Airs Thursday, February 5 at 8 p.m. Many of the most notable achievements in jazz have come through its great composers. Giants such as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and many others always kept the music moving forward through the creation and performance of new compositions. In this episode, we listen to the premiere of new work commissioned by SMF by saxophonist Walter Blanding, Jr. entitled "Tick Tock". The ensemble features Blanding, Marcus Printup on trumpet, Lionel Loueke on guitar, Warren Wolf on vibraphone, Carlos Henriquez on bass and Herlin Riley on drums.
Airs Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. Pianist Henry Butler was born in New Orleans and has developed a sound that Dr. John refers to as the "pride of the Crescent City." As an extension of the great piano lineage that includes Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, James Booker and Tuts Washington, Mr. Butler has devised a distinct musical gumbo that blends the ingredients of jazz, blues, rags and funk with the feeling of a second line parade. In this episode, we listen to highlights from Henry Butler's solo performance at the Charles H. Morris Center during the 2010 Savannah Music Festival.
Airs Thursday, January 30 at 8 p.m. When new styles of American music began to emerge at the end of the 19th century, the primary instrument at the center of these creations was the piano. Virtuosos such as ragtime stylist Scott Joplin created works like the "Maple Leaf Rag" that would sell over a million copies of sheet music alone. The first two decades of the 20th century would see jazz and blues compositions crafted by Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington, and their results were the shape of American music to come.