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Recent Shows

Trane '62: The Classic Coltrane Quartet Begins

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In 1962 John Coltrane collaborated with Duke Ellington, recorded an all-ballads LP, and established the group now known as the Classic Quartet.

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Jazz From Monterey: 1966

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By 1966 the Monterey Jazz Festival was an established institution—but the decade’s winds of change were already starting to blow from the festival’s stage.

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Joni + Jazz: Joni Mitchell

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Joni Mitchell is well-known as the writer of radio hits such as “Both Sides Now” and “Help Me”, but she also formed connections with the jazz world, especially in the 1970s.

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Black, Brown And Beige: Duke Ellington's Historic Jazz Symphony

Duke Ellington Black Brown and Beige

A wartime concert, a Carnegie Hall debut, an epic work celebrating black history: the story of Duke Ellington's most ambitious work.

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Jazz Tonight With Steve Allen

Steve Allen Jazz

Steve Allen is remembered today as the founder of “The Tonight Show” and a lasting influence on late-night television. But he was also an important advocate for jazz in the 1950s.

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Caravan: Martial Solal, The Early Years

Steve Allen Jazz

"To French listeners and writers of the 1950s and 60s… Solal’s power was spectacular." Surveying the arrival of a modern jazz piano giant.

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Out Of The Shadows: Percy France

Percy France West End Cafe

Though he recorded with organists Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, when saxophonist Percy France died in 1992 he was primarily known and admired among a small circle of his fellow New York City jazz musicians. Now a new website aims to elevate his soulful tenor sound and story.

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The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby

Percy France West End Cafe

Ashby turned the harp into a swinging and dynamic instrument for jazz.

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Night Lights Blog

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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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

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

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