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Recent Shows

A Different Journey: Chico Hamilton In The 1960s

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Chico Hamilton had gained fame with a 1950s quintet often defined as “chamber jazz,” but at the dawn of the 1960s he began to head in a new artistic direction.

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Jukebox Jazz

Jazz Jukebox

Jazz is usually thought of as an album format, but once upon a time you could drop a coin into a slot and fill up a bar or restaurant with the sounds of artists such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Horace Silver spinning off a three-minute-long machine-operated platter.

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Glenn Miller Goes To War With The Army Air Force Band

Jazz Jukebox

Major Glenn Miller went missing over the English Channel in December 1944. For decades afterwards, much of his wartime orchestra's music went missing as well.

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Ornithology: A Brief History Of Charlie Parker

Twelve recordings that define one of the 20th century's greatest musicians, as we celebrate the Charlie Parker centennial on Night Lights.

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Making A New Kind Of Scene: New York City's Five Spot

David Amram New York City 1957

A small Bowery bar where John Coltrane came into his own with Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman stunned the jazz world with his quartet, and writers, painters, musicians and others formed an at-home underground community. Former Five Spot regulars David Amram and author Dan Wakefield join us.

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Lennie Tristano: The Jazz Guru

David Amram New York City 1957

Pianist Lennie Tristano was a singular and charismatic modernist and mentor whose methods helped point the way for the rise of jazz education.

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Swing That Music: Louis Armstrong In The Big Band Era

From the beginning of the 1930s to the mid-1940s, Louis Armstrong built on his early jazz mastery to become one of the most popular African-American entertainers in the world.

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Savoring The Savory Collection

Listening to the Savory set is like dial-hopping on a swing-age radio,

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Night Lights Blog

"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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Detroit Jazz Artists On Night Lights

Alice Coltrane Universal Consciousness

Explore some of the notable musicians who emerged from the 20th century Detroit jazz scene.

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"No Time Like Now": Music And Conversation With Vibraphonist Dick Sisto

dick sisto play xylophone

"Serious jazz musicians are into their music like it's a religion," says Sisto.

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A Day For Doris Day

Doris Day in 1946 at New York City’s Aquarium nightclub.

A tribute to Doris Day

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A Day For Doris Day

Doris Day in 1946 at New York City’s Aquarium nightclub.

A career-spanning musical tribute from WFIU's afternoon jazz program "Just You And Me."

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Playing Changes: Music And Conversation With Jazz Writer Nate Chinen

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Jazz critic Nate Chinen talks about his recent book "Playing Changes: Jazz For The New Century," and we hear music from some of the artists discussed as well.

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Read Him Madly: A Duke Ellington Bibliography

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Some Night Lights recommendations for reading about one of jazz's greatest figures, as well as some programs featuring his music.

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Mosaic Is Planning A Black and White Label Box Set

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Chronicling a West Coast record label of the 1940s.

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