More From Toast Of The Nation

L-R: Dan Blake, Julian Lage, Larry Grenadier, Eric Harland perform on Toast of the Nation. Paul Marotta/Berklee College of Music hide caption

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Julian Lage Trio: Live In Concert

GBH

The young guitarist and composer called up top sidemen Eric Harland (drums) and Larry Grenadier (bass) for a New Year's Eve party at his alma mater. Saxophonist Dan Blake also stopped by.

Julian Lage Trio: Live In Concert

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Billy Childs. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Billy Childs Quartet: Live In Concert

WBGO

The pianist and composer is a winner of three Grammy Awards and tours the world leading a chamber ensemble which combines his jazz and classical experience. But Childs rung in 2012 in his hometown.

Billy Childs Quartet: Live In Concert

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Junior Mance Group: Live In Concert

KUVO

The pianist counted among his employers Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington and Cannonball Adderley — and that was just the '50s. The bluesy veteran brought a young group to Denver for this concert.

Junior Mance Group: Live In Concert

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L-R: Lizz Wright, Angelique Kidjo and Dianne Reeves perform at the 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival. Jeff Forman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Sing The Truth! Live In Concert

WBGO

Three women with superhuman voices — Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves & Lizz Wright — have been touring together under the banner Sing The Truth! The idea is to perform songs of empowerment and love.

Sing The Truth! Live In Concert

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A Tribute To Billy Taylor: Live In Concert

WBGO

Pianists Geri Allen, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Cyrus Chestnut, Danilo Pérez and Christian Sands were among the all-star cast of musicians who gathered in Washington, D.C. to salute the late pianist.

A Tribute To Billy Taylor: Live In Concert

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JD Allen. Frank Stewart/courtesy of the artist hide caption

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JD Allen Trio: Live In Denver

The great saxophonist was introduced as "John D. Allen" on Toast of the Nation 1994. This year's broadcast features Allen as the leader of his own hard-charging trio, with special guests Ron Miles on cornet and Henry Butler on piano.

JD Allen Trio in Concert

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Billy Taylor died Dec. 28. He was 89. Evan Agostini/Getty Images hide caption

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A Final Toast To Billy Taylor

The great pianist was also a legendary broadcaster who paved the way for jazz on public radio. NPR Music digs through the archives to remember its late colleague during the annual New Year's Eve live concert celebration Toast of the Nation.

Listen Now: A Tribute To Billy Taylor

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Dianne Reeves. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Dianne Reeves: Live In San Francisco

WBGO

The jazz singer is a powerhouse -- a caretaker of a rich, hearty delivery which goes anywhere she sets her imagination to. In front of a crack staff of modern jazz musicians, she counted down to midnight in Mountain Time and on the West Coast.

Dianne Reeves in Concert on Toast of the Nation 2010-2011

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Von Freeman And Ed Petersen: Live In Chicago

WBGO

One lives in New Orleans, where he's taken a teaching post. His friend and mentor remains the godfather of the Chicago jazz scene. But the two tenor saxophonists battle it out, as per annual tradition, at the Green Mill in the Windy City.

Von Freeman and Ed Petersen in Concert on Toast of the Nation 2010-2011

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Cyrus Chestnut (left) and Benny Green. courtesy of the artists hide caption

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A Celebration In Swing With Cyrus Chestnut And Benny Green: Live In New York

WBGO

Start out with two pianists who absolutely command their instruments. Give them a premier bassist and drummer. Then add guests like trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonist Jimmy Heath — an elder statesman of the music — and it becomes a party.

A Celebration in Swing on Toast of the Nation 2010-2011

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