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Recent Shows

ECM: Birth Of A Label

Paul Motian album cover

In 1969 the 26-year-old German musician Manfred Eicher began what would become one of the world’s longest-running and most influential jazz labels, with a signature production approach that emphasized space and a roster of artists that included Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Chick Corea, and Gary Burton. 

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New Vibes: Gary Burton In The 1960s

Paul Motian album cover

A look at the productive and creatively diverse first decade of an NEA Jazz Master's career.

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Dear Martin, P.S.: More Jazz Tributes To Martin Luther King Jr.

Billy Taylor It's A Matter Of Pride

This sequel to a previous program of jazz salutes to the civil-rights icon includes music from Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach, and Herbie Hancock.

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Midcentury Maestros: Ralph Burns

Arranger Ralph Burns

Burns' writing built on the advances of arrangers and composers such as Duke Ellington and Eddie Sauter, infusing the 1940s swing-era sound with a rich and often subtle use of musical devices.

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A Night Lights Wonderland

Arranger Ralph Burns

Climb aboard the Night Lights jazz sleigh for a burst of holiday tidings from Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans and others as we celebrate the season.

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Jazz, Spiritually Speaking

Arranger Ralph Burns

Rooted in Christianity and African musical tradition, spirituals reflected life for slaves in a strange and terribly oppressive new world. They were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz.

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It's Jazz, Charlie Brown: The Vince Guaraldi Story

Arranger Ralph Burns

Vince Guaraldi's music is loved by millions of people around the world—forever associated with the TV version of a popular comic strip. Who was the man behind that music? Jazz critic Doug Ramsey, Peanuts producer Lee Mendelson, Guaraldi's son David and others join Night Lights this week for a musical exploration of Vince Guaraldi's jazz legacy.

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Kind Of Two: Miles Davis And Bill Evans

Miles Davis and Bill Evans

In 1958 trumpeter Miles Davis brought a new pianist named Bill Evans into his sextet who stayed only a few months, but whose influence helped spark one of the most artistically notable and commercially successful albums in the history of jazz.

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Night Lights Blog

A Family Tribute To Janiece Jaffe

Janiece Jaffe

Two of the late singer's children stopped by WFIU to discuss their mother's life and music.

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A Tribute To Janiece Jaffe 1958-2022

Janiece Jaffe

A musical and conversational remembrance of Bloomington singer Janiece Jaffe, who passed away on November 23, 2022 at 64. Jaffe friends and collaborators Dave Bruker, Peter Lerner, and David Miller discuss her life and legacy, and we hear some of Jaffe's concert and studio recordings as well.

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Anon, Anon: Michael Bourne, 1946-2022

Michael Bourne

Michael Bourne became a global name in the jazz community after starting his on-air job at WBGO-Newark at the end of 1984. This tribute celebrates his beginnings at WFIU-Bloomington, Indiana in the 1970s and early 80s, with remembrances from friends and fans, interview excerpts, and a rollicking 1976 performance at Bloomington's Bluebird nightclub with Michael on lead vocals.

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My Interview With Duke Ellington

Open Ended Interview promo record

... OK, that should be "interview." A virtual conversation, using a very analog-era practice, in which I chat with the Duke about his work on the film score for ANATOMY OF A MURDER.

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Best Historical Releases 2021

John Coltrane A Love Supreme Live In Seattle

Night Lights' annual roundup of notable archival releases and reissues.

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A Tribute To Dominic Spera

Dominic Spera

Indiana University jazz studies head Tom Walsh and vocalists Rachel Caswell and Janiece Jaffe joined David Brent Johnson on WFIU's "Just You And Me" to discuss Dominic Spera, the trumpeter and former IU jazz educator who passed away on Saturday, October 23 at the age of 89. Spera's music is featured as well.

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"Thomas Merton Experiments with Meditations on Jazz": A Poem And A Night Lights Program

Brilliant Corners Summer 2020

"The great chain of witnesses": a poem by Betsy Sholl in the new issue of Brilliant Corners drew its inspiration in part from a Night Lights show.

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