Erin Wright | WABE 90.1 FM

Erin Wright

Radio Producer

Erin Wright produces "City Lights" and "Strike Up the Band." After studying viola, German and Musicology at UGA, Erin began working at Public Broadcasting Atlanta in 2011. 

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A new documentary aims to tell the story of chocolate, bean to bar.

Filmmaker Tim Shephard followed a group of craft-chocolate makers into the jungles of Peru as they sought to strengthen relationships with farmers and identify new varieties of cacao to introduce into the U.S. market.

Jeremy Ayers

Cindy Wilson just wants you to have a good time.

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She is, famously, a founding member of The B-52s – the Athens, Georgia, band that formed in 1977 and has since become known as “the world’s greatest party band.”

Screengrab via Safety Third Productions

“The Arts are alive and well at Georgia Tech.” That’s a direct quote from Madison Cario, the Director of the institute’s Office of the Arts. Many Atlantans are surprised to hear that the arts have a home on the Tech campus, let alone a dedicated office.

Copyright Dan Kamin

Dan Kamin is on a mission to remind audiences of the genius of Charlie Chaplin. In his one-of-a-kind program at Spivey Hall, Kamin screens a newly-restored version of Chaplin’s 1916 movie “The Pawnshop,” complemented with storytelling, film clips and live performance.

Matthew Terrell

The long-running TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” may arguably account for the expansion of improv comedy, especially in the U.S. and Canada.

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Sophie Wright / Decca Classics

Diana Ross paid tribute to her friend Marvin Gaye with "Missing You." Michael Stipe and R.E.M. famously penned "Man on the Moon" about the late comedian Andy Kaufman.

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Artists and musicians have long paid tribute to their patrons and their loved ones, but perhaps the trickiest homage is from one composer to another.

The Atlanta Daily World entrance
Brenna Beech / WABE

The Atlanta Daily World is the nation’s oldest daily African-American newspaper. Alexis Scott is not only the descendant of the paper’s founder, William Alexander (W.A.) Scott, she was the “World’s” publisher for 17 years.

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Katy Porter

Hari Kondabolu is a mainstream American comic.

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He tours nationally, headlines festivals and records bestselling comedy albums. In fact, Kondabolu’s latest album, “Mainstream American Comic,” hit No. 1 on the comedy charts last summer. Yet there’s more than a little twinge of irony in the album's title.

The Daffodil Project

After an unusually mild winter, Georgia’s own groundhog General Beauregard Lee predicted an early spring. While his prediction has proven correct – so far – a more reliable sign of spring is the sight of daffodils blooming after a months-long hibernation.

If you’ve been downtown in the past couple of weeks, you may have seen thousands of these bright yellow flowers blooming from Woodruff Park to the campus greens of Georgia State University.

Jeff Roffman for The Atlanta Opera

The Atlanta Opera is near the end of their wildly successful, sold-out run of Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, "Maria de Buenos Aires," on stage at Le Maison Rouge in Paris on Ponce. The company's General and Artistic Director, Tomer Zvulun, is largely responsible for such productions, and he says the upcoming Atlanta Opera season continues to represent their strategic direction.

In an interview on “City Lights” (posted above), Lois Reitzes spoke with Zvulun about how the 2017-2018 season represents his vision for Atlanta’s major opera company. 

Courtesy of Gaelynn Lea

In about a month, we'll learn the winner of the third annual Tiny Desk Contest, the songwriting and performance contest from the creators of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.

Last year, the six judges received over 6,000 entries, listening for what host Bob Boilen identified as "something singular, a song and sound that felt original, and a performance that felt inspired." In the end, the judges’ decisions were unanimous: Gaelynn Lea of Duluth, Minnesota.

Marion Bataille

Alphabet books are simple in concept and in structure – a tidy, ordered sequence of the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z.

“Innovative” is not a word one would usually associate with alphabet books, so it’s with some distinction that the Washington Post called one such book, “ABC3D,” "easily the most innovative alphabet book of the year, if not the decade.” The first thing that stands out – quite literally – about “ABC3D” is that it’s a pop-up book.

Courtesy of Rabbi Micah Lapidus

“Rise Up!”

That’s the rallying cry of Atlanta Falcons fans as the hometown football team prepares to take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

“Rise Up” also happens to be the title of a gospel song written by a rabbi and embraced by Atlanta’s most prominent and historic African-American congregations.

Rabbi Micah Lapidus is the Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at The Davis Academy in Dunwoody. It’s really in his work as a composer, however, that Lapidus carries on the tradition of interfaith dialogue in Atlanta.

Allison Diaz / Associated Press

Jasmine Guy just can’t seem to stay out of college.

She first gained national attention as an actress for her role on "A Different World," a TV series following a group of students at a fictional historically black college. Now Guy is in a new series premiering Feb. 1 on BET. "The Quad" is also set on the campus of an imagined HBCU, though this time she’s playing a faculty member instead of a student.

Tate Carlson

“I’ve always said, never trust a person who doesn’t like potatoes.”

That’s according to Raghavan Iyer, who has become a sort of authority on potatoes. The James Beard Award-winning chef and author spoke with Lois Reitzes about his new book, “SMASHED, MASHED, BOILED, AND BAKED—AND FRIED, TOO! A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes.”

Andrew Eccles / Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

When Hope Boykin last visited WABE, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater veteran was starring as Odetta, the woman often referred to as "the voice of the Civil Rights movement," in a world premiere piece by Matthew Rushing.

Now, as Boykin prepares to return to Atlanta, she’s bringing a work of her own to the Fox Theatre’s stage.

Al Such / WABE

Some critics say that “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, signals the return of the golden-age Broadway-style movie musical. While this trend is yet to be realized, “La La Land” does indeed hearken back to a time when the paychecks of Hollywood lured New York songwriters to sunny southern California.

Dan Raby / WABE

For the past two years or so, James Beard Award-winning food writer Corby Kummer has called Atlanta home – and during his time here, he’s fallen in love with this city, in no uncertain terms.

It was a new job for Kummer’s spouse that first took them to Atlanta, and it’s a new job that takes them away again. But the writer and editor is making any excuse to visit Atlanta at least once a month. Kummer resigned as restaurant critic for Atlanta Magazine, but will continue to write profiles and conduct interviews on the local food and dining scene as a freelance contributor.

Duane Nutter (front) and Todd Richards
Alison Guillory / WABE

As respected and nationally recognized chefs, Todd Richards and Duane Nutter get a lot of questions about cooking, especially around the December holidays.

Richards (executive chef at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and chef and owner of Richards’ Southern Fried) and Nutter (formerly executive chef at One Flew South and chef and owner of the soon-to-open Southern National) joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to share their insights on common American and Southern Christmas dinners.

The Sandler Hudson Gallery

Maggie Davis creates beautiful, colorful, abstract multimedia works. Think large panels and canvases of texture and shape that seem to ask you to listen – listen to the painting, listen to yourself.

Joseph Guay

Ed Roland is best known as the frontman and principal songwriter of rock band Collective Soul, but the Stockbridge, Georgia, native also helms the Americana band Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project, as well as his own solo career.

Ed Roland joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to discuss his incredibly productive year, with no signs of slowing down.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

With the holiday gift-giving season upon us,"City Lights" host Lois Reitzes and arts writer Gail O'Neill share their picks for the grown-ups on your list.

American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best-Loved Cakes

by Anne Byrn

“It is really a social history lesson … It’s just fascinating, and enlightening, and you see these gorgeous photographs of cakes.”

Alison Guillory / WABE

With the holiday gift-giving season upon us,"City Lights" host Lois Reitzes and arts writer Gail O'Neill share their picks for newborns to young adults. 

Lil’ Libros Bilingual Baby Board Books
by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein

Courtesy Chip Simone

Chip Simone knows photography, and he is an authority on Georgia photographers in particular. Simone curated the first ever state-wide survey of contemporary photography for the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. That exhibit closes this weekend, and the reviews have been glowing.

In an interview with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights,” Simone said that he did not want to limit the show to the traditional images of the rural and historic South – think photos of weathered barns, rusted pick-up trucks, fields of cotton and lots of kudzu.

Trae Patton / NBC via AP

After the excitement and success of last year’s live national telecast of “The Wiz,” it’s fair to say that expectations are pretty high for tonight’s live production of “Hairspray.”

That success, along with the high expectations, falls largely on the shoulders of Atlanta’s own Kenny Leon. The Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company was tapped to direct both “The Wiz” and now “Hairspray” for what is now NBC’s annual tradition of live TV musical broadcasts for the holidays.

Mitch Mandel

When you take a bite out of a cake baked just yesterday, you are really taking in hundreds of years of history.

Every style and manner of cake in America represents often centuries-old stories of immigration patterns, politics, social climates and more. In other words, you can learn a lot about American history by examining the evolution of our most distinguished desserts.

Olivia Rae James

Musician, songwriter, soundtrack and record producer T Bone Burnett has said that “The Secret Sisters echo and promise better days. They are a breath of fresh air.” And he should know, because Mr. Burnett produced the first two albums for this Alabama-born singing sibling duo.

The Secret Sisters – Laura and Lydia Rogers – have made some powerful fans in the music industry since their self-titled debut record from 2010. The sisters expect to release their third album in the spring of 2017, this time produced by singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Courtesy of Chanticleer

While you may be chowing down on turkey, retail stores everywhere have already signaled the coming of a larger holiday season. And December welcomes plenty of concerts, plays and celebrations of the winter holidays.

This weekend, Spivey Hall hosts two Christmas-themed shows with two critically acclaimed acapella groups.

The Vendome Press

Thanksgiving marks the traditional beginning of the season of celebration, and no one throws a party like event planner David Monn. He has planned parties at the White House for Michelle Obama and for the New York Public Library.

Monn is the author of a new coffee table book called “The Art of Celebrating.” And while most of his parties are splendidly out of the price range for most people, Atlanta arts and culture writer Gail O'Neill recommended this coffee table book to awaken our imaginations.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski will perform the works of John Williams this weekend.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Modern Japanese landscapes and ancient Chinese poetry fill out this weekend’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert program.

The concerts open with a contemporary piece by Toru Takemitsu. “A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden” is one of the late Japanese composer’s most performed and celebrated works. The Atlanta Symphony’s Principal Guest Conductor, Donald Runnicles, called Takemitsu’s work “a meditation.”