A couple of weeks ago Bernard Gordillo, who writes the WFIU early-music show Harmonia, mentioned a recent interest in Pannonica de Koenigswarter, also known as Nica, the Jazz Baroness, or simply the Baroness. The Baroness was a sort of jazz patron, a woman well-liked by the jazz musicians she befriended on the mid-20th-century New York bebop scene; she counted Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk among her closest companions from that community. As a wealthy white woman spending time…
Working for decades as a broadcaster for the Voice of America, Willis Conover was perhaps the most influential and widely-heard jazz DJ of the 20th century.
Here's an audio snapshot of Max Roach's career.
This weekend’s upcoming program, The Connection, takes a look at the music and movie version of Jack Gelber’s award-winning play about heroin addicts, a number of whom are jazz musicians. As a companion Night Lights program from our archives, check out Resolution: Jazz From Rehab, which features two early-1960s albums made by jazz musicians either in recovery or emphasizing…
On the Road, like many of Kerouac's other writings, celebrated and invoked the music of Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and many other jazz greats.
Let us now praise famous avises: Charlie Parker, born August 29, 1920. Parker’s been in the air a lot lately, what with the death of his bebop compatriot Max Roach. Like Billie Holiday, his art is still somehow strong enough to defy all of the categorization and commodification that’s been heaped onto it. A hipster saint he may be, but burn your candles for the hard grace of his music. Suggested Night Lights listening: our August 2005 At the Birth of Bop program…
In the 1940s and 50s the colorful, laidback radio personalities who helped introduce bebop and other new music to audiences inspired tributes from musicians.
Exploring the work of an unheralded jazz composer.
Jazz and recovery meet on two unique 1960s jazz albums.
Ring in 2016 with poets, jazz masters, and standup comics.