Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar and book cover "The Map of Salt and Stars"
Neha Gautam

“The Map of Salt and Stars” is the debut novel by Syrian American writer Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. It is the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart: a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker, showing the pain of exile and the triumph of courage. 

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Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning for a new-tech round-up. We’ll discuss several upcoming products and advancements.

Jesse Feiler's apps (published by Champlain Arts and available in the App Store) include Minutes Machine Plus for managing meetings and agendas, Saranac River Trial to help you explore the Trail and the City of Plattsburgh, Cyber Continuity which lets you learn about your vulnerabilities, the Nonprofit Risk App (a companion to Jesse’s book with Gail Nayowith), and Trails and Places to help you build your own self-guided trails using the model of the Saranac River Trail app.

This week's Book Picks from Lily Bartels at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

List:
“An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green
“Whiskey When We're Dry” by John Larison
“Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water's Edge” by Susan Hand Shetterly
“Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters” by Anne Boyd Rioux
“She Loves You (Yeah Yeah Yeah)” by Ann Hood
“History As They Saw It: Iconic Moments from the Past in Color” by Wolfgang Wild
“A House That Once Was” by Julie Fogliano

Author Mara Altman's volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute the new book, “Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back.)”

The book is an examination of the female body, from the tip of the hairiest chin to the bottom of the, well, bottom. Mara mixes memoir with reporting to shed light on some of society’s most taboo topics. In her essay collection, Altman turns her unflinching gaze from the mirror to society at large, revealing what today’s beauty obsessions might say about oneself and the world.

8/21/18 Panel

7 hours ago

 

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative reporter Rosemary Armao, former NYS Senator and SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor, Terry Gipson, and The Empire Report's J.P. Miller.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is sacred ground at Arlington National Cemetery. Originally constructed in 1921 to hold one of the thousands of unidentified American soldiers lost in World War I, it now also contains unknowns from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and receives millions of visitors each year who pay silent tribute.

In "The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home," celebrated military historian and bestselling author Patrick O’Donnell illuminates the saga behind the creation of the Tomb itself and recreates the moving ceremony during which it was consecrated and the eight Body Bearers, and the sergeant who had chosen the one body to be interred, solemnly united.

Since 1963, Vanguard has been a fundraising and support group for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Vanguard’s members usher at concerts, provide homes for visiting artists, help the ASO staff with office work and children’s programs, prepare food for musicians, and much more.

On Monday, August 27 Vanguard will host the Vanguard Tournament Fundraiser at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland, New York. This fundraiser will help the Albany Symphony Orchestra provide music education programs for schools, children and families throughout the Capital Region.

ASO Board of Directors Chair Jerry Golub, Golf Tournament Chair Ramon Rodriguez, and ASO Director of Education and Community Engagement Sophie Moss join us now to tell us about the fundraiser and the ASO’s music education programs.

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe. Her latest is “Pieces Of Her.” It is her eighteenth novel and it will be produced for TV by the women who have directed and written for “Homeland,” “Mad Men” and “House of Cards.”

“Pieces of Her” asks: What if everything you thought you knew about your quiet, middle-age mother was wrong? What if she has spent the past 30 years hiding in plain sight? What if, when violence erupts at your local mall and a shooter goes on a rampage, the person who stops him, dead, is your mother? What if everything you thought you knew changed in an instant? “Pieces of Her” follows Andrea, a woman who thought she knew everything about her mother, Laura, until the moment she realized she didn’t, and their world unravels.

8/20/18 Panel

Aug 20, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson who directs the Immigration Law Clinic, Executive Editor of the Times-Hearld Record in Middletown Barry Lewis and Investigative Journalist Rosemary Armao.

Saratoga Immigration Coalition is hosting a Walk & Vigil Peacekeeper Workshop tonight at 6:30 to prepare for the "All Are Welcome Here" Walk & Vigil on August 28.

Baiba Skride is a Latvian classical violinist who was the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Violin Contest in 2001 and has performed around the world including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Tomorrow night, Andris Nelsons conducts an All-Bernstein Program with the Boston Ballet and featuring violinist Baiba Skride in the shed at 8PM. The program concludes with Bernstein’s Serenade for violin and orchestra, featuring Skride as soloist.

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

The Days in the Arts (DARTS) program is a summer residential program near Tanglewood that provides middle school students with high-quality arts immersion experience, allowing each student to engage with and create art with their peers in a positive, non-judgmental environment.

The program unites students from urban, suburban and rural communities – and has been doing so for 50 years! Each summer since 1968, the BSO operates the Days in the Arts residential education program that invites students from across Massachusetts to gather together to explore the arts. DARTS serves 400 middle school students each summer during eight one-week sessions.

We are joined by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Officer for Education, Community Engagement, and Inclusion, Zakiya Thomas and the Associate Director of Education and Community Engagement Claire Carr. 

Gene Schiavone / Boston Ballet

Andris Nelsons and The Boston Symphony Orchestra will present an all-Bernstein program tomorrow night at Tanglewood which begins with a fully-staged performance of the composer's ballet “Fancy Free” in the first-ever BSO collaboration with the Boston Ballet.

Bernstein's first ballet score and Robbins' first full-scale choreographic effort, “Fancy Free” catapulted both artists -- who were both just 25 -- to stardom. In what would become his signature style, Robbins combined classical choreography with jazz and popular dance moves.

“Fancy Free” is being presented here at Tanglewood using Robbins' original choreography. Joining us this morning to tell us more about the Boston Ballet, we welcome Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen; Principal Dancer Kathleen Breen Combes; and Principal Dancer Paul Craig.

Jessica Zhou with a harp
Photo provided by Marco Borggreve

Jessica Zhou, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist, is also soloist in the new John Williams piece, “Highwood’s Ghost,” with Yo-Yo Ma. Both Zhou and Ma will perform with Maestro Andris Nelsons and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra on Sunday afternoon for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert.

The program celebrates the completion of sculptures that John Williams commissioned for the Tanglewood grounds of three of the Festival's seminal figures, who are also personal heroes of the composer: Aaron Copland, Serge Koussevitzky, and Leonard Bernstein. The new piece by Williams, a work for cello, harp and orchestra, was specially written for this occasion.

Harpist Jessica Zhou joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2009, occupying the Nicholas and Thalia Zervis Chair. In 2001, Ms. Zhou became the first and only Chinese harpist ever to win top prizes in three of the most prestigious harp competitions in the world.

Midori
Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Midori, perhaps, perhaps has one of the best Leonard Bernstein stories of all time. In happened in 1986 at Tanglewood when she was performing Bernstein's "Serenade," conducted by Bernstein. During the performance, she broke the E string on her violin, then again on the concertmaster's Stradivarius after she borrowed it. She finished the performance with the associate concertmaster's instrument and received a standing ovation. The next day The New York Times front page carried the headline, "Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins"

Midori has maintained an international presence for almost three decades, first as a performer, and increasingly as a musical community engagement advocate, and educator.

Tanglewood's season-long Bernstein centennial celebration will culminate in a gala concert on Bernstein's actual 100th birthday, August 25th featuring Midori playing Serenade - conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.

Pamela Tatge, Jacob’s Pillow artistic director
Hayim Heron/Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Each year thousands of dance enthusiasts visit the Berkshires to experience the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with more than 50 dance companies and 200 free performances, talks, and events; to train at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, to explore the Pillow’s rare and extensive dance archives; and to take part in numerous community programs designed to educate and engage dance audiences of all ages.

This weekend alone, Jacob’s Pillow will present Houston Ballet; a work by Obie and Lucille Lortel Award-winning choreographer Sonya Tayeh; and, on Sunday, a program entitled “Gotta Dance: New Faces for Broadway.”

Pamela Tatge is the Director of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and she joins us.

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts was founded in 1978 to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence in Performance, Training, and Education. This season, Shakespeare & Company has presented productions of The Bard’s “Macbeth,” “Love’s Labours Lost,” and “As You Like It” – the last of which runs through September 2.

Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons” began performances last night and opens officially on Sunday and Shakespeare & Company’s production of Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg” opens tonight.

We are joined by Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, Artistic Director Allyn Burrows, and Director of “Mothers and Sons,” James Warwick.

Olivier Marger and Julian Schack
gewandhausorchester.de

This year, The Tanglewood Music Center has three Fellows from the Mendelssohn Academy in Leipzig, Germany as an exchange that’s part of the BSO’s alliance with the Gewandhaus Orchestra. It’s the first-ever Musician Exchange Program between Tanglewood and Leipzig's acclaimed Music Academy programs.

This morning we welcome two of those three. They’re both playing in the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra performance with Andris Nelsons and Yo-Yo Ma on Sunday in The Shed at 2:30 PM.

Cellist Olivier Marger will perform in all four pieces and Julian Schack on horn will perform during the Copland, Williams, and Bartok pieces.

Mark Volpe
The Boston Globe

Managing Director Of The Boston Symphony Orchestra Mark Volpe joins us to discuss Tanglewood's Bernstein Centennial Summer.

Sean Spicer has served as White House press secretary and communications director as well as Republican National Committee communications director and chief strategist. He also worked for the United States Trade Representative and several members of Congress.

In his new political memoir, "The Briefing," Spicer talks about some of the biggest news stories of our time, and offers a glimpse into what it’s like to stand at the press secretary’s podium.

8/16/18 Panel

Aug 16, 2018

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Fran Berman, and Investigative Journalist Rosemary Armao.

Susan Hand Shetterly has written about wildlife and wetlands for more than thirty years, in both articles and books, including "Settled in the Wild," a collection of essays.

In "Seaweed Chronicles," Shetterly takes readers deep into the world of this essential organism by providing an immersive, often poetic look at life on the rugged shores of her beloved Gulf of Maine, where the growth and harvesting of seaweed is becoming a major industry.

While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made.

All social relations are laden with power. Getting out from under dominant power relations and mastering power dynamics is perhaps the most essential skill for change agents across all sectors seeking to ignite positive change in the world.

Cyndi Suarez is the author of "The Power Manual: How to Master Complex Power Dynamic," an action manual that explores major concepts of power, with a focus on the dynamics of domination and liberation, and presents methods for shifting power relations and enacting freedom.

Stephen Greenblatt, the award-winning Shakespeare scholar, has looked once more at the Bard’s works that have inspired him during a time that concerns him.

His new book is “Tyrant.” In it he illuminates the ways in which Shakespeare delves into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.

The 413Heart Music & Arts Festival at The Stationery Factory in Dalton, Massachusetts is celebrating its third year bringing an exciting mix of art to the Berkshires. The festival runs this Thursday through Sunday, August 16-19.

Michael Dowling is a Berkshire-based playwright and screenwriter. His play “Tamarack House” is a comedy/drama about five men struggling to stay afloat when they discover the run-down boarding house they call home is suddenly put on the market. There will be a staged reading of the play at The Stationery Factory on Saturday, August 18.

Our pal Johnny Irion has a new solo record entitled “Driving Friend” – he’ll headline the 413Heart Festival on Friday, August 17.

Written by four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert E. Sherwood, “The Petrified Forest” tells the story of a waitress named Gabby Maple; a disillusioned writer named Alan Squier; and a fugitive killer named Duke Mantee as they sweat out a manhunt with a handful of colorful characters in an Arizona diner.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents “The Petrified Forest” on The Fitzpatrick Mainstage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through August 25th.

The production is directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner David Auburn and stars David Adkins (Alan Squier), Rebecca Brooksher (Gabby Mable), and Jeremy Davidson (Duke Mantee) – who join us.

  Today's Book Picks come from Matt Tannenbaum from The Bookstore in Lenox.

List:
"Slipper" by Hester Velmans
"Fruit of the Drunken Tree" by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
"The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis"
"The Debatable Land: The Lost World Between Scotland and England" by Graham Robb
"A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety" by Donald Hall
"The Overstory: A Novel" by Richard Powers
"Third Thoughts" by Steven Weinberg

Event: "Charley's Horse" by Judith Shaw - August 17 at 5:30 p.m.

In 1991, Thelma & Louise, the story of two outlaw women on the run from their disenchanted lives, was a revelation. Finally, here was a film in which women were, in every sense, behind the wheel. It turned the tables on Hollywood, instantly becoming a classic.

Becky Aikman’s new book "Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge," offers a rousing behind-the-scenes look at the filmmaking process as well as the vivid personalities behind the creation of a cinematic masterpiece.

Becky Aikman is the author of the memoir "Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives." She was a journalist at Newsday, and her work has also appeared in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

8/14/18 Panel

Aug 14, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Siena College Professor of Economics, Aaron Pacitti.

For millennia of human history, the future belonged to the strong. To the parent who could kill the most animals with sticks and to the child who could survive the winter or the epidemic. When the Industrial Revolution came, masters of business efficiency prospered instead, and after that we placed our hope in scientific visionaries. Today, in a clear sign of evolution totally sliding off the rails, our most coveted trait is not strength or productivity or even innovation, but being funny. Yes, funniness.

In the book, "Planet Funny," Ken Jennings explores this brave new comedic world.

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