Airs Tuesday, February 19 at 9 p.m. The great drummer turns 70 during the week following the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, but he's certainly not going quietly into retirement age. Lately, he's been leading a quintet which combines a brilliant saxophonist fluent in South Asian music (Rudresh Mahanthappa), an electric guitarist known for microtonal experiments (Dave Fiuczynski) and the combination of keyboards (George Colligan) and acoustic bass guitar (Jerome Harris).
Airs Thursday, February 7 at 8 p.m. There have been many outstanding piano trios throughout the history of jazz, each with its own signature sound. There is the majestic swing of the Oscar Peterson Trio, the classy bop of the Hank Jones Trio, the great independence of the Bill Evans Trio, and the powerful virtuosity of Bud Powell's trios. Each great jazz piano trio brought something slightly different into the fold, combining swing, group interaction, and musical dynamics in unique ways. In this episode, we listen to one of the finest contemporary jazz piano trios, the Bill Charlap Trio, in concert at the 2011 Savannah Music Festival with special guest Houston Person. Bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington fill out the stage and sound.
Airs Wednesday, February 6 at 8 p.m. This one hour special takes listeners to the hidden world of New Orleans corner joints—bars far from the French Quarter, in neighborhoods like Central City, Treme, and Pigeontown. These clubs, patronized almost entirely by locals, nurture a resilient blues and rhythm-and-blues scene that is often overshadowed by the Crescent City’s legacy as a jazz town. They are an essential part of New Orleans’ cultural history, but they are struggling—because of the recession, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and potentially the BP oil spill.
Airs Monday, December 31 at 8:00 p.m. Count down, sing along, and dance to live music all night long. Travel from coast to coast with four celebrations of midnight from time zone to time zone. It's the perfect holiday special for any New Year's event. Spirited, improvised, grooving, and swinging, with strings, horns, voices and drums, each segment is a stop in a sequence of parties, each one contributing something new to the musical feast. WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton anchors, with additional voices along the way.
Airs Tuesday, December 25 at 10:00 p.m. It's a very merry jazz Christmas with an hour of some of the best holiday jazz. We’ll talk with jazz historian Bill Sears about some of the off-the-beaten path jazz takes on your favorite holiday classics, and chat with our producer Lou Blouin about the Christmas duet that brought jazz icon Bing Crosby and rocker David Bowie together. That plus a conversation with pianist Eugene Marlow about his recent jazz reworking of some classic Hanukkah music, and tunes from Duke Ellington, Hammond B3 pioneer Jimmy Smith, Vince Guaraldi, and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, are all coming up on this Special.