of that piano. The way that interacted with the rhythm section and helped us sculpt the landscape, we created a musical environment for that tune. The guitars add another part that would add a certain internal motion.”

Kim McAninch

  A non-traditional business model is helping to bring together a local artist and a wide range of prospective clients.

Marie Silver lives in San Diego but was able to discover and connect with an artist from Pittsburgh through an app on her phone. Kim McAninch lives and works Downtown and loves the freedom and flexibility that her online presence affords her.

Ben Shannon / Burghsong

Call it an impromptu folk club, like a private party in someone's living room. Burghsong is a 50-minute concert series showcasing contemporary songwriters.

Co-founder Ben Shannon said it was artists' attention to detail and word craft that first drew his devotion back in 2014. What began as a single, successful mini-festival grew into a collaboration with the Sunburst School of Music in Squirrel Hill.

Appalasia

AppalAsia is one of those artistic ventures which, seemingly, could only happen in Pittsburgh. The musical blend of Appalachian and ancient Chinese folk music stems from three artists with very different musical backgrounds. 

Mimi Jong plays the erhu, a two-stringed, bowed instrument that has been a part of Chinese folk music for a millennium.

100.7 WXXP

Only on the air from 1986 until 1988, radio station WXXP fostered unexpected cultural changes in western Pennsylvania and left a lasting impact on thousands of fans. Stacy Zavala, who grew up in Mt. Pleasant, recalls FM 100.7 “was the start of everything.”

JazzWorks host Bob Studebaker revisits the rock and roll station that "Dared to be Different." Join its cast of characters for a “Double X” reunion show Saturday, Nov. 28 at Stage A.E.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

  Ceramic sculptor, printmaker and mosaic artist Laura Jean McLaughlin has welcomed patrons to her Penn Avenue studio for 14 years.

She was an early investor in Garfield, a newly re-imagined Pittsburgh neighborhood. But that wasn’t always the plan.

Tracksploitation / Instagram

An event Thursday at Boom Concepts on Penn Avenue in Garfield combines a contemporary approach to music with a style that has been performed, pretty much unchanged, for centuries.

Courtesy Alloy Pittsburgh

Alloy Pittsburgh was conceived as a biennial laboratory where emerging artists in the Pittsburgh region would create temporary, site-based artwork that explore the creative reuse of the Carrie Furnace national historic landmark. Chris McGinnis and Sean Derry are the co-founders.

Courtesy Arcade Comedy Theater

The art of making people laugh and teaching people how to make others laugh come together at downtown’s Arcade Comedy Theater. This is a venue for performance that also includes “comedy education.”

Jethro and Kristy Nolen are two of the organizations founders, and they explained that ”comedy is a set of tools, but you can always increase that.”

Courtesy Dorey Whealan

The Saints Tour is a fiction inspired by, and then layered on to real places, and sometimes real people. Playwright Molly Rice creates this fictional history of Braddock around characters she calls “saints.”

“What’s special about saints is they are not angels,” Rice said. "They’re people who just did more.”

Courtesy photo

On a recent Friday evening, acoustic music was presented at Biddle’s Escape, a coffee shop in Wilkinsburg. Singer and songwriter Barbara Klein appreciates that the venue is “intimate and welcoming.”

Owner Joe Davis says, "We’re always looking for creative ways to showcase artists.”

Alexis Gideon is a multimedia artist who has recently relocated to Pittsburgh. The New Hazlett Theater is a center for collaboration as well as an incubator for new ideas. Together they recently provided Pittsburgh with a unique world premiere event.

"The Crumbling" is a 21-minute stop-motion animation video opera set in a surreal dream-like town following the trials of a librarian as she tries to save her city from crumbling down around her. Much of the music is performed live by Gideon.

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