Wynton Marsalis. Clay Patrick McBride/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Toast Of The Nation

Wynton Marsalis Group: Live In Concert

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By necessity, the early jazz pioneers knew how to make music for revelers. So it made sense that Marsalis put the tunes of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver on the bill for this New Year's Eve bash.

Wynton Marsalis Group In Concert

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Dee Alexander salutes Jimi Hendrix during her Funkin' With Electric Soul show. Marc PoKempner hide caption

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Toast Of The Nation

Dee Alexander's Funkin' With Electric Soul: Live In Chicago

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An impromptu bongo beat became a full-on tribute to James Brown, and suddenly a band had a new repertoire. A powerful and versatile vocalist, Alexander and her ensemble honor the Godfather of Soul.

Dee Alexander's Funkin' With Electric Soul In Concert

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Jon Batiste embraces the crowd at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Toast Of The Nation

Jon Batiste And Stay Human, Live In Concert

Following a high-energy main stage set — filled with turbocharged versions of standards, rags and his own party anthems — the young pianist and singer brought his band out into the audience.

Jon Batiste And Stay Human In Concert

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Steve Wilson (center) brought a quartet and a string section to the Kennedy Center to pay tribute to the Charlie Parker With Strings LP. Sue Lyn Schramm hide caption

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Steve Wilson With Strings On JazzSet

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Today's alto man renews a classic, Charlie Parker With Strings, at the Kennedy Center.

Steve Wilson With Strings On JazzSet

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Christian McBride in rehearsal at the Kennedy Center. Jeffrey Kliman/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center. hide caption

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

They Drive At 55: The Monterey Jazz Anniversary Tour

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An all-star sextet is crossing the country, advancing the festival's mission: to create and support jazz education and performance programs. JazzSet has highlights from the Kennedy Center.

They Drive At 55: The Monterey Jazz Anniversary Tour

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Eddie Palmieri performs at the Kennedy Center. Juan L. Cruz/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center hide caption

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSet

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Palmieri plays the whole piano, and he's not shy about throwing an elbow or forearm to get the effect he needs.

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSet

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Dee Dee Bridgewater (right) smiles big with pianist Edsel Gomez. Richard Conde hide caption

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater On JazzSet

Held each summer in the lovely hillside country of Westchester County, the Caramoor Jazz Festival is in a rolling woods, 40 miles northeast of New York City. Hear Dee Dee Bridgewater lead her quintet.

Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band. L-R: Blade, Myron Walden, Melvin Butler, Chris Thomas, Jon Cowherd. NPR Music hide caption

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Field Recordings

Chorale For Horns And iPad App, In The Pouring Rain

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We had hoped that the great drummer Brian Blade would give us a little backstage percussion exhibition. But rain scuttled those plans. Instead, he and his band worked out a different kind of beauty.

David Sanchez and the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors perform at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Newport Jazz Festival

David Sanchez With The Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, Live In Concert

The Puerto Rican tenor saxophonist joins a select international ensemble from one of jazz's top conservatories in a festival-opening performance of his own compositions.

Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors With David Sanchez In Concert

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Gretchen Parlato performing at the Caramoor Jazz Festival in Katonah, N.Y. July 28. Gabe Palacio/Courtesy of the Caramoor Festival hide caption

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Gretchen Parlato, The Cookers On JazzSet

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The 2012 Caramoor Jazz Festival presents everything from young artists making their marks to established stars still shining bright. We highlight singer Gretchen Parlato and hard bop band The Cookers.