The 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Concert

Monday, April 20, 2015

In a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carla Bley, George Coleman, Charles Lloyd and Joe Segal are recognized for their lifetimes of artistry and service to the music. Watch at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


Morning Edition

Remembering Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett's Pianist

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The longtime piano accompanist and musical director accidentally broke the hit "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." But he was also the driving force behind the style Bennett is best known for.


99% Invisible

54- The Colour of Money (R)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

United States paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. Pull a greenback out from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take it in.


The Brian Lehrer Show

The Obama Place in History

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What will President Obama's place in history be when it's all said and done? New York Magazine tackled how the future will assess our present in a sweeping new project.

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Remembering Jazz Violinist John Blake Jr.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

For decades, he created unique roles for his fiddle. Hear an interview and performance for Billy Taylor's Jazz At The Kennedy Center, an archival NPR program.



StoryCorps 381: It's A Calling

Monday, July 07, 2014

Dekalb Walcott III talks to his dad, retired Chicago Fire Chief Dekalb Walcott Jr., about following in his line of work.


All Things Considered

Legendary Pianist Horace Silver Dies At 85

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The bandleader and composer shifted the jazz landscape of the 1950s and '60s with his bluesy, funky music. Along the way, he mentored major musicians and devised future jazz standards.


Rhythm Runs In The Family: Drummers On Their Dads

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Many jazz musicians got the music bug from their fathers. Find out what second-generation percussionists like Nasheet Waits, Ralph Peterson and Sheila E. say about their fathers' influence.


Take 75: Great Solos In Blue Note Records History

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

As the jazz label nears three quarters of a century, it remains a showcase for jazz soloing in every possible mood and temperament. Here are our picks for sublime moments from the catalog.


Act Like You Know: Sun Ra

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sifting through the overwhelming catalog of the Afro-futurist jazz master is a daunting task. To celebrate Sun Ra's centennial, we picked five essential songs that lay his otherworldly evolution bare.


The History Of Jazz Piano In 11 Minutes

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Even today's musicians know that jazz has a rapidly changing, living, breathing history. In a new video, young gun Kris Bowers takes a YouTube tour from ragtime and stride through the present day.


'A Love Supreme' Comes Alive In Unearthed Photos

Friday, March 28, 2014

The great jazz photographer Chuck Stewart recently found six rolls of 50-year-old film in his archive. They contained previously unpublished shots of John Coltrane recording his masterpiece.


Rail, Radio And Booze: A Look At Montreal Jazz History

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thanks to prohibition and trains, the Canadian city became known as a nightlife capital. A web documentary traces how Oscar Peterson and others emerged from the black neighborhood of Little Burgundy.


To Preserve 'America's Gift To The World,' A Jazz Elder Becomes A UCLA Professor

Friday, January 24, 2014

When he was studying jazz in the '50s and becoming a revered guitarist, Kenny Burrell vowed to teach the subject one day. Now, decades after his first class, he's never committed more to music education.


The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Concert

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The highest federally supported award for jazz artistry goes to four individuals this year. In a live performance from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Anthony Braxton, Richard Davis, Jamey Aebersold and Keith Jarrett are honored.


The Drummer Who Invented Jazz's Basic Beat

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Faced with a rapid tempo one night, Kenny Clarke devised a new way to play the beat on the ride cymbal. His "spang-a-lang," and the rhythmic ideas it generated, wound up transforming the way we feel swing ever after.


The Jazz Men And Women We Lost In 2013

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Whether famous or obscure, dozens of artists, producers, documentarians and others who contributed to the music's growth left us last year. Here's a thorough list — and 12 who didn't make all the headlines.


Drummer Chico Hamilton, West Coast Jazz Pioneer, Dies

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A linchpin of "cool" jazz in the 1950s and '60s, he assembled bands that came to be described as chamber jazz, full of unusual textures and future star talent. Hamilton, who continued performing into his ninth decade, was 92.


Frank Wess, Basie Woodwind Specialist, Dies

Friday, November 01, 2013

He had gigs before and enjoyed prominent freelance work afterward. But the mellow saxophone and flute player's career was kickstarted by spending more than a decade in the front row of Count Basie's "New Testament" band.


How One Singer Made Four Debut Albums

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The late South African vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin is remembered as her country's greatest jazz singer, who brought deliberation and questions of identity to her music. But she only launched her own career, from the shadow of her famous husband Abdullah Ibrahim, after several false starts.