WBGO Blog
  • Celebrating Rahsaan Roland Kirk

    September 10, 2015

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    Rahsaan Roland Kirk. (Image Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

    Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who would have been 80 this year, was a boundary-pushing virtuoso on multiple wind instruments (sometimes at once). It certainly rubbed off on Steve Turre, who apprenticed with Kirk in the 1970s. Turre has become a monster player himself, and also specializes in multiple horns — both the trombone and the conch shell.

    Jazz Night In America follows Turre to Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he's assembled a monster lineup to celebrate one of his major influences.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Up And Down The Mississippi With Bill Frisell

    September 10, 2015

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    Bill Frisell. (Image Credit: Paul Moore/Courtesy of the artist)

    For the past two years, the remarkably versatile guitarist Bill Frisell has curated Jazz at Lincoln Center's Roots of Americana series. For the final performance of the series, he took a crowd back to the Mississippi River Delta, the great incubator of American music, with a performance titled "Up and Down the Mississippi: Traveling Highway 61." It's his way of exploring music from New Orleans jazz to Delta blues, Bob Dylan to Bix Beiderbecke.

    Jazz Night In America takes in the show at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, featuring Greg Osby (saxophone), Craig Taborn (piano) and Rudy Royston (drums).

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Celebrating Betty Carter

    September 10, 2015

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    Betty Carter. (Image Credit: Anthony Barboza/Courtesy of the artist)

    For years, one of jazz's top institutions of higher education was "the school of Betty Carter," an esteemed collection of her band's alumni and singers bound together by the thrall of her titanic influence. Hers was, simply, one of the most powerful voices in American music.

    Jazz Night In America celebrates her lasting influence at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a performance by vocalist Charenée Wade, accompanied by many former members of Carter's bands through the years.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Celebrating Max Roach

    September 10, 2015

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    Max Roach. (Image Credit: William Gottlieb/Library Of Congress)

    To say Max Roach was a bebop pioneer, or a paramount innovator of the drums, or a prominent social activist would be accurate. Yet these individual labels fall short of his totality. Ali Jackson had a chance to see a fuller picture — after crossing paths with Roach at age 12, Jackson was forever changed, and would go on to study with Roach. Today, he's the drummer for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and still deeply appreciative.

    Jazz Night In America takes in Jackson's one-night-only salute to the father of modern drumming, complete with an expanded ensemble and string quartet.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Tootie Heath's 80th Birthday

    September 9, 2015

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    Tootie Heath. (Image Credit: Michael Perez/Courtesy of the artist )

    The iconic drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath turned 80 on May 31, and Jazz Night went to the celebration. Heath, who first recorded in the 1950s with John Coltrane, has been active for over 50 years, performing with such artists as Dexter Gordon, Nina Simone, Wes Montgomery, and countless others. Incredibly, popular opinion suggests that Tootie sounds as good as ever.

    Jazz Night In America visits Jazz at Lincoln Center as Tootie Heath performs at his birthday parties — and host Christian McBride pops over to interview him personally.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.