December 11, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Harold Mabern, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and Cyrus Chestnut perform at A Jazz Piano Christmas 2014. (Image Credit: NPR)
Every year, NPR Music invites a handful of the world's top keyboard players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to play some of their favorite holiday music for the audience — solo — and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.
For its 25th anniversary, the program welcomes four artists. Harold Mabern, 78, is one of the great post-bop pianists. Kris Davis brings a distinct, experimental style that's made her a celebrated rising talent. The veteran performer Lynne Arriale returns to A Jazz Piano Christmas, and Cyrus Chestnut, at home in both the church and dialing up dazzling high-speed runs, has recently been named a professor at nearby Howard University.
Jazz Night In America presents the 2014 edition of A Jazz Piano Christmas from the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center.
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December 11, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Ellis Marsalis celebrated his 80th birthday in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
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.
He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Jazz Night In America was in the house for Ellis Marsalis' birthday.
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December 10, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Ellis Marsalis celebrates his 80th birthday in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Ellis Marsalis is a father figure of modern jazz — in quite a few ways. As a pianist, he was among the first generation of musicians to bring bebop to New Orleans, and even worked with Ornette Coleman before the saxophonist recorded his landmarks of free jazz. As an educator, many great musicians came through Marsalis' tutelage, whether in New Orleans' arts high school or at various university programs. And of course, he is also the actual father of several exceptional musicians named Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.
He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band. Jazz Night In America fetes Ellis Marsalis with a special birthday performance from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.
- "Monkey Puzzle" (James Black)
- "Homecoming" (Ellis Marsalis)
- "Bloomdido" (Charlie Parker)
- "Beautiful Old Ladies" (Harold Battiste)
- "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Bernie/Pinkard)
- "Creole Love Call" (Duke Ellington)
- "Happy Birthday" [encore with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra]
Ellis Marsalis, piano; Derek Douget, saxophones; Jason Stewart, bass; Herlin Riley, drums.
© 2014 WBGO
December 4, 2014. Posted by WBGO.
Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage.
Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.
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November 19, 2014. Posted by WBGO.The SpokFrevo Orquestra is led by the saxophonist known as Maestro Spok. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
During Carnival in Brazil, music fills the streets. And often that music is frevo, a genre drawing from marches, Brazilian quadrilha, polka and classical music.
The SpokFrevo Orquestra brings a jazz-influenced take to that joyous celebration. Fronted by virtuoso saxophonist and arranger Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok, the 17-piece orchestra presents an adventurous program featuring special guests Melissa Aldana (saxophone) and Wycliffe Gordon (trombone) inside the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Jazz Night in America offers highlights from this exhilarating performance, while tracing the origins of Brazilian Carnival music.
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