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Jazz Pianist Marian McPartland Turns 90

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Susan Stamberg takes a moment to note the 90th birthday this week of jazz pianist Marian McPartland, host of NPR's Piano Jazz.


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg.

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STAMBERG: The grand dame of piano jazz turned 90 this week. Marian McPartland shared her piano-shaped birthday cake at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a number of musical notables, including Norah Jones and Wynton Marsalis. They and other musicians jammed on stage with Ms. McPartland, playing vintage jazz tunes and some cuts from her latest album, "Twilight World."

Norah Jones told the crowd she was 13 years old when she first heard Marian McPartland at a Dallas jazz club. And then she started listening to bootleg copies of Ms. McPartland's NPR show, Piano Jazz. Now, thinking back, that seems cool, Norah Jones told Marian McPartland, but at the time you killed my social life. But happy birthday, she said, and I'm so happy to be there, and I love you madly.

As do so many piano jazz fans.

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STAMBERG: Coming up, he's just a spring chicken at 85. Bob, of Bob and Ray, slow talks for us.

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