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Night Lights Classic Jazz

More Than A Solo: Seven Reasons To Support Night Lights

Help Night Lights make its online fund-drive goal this year! Any and all contributions make a difference. Afterwards, enjoy a historic Sonny Rollins solo.

Thelonious Alone in San Francisco

Photo: Album cover art

Thelonious Monk could go it alone when it came to great jazz piano, but Night Lights needs your help to make its programming possible.

Night Lights is about to mark its seventh year of programming, and we’re turning to you to help us keep the show moving forward.

Every week Night Lights takes you on a trip into the vast realm of jazz history, offering unique narratives, themes, and recordings, hipping you to both the well-known and lesser-known highways and byways of the music and its makers. But what makes these cultural journeys possible? It’s knowing that we can count on listeners like you, who’ve shown time and again that you value intelligent, well-presented jazz programming online and on the air, to sustain those journeys.

Please support Night Lights now and help us make our goal of $700 in the next seven days. Any pledge you can make will help us accomplish that.

Seven Reasons To Support Night Lights

  • Your support truly makes a difference. Night Lights is a jazz-specialty program–the sort of show that takes a great deal of time, preparation, and research. We invest our resources in it because we believe that jazz history deserves no less. When we make an online fund-drive goal successfully, it’s something we can easily point to in order to justify another year of Night Lights.
  • The wide range of jazz that you hear on Night Lights: bebop-influenced big bands of the late 1940s, the sacred-jazz movement of the 1960s, jazz with a space-age theme, the jazz and blues lyrics of poet Langston Hughes, the music of individual artists such as pianist Randy Weston and bassist Scott LaFaro. Whatever the period or style, the music we play will always be interesting, excellent, and representational of a meaningful jazz theme.
  • The guests you hear on Night Lights–noted jazz musician and scholar Loren Schoenberg stopping to by talk about the amazing Savory collection of swing-era broadcasts…and playing some of it for us, music that nobody had heard for more than 60 years! Or Thelonious Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley chatting extensively about his book’s subject and the musical legacy that he left for us.
  • The Night Lights archives, which give you the ability to hear shows at your convenience.
  • Historian Michael McGerr says, “Night Lights does a really good job of blending really interesting music, some of which I’ve never heard before, with a fresh and vivid sense of what American culture was like during a really fascinating and turbulent time. There’s no program like Night Lights anywhere else in the country.”
  • When you support Night Lights, you’re casting a vote not only for the significance of jazz as an art form, but also for the importance and meaning of jazz’s role in the mission of public broadcasting.
  • We can’t do it alone; we need a rhythm section behind our solos! Like other public-media programs, Night Lights draws a great deal of its financial support from listeners like you. Over the years we’ve received thousands of dollars in online contributions from people around the world who have helped us to keep the show in production. Right now, we’re simply looking to raise $700 in seven days before the seventh anniversary of Night Lights. Please help us make our goal!

When you give $60 or more (the vaunted “hipster saint” level), we’ll also throw in your pick of a new Original Jazz Classics reissue from Thelonious Monk, Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, and other icons of the great jazz era that Night Lights brings to you each week. Whatever level you give at, you’ll also know that you’ve made a difference in the kind of programming that public media brings to you; you’ve helped make another year of Night Lights possible.

Support Night Lights

And speaking of sevens and solos, here’s tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins and his solo that jazz musician and writer Gunther Schuller waxed about so rhapsodically–enjoy, and thanks so much for being a part of what makes Night Lights happen:

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.

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