The recent announcement of the semifinalists for jazz’s most prestigious contest left several musicians at unease. Thus, a debate was launched on the nature of music contests, and with it, perhaps a vision of a future beyond them.
Over the past 20 years, vocalist, Karrin Allyson, has recorded 13 albums that cover a vast musical territory. She’s explored The Great American Songbook, the musical styles of Brazil and France, the blues and the work of more contemporary songwriters. She’s recorded a tribute to John Coltrane, a CD of late-night ballads and earned 4 […]
Saxophonist and bandleader Paul Winter has created his own unique style of environmentally conscious music. The natural world is not only an inspiration, but it has also been a collaborator in his music. Winter talks about playing with humpback whales, as well as his legendary recording expeditions to the Grand Canyon.
Walker is an exciting presence on the jazz scene, singing with impeccable phrasing, a soulful swing and a warmly sensuous tone. She and host Marian McPartland spend a delightful hour talking about the jazz life and performing together on “The More I See You,” “It Could Happen to You” and Walker’s own tune, “Love Is.”
Pianist Hod O’Brien is a stalwart bebop acolyte. Since emerging on the scene in the late 1950s playing with Oscar Pettiford and Stan Getz, O’Brien has earned critical acclaim and accolades from his peers. He joins host Marian McPartland and performs an original tune written for the occasion, “Clarion for Marian.”
Ken Peplowski, Evan Christopher and Anat Cohen are three of the today’s top practitioners of the licorice stick. Backed by a band proficient in time-honored and broad-shouldered styles of the Swing Era, this reedy convocation generates plenty of fireworks.
Eight more hours of video await, including Tedeschi Trucks Band, Kurt Elling and Jenny Scheinman.
Since he came over from Cuba, the phenomenally talented percussionist has found a place in scores of bands. But here, he’s the star. Behind the congas and microphone, he leads a quartet which goes way beyond what you’d think of Afro-Cuban music or jazz.
After years of singing other people’s songs, bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr has crafted a tightly harmonized album of originals.
Tommy Johnson’s songs may not be very well known, but he was a hugely influential blues player and also may be the source of one of the most enduring legends of the blues – the Devil and the Crossroads. While this legend is sometimes associated with Robert Johnson (no relation), it was Tommy Johnson who […]Blues Time Machine
This weekend, NPR Music and our partners WBGO and WGBH are presenting 16 hours of live video webcasting from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival. For your convenience, here’s a breakdown of what you’ll see online and hear on WBGO.
Grady Tate began his jazz career as a much-celebrated drummer, backing such icons as Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones. Tate has since traded in his skins for a microphone at center stage, where he delivers smooth and soulful baritone vocals. With pianist John di Martino, Tate sings “Everybody Loves My Baby” and “Where Do You Start.”
Another round of Newport previews, drummer Michael Carvin and much ado about jazz standards.
Festival organizers also know that they present a music whose creators get better and wiser with age. Surely enough, this year’s lineup recognizes the continuing creativity of bandleaders like Jack DeJohnette, Dianne Reeves and Pat Metheny.
Hear the pianist and reed player in sets from the Kennedy Center’s Women in Jazz Festival.
Scholar and fan Ryan Truesdell has turned unheard Evans scores into richly textured works.
Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard tweeted this afternoon that he had just finished the writing of a new opera called Champion. The work is set to premier June 15-30 2013 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. This is from Blanchard’s Facebook page this afternoon: Just finished writing my first Opera (Champion). It’s been […]
We took recordings from all the bandleaders on the bill this year and put them into a online stream.
Get ready for the festival with this mix of the festival’s artists, from living legends to young phenoms. Find NPR Music’s coverage from Newport, Aug. 4-5, at npr.org/newportjazz.
A boogie-woogie pianist gets his due, Charlie Haden on his late drummer and Portland dispatches.
The singer, songwriter and pianist is back with a new album of classic Duke Ellington tunes.
A true legend of public radio and a longtime friend of host Marian McPartland, Studs Terkel appeared on Piano Jazz in 1992 for a special fundraising edition. The two quizzed each other about radio, shared memories of jazz personalities and improvised music and conversation.
Here are five bands, all debuting at Newport, who represent new generations of jazz expression.
Lloyd, Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland created a confluence of East and West sounds at Newport.
Just in case you haven’t noticed, pianist Ramsey Lewis is having a great career. He’s won Grammy awards, hosted successful television and radio jazz programs and even had cross-over hit records on the pop music charts (quite by accident, he assures us). He’s been playing professionally since about 1950 and has released more than 80 […]
Fans of the trumpeter and bandleader may know that he has appeared in a few movies. But when it comes to the HBO program about his hometown, the lines between real life and acting begin to blur — especially when it comes to his new album.
A New York Times article explains how apprentice musicians still find masters — just in new ways.
The trumpeter and composer has created a double album that extends his jazz inheritance as it acknowledges the past — from Africa through New Orleans and New York — that has made him who he is today.
The NEA Jazz Masters are announced, a sideman in the spotlight and some pianists speak their minds.
For years Marian McPartland has been trying to line up Keith Jarrett for a Piano Jazz session. Following his stellar performance at Carnegie Hall in 2005, Marian confronted the elusive performer and convinced him to put in an appearance on her show. Hear an interview and performance.
Davis’ bluesy alto sax rasp is straight out of Charlie Parker’s playbook, but makes it his own in a new live recording from the Smalls Jazz Club.
Individually, they’ve been at the core of the post-bop jazz scene for decades. So it’s no surprise that as a band, they’re colossal. Hear drummer Billy Hart and the rest of this colossal jazz collective play their original pieces in this Jazz24 session.
Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane — son of John and Alice — says his mother’s love of symphonic music provided a childhood soundtrack for him and his siblings.
From the stage, Figarova is surveying an iconic jazz scene — people on the lawn, Narragansett Bay in the background, boats floating in the harbor. Hear the pianist and her European sextet in a concert from the Newport Jazz Festival.
The jazz musician didn’t make his burden any lighter by choosing to play tenor and soprano saxophones — the same instruments his father, John Coltrane, indelibly stamped. But critic Kevin Whitehead says he speaks in his own voice on the album Spirit Fiction.
When Billie Holiday died on July 17, 1959, thousands of mourners attended her funeral at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in New York City. But Holiday isn’t buried in New York’s Woodlawn Cemetery, near Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Instead, she’s “way, way, way out” in the Bronx.
Mingus wrote, Miles talked, Sonny picked, Bean assessed, Trane spoke — and that’s just the start.
Here, Piano Jazz showcases vibraphone virtuoso Dave Samuels along with pianist Alain Mallet. Samuels’ gift for evocative melody and his rhythmic versatility make him one of the leading mallet players of his generation.
The pianist Oliver Jones, 77, was in his mid-40s when he moved back to Montreal, the city where he grew up in the shadow of Oscar Peterson. Decades later, he’s a national treasure unto himself.
We’re in a guitar world, from Pakistan to Brazil and from steel strings to nylon, as the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet and Trio da Paz play in turn at the Newport Jazz Festival.
If we were to make a list of all the recording and composing credits of the members of The Cookers, it would go on for many pages. This is an amazing collection of jazz musicians—Billy Hart (drums), Cecil McBee (bass), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), David Weiss (trumpet), Billy Harper (sax) and George Cables (piano). Individually, they’ve […]
The bass drummer, singer and a public face of the Treme Brass Band died last weekend.
Watch a live video webcast from coastal New England during the weekend of Aug. 4-5.
The bassist and bandleader was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, but as a toddler she moved with her family to Australia. Oh has since traveled back to Shanghai, where her grandmother is from, and taken up Mandarin classes. Her album weaves in her family’s stories — and even their languages.
Piano Jazz celebrates its 30th anniversary with a return visit from pianist, composer and arranger Dick Hyman, who appeared on the show during its first season in 1979. Always the fleet-fingered pianist and versatile musician, Hyman performs Gershwin, Jobim and a James P. Johnson rag before winding up the hour playing an improvised blues tune with host Marian McPartland.
From two stages at the Newport Jazz Festival, hear a gifted young singer and the Latin side of Herbie Hancock.
Bassist Linda Oh’s story is so compelling, everyone who writes about her mentions it: how she was born in Java to Chinese parents, who emigrated to western Australia when she was three. Oh’s second album is out. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says her music also covers a lot of ground.
Gary Walker, music director of WBGO in Newark, highlights the pianist’s take on a Miles Davis classic.
The New York percussionist gathered musicians featured on his new album, Bamako By Bus, for a studio session with WBGO’s The Checkout. Listen to the entire set and watch a slideshow of photos from the session.
Matt Fleeger of KMHD in Portland, Ore., highlights the British trombone player’s new album.
Gary G. Vercelli of California’s Capital Public Radio finds the jazz guitarist covering a Coltrane classic.
Salamishah Tillet explains why Simone’s pursuit of a life without fear still gives us all — musicians and fans alike — something to learn from.
Willard Robison wrote strange pastoral tunes in the mid-1920s. Jazz guitarist Matt Munisteri has been collecting and recording these songs for nearly a decade, and he’s finally gotten around to releasing his own versions.
The French guitarist, whose playing can be heard throughout Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, discusses his new album and the enduring influence of Django Reinhardt.
As part of its summer series on the sounds of music al fresco, Weekend Edition Saturday speaks with John Thornton, a trumpet player who holds court outside the National Archives.
Sung is a dazzling and passionate player with a flawless technique and an exquisite touch. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance graduate has played with such luminaries as Clark Terry and Wynton Marsalis. She shows off her compositional skills when she plays her own tune (“Hope Springs Eternally”), and she joins host Marian McPartland on “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
Preview some of the artists playing the Montreal International Jazz Festival, a musical grand prix.
Players pair off and rejoin, chase each other and catch up at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
A visual tour of the Village Vanguard, New York City’s world-famous jazz club, capacity 123.
The Swedish jazz trio sculpts epic soundscapes on its first posthumous album, released four years after pianist Esbjörn Svensson’s death.
Bassist Matt Ulery, whose new album displays an affinity for strings, picks some of his favorite mergers of classical and folk music with the blues. Hear songs from Brad Mehldau, Chico Hamilton, Dave Douglas, Anne Mette Iversen and Wayne Shorter.
Once described by Time as “America’s best singer,” Wilson explores a lifelong relationship with the guitar on her new album, Another Country.
The jazz drummer tells NPR’s Guy Raz that great percussionists like Buddy Rich and Max Roach make their cymbals “sing.”
The JJA Jazz Awards, Ravi Coltrane, performers’ rights and sad news from WGBH.
In tribute to Dave McKenna, Marian McPartland asked pianist and singer Daryl Sherman to guest host this remembrance that includes clips from the two programs McKenna did with McPartland in 1979 and 1994. Sherman also puts a delightful twist on “Rhode Island is Famous for You” and “Teddy Ballgame.”
The guitarist has played in just about every conceivable setting in New York City — and carried a love of jazz throughout. For this live concert, his trio takes on Albert Ayler and John Coltrane, dirty blues, punk energy and fully liberated improvisation.
For the annual celebration of Juneteenth, today’s jazz luminaries — musicians such as Jason Moran, Christian McBride, Orrin Evans, Jeremy Pelt and Bobby Watson — reflect on recordings about the ongoing process of African-American emancipation.
It’s tricky making a little band sound this big, but trombonist Ray Anderson knows his tricks.
The top 20 records of the last 20 years, more money from music and the Latin Jazz Grammy returns.