Airs Monday, February 2 at 1 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement. In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

Airs Sunday, January 25 at 6 p.m.This is the story of three men who served aboard the Exodus 1947, a Jewish refugee ship that tried to run thousands of holocaust survivors past the British blockade of Palestine in 1947. At the helm was "Big Bill" Millman, a 19-year-old Navy boxing champ who "wouldn't take any crap from anybody." Frank Lavine was part of the deck crew. He was 22, and completely unprepared for the kind of battle he'd soon face against the British marines. And in the engine room, an electrician named Nat Nadler helped keep the boilers lit, never imagining that he was about to participate in the birth of a nation. Before there was an Israel, these men, and nearly 40 others climbed aboard a rusted American ferryboat and set out from Philadelphia to transport thousands of Jewish holocaust survivors past the British blockade of Palestine. Other ships had tried it. But their ship, which would come to be known as the Exodus 1947, was the one that helped shape the political landscape of the Middle East for the foreseeable future. "Exous '47: Inside Out" is an hour-long account of the journey undertaken by the Exodus and its crew. Reporter Sean Cole weaves together interviews with three men who experienced that journey, Bill Millman, Frank Lavine and Nat Nadler, punctuating their accounts with archival audio and music.

Airs Thursday, November 27 at 9 p.m. In the late 1960s, when trumpeter Miles Davis was leading his famous Second Quintet, saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a series of large ensemble works. They were never recorded, only was performed, and many people never knew they existed. Sometime around the quintet disbanding, Shorter put the scores away.  Now, trumpeter Wallace Roney -- a protégé of Miles Davis -- has received the scores from Shorter and prepared them for a performance at the 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival. Roney, with permission from Shorter, has re-orchestrated them to fit a more standard orchestral jazz ensemble.  Jazz Night in America presents a window into a fascinating period of Wayne Shorter’s writing with the very first recording of “Universe” and “Legend, written in the late 1960s and “Twin Dragon” written in 1981. The Wallace Roney Orchestra features Victor Gould (piano), Buster Williams (bass), Lenny White (drums) and the ensemble is filled out with various New York based musicians and local talent pulled from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1983, Roney was one of seven trumpeters performing at a Miles Davis tribute concert. Backstage after the show, trumpeter Art Farmer took Wallace up to Davis’s dressing room. This meeting spawned a bond between student and teacher that would continue until Davis’s death in 1991. This episode of Jazz Night in America explores this accelerated period in Roney’s career while looking further back at the musical experiences that shaped Wayne’s writing for large ensemble.

Press Image / LSU Shreveport

Commentator Gary Joiner puts old-fashioned pen to paper this week with thoughts about letter writing and journaling and their important contribution to history.

Commentator Brian O'Nuanain reflects on the changing relationship between Britain and Ireland and his hopes for the future.