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In 1952 bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach formed their own record company, in an attempt to assert creative and entrepreneurial control over their music. Read More »
Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and Wynton Marsalis all undertook a weighty artistic task-to represent the historical journey of African-Americans in music. Historian Michael McGerr joins the program as we play music from all four composers' extended works and talk about their place in jazz history.
Billy Taylor was a jazz pianist, educator, broadcaster, composer of a civil rights anthem, and the man who dubbed jazz “America’s classical music.”
Mel Powell was still a teenager when he joined one of America’s most popular big bands on the cusp of World War II, launching a brief but notable jazz career as a pianist, composer and arranger, before going on to devote most of his life to classical music.
From Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" to John Coltrane's A LOVE SUPREME, from the impact of the Beatles to the avant-garde's October revolution, a notable year.
Trombonist J.J. Johnson was a bebop pioneer on his instrument, a leader of many outstanding small-group hardbop dates, and a notable composer as well whose works sometimes ventured into the Third Stream meeting ground of classical and jazz.
Exploring the convergence of jazz and the civil-rights movement in Max Roach's career during a turbulent decade.
At the end of the 1930s jazz impresario John Hammond organized two concerts that showcased African-American music in a prestigious New York City concert hall.
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.
Two of the late singer's children stopped by WFIU to discuss their mother's life and music.
A musical and conversational remembrance of Bloomington singer Janiece Jaffe, who passed away on November 23, 2022 at 64. Jaffe friends and collaborators Dave Bruker, Peter Lerner, and David Miller discuss her life and legacy, and we hear some of Jaffe's concert and studio recordings as well.
More classic jazz sets on the way from Mosaic Records.
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.
... 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.
Night Lights' annual roundup of notable archival releases and reissues.
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.
"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.