Billie Holiday


“I’m always making a comeback, but nobody ever tells me where I’ve been.”

On his first Presidents' Day in office, enjoy a jazz playlist for 46. 


Jazz musicians have always faced systems of discrimination in America.

Michael Weintrob

In my solitude you haunt me

With reveries of days gone by

In my solitude you taunt me

With memories that never die

Those lyrics that Eddie DeLange wrote for Duke Ellington’s classic melody, “(In My) Solitude,” have taken on so much more meaning for all of us these days. For me, though, they have always been all too familiar. Until last August, when I began hosting Midday Jazz here on WBGO, I was the host of Jazz After Hours for almost 24 years.

In this year of big jazz centennials — 100 candles for Ella, Monk and Dizzy, and for the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s first recordings — it’s easy to overlook an event that once loomed large over jazz history: the closing of New Orleans’ open-prostitution district Storyville, under pressure from the wartime U.S. Navy, which couldn’t keep its sailors away from the place.