Amir ElSaffar's new album is called Alchemy. Nicole LeCorgne/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Amir ElSaffar Navigates Uncharted Blue Notes On 'Alchemy'

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Carli Muñoz. David Gasser/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Listen: Carli Munoz On Piano Jazz

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Nicole Mitchell performs at the Kennedy Center. Margot Schulman/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center hide caption

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Nicole Mitchell And Ice Crystal On JazzSet

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Matt Ulery performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in August 2013. Chloe Coleman/Chloe Coleman/NPR hide caption

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Matt Ulery's Loom: Tiny Desk Concert

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Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performs his Abyssinian Mass in 2008. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Wynton Marsalis Goes Back To Church For 'Abyssinian Mass'

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Charlie Parker started playing as a boy, when his mother gave him a saxophone to cheer him up after his father left. He went on to spearhead a musical revolution. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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The Birth Of Bird: Young Charlie Parker Found Focus, Faith In Music

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Listen: Betty Buckley On Piano Jazz

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Chris Lightcap performs at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. R.R. Jones/Courtesy of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center hide caption

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Chris Lightcap's 'Lost And Found New York' On JazzSet

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Keyboardist and producer Bob James' 1970s work helped to establish the sound of smooth jazz — and lives on in hip-hop samples galore. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Catherine Russell. Stefan Falke/Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

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Listen Now: Catherine Russell On 'Song Travels'

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Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans. Jonathan Mannion/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

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Geof Bradfield's suite traces Melba Liston's (pictured) life story through her work with Dizzy Gillespie and Randy Weston. Courtesy of Institute Of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University hide caption

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Geof Bradfield's 'Melba!' On JazzSet

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Melissa Aldana performs with her Crash Trio, including bassist Pablo Menares. Kelly Davidson/Courtesy of Berklee College Of Music hide caption

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Ahmad Jamal Weaves Old And New On 'Saturday Morning'

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Melissa Aldana, 24, took after her father in pursuing jazz saxophone. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ravi Coltrane. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Ravi Coltrane Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard

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From left: pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and bassist Ben Street. John Rogers/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Steady And Swingin': Tootie Keeps The Tempo

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Ravi Coltrane's favorite tune off his most recent album, Spirit Fiction, was written by longtime collaborator Ralph Alessi. Deborah Feingold/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Left to right: Craig Taborn (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Kevin Eubanks (electric guitar), Eric Harland (drums). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Dave Holland's 'Prism' Goes To 11, Elegantly

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The Pedrito Martinez Group's self-titled album comes out Oct. 8. Petra Richterova/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Conciencia

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For three years, jazz musician Vijay Iyer has worked with poet and performer Mike Ladd to set the words of war veterans to music. The resulting album, released earlier this month, is called Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Vijay Iyer On Learning From War

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