Josh Landes

Berkshire Bureau Chief

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods. 

Ways to Connect

Rich Anderson / wikipedia.org

25 years ago, Will Oldham released his first record of plaintive, twangy Americana under the name “Palace Music.” After rotating through that title and a handful of other names, he settled on the alias Bonnie “Prince” Billy in 1998, and has spent the subsequent decades releasing dozens of studio albums, EPs, live records, and singles. Oldham frequently delves into the work of others, spending entire records exploring the songs of the Everly Brothers, Merle Haggard, and more. Before his appearance at MASS MoCA in North Adams Saturday, Oldham spoke with WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes about the sea change in his sound between the devastating, stark 2006 album “The Letting Go” and 2008’s warmer “Lie Down In The Light."

Josh Landes / WAMC

Following a report that toxic chemicals have exceeded limits in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, civic leaders are demanding answers.

Janice Wulf / https://www.melvinsealsandjgb.com/

Growing up in San Francisco in the 50’s, keyboardist Melvin Seals was first enraptured by gospel music. When he heard the work of legendary session musician Billy Preston on tracks by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and The Beatles, Seals saw a life for himself in rock and pop. He would play in the Jerry Garcia Band from 1980 until the Grateful Dead front man’s death in 1995. Now, Seals leads his own version of the band, which stops Thursday at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He tells WAMC that his entry into the world of psychedelic rock was a culture shock.

www.mass.gov

The teenager accused of committing a Pittsfield, Massachusetts shooting has entered a new round of pleas in Berkshire Superior Court.

Josh Landes / WAMC

For the first time in its history, the public schools of Pittsfield, Massachusetts are celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day today. Not everyone in town welcomes the change.

The State Of Massachusetts

A Western Massachusetts state senator has been tapped to lead a commission on public school transportation.

Christian McBride / https://www.facebook.com/officialchristianmcbride/

Bassist Christian McBride is one of the leading lights of American jazz. A teen prodigy, he came up through the New York scene of the late 80’s and 90’s alongside peers like Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, and Benny Green after studying at Juilliard. So far, he’s won six Grammys and appeared on more than 300 recordings. He also hosts the radio show Jazz Night In America- which airs on WAMC HD2 Sundays at 9pm- and is the artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival. On Saturday, October 13th, McBride headlines the Pittsfield CityJAZZ Festival at the Colonial Theater. McBride spoke with WAMC about the band he’s bringing with him: Christian McBride’s New Jawn.

Gabriel G. Bianchini

Harold López-Nussa is a 35-year-old jazz pianist and composer from Havana, Cuba. He’s traveling the world promoting his new album. Nussa’s tour includes a stop in the Berkshires Saturday night, when he’ll take his vibrant piano-driven sound to Club B10 at MASS MoCA. WAMC spoke to Nussa about his musical origins, the culture of jazz in Havana, and what it feels like to bring the people of Cuba and the United States together through music.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Question One on the Massachusetts ballot has sparked furious debate between hospitals and the state’s largest nurses’ union.

John Phelan / commons.wikimedia.org

Windsor, Massachusetts is a town of less than 900 people. It sits more than 2,000 feet above sea level on the eastern edge of Berkshire County. Just east of Pittsfield, it has more panoramic views of idyllic New England woods than cell phone reception or broadband internet access. WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes checked in with its top elected leader, selectboard chair Kim Tobin, about what issues the town faces, and what projects it’s working on. Tobin, who’s served in the position for three years, says Windsor is hard at work at accomplishing one of its major infrastructure goals.

Paul Caccaviello / https://www.facebook.com/Paul4DA/

Coming off a primary defeat last month, Berkshire DA Paul Caccaviello announced he would launch a write-in campaign in hopes of keeping his seat in November. WAMC takes a look at the challenges he’ll face.

Multicultural BRIDGE

Community activists are working to pass local ordinances in the sanctuary city model in communities in the Berkshires.

Josh Landes / WAMC

With the fall election campaign heating up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was in the Berkshires Monday.

Josh Landes / WAMC

In town to put pressure on a cable provider, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey also discussed state and national issues while in the Berkshires Friday.

Josh Landes / WAMC

U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was in Pittsfield Friday to announce legislation that he said would force cable giant Charter Communications to the bargaining table to discuss the service it provides Berkshire County.

Leaders in North Adams, Massachusetts have voted to withdraw the city police department from the state’s Civil Service system.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council has voted to reestablish a revamped homeless committee after a decades-long absence.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County economic development organization tasked with developing the Berkshire Flyer train project that would connect the region to New York City has begun its work.

Josh Landes / WAMC

State and local officials gathered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday for the groundbreaking of a project that has been in the works for a decade. 

Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stopped by Pittsfield Tuesday for the groundbreaking of a long-awaited project. 

Josh Landes / WAMC

Great Barrington, Massachusetts has made the guiding principles of one of its most famous residents a formal part of its identity.

wikipedia.org

The Great Barrington, Massachusetts Selectboard meets again tonight.

Carl Van Vechten / United States Library of Congress

Trailblazing dance icon Arthur Mitchell died this week at 84. WAMC’s Josh Landes reports his legacy is being celebrated in the Berkshires.

Drew Herzig

A forum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts tonight will explore the black experience in Berkshire County. 

Josh Landes / WAMC

News that the Berkshire District Attorney will attempt to hold his seat in November’s general election after losing the Democratic primary raises a host of new questions. 

Elizabeth Freeman Center / https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethFreemanCenter

The annual Walk A Mile fundraiser for the Elizabeth Freeman Center will take center stage tonight at the last Third Thursday of the season in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Josh Landes / WAMC

From the day he was installed by Governor Charlie Baker in March, it’s been a battle for Berkshire District Attorney Paul Caccaviello to hold on to the seat. His September 4th loss to attorney Andrea Harrington in the bruising Democratic primary looked like it might have spelled the end for the 30-year veteran of the office. But WAMC has learned Caccaviello is mounting a write-in campaign. He tells WAMC that he’s just begun to fight.

For many immigrants, the path to U.S. citizenship is fraught with fears of deportation, separation from family, and confusion about legal requirements. Wednesday night, the Berkshire Immigrant Center is holding a Citizenship Workshop at its headquarters in St. Stephen’s Church in downtown Pittsfield. WAMC spoke with Brooke Mead, the center’s executive director, about what immigrants and the community around them can learn from the session.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Organizers of a free weekly event in North Adams, Massachusetts want to boost cycling in the city of roughly 13,000.

Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire

Hundreds of cultural councils around Massachusetts disperse state money to arts initiatives. The group that represents Northern Berkshire County has some new faces as it enters a fresh round of funding.

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