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Jazz Music

Amir ElSaffar's new album is called Alchemy.

Watch Amir ElSaffar Navigates Uncharted Blue Notes On 'Alchemy'

November 4, 2013 – Alchemy is a step forward in defining and refining the trumpeter's mix of jazz and Iraqi rhythms.


Carli Muñoz.

Listen Carli Muñoz On Piano Jazz

November 1, 2013 – The pianist and club owner plays Cole Porter's "So in Love" with host Marian McPartland in 2006.


Frank Wess appears at a tribute concert in 2007.

Watch Frank Wess, Basie Woodwind Specialist, Dies

November 1, 2013 – The mellow saxophone and flute player's career was propelled by a popular big band.

Nicole Mitchell performs at the Kennedy Center.

Listen Nicole Mitchell And Ice Crystal On JazzSet WBGO

October 31, 2013 – Hear the adventurous musician and composer play the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. WBGO


Dr. Billy Taylor.

Listen Dr. Billy Taylor On Piano Jazz

October 25, 2013 – Taylor performs "In Loving Memory" and "If You Really Are Concerned" at the Kennedy Center.

Matt Ulery performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in August 2013.

Watch Matt Ulery's Loom: Tiny Desk Concert

October 19, 2013 – The bassist composes beautiful, unpretentious music for an unusual jazz band with accordion.


Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performs his Abyssinian Mass in 2008.

Watch Wynton Marsalis Goes Back To Church For 'Abyssinian Mass'

October 19, 2013 – The trumpeter and bandleader is touring his gospel-jazz Abyssinian Mass — with a 70-voice choir.


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.

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

October 19, 2013 – In Kansas City Lightning, Stanley Crouch tracks the jazz legend's early years and rise to fame.


Betty Buckley.

Listen Betty Buckley On Piano Jazz

October 18, 2013 – The Broadway and screen actress joined Marian McPartland in 2007 for a session of standards.


Chris Lightcap performs at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

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

October 17, 2013 – The rhythm of the city drives a suite by Lightcap and Bigmouth, performing in Santa Cruz, Calif.


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

Read Five Songs By The 'Rhodes Scholar' Keyboardist Of Hip-Hop

October 17, 2013 – Bob James' proto-smooth jazz featured infectious melodies and riffs — as rap producers know well.

Elvis Costello.

Listen Elvis Costello On Piano Jazz

October 11, 2013 – Costello joins host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi to perform "At Last" and more.

Catherine Russell.

Listen Catherine Russell On 'Song Travels'

October 11, 2013 – Hear "Mood Indigo" as a bluesy duet between the jazz singer and host Michael Feinstein.


Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.

Read A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

October 10, 2013 – At 27, Trombone Shorty is already an icon. So the bandleader is nurturing even younger local talent.


Geof Bradfield's suite traces Melba Liston's (pictured) life story through her work with Dizzy Gillespie and Randy Weston.

Listen Geof Bradfield's 'Melba!' On JazzSet

October 10, 2013 – Bradfield's suite traces Melba Liston's life story through her work with Gillespie and Weston.


Melissa Aldana performs with her Crash Trio, including bassist Pablo Menares.

Listen Melissa Aldana Crash Trio: Live At Berklee WBGO

October 9, 2013 – The Chilean, 24, came to the U.S. with little English, little money and lots of saxophone. WBGO

Ahmad Jamal.

Read Ahmad Jamal Weaves Old And New On 'Saturday Morning'

October 9, 2013 – The jazz pianist isn't playing the way he did 60 years ago, now that he's finished warming up.


Melissa Aldana, 24, took after her father in pursuing jazz saxophone.

Watch A Saxophonist From Santiago Cracks The Stateside Scene

October 9, 2013 – Thelonious Monk Competition winner Melissa Aldana comes from a community of Chilean jazzistas.

Carline Ray.

Listen Carline Ray On Piano Jazz

October 4, 2013 – The multi-instrumentalist joins Marian McPartland for Duke Ellington and Gershwin tunes in 1997.


Ravi Coltrane.

Listen Ravi Coltrane Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard WBGO

October 2, 2013 – The saxophonist brings his new band into a venue still haunted by the ghosts of his parents. WBGO


From left: pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and bassist Ben Street.

Read Steady And Swingin': Tootie Keeps The Tempo

October 1, 2013 – At 78, jazz drummer "Tootie" Heath can still make songs swing while keeping them firmly in time.


Ravi Coltrane's favorite tune off his most recent album, Spirit Fiction, was written by longtime collaborator Ralph Alessi.

Read Ravi Coltrane's Favorite 'Ice Cream' Flavor

October 1, 2013 – The saxophonist explains why his band returns to a certain palate-cleansing tune so often.

Left to right: Craig Taborn (piano), Dave Holland (bass), Kevin Eubanks (electric guitar), Eric Harland (drums).

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

October 1, 2013 – Prism features one of the loudest bands of the bassist's career, but it's not just for moving feet.


The Pedrito Martinez Group's self-titled album comes out Oct. 8.

Read First Listen: 'The Pedrito Martinez Group'

September 29, 2013 – The singing Cuban conguero leads a dance party as accomplished as it is irresistible.

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.

Watch Vijay Iyer On Learning From War

September 29, 2013 – The jazz musician and newly minted MacArthur "Genius" discusses his recent work with war veterans.


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