Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center
Along with NPR Music’s partners at WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center, we’re proud to announce a new public media initiative: Jazz Night In America. You can check it out on your local public radio station, as well as online at npr.org/jazznight.
Jazz Night In America is many things. It’s a weekly radio show from three groups that have all made nationally syndicated jazz radio for many years, with an internationally renowned musician as our guide. It’s a weekly concert video webcast from venues across the country. It’s a hub for video features, multi-platform journalism and on-demand access. All together, it’s a portrait of jazz music today, as seen through many of its exceptional live performances and performers.
Here’s how to experience it.
On The Radio: Every week, starting today, we’re offering a one-hour program centered on great concerts and the stories behind them. Christian McBride, whom you may know as a phenomenal bass player and bandleader, hosts the show. Currently, more than 100 public radio stations have signed on to broadcast Jazz Night In America, so check your local listings for when it’ll be on.
On Wednesday Nights: Every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, starting Oct. 15 and running through the academic calendar, we’ll webcast a streaming video presentation of a concert that we’ve filmed. Many times, they’ll be the same shows that went into the radio program — here, you can see and hear them at length. We’ll run a live chat, which all are welcome to join. It’s a one-time-only deal, though — we can archive audio, but not video — so set a reminder to join us. You can see it on any computer or mobile device at npr.org/jazznight.
On Demand: On our new online hub, we’ll feature all sorts of content on demand. Our new Jazz Videos channel will gather highlights from our webcasts, documentary features and more series from NPR Music, such as Tiny Desk Concerts and Field Recordings. We’ll also spotlight audio and written journalism from NPR’s news shows or A Blog Supreme. And we’ll archive the radio shows and audio from the concert webcasts if you want to peruse them on your own time. Again, that’s all at npr.org/jazznight.
We’ve joined together as partners because we want to reach as many people in and around the jazz community as we can. We know, from decades of experience, that there’s immense power in music and conversation on air — that it reaches people like nothing else can. We know, from being fans, that this music demands to be seen live, so we’ve captured visually stunning concert recordings to simulate the experience as beautifully as possible. We know that today, people expect to consume media on their own time and schedules, so we wanted to enable you to do that. We hope to reach the people who live for this music, and we hope to make it easy for the curious to get hooked.
We’ve planned what we think is a great lineup — check out the webcast schedule on the homepage — and we’re certainly still planning. We’re confident that this music speaks strongly: of lived experience, of great labor and intelligence, of life-affirming artistic creativity. With Jazz Night In America, we intend to convey that in all the ways we can.