Celebrate New Year's Eve With 4 Hours Of Music Featuring SFJAZZ Collective Jazz Night in America's Christian McBride hosts this special, ringing in the New Year with four hours of jazz from the SFJAZZ Collective, Carlos Henriquez and more.

Toast Of The Nation 2020: The Jazz Collective Edition

The SFJAZZ Collective

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The SFJAZZ Collective, performing live from the Robert N. Miner Auditorium in San Francisco. Don Dixon/SFJAZZ hide caption

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Don Dixon/SFJAZZ

The SFJAZZ Collective, performing live from the Robert N. Miner Auditorium in San Francisco.

Don Dixon/SFJAZZ

Toast of the Nation 2020

In 1977, the first Jazz Alive New Year's Eve special was broadcast live from The Cookery and The Village Gate. The tradition continues with Toast of the Nation, NPR's annual holiday special that rings in the New Year with jazz.

This year features some of the best jazz collectives performing today. Hear four solid hours of festive music from The Carlos Henriquez Octet (recorded live at Dizzy's Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center), the Baltimore Jazz Collective (recorded live at the Keystone Korner in Baltimore), the SFJAZZ Collective (recorded live at the SFJAZZ Center's Robert N. Miner Auditorium) and the Michael Leonhart Orchestra (recorded live at Jazz Standard in New York).

Hosted by Jazz Night In America's Christian McBride, this is the perfect complement to your holiday festivities.

  • Set 1 of 4

    The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs live in New York City on Dec. 28, 2019.
    Frank Stewart /Jazz at Lincoln Center

    The Carlos Henriquez Octet

    Carlos Henriquez is the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's bassist. Hear him and his all-star octet perform a Latin-style Dizzy Gillespie set. With infectious Afro Cuban Latin jazz influences, it's sure to make you want to get up and dance. (Recorded live at Dizzy's Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center in December 2017.)

    Set List:

    • "Manteca" (Dizzy Gillespie)
    • "Guachi Guaro" (Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo)
    • "Kush" (Dizzy Gillespie)
    • "Groovin' High" (Dizzy Gillespie)
    • "La Fiesta de Pilito" (Luis Cruz)
    • "Con Alma" (Dizzy Gillespie)
    • "Bebop" (Dizzy Gillespie)

    Musicians: Melissa Aldana, tenor; Anthony Almonte, congas/vocals; Obed Calvaire, drums; Marshall Gilkes, trombone; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Michael Rodriguez, trumpet; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Manuel Valera, piano.

  • Set 2 of 4

    The Baltimore Jazz Collective performs on October 8, 2019.
    Richard Smith Photography

    The Baltimore Jazz Collective

    In 1972, NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan opened the first Keystone Korner in San Francisco, a venue jazz critic Dan Morgenstern called "one of the greatest jazz nightclubs there ever was."

    Today, Barkan is the co-owner and artistic director of the new Keystone Korner in Baltimore. Earlier in 2019, Barkan and former SFJAZZ Collective trumpeter Sean Jones created the Baltimore Jazz Collective, a leaderless group of veteran musicians, primarily from the Baltimore and local Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. To celebrate each other's compositions, the ensemble also creates a database for local students and college curricula. Hear the compositions, recorded live at The Keystone Korner on Oct. 8, 2019.

    Set List:

    • "World Last Stand" (Quincy Phillips)
    • "Once Upon A Purple Night" (Mark G. Meadows)
    • "The Baltimore Collective" (Alex Brown)
    • "Glisten" (Todd Marcus)
    • "Past Life" (Brinae Ali)
    • "Thursday Night Prayer Meeting" (Kris Funn)

    Musicians: Brinae Ali, vocals, tap dancer; Kris Funn, bass; Sean Jones, trumpet; Todd Marcus, are saxophonist/bass clarinetist; Mark G. Meadows, piano; Quincy Phillips, drums.

  • Set 3 of 4

    The SFJAZZ Collective
    Jay Blakesberg/SFJAZZ

    The SFJAZZ Collective

    Every year, the all-star SFJAZZ Collective gets together to create fresh arrangements of works by modern masters. They also write newly commissioned pieces, too. In 2019, the octet celebrates the 50th anniversary of two important albums in popular music: Sly and The Family Stone's Stand! and Miles Davis' In a Silent Way. Hear this funk-filled set, recorded live on Nov. 3, 2019 at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

    Set List:

    • "In A Silent Way" (Miles Davis / Joe Zawinul) arranged by Edward Simon
    • "You Can Make It If You Try" (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by Adam Rogers
    • "Everyday People" (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by Martin Luther McCoy
    • "Somebody's Watching You (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by M. McCoy/Warren Wolf
    • "Sing A Simple Song" (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by Etienne Charles
    • "Sex Machine" (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by Warren Wolf
    • "I Want To Take You Higher" (Sylvester Stewart) arranged by David Sanchez"

    Musicians: Matt Brewer, bass; Obed Calvaire, drums; Etienne Charles, trumpet; Martin Luther McCoy, vocals (and guitar on "Somebody's Watching You"); Adam Rogers, guitar; David Sánchez, tenor saxophone; Edward Simon, piano/keyboards; Warren Wolf, vibraphone/keyboards; Greg Errico, drums ("I Want To Take You Higher").

  • Set 4 of 4

    Michael Leonhart and his orchestra performs at Jazz Standard on December 10, 2019.
    Nathan West/Courtesy of the artist

    The Michael Leonhart Orchestra

    Michael Leonhart is a Grammy award-winning trumpeter, composer and producer. His genre-crossing Michael Leonhart Orchestra blows minds with his arrangements, featuring music from Fela Kuti to Horace Silver to A Tribe Called Quest. This 20-piece ensemble features strings, horns and woodwinds, a bassoon and Keyon Harrold ... a very talented trumpeter making his mark in jazz today.

    Set List:

    • "Alu Jon Jonki Jon" (Fela Kuti)
    • "1500 Feet Above The Sahara" (Michael Leonhart)
    • "Book Of Slim" (Gene Harris)
    • "Sham Time" (Eddie Harris)
    • "Brain Wave" (Horace Silver)
    • "Big Bottom/Lonely Woman" (Ornette Coleman/Spinal Tap medley)
    • "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" (Frank Loesser, arranged by Frank De Vol, orchestrated by Michael Leonhart, featuring vocalist Jamie Leonhart)
    • "Electric Relaxation" (Jonathan Davis / Ronnie Foster / Ali Shaheed Muhammad / Malik Taylor)
    • "Untouchable" (Eric Barrier / William Griffin / Rakim, featuring rapper Jswiss)
    • "Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries" (Willie Bobo)

    Musicians: Kevin Raczka, drums; Joe Martin, bass; Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, percussion; Robbie Mangano, guitar; Nathan Koci, accordion; Claudia Chopek, violin; Ludovica Burtone, violin; Sara Schoenbeck, bassoon; Ian Hendrickson-Smith, woodwinds; Sam Sadigursky, woodwinds; Dave Pietro, woodwinds; Ray Mason, trombone; Jeff Nelson, bass trombone; Frank Greene, trumpet; Dave Guy, trumpet; Scott Wendholt, trumpet; Keyon Harrold, trumpet; Michael Leonhart, trumpet; Jamie Leonhart, vocals; JSwiss, vocals.