Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Each week, NPR's award-winning program showcases both acclaimed artists and up-and-coming performers as they share music and memories.
Special Series

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Acclaimed jazz artists share music and memories

Alice Coltrane. Chuck Stewart hide caption

toggle caption Chuck Stewart

Alice Coltrane On Piano Jazz

Coltrane performs her own "Transfiguration" and joins host Marian McPartland in "Giant Steps."

John Dankworth. Graham Turner/Hulton Archive hide caption

toggle caption Graham Turner/Hulton Archive

John Dankworth On Piano Jazz

Piano Jazz remembers the musician, composer, arranger and band leader with this 1998 session, recorded before an audience at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

John Dankworth On Piano Jazz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127929869/280732145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Grace Kelly. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Grace Kelly On Piano Jazz

The then-16-year-old jazz phenom sings "All the Things You Are" and plays "Round Midnight" in a 2008 session with Marian McPartland.

Cedar Walton. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Cedar Walton On Piano Jazz

In 1980, the pianist plays his tune "N.P.S." and duets with host Marian McPartland in "Lover Man."

Herbie Hancock. Kwaku Alston hide caption

toggle caption Kwaku Alston

Herbie Hancock On Piano Jazz

In a program from 1987, Hancock solos on "Dolphin Dance" and then improvises with Marian McPartland.

Jim Hall. Frans Schellekens/Redferns hide caption

toggle caption Frans Schellekens/Redferns

Jim Hall On Piano Jazz

The innovative guitarist plays "Blue Monk" with host Marian McPartland in a session from 2003.

Hickory House Trio. RJ Capak hide caption

toggle caption RJ Capak

Marian McPartland's Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

In the 1950s, New York's Hickory House was known for its sizzling steaks and a swinging jazz trio led by a young female pianist with a British accent and a God-given touch. McPartland, along with bassist Joe Morello and drummer Bill Crow, held court at the Hickory House for more than a decade.

Listen: Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15123976/263380341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Of Marian McPartland, guest host Elvis Costello says that it's "an extraordinary leap of musical continuity that [she's] been able to make throughout the history of Piano Jazz." Michael Ochs Archives hide caption

toggle caption Michael Ochs Archives

Elvis Costello Interviews Marian McPartland, Part Two

McPartland and guest host Elvis Costello stroll down memory lane as she discusses her favorite moments from more than 700 episodes of Piano Jazz. Costello serenades McPartland with a moving version of "P.S. I Love You" and introduces a new song, "You Hung the Moon."

Marian McPartland On Piano Jazz, Part Two

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122608945/261408981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Elvis Costello says that Marian McPartland captures "many of the ingenious personalities" of Piano Jazz so that "they will be forever enduring." Tim Hall/Redferns hide caption

toggle caption Tim Hall/Redferns

Elvis Costello Interviews Marian McPartland, Part One

The tables are turned, as McPartland sits at the guest bench to discuss her life as a performer and as the host of Piano Jazz. She reminisces about moments from the program's early days; then, guest host Elvis Costello sings as McPartland plays "Our Love Is Here to Stay."

Marian McPartland On Piano Jazz, Part One

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122322432/259420797" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Gerald Wilson. Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist.

Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

The late bandleader, composer, arranger and trumpeter was famed for sophisticated musical ideas and dedicated to the infinite possibilities of jazz. Hear a 2006 session.

Listen: Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/255858231/255859307" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Let it snow. Keene and Chesire County Historical Photos/via Flickr hide caption

toggle caption Keene and Chesire County Historical Photos/via Flickr

Let It Snow: The Piano Jazz Holiday Show

Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share favorite memories and unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.

Let It Snow: The Piano Jazz Holiday Show

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/167812740/167526463" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Stefano Bollani. Valentina Cenni/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Valentina Cenni/Courtesy of the artist

Stefano Bollani On Piano Jazz

Italian pianist Stefano Bollani stretches the limits of imagination with improvisations ranging from quirky to transcendent. Virtuoso technique and a keen harmonic sense bolster Bollani's improvisations, which are influenced as much by Charlie Parker as Prokofiev and Zappa.

Ellen Seeling. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Ellen Seeling On Piano Jazz

Saxophonist Jean Fineberg and drummer Allison Miller join the trumpeter in a 2006 session.

Listen: Ellen Seeling On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/249318939/248947515" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Eddie Gomez. Claudio Casanova /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Claudio Casanova /Courtesy of the artist

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

Hear the former Bill Evans Trio bassist play "Stella by Starlight" with host Marian McPartland.

Kenny Werner. Richard Conde hide caption

toggle caption Richard Conde

Kenny Werner On Piano Jazz

The pianist is a musician for whom creativity is a credo and improvisation a way of life. Transforming brilliant technique into unbridled creativity is not only Werner's musical mission; it's also the subject of his popular book, Effortless Mastery. Hear an interview and performance.