January 9 & 10, 2016: The Father of Stride
Today’s finest pianists pay tribute to the Father of Stride Piano -- James P. Johnson. We’ll dig into the James P. Collection in Newark, New Jersey and then head to Dizzy’s for some solo piano from Aaron Diehl, Ethan Iverson, Marc Cary, ELEW and many others at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
January 16 & 17, 2016: Rebroadcast: Celebrating Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who would have been 80 this year, was a boundary-pushing virtuoso on multiple wind instruments (sometimes at once). It certainly rubbed off on Steve Turre, who apprenticed with Kirk in the 1970s. Turre has become a monster player himself, and also specializes in multiple horns — both the trombone and the conch shell. Jazz Night In America follows Turre to Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he's assembled a monster lineup to celebrate one of his major influences
January 28 & 29, 2016– Rebroadcast: Here's Johnny!
Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage. Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.
February 6 & 7, 2016: DC Jazz Loft Trios (Radio + Video)
Jazz has its capital cities: major gathering places like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. But the music manages to live plenty well in many other places too. What goes into those smaller ecosystems to enable jazz to thrive? How do talented musicians make it happen? In search of some answers, we sought out the DIY concert producers of Capitalbop in Washington, D.C. as they presented three musicians from the Baltimore-Washington metropolis. Jazz Night In America presents highlights from CapitalBop's warehouse loft stage at the 2015 DC Jazz Festival, featuring three trios led by vibraphonist Warren Wolf, bassist Kris Funn, and alto saxophonist Gary Thomas.
February 13 & 14, 2016: Christian McBride's The Movement Revisited (Radio + Video)
Our host Christian McBride happens to be a rather talented bassist and composer, but he told us not to feature him unless it was something special. It so happens that he’s written a special work: a bluesy and soulful oratorio for jazz big band, gospel choir and soloists, and four speakers representing great figures of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s called The Movement Revisited, and is inspired by the words of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr. Jazz Night In America follows McBride around his own hometown of Philadelphia, speaking with the people who raised him at home and in the music, and featuring a performance of The Movement Revisited from the Kimmel Center in downtown Philly.
February 20 & 21, 2016: ELEW Goes Trio (Radio + Video)
Eric Lewis’ career has circulated both in and out of jazz circles. Performing under his given name, he was an up-and-coming pianist who performed in the bands of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. As his career progressed – or didn’t – he found that a lot of contemporary rock music also spoke to what he wanted to do. So performing under the name ELEW, he devised a new theatrical, high-energy style of playing solo piano called rockjazz, and it took him to TED Conferences, national tours, America’s Got Talent and the White House. Now he’s set to translate his vision to the jazz trio format, planning a recording with some major players. Jazz Night In America follows ELEW to the studio, and to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where his burning band includes Reginald Veal on bass and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums.
February 27 & 28, 2016: Rebroadcast - Up And Down The Mississippi With Bill Frisell (Radio)
The story of the music that came out of the Mississippi Delta and traveled up the river to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, and way beyond is the story of at least the last century of American music. The versatile guitarist Bill Frisell knows this: At Jazz at Lincoln Center, he leads a set spanning New Orleans to the Delta, Bob Dylan to Bix Beiderbecke. In this episode of Jazz Night in America, he’s joined by saxophonist Greg Osby, pianist Craig Taborn, and drummer Rudy Royston, embarking on a musical journey along the revered Route 61.
March 5 & 6, 2016: Snarky Puppy In Big D (Radio + Video)
The jazz-fusion stars of Snarky Puppy have toured and recorded all over the world; they’ve won a Grammy Award and were just nominated again. But their spiritual home is still Dallas, Texas. It’s where they’d take in gospel performances in area churches; it’s near where they met at music school at the University of North Texas in Denton. As bassist and bandleader Michael League explains, you can hear all those collisions in the funk of their grooves. Jazz Night in America meets up with League for an exclusive conversation about his compositional process – and witnesses its execution in a live hometown concert at The Prophet Bar in Dallas.