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.
Jazz fans are known for their religious-like zeal, but in the 1960s jazz sometimes became a PART of religion, providing the soundtrack for church ceremonies.
The capital of African-American culture in the United States for decades, Harlem has inspired all sorts of musical tributes.
Rifftides blogger and jazz eminence Doug Ramsey hipped readers several days ago to a Sunday, April 6 broadcast of Benny Carter’s rarely-heard “Kansas City Suite.” It’s at 1 p.m. PDT on KPLU.org…
The inspiration came from a late-night party, a convergence of Hollywood glamour and early civil-rights activism with one of America's greatest jazz orchestras.
In 1945 pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams debuted her first extended work, The Zodiac Suite, with musical movements for each sign of the zodiac. Williams was 35 years old, already a veteran of the swing era; she was playing regularly at New York City’s CafÃ© Society, hosting a weekly radio program, and had begun…