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Recent Shows

First Fusion: Jazz-Rock Before Bitches Brew

First Fusion Jazz Rock before Bitches Brew

In the late 1960s, young musicians such as The Free Spirits, the Fourth Way, and other now-forgotten fusioneers made the first attempts to blend jazz with rock.

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Boppin' On Savoy: Bebop And Savoy Records In The Late 1940s

First Fusion Jazz Rock before Bitches Brew

On fire in the late Forties: one label's contribution to a sea-change in jazz.

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Jazz Scene San Francisco

First Fusion Jazz Rock before Bitches Brew

Long before it was a center of the psychedelic counterculture and its attendant rock groups, San Francisco was a West Coast haven for the development of jazz.

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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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Our Delight: The Music Of Tadd Dameron

Arranger Ralph Burns

Exploring the life and compositions of "the architect of bop."

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Jazz Mission Possible: Lalo Schifrin's Early Years

lalo schifrin on an album cover

Lalo Schifrin is best known for his “Mission: Impossible” theme and numerous other film scores, but the pianist and composer first emerged from mid-20th century Argentina as a jazz artist, working with Dizzy Gillespie and recording under his own name as well.

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Dolphy '63

lalo schifrin on an album cover

Often described by his peers as a "saint," Dolphy was a multi-instrumentalist and musical seeker whose legacy rests on recordings made in the last four years of his life.

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Porgy And Bess: The 1950s Jazz Revival

Jazz Soul Porgy And Bess

Spurred on by new theatrical productions and a forthcoming movie, jazz artists in the 1950s such as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and Oscar Peterson recorded albums of the music from George and Ira Gershwin’s 1935 folk opera.

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Night Lights Blog

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

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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