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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:39 am
Fri December 19, 2014

George Shearing's Holiday Set On Piano Jazz

George Shearing.
New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

British jazz pianist George Shearing was a friend and frequent guest on Piano Jazz. On this special edition of the program from 2001, Shearing joins host Marian McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way.

The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Away In A Manger."

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A Blog Supreme
9:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

An Upset Either Way: Steve Lehman And Wadada Leo Smith Triumph

Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman.
Scott Groller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 6:17 pm

Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
12:57 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Highlights From Winter Jazzfest 2014

Donald Harrison performs at Winter Jazzfest 2014.
John Rogers for NPR

In the dead of January in the Northeast, New York City's Winter Jazzfest manages a minor miracle. Over the course of two marathon nights, it brings crowds in the thousands out to jam-packed theaters and clubs to see dozens of varied and sundry bands.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
12:15 am
Thu December 18, 2014

In Memory Of 2014: Jazz Night Looks Back

Gerald Wilson, 2010.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for NAACP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:00 pm

This year saw the passing of numerous jazz legends. In Jazz Night In America's year in review, we pay tribute to bassist Charlie Haden, pianist Horace Silver and composer/bandleader Gerald Wilson, among others. We'll listen back to great live performances recorded over the past 30 years from these musicians — all from the WBGO vault — and highlight remembrances from friends and loved ones.

Song Travels
12:11 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Anthony Strong On 'Song Travels'

Anthony Strong.
Courtesy of the artist

British jazz vocalist and pianist Anthony Strong built his reputation as a session pianist, supporting stars like B.B. King. His EP release Delovely reached No. 1 on the U.K. jazz charts, and he's continued his rise with his last album of classic jazz songs and originals, Stepping Out.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:25 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Mel Torme On Piano Jazz

Mel Torme.
David Redfern Redferns

Described by film critic Rex Reed as "America's greatest male singer," Mel Tormé (1925-99) was one of the most versatile performers of his day.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1992, Tormé shares how his classic "The Christmas Song" inspired him to put out his own holiday album. He also sings and plays "Too Late Now" and "Walking My Baby Home," with host Marian McPartland joining in.

Originally recorded Jan. 21, 1992. Originally broadcast May 9, 1992.

Set List

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Jazz Night In America
1:41 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Ellis Marsalis At 80

Ellis Marsalis celebrated his 80th birthday in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Lawrence Sumulong Jazz at Lincoln Center

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:59 pm

Ellis Marsalis has four famous musical sons — Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis — but considering his career, he's a father figure for many more musicians. In high school and college classrooms, he's been the major figure in New Orleans jazz education since the time that formal jazz education didn't exist. And as a pianist, he carved out a space for contemporary jazz in his hometown, and has grown into an elder statesman of the scene.

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A Blog Supreme
2:45 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Eighty Years Of Master Educator Ellis Marsalis

Ellis Marsalis performs at the NBA All-Star Game in 2008 in New Orleans.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

If anyone has earned the nickname Pops, it's Ellis Marsalis.

As jazz's best-known father figure, the senior Marsalis has four noted musical offspring: Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. But if you consider all the musicians he's taught or mentored, his clan is even more extensive, diverse and influential.

I talked to six musicians who gave us the long view of the Marsalis family tree, and how they were schooled by its patriarch.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:10 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Liz Story On Piano Jazz

Liz Story.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and composer Liz Story is a fascinating, ever-changing musician. She was inspired to pursue music after hearing Bill Evans perform, and her music has been compared to that of Aaron Copland, Frederic Chopin, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.

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