Long before the rise of the black-pride movement in the 1960s, Ellington was writing music that celebrated African-American culture, personalities, and history.
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.
Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and Wynton Marsalis all undertook a weighty artistic task--to represent the history of African-Americans in music.
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
A new book examines the bandleader and composer's life in the historical context of his times.
Jazz writer Dan Morgenstern and historian Michael McGerr join us to talk Louis Armstrong and bebop, pop ballads, the Cold War and more.
Cafe Society was New York City's first integrated nightclub and a cultural flashpoint for artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and activists of the 1940s.
Oscar Peterson as singer, a new book of jazz album covers from the 1960s and 70s, and more.
Afterglow takes a look at satirical and political protest music of the 1930s and 40s, performed by Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday and others.