Jazz vocalist Rene Marie recently sang the melody of "The Star-Spangled Banner" with lyrics from "the black national anthem."
Night Lights made its debut on WFIU four years ago almost to the day–or night, as it were–with a program called Let Freedom Ring that aired on the eve of the July 4th holiday. I had been working at WFIU for exactly two years, subbing for weekday afternoon jazz host Joe Bourne and producing WFIU jazz specials such as Bix Beiderbecke: Never the Same Way Twice and Jump for Joy: Duke Ellington’s Celebratory Musical. When the syndicated “Worldwide Jazz” show that we carried on Saturday evenings suddenly ceased production, I proposed Night Lights as a replacement to our station manager, Christina Kuzmych.
A few items of interest from around the online jazz world over the long holiday weekend:Marie’s website statement.
Jazz interpretations of the many songs that have been written about the City of Light.
Novelist Nelson Algren and singer Billie Holiday are two iconic figures of mid-20th-century American culture, though Holiday is surely better-known than Algren.
Jo Stafford, one of the last great vocalists from the "songbird" era of big band vocalists, passed away Wednesday at the age of 90.
News came this Friday morning that tenor saxophonist and hardbop great Johnny Griffin has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 80.