arts and culture

Oscar Peterson and Marian McPartland

Jul 13, 2018
Marian McPartland and Oscar Peterson, New York City, 1980
Raymond Hillstrom

Pianist Oscar Peterson (1925–2007) grew up in Montreal, Quebec, where his parents started him with piano lessons as a child. At only fourteen years old, he won a talent contest that landed him on Canada’s national radio network, CBC. After moving to the United States in 1949, he connected with fellow jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie and became a favorite musical partner for everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Herbie Hancock. In this Piano Jazz session from 1980, Peterson demonstrates his legendary technique for McPartland.

Stefon Harris and Marian McPartland

Jul 12, 2018
Marian McPartland and Stefon Harris, New York, 2002
RJ Capak

Vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris has propelled himself to the forefront of the jazz scene over the last two decades, with his career as an educator and performer in full swing. Harris grew up studying and playing classical music, but when he discovered the music of Charlie Parker in college, he decided to pursue jazz.

Barbara Carroll and Marian McPartland

Jul 11, 2018
Marian McPartland and Barbara Carroll, 1991
RJ Capak

Pianist and vocalist Barbara Carroll (1925 – 2017) was a celebrated musician who performed and recorded prolifically over seven decades. After moving to New York in 1947, Carroll launched her career as one of the first female bebop players. For a remarkable 25 years, she played at Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, securing her place in the hearts of Manhattan jazz lovers. On this 1991 Piano Jazz, McPartland exclaims that the two are “survivors of this thing,” in regard to their extensive careers as women musicians.

Charlie Watts and Tim Ries with Marian McPartland

Jul 10, 2018
Marian McPartland with Charlie Watts (drums) and Tim Ries (saxophone), New York, 2006
RJ Capak

Drummer Charlie Watts has been a member of the Rolling Stones for more than five decades. A rock-and-roll icon, Watts started out in the early 60s playing jazz clubs in England. Tim Ries is an accomplished composer, arranger and educator, and he performs on the saxophone both as a sideman and as a soloist. In 2005 he released The Rolling Stones Project, which includes Ries’ interpretations of classic Rolling Stones songs. In Piano Jazz session from 2006, Watt and Ries team up with McPartland to play their own jazz rendition of “Honky Honk Woman.”

Dave Brubeck and Marian McPartland

Jul 9, 2018
Marian McPartland with Dave Brubeck, 1984
Vanguard Photography

Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck (1920 – 2012) went beyond the constraints of traditional popular music with his emphasis on polytonality as well as improvised classical counterpoint. Brubeck’s career took off with the debut of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951, and until his death at age 91, the visionary composer never slowed down. From “Take Five” to “In Your Own Sweet Way,” many of Brubeck’s compositions became part of the standard jazz repertoire.

Ellen Seeling, Jean Fineberg, Allison Miller, and Marian McPartland

Jul 5, 2018
Ellen Seeling (Trumpet), Marian McPartland, Jean Fineberg (Saxophone) and Allison Miller (Drums), New York City, 2006
RJ Capak

Trumpeter Ellen Seeling grew up surrounded by music. As a child she was torn between the drums and the violin, but her father’s love for jazz trumpet eventually led her to the instrument. The first woman to receive a degree in jazz studies from Indiana University, she moved to New York City in 1975, where her career blossomed. Seeling founded the Montclair Women’s Big Band and has been performing with the group for more than twenty years. On this 2007 Piano Jazz, two of Seeling’s bandmates join her to perform her original composition “Chevere.”

Dudley Moore and Marian McPartland

Jul 3, 2018
Marian McPartland and Dudley Moore, New York, 1983
Vanguard Photography

Dudley Moore (1935 – 2002) was a multitalented entertainer who possessed the abilities to sing, act, compose, and play piano. Moore made his debut in 1965 in comedy sketches with actor Peter Cook before he made his transition into film acting. During his career on screen, Moore fueled his passion for music by writing film scores. In this Piano Jazz from 1983, Moore tells McPartland that Erroll Garner was his earliest and strongest influence, and Garner-inspired themes can be heard when the two improvise on a completely free piece.

Ray Charles and Marian McPartland

Jul 2, 2018
Marian McPartland with Ray Charles, Los Angeles, 1991
Vanguard Photography

Ray Charles (1930 – 2004) is often credited as one of the key developers of modern soul music. Charles cited Nat King Cole as his primary influence and inspiration, and by drawing from rock, jazz, country and gospel, the legendary artist created his unique and much-loved sound. In 1951 Charles rocked the charts with his first R&B hit single, “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand,” launching a career that spanned more than half a century. On this Piano Jazz from 1991, McPartland asks Charles to join her for a spontaneous blues. The two name the tune “Ray and Marian’s Blues.”

Shari Hutchinson and Marian McPartland

Jun 29, 2018
Marian McPartland and Shari Hutchinson, London Bridge, 1991
SCETV

Producer Shari Hutchinson worked with Marian McPartland for more than three decades, overseeing the run of the series from the early years. When asked about her time spent with the legendary pianist, she said: “I learned so much from her about life and music.” For the 15th season of Piano Jazz, the program traveled to London to record at the BBC. Hutchinson shared how Marian showed her around the city, making stops for such experiences as traditional high tea, and the pair paid a visit to the London Bridge.

Diana Krall and Marian McPartland

Jun 28, 2018
Marian McPartland with Diana Krall, New York City, 1994
RJ Capak

Grammy-award winning artist Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late 90s and within a few years became one of the best-selling jazz artists of her time. After having reached out to Marian for mentorship as a teenager, Krall was just kicking off her career when she was a guest on this 1995 Piano Jazz. She tells McPartland how she got her start by singing and playing with her grandmother. The two have fun with a few duets, and McPartland accompanies Krall on the timeless standard “Body and Soul.”

Bill Evans and Marian McPartland

Jun 27, 2018
Marian McPartland with Bill Evans, New York, 1979
SCETV, with thanks to Brian Dressler Photography

Bill Evans (1929 – 1980) left his mark on the jazz world through his innovative interpretations of the classic jazz repertoire. He got his first taste of jazz through boogie-woogie and blues, and it didn’t take long for his style to grow into the impressionistic sound he is known for today. The renowned musician is credited for having had two great trios, which featured incredible improvisation between members. In this 1979 Piano Jazz, Evans shows his love for solo piano when he plays a rare Ellington piece called “Reflections in D.”

Valerie Capers and Marian McPartland

Jun 26, 2018
Marian McPartland with Valerie Capers, 1983
SCETV

Pianist and composer Dr. Valerie Capers is a gifted performer as well as an award-winning jazz educator. Her family encouraged her interest in music throughout her childhood, and she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Julliard School of Music—the first blind person to ever do so. In this 1983 Piano Jazz session, her first appearance on the show, Capers tells McPartland that she didn’t decide to pursue jazz until later in her life. She demonstrates her skill on Ellington’s classic “Lush Life.”

Clint Eastwood and Marian McPartland

Jun 25, 2018
Marian McPartland with Clint Eastwood, Manhattan Beach Studios, New York City, 2003
RJ Capak

Clint Eastwood is widely recognized for his work in the movie industry, but not many people are aware of his passion for jazz. Eastwood has combined his love of the two art forms by purposely including classic jazz compositions in several of his films, particularly in his 1988 motion picture Bird, which features original Charlie Parker recordings. Although he calls himself an aficionado of piano players rather than a pianist himself, Eastwood flies through a blues improvisation with McPartland in this 2004 Piano Jazz session.

Mel Tormé and Marian McPartland

Jun 21, 2018
Marian McPartland with Mel Tormé, 1992
Vanguard

Mel Tormé (1925 – 1999) was a supreme entertainer who worked steadily at his craft for more than half a century, beginning in the 1940s with his hit “Careless Hands.” Tormé was an expert vocalist who contributed several originals to the Great American Songbook. McPartland calls the prolific songwriter “the man of all parts,” considering that the star was also a drummer, pianist, arranger, author, and actor.

Sumi Tonooka and Marian McPartland

Jun 20, 2018
Marian McPartland with Sumi Tonooka, 1992
RJ Capak

Composer and pianist Sumi Tonooka caught the jazz bug at a young age as she listened to her mother’s classic records at home. Early on in her dynamic career, Tonooka studied with giant Mary Lou Williams and she credits much of her style and technique to the prolific composer. In 1985 Tonooka was commissioned by the Japanese American Cultural Association to compose a piece about her mother’s experiences in one of the World War II internment camps, Manzanar.

Les Paul, Marian McPartland, Paul Nowinski and Lou Pallo

Jun 18, 2018
Marian McPartland sits next to guitarist Les Paul, with bassist Paul Nowinski and guitarist Lou Pallo, Avatar Recording Studios, New York, 1999
RJ Capak

Virtuoso guitarist and innovator Les Paul (1915 – 2009) was a supreme contributor to the music world as he is the creator of one of the first electric guitars as well as early multitrack recording technology. He kicked off his career as a country star in the 1920s under the pseudonyms Hot Rod Red and later Rhubarb Red, all the while sitting in with jazz greats Earl Hines and Coleman Hawkins on the side. In this 1999 Piano Jazz session, Paul tells McPartland that he was “torn between jazz and country” and ultimately chose jazz.

Eubie Blake and Marian McPartland

Jun 15, 2018
Marian McPartland with Eubie Blake, New York City, 1979
Karen Mantlo

As one of the last original ragtime pianists, James Herbert “Eubie” Blake (1883 – 1983) was a must-have guest for Piano Jazz in this early session from 1980. Demonstrating his iconic composition “Charleston Rag,” Blake shows that he kept his technique sharp well into his late nineties. Blake tells McPartland how he maintained his chops with two hours of practice a day, and he continued to record and perform until his last professional appearance in 1982, one week before his 99th birthday.

Norah Jones and Marian McPartland

Jun 13, 2018
Marian McPartland and Norah Jones, Manhattan Beach Studios, NYC, 2002
RJ Capak

Vocalist Norah Jones possesses a style that reaches every musical realm, branching out to country, folk, blues and pop. In 2002 the young artist took the jazz scene by storm with the release of her debut album, Come Away with Me. The critically acclaimed record earned five Grammy Awards and resulted in extensive touring. In this 2003 Piano Jazz session, McPartland accompanies Jones as she sings “Don’t Know Why,” which reached number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, earning the status of a new standard.

Jimmy McPartland and Marian McPartland

May 22, 2018
 Jimmy McPartland and Marian McPartland, 1989
Ebet Roberts

In this 1989 session, jazz cornetist Jimmy McPartland (1907 – 1991) treats listeners to a firsthand account of his outstanding musical career. Marian McPartland introduces him as “a gentleman I know quite well,” and their longtime relationship speaks for itself as they reminisce about the early days. Married after meeting in Belgium during World War II, Jimmy was in part responsible for introducing a pianist then known as Marian Margaret Turner to the American jazz scene.

In Honor of Marian McPartland

May 21, 2018
Marian McPartland, host of "Piano Jazz," in 2000.
Elizabeth Annas

In the spring of 2018, South Carolina Public Radio unveiled an exhibit of photos taken during recording session for Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. This year marks the centennial of host Marian McPartland (March 20, 1918 - August 20, 2013) and in her honor we present a series of 40+ minicasts (mini-podcasts) that capture the essence of the program and correspond with the photos on display.

Harry "Sweets" Edison
Lionel DeCoster [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Harry "Sweets" Edison (1915 – 1999) was a legendary stylist of jazz trumpet. From his days as a soloist in the Count Basie Band to his time as a studio musician for the likes of Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald, he was known for the sweet, muted tones that were his namesake. On this Piano Jazz, originally broadcast just months before he passed away in 1999, Edison joins McPartland and bassist Andy Simpkins for “Dejection Blues” and “No Greater Love,” along with one of his originals, “Centerpiece.”

Narrative: Turning Up All the Stones

May 9, 2018
Brooke Howard and Barbara Howard, Columbia 2016
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project where friends and loved ones interview each other. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Columbia in 2016, Barbara Howard spoke with her daughter, Brooke Howard, about her late husband, James William Howard, who was a "one in a million" father to Brooke and her siblings. Here, Brooke asks her mom to share some memories from the early years in their relationship.

Virginia Mayhew
centerstage.conn-selmer.com

Saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Virginia Mayhew has appeared in major New York jazz venues, from the Blue Note to Carnegie Hall, toured internationally, and twice represented the US as a Jazz Ambassador. She is also an active jazz educator and founded the Greenwich House Music School Jazz Workshop. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, Mayhew and McPartland join forces to perform “All the Things You Are” and “Body and Soul.” They close the hour with a free piece, improvised live in the studio.

For conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky, keeping younger audiences engaged in the world of classical music doesn’t require a complete overhaul so much as a repackaging.

“We don’t need to change the repertoire. We don’t need to change the music itself,” Suzanna says. “But we need to come up with some sort of idea to keep the younger generations more active.”

Don Friedman
donfriedman.net

In honor of the birthday of Don Friedman (May 4, 1935 – June 30, 2016), Piano Jazz presents this broadcast from 1996. Although Friedman first studied classical piano, he fell in love with the voice of jazz and performed with jazz greats such as Chet Baker and Buddy DeFranco. In this session, Friedman demonstrates his unique sound on a solo of his “Waltz for Marilyn.” He and McPartland duet in “Stella by Starlight,” and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi joins for “How Deep is the Ocean.”

News & Talk Stations: Sat, May 05, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, May 06, 7 pm

Eliane Elias
elianeelias.com

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Elaine Elias grew up with an affinity for both the music of her home country as well as American jazz. She got her start performing with two renowned Brazilian artists, singer-songwriter Toquinho and poet Vinicius de Moraes, before moving to New York in the 1980s, where she took the American jazz scene by storm. She was McPartland’s guest for the first time in this 1988 Piano Jazz session. Elias plays a beautiful arrangement of “Darn that Dream” and teams up with McPartland for “Falling in Love with Love.”

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some words from "the poet."

A.T. Shire, SC Public Radio

When the celebrated maker of string instruments Antonio Stradivari put the finishing touches on the violin now known as the Ex-Nachez, Bach and Handel were barely into their toddler years and the invention of the piano was still more than a decade away. 

The rare violin has passed through the hands of many an owner and virtuoso performer since that time, but, as Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra can attest, the instrument is still in excellent playing condition.

Narrative: "Oh, Those Were Yummy Days!"

Apr 10, 2018
Ann Edwards and Thomas Edwards, Columbia 2016
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project that collects the voices of our times. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Columbia in 2016, Thomas and Ann Edwards sat down to talk about their marriage and the family they made together over 50 years. They both grew up in South Carolina, and here Ann and Thomas remember childhood in the 1950s and their own grandparents.

Narrative: "It Was Like We Hit Lightning in a Bottle"

Mar 27, 2018
Hippie Torrales, Columbia 2018
South Carolina Public Radio

This edition of Narrative features an interview with Columbia resident Hippie Torrales, who came of age in New Jersey with the dream of becoming a professional DJ. By age 20 he was mainstay of the New Jersey club scene, opening one of the biggest clubs of the era, Zanzibar. Here, Hippie explains how he and his contemporaries became the innovators of a new musical style in the 1980s.

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