North Carolina Central University became the first university in the state to offer a jazz degree in 1977. The university has since been a force on a state and national level in keeping the jazz scene alive.
The university is now throwing its 23rd annual Jazz Festival this week. Ira Wiggins, director of their jazz department, founded the festival in 1990 with hopes of creating a space for students to meet and learn from seasoned jazz musicians. This year the festival features jazz artists Carl Allen and Benny Golson. Benny Golson is a world-renowned saxophonist, composer, and producers. Ira Wiggins and Benny Golson join Host Frank Stasio to talk about the state of jazz education today, and give us a sneak peek of the festival.