Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:59 pm
In the late 1960s, when trumpeter Miles Davis was leading his famous second quintet, saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a series of new works featuring Davis with orchestra. When the quintet broke up, Shorter put the scores away.
Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 8:31 am
Every year for the last decade and a half, select groups of hot swing musicians have come from Europe to tour the U.S. The exact lineups change, but they all feature masters of the "gypsy jazz" — or jazz manouche — style pioneered by guitarist Django Reinhardt. In fact, they're billed under the banner of New York's Django Reinhardt Festival.
Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 7:49 pm
To open its 2014-15 season, Jazz At Lincoln Center welcomes the world premiere of a work by managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis. Ochas, for big band and Afro-Cuban percussion, features special guests in the commanding pianist Chucho Valdés and percussionist, vocalist and Santería priest Pedrito Martinez. With the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, they blend jazz with the traditional folkloric and religious music of Cuba.
Jazz Night In America explores how the new suite of music came to be.
Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 7:02 pm
Miguel Zenón possesses rare talent, both for the level of his alto saxophone virtuosity and the ability to make complex compositions immediate and accessible. But he's but one of many who moved to New York City to pursue jazz. And he's one of over one million New-York-area residents of Puerto Rican origin.
Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 11:24 am
The saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill, 70, has long been an standard-bearer for boundary-crossing music. In his wildly creative work, inspirations as disparate as rags, calypso and funk transmogrify into unique frameworks for improvisation. Pianist Jason Moran is one of his loyal fans — Threadgill is his favorite composer, he says — and programmed this tribute, gathering both Threadgill sidemen and up-and-comers to perform works from throughout Threadgill's career.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:58 am
Pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal never learned to read music, but didn't really need to: He was one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and even convincingly imitated the fast-fingered Art Tatum in the biopic Ray. Now, after decades off the scene — and with his health under control — he's re-establishing himself in New York as an incredible old-school performer.
Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 12:18 am
The iconic jazz record label Blue Note Records reached its 75th anniversary this year, and celebrated with an all-star concert featuring artists from its rich history and bright present. Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Lou Donaldson, and Bobby Hutcherson, whose Blue Note LPs defined a generation of jazz, were on hand; Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Joe Lovano and Norah Jones also took up the torch, among many other musicians.
Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 12:25 am
In the late 1960s, saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a number of large ensemble works for his employer at the time, trumpeter Miles Davis. They were never recorded, and eventually forgotten. Decades later, Shorter, now considered one of jazz's greatest composers, dug up the music and handed it over to trumpeter Wallace Roney (a protege of Miles Davis) to breathe new life into the charts. Roney presents that suite of music — or what he could before rain showers interceded — on this webcast of Jazz Night In America, live at the 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival.
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.