Cassandra Wilson

Meagan Beauchemin / NPR

Airs Friday, January 8, at 9 p.m. This week on the Caravan we'll feature some familiar sounds to open with a couple of classic cuts by Jethro Tull, plus tracks from Hat Check Girl, Allison Crow, Cassandra Wilson, and Chris Belleau, and we'll toss in some Aretha Frankin to boot. Then in our concert hour we travel to the Newport Folk Festival for a concert featuring Tift Merritt, and this week in our final hour we fly over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Airs Thursday, October 22, at 9 p.m. Jazz Night in America marks the centennial of the birth of Billie Holiday with Grammy winner Cassandra Wilson. She showcases her blues, country, and folk-tinged delivery, singing selections from her latest recording highlighting the artistry of Billie Holiday. Jazz Night speaks with some of the key players in the making of this recording and we also catch up with pianist Barbara Carroll who shares her story of the one opportunity she had to perform with Lady Day on “The Today Show” in 1958.

Airs Monday, September 7 at 11 p.m. Work songs gave laborers a way of transforming their toil into something more meaningful, of enriching their everyday lives through music.  How did the influence of the work song emerge in the recordings of artists such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Dave Brubeck and other musicians?  Jazz historian Ted Gioia, author of Work Songs, joins Night Lights for a Labor Day look at the work song's relationship to jazz and popular music.

Airs Monday, September 1 at 10 p.m. Work songs gave laborers a way of transforming their toil into something more meaningful, of enriching their everyday lives through music.  How did the influence of the work song emerge in the recordings of artists such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Dave Brubeck and other musicians?  Jazz historian Ted Gioia, author of Work Songs, joins Night Lights for a Labor Day look at the work song's relationship to jazz and popular music.  Other featured artists include Louis Armstrong (his ode to Pullman porters, "Red Cap"), Cassandra Wilson (her cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman") and Sting (with saxophonist Branford Marsalis joining him for the tribute to English coal-miners, "We Work the Black Seam").