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Recent Shows

Satchmo, Take Two: Louis Armstrong At The Movies

Louis Armstrong at the movies

Louis Armstrong was a legendary innovative trumpeter, a vocalist who had a profound impact on jazz singing, and a dynamic entertainer--and he got a chance to showcase all these aspects of his talent in 28 full-length films and several short features in which he appeared between 1931 and 1969.

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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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Charles McPherson's Post-Bird Bop

Paul Motian album cover

Alto saxophonist Charles McPherson spent much of his early career under the spell of jazz great Charlie Parker--but he fired the Parker sound with his own intense energy and expressive skills.

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The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby

Paul Motian album cover

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

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Nica's Tempo: More Hipsters, Flipsters, And On-The-Scenesters

Paul Motian album cover

Pannonica de Koenigswarter, aka Nica or “The Jazz Baroness,” was a friend to Thelonious Monk and other jazz artists and inspired a slew of musical tributes.

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To Be Somebody: Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott Relaxed Piano Moods

Pianist Hazel Scott was a prodigy who rose to fame in the 1940s, swinging classical compositions, appearing in Hollywood movies, and becoming the first African-American to host a TV show.

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The Last: Final Recordings Of Jazz Greats

Hazel Scott Relaxed Piano Moods

In the final months of their lives, jazz artists have sometimes made recordings of great power and poignancy. This edition of Night Lights features music from Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Clifford Brown, Stan Getz and more.

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The Jazz Message Of Yusef Lateef: The 1950s

Sounds Of Yusef Lateef LP

The first of a two-part centennial tribute to a musician who helped broaden the sound of modern jazz.

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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

david chinen

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

david chinen

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

david chinen

Chronicling a West Coast record label of the 1940s.

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