Jazz Night In America

How Benny Green Saw His Jazz HorizonWBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

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Jazz has always been a music of continuum, its secrets passed down across generations. Benny Green is a shining embodiment of this process: A pianist originally inspired (and eventually endorsed) by mid-century modernists like Oscar Peterson; An apprentice to two of the music's greatest mentors, Betty Carter and Art Blakey; A conservationist of the bebop idiom, and a joyful guardian of its lexicon.

Green is now 55, and has come a long way since the days when he was featured in a group called Jazz Futures, with fellow up-and-comers like bassist Christian McBride. He inhabits a midpoint in the music, not yet as an elder but certainly a mature artist, and an influence on more than a few players himself. In this episode of Jazz Night in America, we'll catch a recent set of his at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, featuring his spit-and-polish trio with drummer Kenny Washington and bassist David Wong.

We'll also be a fly on the wall as Green catches up with McBride — one of his oldest friends, and our show's multifaceted host. They'll reminisce about Green's youth in Berkeley, Calif., where his father, saxophonist Bert Green, instilled a reverence for jazz. They'll talk about what the younger Green learned from Betty Carter, and how he tactfully left her band to join Blakey's Jazz Messengers, turning heads right away. And they'll talk shop about Green's experience working with Ray Brown, who happens to be McBride's foundational bass hero, and another bridge from one jazz era to the next.

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The GroundUP Music Festival Brings Even More Heat to Miami

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

GroundUP is unlike any other musical event. Lines blur between artist and fan, and spill onto Miami Beach. Hear a jazz sampler from the 2018 line-up.

The GroundUP Music Festival Brings Even More Heat to Miami

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Bassist Dave Holland and tabla player Zakir Hussain perform as part of Crosscurrents at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Crosscurrents: Converging Jazz And Indian Classical Music

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Explore the influence of Indian music on the jazz and rock scenes of the '60s with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, prolific bassist Dave Holland and their international ensemble, Crosscurrents.

Harold Mabern Alan Nahigian/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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At The Helm: Harold Mabern, Stalwart Accompanist, At 82

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Harold Mabern has been one of jazz's most consistent accompanists over the last 60 years. In this episode of Jazz Night in America, we explore some of that history with him.

At The Helm: Harold Mabern, Stalwart Accompanist, At 82

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The Bad Plus: The Band That Never Stops

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For a group that has always stood for musical collectivism, the substitution of pianist Orrin Evans for Ethan Iverson was a shakeup of existential proportions.

Joanne Brackeen and Jason Moran at NPR's Studio One in Washington, D.C. Eric Lee/NPR hide caption

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Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

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Jason Moran sat down with the NEA Jazz Masters to talk about their careers and listen to music that played important roles in their lives.

Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

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Jazzmeia Horn Enters The Jazz-Vocal Pantheon

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A singer of ironclad capability, creative drive and irrepressible panache, she has emerged as the breakout new talent in a formidable jazz-vocal tradition.

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Jane Bunnett And Maqueque: The New Queens of Afro-Cuban Jazz

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Canadian saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett has dedicated her life to Cuban music. Her latest project is Maqueque, an all-female band of young Cuban artists blending folkloric grooves and jazz.

Jane Bunnett And Maqueque: The New Queens of Afro-Cuban Jazz

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Marian McPartland: A Centennial Celebration

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No jazz musician has ever been heard more on public radio than the late Marian McPartland. But for all her ubiquity, how well did we really know her?

Marian McPartland: A Centennial Celebration

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Jesse Kitt

Lizz Wright: Finding Grace In The South

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Vocalist Lizz Wright takes us on a road trip tracing her Southern roots in her home state of Georgia — and we hear a performance from a concert recorded in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse.

Lizz Wright: Finding Grace In The South

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Christian Scott: Building Bridges Across Cultures

We join Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah for a performance at the New Orleans Jazz Market drawn from The Centennial Trilogy — and explore his work as a bridge-builder, an ambassador and an avatar.

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Mike Reed: The World That I'm In

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In 2009, drummer Mike Reed had a close encounter with a racist mob while on tour in Europe. He turned the experience into art with Flesh & Bone.

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Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

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We join the pianist at his loft in SoHo to talk about his upbringing in Cincinnati, late-night gigs in New York, his recovery from a coma in 2008, and his adaptation of Walt Whitman's poetry.

Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

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SFJAZZ Collective Plays Joe Henderson And More

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

This year, the octet has chosen to salute a tenor sax titan and a long-time San Francisco resident. It plays re-arrangements of Henderson classics along with new original pieces live in concert.

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Home Cooking: The Philadelphia Jazz Organ Tradition In Concert

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It was in Philly where Jimmy Smith first took a church instrument and made it swing. Years later, the city's jazz community gathers to salute its many soulful pioneers of the Hammond B-3 organ.

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A David Murray Double Bill

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific tenor saxophonist returned to New York this winter to present a four-clarinet summit and a new trio with Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington.

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Wayne Shorter: Artist In Residence At The Detroit Jazz Festival

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This episode focuses on a highlight of the saxophonist's banner year: the time he spent as artist in residence at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

Wayne Shorter: Artist In Residence At The Detroit Jazz Festival

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This year, we bade farewell to avant-garde pioneer Muhal Richard Abrams. Michael Hoefner/Wikipedia hide caption

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'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

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Friends of our program honor a handful of departed artists, celebrating their lives in an episode filled with insight, humor and plenty of music.

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

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The Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual Big Band Holiday concert, performed on December 13th, 2017. Lawrence Sumlong/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra Performs Big Band Holiday Classics

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Watch the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington perform soulful renditions of holiday classics from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Grover Washington Jr. performs on stage during the "One Night With Blue Note" concert in New York on Feb. 22, 1985. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images hide caption

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How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In this radio episode, Jazz Night in America takes you to a tribute concert honoring the late musician, whose soulful sound was more than just "smooth."

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

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Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist's 2014 album was dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hear his quartet perform the genre-spanning music in concert.

Jimmy Greene's 'Beautiful Life'

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Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night in America takes you to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where the hard-bop drummer celebrated his debut as a band leader and talked about fond memories and favorite sessions.

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

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