It’s a scary job market for conservatory grads. But one musician still sees value in studying jazz.
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut came onto the jazz scene slowly. From the mid-1980’s to mid-1990’s, he apprenticed as pianist for Jon Hendricks, Better Carter, Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis. Since then he has toured the world numerous times and recorded 15 albums as a leader. In this performance/interview Cyrus talks about his gospel roots, his discovery […]
This iconic hard-luck song was a hit when Bessie Smith recorded it in 1929, and with its timeless message and memorable melody, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” has been a favorite for singers in almost every genre including jazz, blues, folk and rock. Bessie Smith was the most popular female jazz and […]
Latin jazz bandleader and conguero player Poncho Sanchez was among the list of individuals who will receive The Latin Recording Academy®’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The list of winners, which also includes Luz Casal, Leo Dan, Rita Moreno, Milton Nascimento, Daniela Romo, and Toquinho, was announced last Thursday. “This year’s exceptional group of honorees not only […]
In an archival show from 1990, Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of Stephane Grappelli, one of the jazz world’s greatest violinists. Grappelli first found fame in France with Django Reinhart’s Quintette du Hot Club. He went on to an illustrious career playing with everyone from Oscar Peterson to Paul Simon to Yo-Yo Ma.
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was a disaster that reshaped the South. With flooding in 10 states, the river below Memphis reached 60 miles across in some places. Not only was farmland swallowed up, but many poor blacks were forced to work rebuilding levees. With no crop that year, many headed north in what […]
Bellingham jazz singer, Cheryl Jewell, was raised in Oak Harbor, Washington. When she went to college in Bellingham, she fell in love with that city. She left only to pursue her singing career in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. After working for several years as a rock and country singer, Cheryl decided to move […]
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.