arts and culture

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"D" is for Dixon, Dorsey [1897-1968] and Howard Dixon [1903-1961]. Musicians. The Dixon Brothers, popular during the 1930s composed many original songs on diverse subjects, including the life and labor of textile workers. With Dorsey on guitar and Howard leading on steel guitar, their sound was more distinct than the traditional mandolin-guitar or twin-guitar duets. Their vocal harmony—albeit a bit rough—nonetheless had a style uniquely their own. All total they cut some 55 sides for Bluebird—many of which are extremely rare.

Milton Hinton with Cab Calloway.
Photographer unknown

Milt Hinton (1920 – 2000) was one of the world's legendary bass players. In a career that spanned eight decades, he played with just about everyone, from Cab Calloway to Ellington to Coltrane. He's often credited with bridging the gap from swing to modern jazz. In this 1991 session, Hinton "raps" his expansive resume, talks about his priceless collection of jazz photographs, and joins McPartland for "How High the Moon."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Nov 18, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Nov 20, 7 pm

Ruth Laredo
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

One of the premier classical pianists of her generation, Ruth Laredo (1937 – 2005) was known as America's First Lady of the Piano. In partnership with McPartland and Dick Hyman, Laredo produced wildly popular Three Piano Crossover Concerts, exploring the boundaries between classical music and jazz. In this 2004 Piano Jazz session, Laredo and McPartland continue their genre-bending excursions, juxtaposing Chopin with Jobim, and Scriabin with "Stella by Starlight."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Nov 11, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Nov 13, 7 pm

D.W. Griffith, director (1923)
Library of Congress

How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.

"There is no season..."

Oct 30, 2017
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Matthew Brady/Library of Congress [Public Domain]
Teri Thornton
Kwaku Alston

Piano Jazz remembers vocalist and pianist Teri Thornton (1934 – 2000), who lost her battle with cancer in the year after this 1999 session. Thornton first wowed audiences in 1963 with her hit recording of "Somewhere in the Night" from the television series Naked City. Her comeback to the jazz world was highlighted in 1998 when she won the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. On this Piano Jazz, she and McPartland team up for an unforgettable "I'll Be Seeing You." Thornton performs her signature song, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."

Makota Ozone
Courtesy of the artist

In 1984 when pianist Makoto Ozone was McPartland's guest for the first time, he had become known as a rising jazz star. In his early 20s he was already a master technician with many keyboard influences, including Oscar Peterson, but he first heard jazz from his father at home in Kobe, Japan. In this session he displays his powerful, hard-driving style, soloing on "Love for Sale" and "Here's that Rainy Day." Then Ozone joins McPartland for swinging duets on "Everything Happens to Me" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

A statue of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie outside his family home in Cheraw, SC.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Events are underway this week in the Chesterfield County town of Cheraw for the S.C. Jazz Festival.  This year's festival, the 12th annual Jazz Festival, has special significance because on October 21, 1917 jazz great Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw.   Although Gillespie died in 1993 at age 75, his musical legacy endures.

Veteran jazz performer, and professor of music at Lander University Dr. Robert Gardiner says Dizzy Gillespie was perhaps the greatest trumpet player ever.

"Woodbines in October"

Oct 16, 2017
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares poems by Charlotte Fiske Bates, "Woodbines in October," and "

Anat Fort
Courtesy of the artist

Israeli-born pianist, composer, and arranger Anat Fort is classically trained but is also well-studied in jazz improvisation. A prolific composer, her musical worlds come together in elegant and often intense tunes, and she has been commissioned to write work for both orchestra and jazz settings. In this 2007 Piano Jazz session, Fort performs her originals, including "Just Now" and "Something about Camels," before joining McPartland on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 21, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 22, 7 pm

McCoy Tyner
Courtesy of the artist

McCoy Tyner is an inventive composer and pianist, perhaps best known for creating the lavish harmonies and percussive piano lines heard on some of John Coltrane's most famous recordings. He also has had a successful career as a leader with his own McCoy Tyner Trio. On this 1983 edition of Piano Jazz, Tyner puts his prodigious technique to work on "Lazy Bird," and McPartland gets on board for a driving duet of "Take the A Train."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 14, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 15, 7 pm

Holly Hofmann
Courtesy of the artist

Classically trained flutist Holly Hoffman was influenced by her father, a fine jazz guitarist. At age five, she chose the flute because she could carry it to play music with him. Hoffman has taken the flute from the orchestra to the jazz stand, making her mark with a bluesy style all her own. In this session from 2002, bassist Darek Oles joins McPartland and Hoffman to perform a set including "You and the Night and the Music" and "Bohemia After Dark."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 07, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 08, 7 pm

Tony Caramia
SUNY

Tony Caramia is a world-class pianist and educator, currently teaching at the Eastman School of Music, where he is Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies and Coordinator of the Class Piano Program. Caramia is skilled in both classical and jazz, but has an affinity for ragtime, with a particular interest in British composer and pianist Billy Mayerl. McPartland got her start in the music business when she joined Mayerl’s piano quartet in England in the late 1930s. On this 2003 Piano Jazz, Caramia plays a famous Mayerl melody, “Marigold.”

Wesley Bocxe got his break in photojournalism covering a devastating 1985 earthquake in Mexico, which killed an estimated 10,000 people.

Exactly 32 years later, on Sept. 19, another massive earthquake struck Mexico. And this time, it toppled his home, leaving Bocxe seriously injured and killing his wife, Elizabeth Esguerra Rosas.

Olivier Boitet/The Associated Press 

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.

“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie about him made with Jeremy Irons called 'M. Butterfly.'"

“My wife looked at me, her jaw dropped.”

Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas/Facebook

  A composer, improviser, and trumpeter, Dave Douglas develops music that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. In 2000, when he was McParland's guest, he was named JazzTimes magazine's "Artist of the Year." On this Piano Jazz, Douglas talks about his album Soul on Soul, his stunning tribute to Mary Lou Williams. He and McPartland share their love for Williams' music with their rendition of "Cloudy." Bassist James Genus joins them to perform another Williams tune, "Scratchin' in the Gravel."

Veronica Nunn
Wyatt Counts/veronicanunn.com

Vocalist Veronica Nunn grew up in Little Rock, AR, absorbing all kinds of music, from jazz to funk to gospel. When she moved to New York in 1978, she split her time between Harlem’s jazz clubs and the Theology Department at Lehman College. On this 2008 Piano Jazz, Nunn is accompanied by her husband, pianist Travis Shook. She demonstrates her soulful technique on "One Note Samba" as well as "I'm Old Fashioned."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 16, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 17, 7 pm

Ernie Andrews (left) and Dexter Gordon at KJAZ radio, Alameda CA December 1980.
Brian McMillen [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Vocalist Ernie Andrews is a musician known for his tremendous vitality and ability to communicate that stems from his gospel roots. Influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, and Johnny Mercer, Andrews’ own special style is a mix of energy, drama, and humor. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, McPartland accompanies him as he sings "The More I See You" and "From This Moment On." McPartland then performs a Strayhorn tune, "Bloodcount."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 09, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 10, 7 pm

Dr. Scott Weiss was recently appointed interim conductor of the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Scott, who will continue to conduct the university’s Wind Ensemble and teach graduate conducting courses, shares about the ensembles’ upcoming seasons and his outlook on teaching in this interview with SCPR’s Bradley Fuller which aired on Wednesday, August 30th. 

Lee Konitz at Regattabar
Upsilon Andromedae [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A former member of the Miles Davis "Famous Nonet," Lee Konitz is the foremost saxophonist in the cool style of jazz. He is also a composer, arranger, and teacher. While his very first instrument was a clarinet, he favored tenor sax and made his way to alto. What’s more, he plays the piano! On this 1992 Piano Jazz, Konitz and McPartland combine forces for a version of "Like Someone In Love."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 02, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 03, 7 pm

Patrice Rushen
Courtesy of the Artist

  A popular vocalist whose talent ranges from jazz to soul to R&B, Patrice Rushen is also a songwriter, arranger, and master keyboardist. She has performed with and produced for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Nancy Wilson, Michael Jackson, and Dianne Reeves, and she has played at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals. On this 1987 Piano Jazz, Rushen demonstrates her talents with "Ocean Song." McPartland responds with "What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?"

  Award-winning pianist and vocalist Lenore Raphael has emerged as one of the most promising musicians in modern mainstream jazz. Influenced by such jazz greats as Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, and Thelonious Monk, Raphael has developed her own swinging style. On this 2002 edition of Piano Jazz, she brings her creative ideas to the tune “I’m Old Fashioned.” McPartland joins Raphael to end the hour with “Blue Monk.”

News Stations: Sat, Aug 19, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Aug 20, 7 pm

Jack DeJohnette
Courtesy of the Artist

  Jack DeJohnette got his start on the piano as a child, but he took up the drums at eighteen and went on to become one of the most inventive and important drummers in modern jazz history. He’s provided rhythm for greats such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Keith Jarrett. In this 1993 Piano Jazz session, DeJohnette shares the story behind the real "Freddy the Freeloader." McPartland and bassist Christian McBride join in for a jam on the McPartland original "Ambiance."

"S" is for Sayers, Valerie [b. 1952]. Author. Sayers grew up in Beaufort. She earned her MFA at Columbia University. In 1993 she joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame where she became directors of the masters in fine arts program. Sayers is the author of five novels and several short stories. Her first novel, Due East serves as an anchor for her other four novels. Due East is the name Sayers gives to the thinly disguised Beaufort of her youth and adolescence.

Daniela Schaechter
Courtesy of the Artist

In 2005, Sicilian pianist Daniela Schaechter won the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz competition. Ever devoted to the next generation of female jazz musicians, McPartland wasted no time in having Schaechter on this 2006 show. Schaechter's opening tune, an original called "Thinking of You," hints at her classical training while confirming her fondness for jazz masters like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. She and McPartland wrap the hour with a duet of Cole Porter's "I Love You."

News Stations: Sat, Aug 05, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Aug 06, 7 pm

Columbia Rock-n-Roll Camp Puts Girls in the Spotlight

Jul 25, 2017
Girls Rock Columbia Founder and Executive Director, Mollie Williamson
Laura Hunsberger/SC Public Radio

With participants across the country and world, the Girls Rock Camp Alliance is made up of organizations that hold annual camps to empower girls through rock music. In each week-long day camp, kids are assigned a musical instrument: bass, electric guitar, drums, key board, or vocals. Many campers have never picked up a musical instrument before. Mollie Williamson is the founder and executive director of Girls Rock Columbia. This will be Williamson's last camp as she steps down as executive director to pursue her Master's degree out of state.

As the swinging pianist in the Quincy Jones Orchestra, Patti Bown (1931 – 2008) kept the music moving. In honor of her July 26 birthday, Piano Jazz remembers Bown with this encore from the early years of the program. Bown joins host McPartland to talk about the role of women in jazz. She presents her rendition of Coltrane's "Giant Steps" and shares her Swahili love song, "Oh My Darling, How I Love You."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 29, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 30, 7 pm

West Fraser
westfraserstudio.com

(Originally Broadcast 04/07/17) - Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West Fraser (2016, USC Press) is a collection of the works of one of the nation's most respected painters of representational art. A mastery of his medium and the scope of work ensure his place in Southern art history. A true son of the Lowcountry, Fraser has dedicated much of his career to capturing the lush, primordial beauty of the Southeast's coastal regions that have been altered by man and time.

Cassandra King
Courtesy of the Author

(Originally broadcast 03/17/17) - In the Fall of 2016, the Newberry Opera House, in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center, presented a special night in honor of the late author, Pat Conroy. The evening featured Conroy's widow and fellow novelist Cassandra King interviewed by Walter Edgar, and was presented in benefit of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Jackie King, Willie Nelson, and Marian McPartland
SCETV

Country music legend Willie Nelson and jazz guitarist Jackie King (1945 – 2016) performed and recorded together for decades. They were McPartland's guests for this unforgettable 2002 Piano Jazz. Songs include standards like "The Nearness of You" and Nelson's classic ballad, "Crazy," plus a few selections from Nelson and King's collaboration from 2000, with "The Gypsy" and "Heart of a Clown."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 22, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 23, 7 pm

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