Airs Thursday, May 23 at 8 p.m. Tucked between Togo to the west and Nigeria on the east, the West African nation of Benin is one of the smallest on the continent, yet it has produced one of Africa's finest contemporary musicians. During the Spring of 2011, we premiered a special production featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke in a seven-piece ensemble under the direction of Robert Sadin. Working together, Sadin and Loueke crafted an extraordinary hour-long set built around original compositions and an array of stunning instrumentalists: Sadin conducted cellist Vincent Segal, violinist Mark Feldman, multi-reed and wind player Charles Pillow, along with Walter Blanding on bass clarinet, percussionists Cyro Baptista and Thioko Diagne, while Loueke sang and played guitar.
Airs Monday, February 18 at 9 p.m. Wynton Marsalis marks 25 years at the helm of Jazz at Lincoln Center by sitting down with Elliott Forrest, the Peabody Award-winning radio host and producer of WQXR and WNYC. The hour long radio show features conversation and performances by members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In this rare long-form intimate conversation, they talk about the early days of JALC, how the trumpet found Marsalis, the very different roles his parents played in his life, the history of Jazz, music education and, in a one-of-a-kind demonstration, Marsalis recreates the playing styles of other trumpeters, including Clark Terry, Miles Davis and others.