Give Now

Night Lights Classic Jazz


David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

Recent posts by David Brent

August 13, 2014


Album cover for Duke Pearson's 1968 big-band album

Now Hear This: Duke Pearson’s Big Band

Pearson's ensemble was part of a late-1960s big-band renaissance in New York City.

August 2, 2014


Photo of Thad Jones composing

The Thad Jones Songbook

"He writes the unexpected," Mel Lewis once said of his orchestral co-leader Thad Jones.

April 26, 2014


The dustjacket for Phil Ford's book DIG.

To Dig Or Not To Dig: Jazz And Hip With Phil Ford

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.

April 16, 2014


The entrance to the Birdland nightclub in New York City.

At The Jazz Corner Of The World: Live From Birdland

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.

February 7, 2014


Suite History, Part 2: Michael McGerr On Black History And Jazz

More of the full-length Night Lights interview with historian Michael McGerr about extended jazz works that depict the history of black America.

February 7, 2014


Suite History, Part 1: Michael McGerr on Duke Ellington

Historian Michael McGerr discusses Ellington's musical portrayals of the African-American experience.

February 7, 2014



Suite History: Jazz Composers And The African-American Odyssey

Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and Wynton Marsalis all undertook a weighty artistic task--to represent the history of African-Americans in music.

February 4, 2014


CD cover for WDCB jazz anthology

Night Lights Debuts This Week On WDCB-Chicago

Night Lights will begin airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. CST on Chicago's primary jazz station.

January 3, 2014


An advertisement for one of the From Spirituals To Swing concerts.

The Music That Nobody Knows: The From Spirituals To Swing Concerts

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.

December 30, 2013


The LP cover for Andrew Hill's Blue Note album BLACK FIRE.

1963: A Man’s Dream, A Nation’s Nightmare

It was a year of raised hopes and devastating tragedy, and the world of jazz continued to reflect both the growing unease and the youthful vitality of the times

« Previous PageNext Page »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Night Lights Classic Jazz:

Support For Indiana Public Media From

About Night Lights

Search Night Lights

where to hear night lights

This Week On Afterglow

The Billy Strayhorn Songbook

strayhorn gottlieb

Songwriter Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's right-hand man, would have turned 100 on November 29th.

Read more »

Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

More from Afterglow »