South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela is one of the giants of African music. Over his long career, he pioneered jazz fusion, and even managed to bump the Rolling Stones from the U.S. charts. Host Michel Martin sits down with Masekela to discuss his life and work.
Written by Robin Lloyd Bassist Buster Williams is a living legend of jazz,who has worked with Miles Davis, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Woody Shaw, Benny Golson, and Kenny Baron, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson. Williams has been making music on stage for over 50 years. He learned acoustic bass and drums from [...]
As NPR’s employees file their federal returns and take up shop in a new building, we look back at an interesting historical moment in the 1940s. A cabaret tax led to more jazz being performed in smaller venues that couldn’t accommodate dancing. Of course, that’s not the only reason why bebop sounds the way it does.
Written by Robin Lloyd Herbie Mann was among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute and was jazz music’s preeminent flautist during the 1960s, an early pioneer of the fusion of jazz and world music. When Mann began playing flute in 1940s, there weren’t many jazz flautists to learn from, no pioneers of jazz flute to idolize. He [...]
Written by John Kessler Lonnie Johnson was one of the first American guitar masters, with a style that bridged jazz and blues, as well as country styles. Though often labeled as a “blues” player, he was versatile and accomplished enough to be a guest artist with Louis Armstong’s Hot Five in 1927, and with [...]