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This week on 'Judy Carmichael's Jazz Inspired': Maria Muldaur, Kyle Eastwood, Jim Shearer, Jon Batiste and Joe LaBarbera July 8-12

Jon Batiste and Judy Carmichael
c/o Judy Carmichael
Jon Batiste and Judy Carmichael

This week's schedule:

7/8  Maria Muldaur
7/9  Kyle Eastwood
7/10 Jim Shearer
7/11  Jon Batiste
7/12 Joe LaBarbera

Vocalist Maria Muldaur may be best known for her 1974 hit “Midnight at the Oasis” but it’s her long career and forty-three recordings that have continued to delight her fans with Maria’s unique approach to blues, roots and jug band music.

Maria’s mother pushed her toward classical music but when her grandmother played her some Western Swing, at the tender age of five, there was no looking back. Maria’s latest CD, Let’s Get Happy Together, is a collection of lesser-known musical gems recorded with the New Orleans band, Tuba Skinny.

Maria Muldaur
C/O of the artist
Maria Muldaur

Bassist/composer Kyle Eastwood has a wide range of creative influences, including a passion for cinema and great film scores, a love nurtured by his father, Clint Eastwood, who in addition to directing and acting, has written the music for several of his movies. Clint introduced Kyle to jazz early on and encouraged his composing pursuits by asking Kyle to contribute themes for many of his films, including Gran Torino, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima and Invictus.

Kyle Eastwood
Kyle Eastwood

Kyle’s latest tour celebrates his CD, Eastwood Symphonic, a collection of quintet and symphony arrangements of some of the best-known themes from his father’s movies.

Tuba player Jim Shearer’s new CD, Cloud Bowling with Claude Bolling, is Jim’s take on the celebrated Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio that Claude Bolling wrote for classical flutist Jean Pierre Rampal and recorded with him in 1973. That recording spent almost two years at the top of the Billboard classical chart and stayed in the top 100 for over 10 years. Jim replaced the flute with tuba and this CD was born.

We revisit my 2019 conversation with pianist and composer, Jon Batiste. Jon is an exuberant presence, whether playing music or talking about the importance of putting good energy and meaningful work into the world. His band, Stay Human, is named to honor the belief that human interaction during a live musical performance can uplift humanity in the midst of the "plug in/tune out" nature of modern society.

Stephen Colbert, like Jon Batiste, has a commitment to social engagement, making Batiste a natural choice to lead the band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Jon and I talked about his work with Colbert, his commitment to positivity and his CD, Anatomy of Angels.

Jon left The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2022 to pursue personal and professional interests, which this tireless talent has done in spades.

Drummer Joe LaBarbera has worked with Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer, Tony Bennett and many other celebrated jazz greats, but it’s his work with pianist Bill Evans that he documents in his new book Times Remembered: The Final Years of the Bill Evans Trio, which he co-wrote with Charles Levin. This sensitive portrayal sheds light on the joys and challenges of the jazz world and the unique place that Bill Evans’ music and philosophy played within it.

Listen each morning on WBGO from 6 to 8 am ET.

For an archive of episodes on WBGO, visit the show’s page here.

Jazz pianist Judy Carmichael, whom critics have called “astounding, flawless and captivating” (New York Times), is one of the leading interpreters of classic jazz piano. Ms. Carmichael has written two books on stride piano and numerous articles on the subject of jazz.