Billy Taylor was a jazz pianist, educator, broadcaster, composer of a civil rights anthem, and the man who dubbed jazz “America’s classical music.”
Mary Osborne started out as a little girl playing violin and guitar on the radio in Depression-era Minot, North Dakota, and listening to jazz broadcasts coming far across the prairie to her from Chicago…then one night she went to a club and heard Charlie Christian play, and her path as a muscian was set.
Sonny Clark was a young pianist with an already-impressive jazz legacy when he began a year-long string of classic hardbop recordings that ended suddenly with his death at the age of 31.
A centennial celebration of the American maestro's relationship with jazz.
Though it received middling reviews, the 1963 concert series included the festival debuts of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, the rollout of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Dizzy For President” campaign, one of jazz legend Jack Teagarden’s last appearances, and a tribute from the Modern Jazz Quartet to Martin Luther King Jr.
How a photographer captured a creative corner of mid-20th-century American culture in images and in sound.
In the early 1950s drummer Shelly Manne settled in California and began a remarkable run of recordings that included experimental jazz, popular interpretations of Broadway scores, music for the TV crime show Peter Gunn, one of avant-garde icon Ornette Coleman’s first albums, and charged live performances at San Francisco’s Black Hawk club.
In the mid-1960s pianist Ahmad Jamal returned to the music scene after a three-year hiatus and formed a new trio that would eventually make an album now considered to be a jazz piano masterpiece.
"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.
Explore some of the notable musicians who emerged from the 20th century Detroit jazz scene.
"Serious jazz musicians are into their music like it's a religion," says Sisto.
A career-spanning musical tribute from WFIU's afternoon jazz program "Just You And Me."
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.
Some Night Lights recommendations for reading about one of jazz's greatest figures, as well as some programs featuring his music.
Chronicling a West Coast record label of the 1940s.