The notion of hip has been at the heart of American counterculture since the 1940s, and it’s often included jazz as part of its soundtrack.
Birdland was known as “the jazz corner of the world,” and from 1949 to 1965 it played host to some of the greatest names on the modern jazz scene.
Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and Wynton Marsalis all undertook a weighty artistic task--to represent the history of African-Americans in music.
At the end of the 1930s jazz impresario John Hammond organized two concerts that showcased African-American music in a prestigious New York City concert hall.
More of the full-length Night Lights interview with historian Michael McGerr about extended jazz works that depict the history of black America.
Historian Michael McGerr discusses Ellington's musical portrayals of the African-American experience.
Night Lights will begin airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. CST on Chicago's primary jazz station.
What's the music you hear each week at the beginning and end of "Night Lights"?
An update on previously-mentioned and newly-announced box-sets.