For immediate release
December 6, 1999

NPR Riffs in the New Year 2000 With a Coast-to-Coast Jazz Extravaganza

[Washington, DC] -- On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999, NPR® joins jazz all-stars Dr. Billy Taylor, Marlena Shaw, Terence Blanchard, the Mingus Millennium Band, Nicholas Payton, and Steve Turre to welcome the millennium live on "Century to Century: AT&T's Year 2000 Jazz Party from JazzSet and NPR." The festivities continue from 8pm-6am EST with stops in Washington DC, New York, New Orleans, and Oakland. [Please consult NPR member station or NPR Online, www.npr.org/members to confirm regional broadcasts and airtimes].

Hosted live from NPR Jazz Central by Rhonda Hamilton and Michael Bourne of WBGO-FM, the "Century to Century" jazz program criss-crosses the nation to ring in the New Year 2000 in multiple time zones. At the first stop: live in concert from the Kennedy Center, pianist and NPR jazz host Dr. Billy Taylor introduces a stellar line up-blues vocalist Marlena Shaw, trumpeter and film scorer Terence Blanchard, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitarist Russell Malone, and tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.

From New York, the specially assembled Mingus Millennium Band rings in the New Year from the Granite Room in the City Hall restaurant. Members of the award-winning Mingus Big Band will celebrate their namesake, 20th century composer and jazz giant Charles Mingus, with a unique concert. The next concert stop of the evening is New Orleans, which showcases native son and trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who opens the Louis Armstrong Centennial from the Jazz Parlor Room of the Storyville District. T

he "Century to Century" jazz broadcast greets midnight PST at Yoshi's in Oakland, California with trombonist and "Saturday Night Live" band member Steve Turre. Turre and his Sanctified Shells, joined by trumpeter Jon Faddis and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, mark the stroke of midnight on the West Coast with Sanders' "The Creator Has a Master Plan."

"Century to Century: AT&T's Year 2000 Jazz Party from JazzSet and NPR" is underwritten by AT&T with additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. The program is produced by JazzSet /WBGO FM Newark, NJ, and National Public Radio.

National Public Radio (NPR®), a membership organization of more than 600 public radio stations across America, is radio's leading provider of high-quality news, information, and cultural programming worldwide. NPR produces and distributes Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center and distributes Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz®, JazzSet® with Branford Marsalis, and Jazz From Lincoln Center®. NPR also produces and distributes news and entertainment programs such as Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, and NPR's Performance Today®.